Steven Crowder’s great video from late last year vividly illustrated Detroit’s wretched conditions after being ravaged by a half-century of continuous liberal economic “stimulus.” At the New Ledger today, Ben Domenech writes that it’s necessary to nuke the city in order to save it. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of the rest of the nation’s fate in the years to come, after the Obama administration’s domestic war is concluded:
In March of last year, I posed the admittedly radical question: is there anything worth saving in Detroit? Wouldn’t the city where sirens never sleep be better off if we just burned it to the ground and started afresh? Dubbing it “urban policy chemo,” I got some significant pushback from some corners of the internet.
The best help to Michigan’s economic woes might come from razing much of the Motor City… This is beyond broken windows theories — we’re talking about broken houses, buildings, skyscrapers; an entire broken community, economy and polity.
Now, the Mayor of Detroit himself has come around to my view — and the views of professional urban policy experts. The city, facing $300 million in deficits and an unemployment rate approaching 50%, can no longer afford to patrol the husks of the city. His plan: bulldoze roughly a quarter of the buildings.
“Things that were unthinkable are now becoming thinkable,” said James W. Hughes, dean of the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, who is among the urban experts watching the experiment with interest. “There is now a realization that past glories are never going to be recaptured. Some people probably don’t accept that, but that is the reality.”
I have to applaud Mayor Dave Bing, son of Northeast Washington, for making this decision, which has to cost some significant political capital and destroyed any illusions about an easy path to revitalization. But the point is, spending less than $30 million in federal funds to tear things down and start afresh is the only way to have any hope of a comeback. One-third of Detroit’s lots are vacant anyway.
Those can bombed back into the agrarian age.
Related: Monica Conyers, former Detroit councilwoman, viral video star and wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) gets 37 months for bribery. No word yet if Rep. Conyers will order his wife to undergo self-impeachment.