The Conversation

Detroit and trickle-up socialism

One of the core principles of Obamanomics is the theory of trickle-up socialism, captured in its purest form by the contention that unemployment checks represent a powerful form of economic "stimulus."  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described unemployment insurance as "one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy," because the money is "spent quickly, it injects money into the economy, and it's job-creating."

The Obama "stimulus" heist was supposed to create jobs by showering individuals and small businesses with cash, which they would rush out to spend, creating jobs all over the place.  (The money actually went into state and local government slush funds and sinkholes, plus ridiculous "green energy" business models run by top Obama contributors, stimulating very little except the bank accounts of the well-connected.)  It has become a firm belief of the Left that handing money to "deserving" individuals creates sustainable prosperity, because they rush out to spend the money, causing jobs to spring from the barren soil of a business-hostile hyper-regulatory rigor-mortis economy like wildflowers.

So... why didn't that happen in Detroit?  Detroit is filled with people who don't work, but receive regular servings of super-powerful "stimulus" in the form of retirement benefits and welfare payments.  Retirees outnumber active workers in Detroit by over 2 to 1.  How can that be?  Why isn't Detroit a boom town, with all that trickle-up socialist power surging through her streets?  But instead, socialist power can't even get more than half of the street lamps to work.


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