The City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in federal court July 18, signifying the official advent of failure from one of America’s most liberal cities.
January 2, 1962 was the last day that a Republican held the mayor’s office, and the city has been under uninterrupted Democrat and union rule ever since. What was once such a powerful hub of industry and prosperity has caved under the weight of big government and big union policies.
Liberalism is not oppressive as much as it is depressive, and there is no better example of this than Detroit. With its 48 unions and nearly $20 billion in debt — an entire third of which is unfunded healthcare liabilities for city retirees — Detroit saw its peak population of nearly 2,000,000 in 1950 dwindle to about 700,000 today. Of those 700,000, a third live under the poverty level and a fifth are unemployed.
According to a letter from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder that accompanied the bankruptcy filing, Detroit’s murder rate is the highest it has been in 40 years, and the city is home to 78,000 abandoned buildings. In short, it is a city in absolute ruin.
Today’s Detroit is what big government liberalism has wrought. Worse yet, we are starting to see similar problems arise across the country, specifically in Illinois, New York, and California. Detroit abandoned the traditional American values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and individual liberty and is currently suffering the consequences.
We must turn the tide of big government back towards the conservative principles that helped make America the greatest nation in history. America cannot afford to have more Detroits. We know better, the policies exist, and it is not too late to turn the tide.
Detroit’s fall is the best possible warning sign America can have.