Well, it was only a matter of time, but Rock City has hit rock bottom. On Thursday, the city of Detroit became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy, as the state-appointed emergency manager filed for Chapter 9 protection. Just 50 years ago, Detroit was the richest city in America and the birthplace of the middle class. So what went wrong? Once the progressives got involved, it all went downhill.
“At this point the City of Detroit owes money to more than 100,000 creditors. Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities. That breaks down, by the way, to more than $25,000 per resident,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Back in 1960 the City of Detroit actually had the highest per capita income in the entire nation. By the way, these facts are from Zero Hedge. They're unbelievable.”
To truly put things in perspective, it is important to look at how steady a decline this has been for the city. In 1950, there were 296,000 manufacturing jobs in Detroit. Today, today there are less than 27,000. Between December 2000 and December 2000 and December 2010, 48% of the manufacturing jobs in the State of Michigan were lost. At this point there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the City of Detroit. About one third of Detroit's 140 square miles is vacant. Less than half the residents in Detroit are over the age of 16 and… 60% of all children in the City of Detroit are living in poverty. Over the last 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by a staggering 63% from 1.8 million people to approximately 700,000.
Despite President Obama’s grandiose proclamations that his administration saved the auto industry, in recent years Detroit was forced to seek other means of revenue. “The City of Detroit is now heavily dependent on tax revenue that it pulls from the casinos in the city. Detroit is bringing in $11 million a month in tax revenue from the casinos alone,” Glenn explained.
Perhaps unsurprising, crime is also a major problem in the city. “The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by 40%,” Glenn said. “When you call the police now in Detroit, it takes them an average of 58 minutes to respond. Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public 16 hours per day. Violent crime late in Detroit is five times higher than the national average. The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City. Today, police solve less than 10% of the crimes perpetrated in Detroit.”
While these numbers may be shocking, there are other major U.S. cities facing a similar reality and, in time, a similar fate.
“Now here's the thing about Detroit that you have to understand. Detroit just got their first,” Glenn said. “Other cities are going to fall. Philadelphia is on this trajectory. Other cities are going to fall and eventually the nation will fall – in exactly the same way.”
Unfunded liabilities, healthcare, Social Security, pensions, government corruption, out-of-control unions… The list goes on and on.
“The City of Detroit and the City of Philadelphia and the City of Washington D.C., it's progressive policies that are destroying our cities,” Glenn concluded. “It's not a problem with the Democrats. Well, the Democrats are over, but it's not a problem with the Democrats or the Republicans per se. It is the progressives in both parties. And they are headed towards a one‑party system. And if you don't believe that, then you have to ask yourself, ‘Why is it I vote every time and every time it seems like I get the same policies?’ Because they're progressive policies.”