Let Detroit Go Bankrupt? It Already Has

“I’m a son of Detroit,” Mitt Romney confessed during Monday’s presidential debate. “I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars. And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry.” But like so many Detroiters, Mitt Romney left before the capital of the U.S. auto industry could hurt him. Detroit is scary.

Detroit has just been named the most dangerous city in America. This is the fourth consecutive year that Forbes has bestowed the dishonor upon the Motor City. A few years back, the Bay Area Center for Voting Research named Detroit the most liberal city in America. If you believe the two listings are mere coincidence, I have a domed stadium in Pontiac to sell you.

Detroit proves that liberalism is hazardous to your health.

America’s most dangerous city hasn’t been governed by a Republican for a half century. Yet, on November 6, the city’s residents will again take out their anger on a Republican—this time one of the city’s sons—at the polls. The worse the performance of Detroit’s hard-left officeholders paradoxically means the greater the punishment for the party that opposes them. When the largest employer in a city is the city itself, urging the cut backs necessary to attract employers is seen as an attack on employment.

Detroit’s violent crime rate, more than five times the national average, is shocking only when glimpsed outside the context of the city’s other depressing social trends. The illegitimacy rate is 85 percent.  Two thirds of the city’s children live in poverty. Less than a third of ninth graders graduate from high school within four years. Just 53 percent of the adults are functionally literate. The people are as bleak as the decrepit concrete landscape.

So is the government. The city has closed half of its schools during the past decade, hasn’t fixed the 40 percent of its street lights that remain broken, and has decided to divert a huge chunk of its 911 calls to a telephonic queue. “It’s giving criminals the wrong idea,” Tony Wright, a retired Detroit homicide detective featured on A&E’s The First 48, explained. “If you want to do something, do it in Detroit. The police won’t show up.”

Like Mitt Romney, most people born in Detroit no longer live in Detroit. In 1950, 1.85 million people lived there. Detroit, which lost 200,000 people during the last decade, now hosts about 710,000. Motown Records has rebuffed Michigan for Manhattan. Eminem has extracted himself from 8 Mile and moved to Rochester Hills. Even the Motor City Madman isn’t crazy enough to live in Detroit.

It’s not that there aren’t inducements to moving there. The median home on the market sells for $86,000—$13,000 less than the city with the second lowest housing prices. Buyers looking for a fixer-upper can find listings for gutted 3-bedroom homes for as low as $500. But when your neighbors are a pack of feral cats, a crack dealer, and a jungle of weedy overgrowth, even $500 is too expensive.

No group surveys the American city that most closely resembles 1980s Beirut or postwar Dresden. If one did, Detroit would be its place. Detroit is number one in chlamydia. But its baseball team is in the World Series. So it’s a wash, right?

Sixty years ago, Detroit was the wealthiest city in the United States. Today, it is by far America’s poorest big city. There is a cautionary tale here for the U.S.: things fall apart—fast. America may not go from riches to rags. But the mighty do fall. Because America is the most powerful nation today doesn’t necessarily follow that it will be the most powerful nation tomorrow. In Detroit, corruption, lavish government sinecures, muddleheaded social policies, horrible schools, greedy unions, overbearing taxes, gutter morality, and too many eggs in one industrial basket combined to make the first the worst. To the extent that America follows the policies embraced by Detroit, America will not, as Mitt Romney worried in Monday night’s debate, follow the road to Greece but instead will follow the one that leads back to Mitt Romney’s birthplace.

It is strangely fitting that the presidential candidates fixated on Detroit during a foreign policy debate. Policies have certainly made Detroit very foreign to anyone familiar with “the Paris of the Midwest.” The city that gave the world Henry Ford and Berry Gordy now gives us the likes of jailed mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and disgraced police chief Ralph Godbee, Jr. “Governor,” President Obama remarked Monday night, “the people in Detroit don’t forget.” If this is true, memory may be a more painful blow than the crime, illegitimacy, and poverty they currently experience. Not long ago, Detroit was one of the  most thriving cities on Earth. The Paris of the Midwest has become the Basketcase of the Midwest.

