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InsiderOnline Blog: February 2012

Detroit Is Indeed a Model City

“In 1950,” writes Jarrett Skorup, “Detroit was the wealthiest city in America on a per capita income basis. Today, the Census Bureau reports that it is the nation’s 2nd poorest major city, just ‘edging out’ Cleveland.”

This was the same city, notes Skorup, that was going to be the Model City of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. And indeed, the city has all the planks of progressive economic policies:

• A “living wage” ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors.
• A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
• A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
• Other government employee unions that do the same for their members.
• A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.

Detroit progressives still win at the ballot box, but progressive policies are losing the votes cast by foot: In the middle of the last century, nearly 2 million people lived in Detroit. Today, just over 700,000 live there, and in the last decade alone, the city lost a staggering quarter million residents. For more on what’s wrong with Detroit, see Skorup’s article “Detroit: The Triumph of Progressive Public Policy,” at Michigan Capital Confidential, February 14, 2012.

Posted on 02/15/12 03:12 PM by Alex Adrianson

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