A Liberal Utopia

A Liberal Utopia.

There was once a great place, with good jobs, growth and wealth.  It had it all:  Educational institutions, manufacturing jobs; entrepreneurs and innovators; and natural resources.  It had transportation advantages and geographical advantage.  It sat next to large country without a lot of manufacturing:  Another market to move into.  It grew bigger and wealthier.  During World War II, it had government contracts.  Its population was growing.  It was the wealthiest place in America.  Because of organized labor, the African American migration north, large immigrant population and strong government employment, it had a strong base to provide Democrat party majorities, and liberal government.

The Democratic Party government became more entrenched, and it was one of the most liberal governments in the United States.  It had everything needed to create a liberal utopia.  More government jobs, more welfare, more union power.  It had middle class wealth, corporate wealth, and low unemployment.   Think what it could become over the next 50 years.  What would progressive government do with all the abundance?

It became a disaster.  It now has one of the highest unemployment rates in America.  A majority of its kids cannot read, let alone graduate from High School.  It is now one of the poorest places in America.  Millions of dollars are now spent to bulldoze empty buildings and billions are spent with one plan after another to save the city.  Blocks in once prosperous areas are vacant.  It has one of the highest crime rates in America, and its one party, the democrat party, is corrupt.  It now has only a short time till bankruptcy.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, the place, the liberal utopia, is Detroit.

What happened?  The decline cannot be attributed to one corrupt politician, or one unfortunate mistake.  Instead, it was the belief in the Democratic Party, government jobs, and big unions.  It was a political ignorance of the free market economy.  First, the upper middle class fled the city to the suburbs, robbing the city of the tax base.  Then, somewhere, along the way, other countries realized that they could build cars:  Japan, Germany, and then the US right to work states. The suburbs, now taxed by the state to support the city, lost population to other states.  Further, companies began to move to greener pastures, and no one wanted to start their businesses here.  All the advantages went down the drain.  Instead of competing, they held fast while they lost jobs, lost the tax base, lost the advantage that they had.  Businesses moved out, and took their employees.  The creators, innovators and entrepreneurs left too.  Really, who would want to move to Detroit?  Who would  want to subject themselves to crime, their kids to a substandard education, and their businesses and futures to a corrupt Democratic Party government?  No one would ever anticipate anything ever getting better.  So Detroit is now in a death spiral.  Money has been thrown at the problems for decades, but to no avail.  The problem, though is not the lack of government money, it is liberalism.  Detroit has had buckets of money thrown at it to solve these problems.  They have had one government program after another to solve the problems.  It is not a lack of money or resolve that has failed to stem the flow.  It is the abiding faith in government at the expense of capitalism.

In 1950, the wealthiest, most desirable, most beautiful place in the Caribbean sat 90 miles from Florida.  It had resources, money, and an industrious people.  Unfortunately, it had a corrupt government that did need to be replaced.  Also, unfortunately, it was not replaced with a more democratic and capitalist system; it was overthrown by young eloquent socialists Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.  Where is their socialist Utopia now? Cuba does have less income disparity: everyone is very poor.  It became a brutal dictatorship, with free health care.  No doubt Fidel always wanted what was best for his people.  His mind was just programed with the superiority of government control.  Cuba is just another example of failed liberalism.

Some argue that the Scandinavian countries, however, are much better.  Liberals point to these countries as places where liberalism has worked.  Their argument, however, while salient in the 1980s is out of place now.  Sweden has avoided the problems of the EU and failures of Greece, Italy and Spain.  But Sweden and their neighbors have been more austere and more responsible since the 1990s.  They have provided less, and spent less.  They avoided the problems of liberalism by becoming more capitalist, and less socialist.  Norway, has done the unimaginable to American liberals:  they have drilled for oil off their coasts. These countries have cut the length of unemployment (and employment has increased).  Unlike Italy, Greece and now the United States, these countries  kept their debt at a meaningful percentage of GDP, and so they have weathered the storm that has engulfed Europe.  They are not the shining example of what liberalism can become.

America now faces the choice.  Do we want the utopia of the liberal dreamers?  Do we want the hope and change of a government providing more and more for us?  History gives us the answer.

For pictures of Detroit and Hiroshima, go here:

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