The crumbling of Detroit and its imminently likely bankruptcy must be the most obvious self-inflicted disaster in history. No forces outside the city government and the people who kept its politicians and bureaucrats in power for the last two generations are to blame; they did it to themselves. The people of Detroit did it by their election after election approval of high-cost, over-regulated statist style of city government that grew and grew into the bloated sow that eats her piglets. Unemployment is now 20% and two-thirds of the city’s children live in poverty. The two largest employers are the broken education system whose few high school graduates can barely read their diplomas, and the disintegrating city government. But hey, you might be able to buy a house in Detroit for one dollar. One like the ones in the photo. You’d wouldn’t be able to do much with it because you’d have to fight off the crack and meth addicts who are currently using it for a shooting-up gallery. You’d probably be stabbed or shot by one of them if you ever tried to enter or fix it up, were that even possible.
This sentence by Walter Russell Mead at his blog is poignant:
Many of the policies that are dearest to the hearts of powerful Democratic politicians are responsible for wrecking the lives of many of their most loyal supporters, but the loyal supporters turn out year after year.
These are the “true believers.” Eric Hoffer explained the psychology of the true believer over 50 years ago. Mead adds,
None of this affects the hold of progressive and urbanist ideology on true believers; if anything, they believe even more passionately in the cause.
It’s been said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a form of insanity. Mass insanity. See The Ruins of Detroit for a haunting slide show of the wreckage that has been left by two generations of Democrat governance.