The Collapse of Detroit

by drclarkjensen on March 18, 2011

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:

  1. Animosity between labor and management had a lot to do with the collapse.
  2. Both labor and manage cut their own throats by not paying attention to the realities of the market.
  3. Government welfare programs created a culture of dependency that destroyed the work ethic for many families.
  4. Corruption, dishonesty and immoral politics contributed to the fall of Detroit.
  5. 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve July 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Excellent article, but it could use another proofreading. Also, “irregardless” is not a real word. “Regardless” is.


Shasta Jones September 11, 2015 at 5:50 pm

How about dieing?


Kurt August 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Steve, I thought the same, however, it is a “real word” according to See the link below.

Usage note
Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable. Those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis.


Tom July 4, 2013 at 9:01 am

this is an interesting take on the problem of Detroit… I do agree with your ideas that complacency and greed laid the ground work for failure. However, it would be wise to examine the practices of Big Business before Unions… JP Morgan and his Steel plants, the Colorado Fuel and Iron company… these events also happened out of “greed” and are firmly planted in the conservative capitalist camp… Our country needs government to protect the people from that sort of history… however, work ethic, pride, and accountability are elements that need to go hand in hand with regulation and oversight. There are very successful companies that treat their employees with great honor and respect… but first, our individual citizens have to embody that for themselves and embrace what they would have to offer the world. Liberal ideas are not the enemy… I personally like knowing that when the “capitalist system” fails as it has in the not so distant past, there is a social safety net to help our people… I like that we have a social system that helps the elderly, because, lets face it… Americans are very selfish and into themselves… the focus on family foundations are weak… not because one has to be conservative to have them, but because we need to be more accepting and understanding of individuality as a people. Also, I believe that the Capitalist nature of competition has eroded our connections to each other… I believe that our society is hell bent on believing that there is only so much of the pie to go around and it’s a eat or be eaten mentality… when in reality, if it wasn’t for the mass hoarding and the worlds resources by a select few 400 individuals in our country.. they would be much more to go around… All the liberals that I know don’t want a handout… they want security and not to be taken advantaged of in order for the wealthy to only get more wealthy… I believe our government needs to protect our environment and provide a top notch education for it citizens… I don’t believe in standard life long handouts that keep our people in poverty and lazy. So address the issues that don’t work and prop up the ones that do… but don’t blindly assume that liberals are out to destroy our country… I could very easily write and article that would attack the conservative GOP / capitalist and point out how they have made it nearly impossible to escape the realms of lower class / poverty if you are born to it.


drclarkjensen September 25, 2013 at 10:56 am


While you want society to be perfect, you want a safety net and you want to make sure that everyone has opportunity for education and health care, can you not see that liberal ideas destroy that. Liberalism first and foremost destroys incentive, it punishes productivity and rewards sloth, in short it short circuits freedom and capitalism.

The truth of the matter is that we have not seen capitalism in a pure form in our lifetimes and it is getting worse every day. Liberalism and the progressivism of the Obama era are all about control of the market. They are picking and choosing the winners and losers of society by subsidies, but waivers, by taxation, by regulation. Capitalism is not destroying the middle class Obama is.

This nation from it’s inception allowed the people to raise themselves up from poverty not by some government handout, but by allowing freedom to reign. Freedom is becoming a scarce commodity in our society today and as a result the middle class is hurting. Everytime I turn around there is another regulation or tax that I am threatened with by the government.

Liberalism is at the heart of all of those regulations and restrictions on the producers of society. Libleralism assumes that freedom is bad and that the people are not smart enough to govern themselves.

Obama care is destroying the full time job. Can’t you see that? Can’t you see that the economy is not recovering. Can you not see that unemployment is terrible in this nation. Millions of our citizens have given up and dropped out of the work force and so liberals blame the private sector for being greedy. That is so stupid.

You can not expect employers to continue to do business at a lose just because Obamacare thinks employers are not paying enough for health insurance. Businesses can not do business if they don’t make a profit. Government over-reach is destroying the private sector and in the process they are hurting the middle class.

How hard is that to understand. You can’t kill the golden goose and expect to continue to get the golden eggs!


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