Like the myopic religious fundamentalists it often criticizes, the American Left continues to ignore all recent and historical evidence that proves its dogged pursuit of a statist utopia will fail — just as it has every other time it’s been tried.
It is one thing to ignore George Santayana’s famous dictum that those who have not learned from history are doomed to repeat it. It’s entirely another to arrogantly presume the only reason your worldview hasn’t worked yet is because no one as smart as you has tried it. Let us not forget these are the same people who sanctimoniously claim to be “on the right side of history,” despite the fact that history pronounces them guilty of tomfoolery and tyranny every single time they try.
Polls show the majority of the American people now believe they were sold a lemon by the Obama Regime, which conveniently forgot to inform them ahead of time the Santa’s goody-bag they were promised would be charged to their credit card. Currently about two-thirds of the American people say they don’t trust the federal government, and recent headlines only fuel their cynicism.
Recent headlines like experts predicting China will soon overtake the United States to become the world’s largest economy, which is a distinction we have owned since 1871, according to The Economist. Here’s another: Our middle class is no longer the wealthiest in the world for the first time in the history of this statistic. Try this one: Currently, we have more people on food stamps than the total population of Spain.
How about the fact there are 148 million Americans collecting entitlement checks of some sort from the taxpayer, but only 86 million taxpayers are working in the private sector paying into the system? Since government workers at best involve a revenue-neutral transaction — they pay taxes, but taxes from the private sector pay for their jobs — that means there are 70 percent more takers than payers in our welfare state. “Hope and change” has become “brother, can you spare a dime?”
Obviously this is not sustainable, which should surprise exactly nobody who’s seen what has happened to Detroit the past few decades.
I spent my teenage years in the state of Michigan. All of my favorite pro sports teams are from the city of Detroit, and I have Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings memorabilia throughout my man cave. I even listen to Detroit sports talk radio in my spare time to keep up with what’s going on in my former home state. I love the city, which is why it’s heartbreaking to see what the Marxists have done to it.
It’s hard to believe this now, but as recently as the 1950s Detroit was the wealthiest city in America based on the per-capita income of its citizens. It was a hub of free enterprise and innovation.
Tragically, Detroit is now a preview of what will happen to the rest of the nation if the statist Left gets its way. Decades of cronyism, corruption, and progressive-Marxism run amok (translation: Obamaism) have perhaps irrevocably tarnished what was once the crown jewel of the American Dream.
As of 2013, the city owed more than 100,000 creditors, which is one of the reasons it filed for bankruptcy. Detroit is home to 70 hazardous waste dumps. Its population is the lowest it’s been since before Henry Ford invented the automobile assembly line, and Detroit lost 25 percent of its population in the last census alone.
Detroit says it has 78,000 abandoned homes, which is more abandoned homes than the second-largest city in Montana has people. A 2011 report said almost half the city’s residents were illiterate. Roughly 60 percent of the city’s children are living in poverty. Only 7 percent of Detroit’s eighth-graders are reading at a proficient level.
Detroit currently has fewer than 10 percent of the manufacturing jobs it had 50 years ago. The violent crime rate in Detroit is five times higher than the national average. One out of every three pregnancies in Detroit ends with a mother killing her unborn child.
The Obama Regime has gone from boasting it saved Detroit during the 2012 election to telling Detroiters, “if you like your current collapsing city, you can keep it.”
Still, despite all the suffering the city has endured, statism is a hard habit to break. Last week I was listening to a sports-talk show host from Detroit openly lobby for the state government to raise the regressive gas tax in order to fix roads. Caller after caller (aka lemming after lemming) chimed in to agree.
But Michigan currently only trails California, New York, Hawaii, and Connecticut for the highest gas tax in the country. No one bothered to pose the question: “If charging almost 60 cents per gallon in taxes won’t fix the roads, how much more does it take?” If your city filing for bankruptcy doesn’t demonstrate that you can’t tax-and-spend your way out of mismanagement, then I suppose nothing will.
Sure, some of what’s happened to Detroit can be pinned on the aftermath of the infamous race riots of 1968, and a byproduct of the national loss of our manufacturing base. However, doesn’t the Left promise us its “solutions” will bring those jobs back or keep them here, and will heal the racial divide? Aren’t the middle class and minorities the people the Left promises to protect the most? The history of what’s happened to Detroit proves just the opposite is true.
And the dystopian history of Detroit is a preview of our future if we don’t stop the Left’s utopian schemes in the here and now.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.