In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Detroit had a population of almost 2 million. Now the population is less than one million. High school flunk out rates reached 76% last year in Detroit. Unemployment officially is 28.9%. The real figure is probably closer to 50% as many have stopped looking for work. Those who are no longer trying to find work are not counted in the unemployment statistic. In the schools, the literacy rate is about 50% currently. The Murder rate is rising in Detroit, and is 5 times that of the national average. In Detroit 7 of 10 murders go unsolved.
Legal and Illegal immigrants have converged on the Detroit area. Muslims number about 300,000, while the Hispanic population throughout Michigan numbers about 400,000. Few speak English in Detroit these days. You are less likely to hear English spoken in inner city Detroit than a Middle Eastern dialect or Spanish.
There are concerns that the poor, illiterate Detroit area Muslim population is not assimilating well. They are a bomb ready to explode. There is concern that some of them could turn into human bombs and or terrorists. We are facing in Detroit the same kinds of issues that is being faced England and France with the Muslim ghetto culture and the violence that it breeds.
The infrastructure in Detroit is falling apart. The city can not afford to keep pace with the decay and destruction of the city. Thousands of homes have been abandoned. Drugs, debauchery of all sorts and crime are common place. Detroit is some places is becoming a ghost town.
In Time Magazine October 4, 2009 in an article entitled, “The Tragedy of Detroit: How a great city fell, and how it can rise again” we read these words, “If Detroit had been ravaged by a hurricane, and submerged by a ravenous flood, we’d know a lot more about it. If drought, and carelessness had spread brush fires across the city, we’d see it on the evening new every night. Earthquake, tornadoes, you name it, if natural disaster had devastated the city that was once the living proof of American prosperity, the rest of the country might take notice. But Detroit, once our fourth largest city, now 11th, and slipping rapidly, has had no such luck. This disaster has long been a slow unwinding that seemed to remove it from the rest of the country. Even the death rattle that in the past year emanated from its signature industry brought more attention to the auto executives than to the people of the city, who had for so long been victimized by their dreadful decision making.”
So what happened to Detroit and what is it’s future? Some commentators say that labor caved in to the automobile manufacturers. If that is true, why are the automobile companies dieing? Some blame the collapse in Detroit on a lack of support from Washington. I don’t buy that, in fact I think the opposite is truth, Washington interfered too much. Some complain that cheap overseas labor forces made it difficult to compete in the international automobile market. That may be one factor, but how can German automobile manufacturers continue to prosper when we don’t. There is more to it than that. And some blame the collapse of Detroit on free trade. If that is the problem, why can Toyota and Honda plants come to the United States and prosper? They have to compete in the same market and they seem to do just fine.
So what are real reasons for the collapse in Detroit? As I have studied about Detroit, I have come to five conclusions. They are:
- Animosity between labor and management had a lot to do with the collapse.
- Both labor and manage cut their own throats by not paying attention to the realities of the market.
- Government welfare programs created a culture of dependency that destroyed the work ethic for many families.
- Corruption, dishonesty and immoral politics contributed to the fall of Detroit.
- Detroit is an example of what will happen to the United States if liberalism continues forward unabated.
Let me give a brief history. In the 50’s and 60’s Detroit was booming and the average standard of living in Detroit was the highest in the nation. Unfortunately success sometimes doesn’t breed success, sometimes it breeds complacency and greed. The labor union and management started to butt heads. Instead of trying to understand each other, instead of recognizing the symbiotic relationship that should be shared between labor and management, the two camps became enemies and moved apart. Mutually assured destruction was what occurred. They destroyed each other. Management treated labor as unimportant and insignificant while labor responded by failing to be loyal to the goose that laid the golden egg and by making unreasonable demands on management. Both parties are to blame for what happened
Detroit failed to keep pace with both the quality and the price of Japanese automobiles. The big three, Ford, Chrysler and GM assumed that the American consumer would remain loyal to American made products regardless of price or quality. They were wrong. Labor was not willing to make concessions even in the face of losing their jobs. Management and labor never figured out how to work together. Too bad, they had a great thing going at one time.
The average income for a Detroit autoworker was over $130,000 per year when everything fell apart. Including wages and benefits, an auto worker was making on average $74 per hour. UAW (United Auto Workers) contracts with management got to the point that a laid off worker was still required to be paid 95% of his normal wage. Compared to Honda and Toyota plants operating in the United States, GM labor costs were close to $2000 dollars more per automobile. It is any surprise that the bottom feel out of the market for Detroit automakers?
At the same time the private sector was in decline, Detroit politicians were and are riddled with corruption. Go look it up, there are no major Republican players in the Detroit political game. All the major players are Democrats. These guys are pretty much the Mafia it appears. Bribes, embezzlement, extortion seem to be business as usual in Detroit.
Let me summarize. If you want to see the effects of liberalism, go look at Detroit. Liberalism ignores and destroys the concept of the free market. Liberalism rewards inactivity and punishes the productive. Liberalism is not based on a foundation of honor, virtue and morality, rather it is based on force, coercion, and deceit. Americans wake up. Detroit is our future unless we get back to the principles of freedom, limited government, a moral foundation based on a belief in God and hard work. Detroit’s path is the path that president Obama is taking us down. Are you going to follow him?
If he gets his way. If the federal government takes over industry, if the federal government continues the redistribution of wealth idea, if we continue to believe that the answer to prosperity is to soak the rich and reward the lazy, if both the private sector and the public sector destroy the free-market, we will reap the whirlwind of self destruction.
Get on line and look at the pictures of what is happening in Detroit. It will make you sick. Liberalism did it. Don’t ever forget it.