Let Detroit go bankrupt? It already has. The $16 trillion question for the presidential candidates is whether they will let America go Detroit.

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  • Anthony

    It is hard to read about Detroit and not get mad.

    I don't mean to imply that I pity those who dwell in that Hell, I do, but also I don't. They live under conditions they, the people of Detroit, accept, promulgate, enjoy, and ultimately put on the poor pity act for help from others in order that the lifestyle they demonstrate to the world is viewed as thrust upon them somehow, and not born from their own ranks.

    Now forget for a moment the racial demographics of that city. Forget the crime stats for that city, forget the incredible Third World Levels of educational standards present there, finally, look at the Democratic strangle hold on the minds of those citizens who despite living under Hati-like conditions still won't smarten up and vote in people that promise opportunity, not freebies, they chose freebies. Are the collective people of Detroit lazy? Well, it looks that way, and worse.

    Furthermore, and I hate to say this, but unless Black culture improves, and Black role modles radically alter course to stop reflecting violence, hoes and bi tches, and they actually go to school to learn real subjects and not the garbage that has poisoned a generation black and white (mostly the result of Democratic, liberal educational experimentation), then the nation as a whole will see many more Detroit's to come.

    • PhillipGaley

      I knew it, I just knew it; I knew you'd get around to a race issue. You're just a darned racist. You didn't mention the fact that, someone would have to make the insurance companies offer insurance for buildings and businesses—until there's insurance, banks won't lend for any sort of business plan; so there you go, that's the end of business in Detroit. It's so simple, . . .

      • jemnet

        And you know why the insurance companies won't touch Detroit with a ten foot pole? Because of the stupid, socialist Democrats who have instituted policies that produce the hell hole and totally fail lto provide a secure city.

      • Anthony

        Shut up you dummy.

        Even a dope can make the correlation that any basic scientific model would verify. I didn't create reality.

        People like you Philip Galey are self righteous, and self deceiving. You and your ilk are the designers of ruination that collapses any reality and destroys lives. You Mr. Galey deserve to live in Detroit.

        Calling me racist? LOL. Look in the mirror and grow up.

      • guest

        Banks can just buy insurance for their loan, not for the home owner.

        It has more to do with cities shutting down services due to deficits, due to insane union deals and city pensions.

      • intrcptr2

        Tell me, Phil, what in the following ahs anything to do with skin color;

        "unless Black culture improves, and Black role modles radically alter course to stop reflecting violence, hoes and bi tches, and they actually go to school to learn real subjects and not the garbage that has poisoned a generation black and white (mostly the result of Democratic, liberal educational experimentation"

        The failure of Democratic/Leftist/Communitarian experimenting is philosophic and cultural; it has nothing to do with blood or skin.

      • Sprinklerman

        When did the insurance industry stop writing policies for Detroit, Phil? I suspect that this began to happen when conditions got so bad in Detroit that they couldn't continue to do business in that city. Insurance is a business Phil. You write policies and cover property based upon loss statistics for particular areas, you come up with a cost analysis. At some point the number of losses overcome the number of viable property owners that can pay the premiums that make the insurer a profitable company. When that happens, they have a duty to their company and bond/stock holders to pull out of that market so that they remain a profitable company. Otherwise they go under and more people are now out of work.

        I wonder how much "Devil's Night" had to do with that. You know, when bands of "citizens" of Detroit thought it was great fun to burn down peoples homes and abandoned buildings to such a degree that the Fire Department couldn't keep up with all the fires? Things that make you go hmmmm.


        When crime is out of control, why would an insurance company want to risk the farm on a failed socialist economy?

        The mayor of Detroit needs to fix the city before any company will invest in it.

    • Questions

      You got it mainly right. "Liberals" didn't lay waste to Detroit. They were in power in that city long before decline set in. And thriving West Coast cities such as Seattle, Portland and San Francisco have been governed by liberals for decades, and to no apparent ill effect. Daniel Flynn knows this, but doesn't dare focus on the real reason for decline.

      The issue, to be blunt about it, is blacks. Detroit is 80 percent black. And it's been run by blacks, for the benefit of blacks, since Coleman Young won the office in 1974. Their violent, thieving, predatory behavior has scared away all residents and businessmen who can afford to love. No sane white person would live in a black neighborhood or send his kids to an all-black school.

      Unfortunately, you harbor a naive faith in black self-improvement. I don't. Black culture is not going to "improve," even with former Detroit Piston NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing in the mayor's office. The only way Detroit can make a true comeback is via a sharp reduction in its proportion of blacks. Anything short of that will be a half-measure at best, no matter how matter car commercial spots Eminem does.

      • Schlomotion

        No wonder being called a racist doesn't faze you.

        • UCSPanther

          As Doctor Klahn from "The Kentucky Fried Movie" would say:

          "Take him to Detroit!"

          Which is where you belong.

        • Drakken

          He is not a racist, he is a realist and a culturalist. Go pound sand commi.


          No wonder being called a moron doesn't faze you.

      • Ghostwriter

        From what Klan rally did you come from,Questions? Every chance you get,you bash black people. You're like Schlomotion and his idiotic Jew obsession. I wish you both would stop it. Your bigotry appalls me.

        • Questions

          One needn't endorse the Klan or its offshoots to recognize reality, Ghostwriter. I'm not "bashing" blacks. I simply recognize what I've learned through hard-won experience: Blacks are far more violent than any other race. I've lived it as well as read about it. Instead of standing on your high moral dudgeon denouncing "bigotry," how about talking to law-abiding people who have gone to schools or lived in neighborhoods with high concentrations of blacks?


            You sound like a member of the nation of islam or the new black panther party.

      • Goemon

        Black culture may create more oxygen-thieves than the national average for races but it is not acceptable to blame a city’s problem on a certain race. Detroit doesn’t need a reduced black population. It needs a reduction in criminals, fools and lazy folk. Never forget there’s good peopleamong all races and I’ll give my time and safety to defend any innocent and good-natured blacks from any racist oppressors that could show up in the future.

  • pierce

    Well, GM is no longer called General Motors, it is now called Government Motors.
    It is not funny, but after the Government took it over, and they thought GM was back on it feet, they took GM public at around $35/share. The government was going to make a killing, and sell GM at a profit, some profit, the last I looked GM was around $20/share. Some killing, what a great business man our community organizer is, and there is more to that story, with the likes of Solyndra, et al.
    Go ahead, reelect Barack Obama, it plain does not make sense, or is it cents.

  • guest

    Open the gates of Detroit to new immigrants from China, Russia, Spain and Greece among other civilized nations and see Detroit thrive again. Let's change our immigration laws to bring in more immigrants from those land to settle at distressed cities.

    • American thinker

      Michigan has a huge muslim population already. Have you heard of Dearborn? No wonder the UN choose Detroit to settle them there, the people are unable to fight back as they are too poor and uneducated apparently.

    • BS77

      With 23 million unemployed, do we really need MORE immigration? It's time for an immigration moratorium….Our nation is flooded with immigrants, many illegal. We do not need millions more.. Our nation is beginning to look like Detroit… widespread violent crime, broken down cities, soaring prices and homelessness….The Federal Government is spending money it doesn't have. We are sixteen trillion dollarsin debt…and nearly bankrupt. ….our trade imbalances are weakening us….We need new people in Washington, and Detroit.

      • Drakken

        When you import the 3rd world, you become the 3rd world. I say put the Russians in charge there and you will see an improvement.


          Send the Third World to Russia. Let Tzar Putin show them the wonders of Socialism.

    • Questions

      Two wrongs don't make a right. Mass immigration from the Third World merely would add to the black-driven decay, turning a city into a loose confederacy of feuding ethnic, linguistic and religious entities. Even if we restrict immigration to European sources — Dearbornistan is now almost all-Arab — we have to look at what's right for America, not just Detroit.

    • patron

      The same gains can be made in accomplishments as they can in a loss. China's totalitarian, so you will only get communist party members who are corporate spies. Russians will likely have ties to corruption. Spain and Greece have problems with leftist entitlement societies.

      The state will take over distressed cities. DEA and FBI agents will be riding along local police providing federal oversight. Criminals will flee like rats as they are cowards and fraudulent liars. It happened in New York City.

      I would be more concerned about the Mexican border.

    • Sprinklerman

      NO, NO, NO. Please watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

      We do not need more immigrants and it is counter productive to do so not just now due to our bad unemployement numbers but even if things were to change and unemployement was lower, it doesn't make sense to continue to allow 1 million legal immigrants that we are allowing to come to our country now.

  • zalukas

    Refugees from Detroit moving to Minsk.

  • Michael Canzano

    I was born and raised in Detriot . When I was in the 5th grade (1947) Detroit's population was 2 million .
    There was a time when anyone who wanted a job had a job . The only people not employed were those who chose not to work. If Flynn's current population stats are correct 1million 250 thousand people took a
    hike. The City Council should vote to change the City's name to Fallujah.
    Detroit is a preview of America after 4 more years of the B.O. .
    It is sad . The America I grew up in is morphing into Hell .

    • John Chinn

      You are my age. I,,as you, have had, been forced to, watch as America is destroyed by the Liberal Democrat Regimes. An example is just to the right on this p[age. The picture of Maxine Waters who sits as Ranking Member of her Democrat Party Financial Services Committee. All after a Criminal Act she committed. Charles Rangel a Tax Cheat, claimed he did not understand the tx code so he was not guilty of fraud, helped pass the same tax laws. Tim Geithner Tax cheat, Treasury Secretary of our Nation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/douglas.marsh3 Douglas Marsh

    As goes Detroit, so goes Southeastern Michigan. Even in the better Detroit neighborhoods, it is hard to find a street without boarded up homes. Unemployment is higher than reported. About a third of commercial bulidings are empty. If you are lucky, you can find a part-time job working under the table. Forget about benefits or hourly wages. You take what you can find. If you don't have kids, forget about getting any kind of help from the state. Some go thru their cupboards, looking for any overlooked cans of food that they can eat. Some kids never enter school to learn to read and write. It's too dangerous to go to school.
    I'm a product of Detroit schools. For the most part, what I learned I learned on my own. I learned how to fight before I learned how to speed read. When I speak to immigrants I have to warn them about Detroit, because it is worse than the conditions of their home country.
    The corruption affects all branches of the local government. People attending drug parties know that if the police are there, the drugs will be good, because the police have access to the best drugs.

  • Bill Speers

    Next TV reality show: “Escape From Detroit.” Will there be a Snake Pliskin in it?

    • guest

      Yes. It's called Big Ten Football featuring the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans and airs on ABC every fall Saturday afternoon.

  • BS77

    Detroit. Chicago. Washington DC. Philadelphia. Cities rotting to the core. It is a terrible blight…and painful to see once vibrant cities reduced to police sirens, ambulances, shuttered homes and soaring crime rates. Tragic. During the 1940s and 50s these cities were prosperous and safe….Women and children could walk the streets without fearing for their lives. Now look at these horrible places….people getting shot on a daily basis….in Oakland, Chicago and Detroit. Gun fire. Gangs. Filth. Hopelessness. It's a tragedy.

    • Questions

      Most cities in the U.S. actually are thriving. It's the sad cases that get the most media attention. And what has caused decay, in selected neighborhoods, more than anything else, is blacks. The 40s and 50s weren't such a Golden Age — there was plenty wrong with cities back then. And plenty has gone right since.

      If you want to reverse islands of decay, get the hardcore black criminal element out of them.

      • Drakken

        You would have to send security contractors in to make it happen.

    • buffalobunny

      St.Louis,E.St.Louis,Gary,Brooklyn,Compton………every state has at least one major ghetto.
      Democratic run states, like Illinois, have at least 3.

      The scars of multi generational welfare slugs,drug dealers/ gangs and illegals will take centuries to heal ,if the wounds are ever cleaned out.

  • Anthony

    Barack Hussein Obama loves Detroit heh? I wonder if he will open a PAC there and staff it with Malika and Shanequia. I mean, Obama would be dwelling among the very conditions he apparently has zero awareness of, even so, he or be hailed as a chieftain there if he were to do a Bill Clinton (Moving his “office” to 125th Street), and actually live with the “Crackers” his “pastor”, J. Wright love to hate.

  • riverboatbill

    When you live in a cesspool,expect to be filthy.

  • Stephen_Brady

    Where have our "alabaster cities" gone? They have morphed into welfare states, and business, accordingly, suffered and left, taking the jobs with them.

  • Anthony

    Does anybody remember the 1970’s sitcom “Good Times”? In the opening credits, it shows scenes of a city. Is that Detroit? Because if it is, the images are pretty dreary, and that was back in the 1970’s.

    • sacreole

      The sitcom "Good Times" was actually set in the projects of Chicago.

  • Schlomotion

    I hope that after reading this utterly stupid and mendacious description by Mr. Flynn of why Detroit collapsed, you might read a smart one like this:

    • tagalog

      Yeah, it was poor city planning that destroyed Detroit, as the linked article claims. That must have been it.

    • Anthony

      Hey Robert, Schlomotion , whatever your name is, I don’t need to read a litany of excuses detailing why Detroit is Hati-Norte. Any American city sporting a minority majority as majority shows the reason.

      These stats are real. They are duplicated everywhere. As liberal Whites like you go the way of white South Africans, you may wake up too late. For Detroit, there is no hope. I say this because the people who are Detroit seem incapable of rejecting the very culture that gives life to their failure.

      So go play your excuse-a-thon with your latte drinking compatriots. Or go watch “Roger and Me” by the liberal millionaire and billionaire who is as intellectually lazy as you appear to be, and as hypocritical as Barack Hussein Obama.

      • Schlomotion

        Meh. Sell it at Stormfront.

        • Drakken

          You just hate it when folks point out your stupidity don't you? You really do amuse the rest of us by putting out the same nonsense of I feel therefore I am as liberal/progressive/commi policy positions instead of facts, logic and plain ole common sense. Nothing would please me more than watching you get your rewards by living in one of those liberal bastions that you so love so much. Darwin loves useful idiots like you.

        • Anthony

          Yes, and you should go work at the Southern Poverty Law Center where your fascist delusions can be put to more effective use in branding people "racist".

          You are a good useful idiot with totalitarian leanings, I imagine you a petty Politburo clerk with absolutely zero tolerance from those like me who reject your retarded liberal/Marxist party line.

          • Schlomotion

            You accusing me of totalitarianism after your little racist spiel a moment ago is sad irony. Also the fact that you can't find anything out about anybody points to your ineptitude. I have written several articles making fun of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Chip Berlet's Political Research Associates. Look at yourself. You have to come to a Jewish site to find good racism. What does that say about you? You are outsourcing.

          • Drakken

            You can take your race card and shove it where the sun don't shine. Folks like you have used and abused it to the point that it is no meaning and just tells us more about you, effing commi.


            Shariamotion has a medical condition.

            It's called JOOOOZ on the brain.

  • UCSPanther

    Detroit looks like a post-apocalyptic city in many areas, almost like something from "The Road" or "Mad Max" or "Fallout".

    The only thing it needs is more psychotic raiders, more feral animals and people, some mutants and it will officially be one.

    Detroit: Experience post-apocalyptia-Today!

  • RiverRat2U

    One would wonder why there is not a State sanctioned process that could take over all the financies of this city ,as well as others, and bring in the IRS and F.B.I. to make an accounting of the funds. There needs to be a "Stop the bleeding" process . A bankrupct city is no different from a bankrupct business except businesses do not use politicians to get them out . Maybe Lee Iacocca is still available.

    • guest 777

      A state Emergency Manager law was passed in 2011 and is up for voter approval as Proposition 1 in the upcoming election. It provides for a state takeover of municipalities and/or school districts which are being mismanaged. Detroit is not the only Michigan community with the social pathologies noted in this column, just the most noteworthy.

    • MikeBee

      So far, technically speaking, the city of Detroit has not declared bankruptcy. They believe that they will have to declare bankruptcy when they can no longer meet payroll. They almost hit that point, twice this year. But, the State of Michigan stepped in, and, after the city of Detroit agreed to have some sort of financial management by the state, the State gave them some money. Since then, Detroit has met its payroll obligations, but have enacted nothing from the financial managers put in place. They play this game every time. First, they cry "trouble," then allow the State (or the Feds) to bring a manager, as long as the manager comes with money, then they ignore the manager, as they've already got the money. Just like the tale of the beggar: give me your money; don't tell me to change. The best thing that could happen to the city of Detroit is for everyone on the outside to simply let it declare bankruptcy. Don't give it any more money. Let it fail. Then, and only then, will the city of Detroit begin to turn around.

  • jose

    If they vote for the democrats in ""just 4 more years"" they will fix detroit.

  • Horace

    The illegiterate make good Democrats.

    • ebonystone

      "illegiterate" — great word, one nice compact combination of "illegitimate" and "illiterate" — a perfect description of the majority of Detroiters.

    • guest

      Best one-word description of the problem!

  • pyeatte

    Maybe some cities need to be walled-off from the suburbs. I do not know what to do next but isolation is a start. Perhaps if the barbarians get tired of fighting and killing each other, they will stop – or not. Regardless, the rest of society must be allowed to thrive. Sometimes people cannot be saved.

  • skyghost

    In June, Detroit voters discussed the possibility of electing a White mayor. No thought was given to electing a Republican. This, unfortunately, is why millions of Blacks will continue to live in these hellholes. They are convinced that the Democrats are their friends, and doing so much for them. The rest of the country will suffer as well, with blacks helping to elect Democrats.

    • jose

      Blacks in detroit do not like or trust whites. This became evident from the riots in the 50's. Whites got sick of the racits rants and attacks and left by the thousands. Now we have what is left over. They did this to themselves.

  • Questions

    Blacks don't vote for Democrats; they vote for blacks. If a white and a black squared off in a Democratic Party primary, I would guarantee you that the black vote for the black candidate would be at minimum 95 percent. Racial loyalty, not ideology, is what gets people to the polls.


      95% – the same percent of blacks who will vote for the mixed race, half black, half white Obama.

      Obama doesn't bother campaigning in black communities because he knows he has their vote.

      That's why former mayor of Wash. DC, Marian documented Crackhead Barry was reelected mayor of DC.

  • cjrian

    Take a map
    Add an overlay of high concentrations of pigeons (avain scavengers)
    Add an overlay of high concentrations of rats (terrestrial vermin)
    Add an overlay of high crime zones
    Add an overlay of high tax rates
    Add an overlay of high unionization rates
    Add an overlay of high concentrations of Dems/Socialists
    Add an overlay of high concentrations of city officials who've gone to prison for corruption
    Notice now, that the overlays are all identical?

    I've lived and worked all over the Country since leaving Detroit 20 years ago. Every other city, it's been pointed out, has a "bad area" or two, with recommendations to stay away, though none (with some rare exceptions) are nearly as dangerous as Detroit as a whole. Detroit has semi-safe zones parked in the middle of the whole "bad area". When even the Mayor and President of the City Council end up in prison ….

  • james

    Like much of what the baby boom generation has done it has failed. If you look up prison rates they doubled as soon as baby boomers first set of children tuned legal. They cant raise children or run a govt. It's a funny correlation how when the baby boomers retire whole cities and the govt go belly up. Detroit would have survived if it had a good business model like investing lots of money for there workers pensions…

    It will be up to us the new generation to fix our parents mistakes – they are going to take it to there grave and have us pay for it. Detroit will eventually have a new thing going on untill then it will have lots of burned/abandoned buildings and crime so if you live there strap up and enjoy all the space you have hey in cali you get didly squat for the price you pay there for a home/etc and you cant legally hold a gun here…

  • dchrist81