Hit & Run

Shikha Dalmia in the Washington Examiner on Why Bankruptcy Won't Mean a Fresh Start for Detroit


"I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York's boom days," F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. It's a good thing he wasn't talking about Detroit , notes Reason Foundation Senior Analyst in the Washington Examiner. That's because Detroit's formula for economic revival is ass backwards and bankruptcy, even though a long time coming, can't fix that.

Detroit's leaders for two decades have tried to jumpstart the city's moribund economy by showering subsidies on rich investors. At the same time they have crushed local entrepreneurs, who have no means to eke out a living in this jobless city except through self-employment, under mountains of regulations. This year Mayor Bing took this loopiness to new heights when he made harassment of small businesses his official policy with the launch of Operation Compliance. Writes Dalmia:

The program seeks to cure the city's blight by shutting Detroit's 1,500 "illegal" businesses — tire shops operating from backyards, second-hand appliance stores perched in abandoned warehouses — if they fail to comply with city regulations. But worrying about blight in a city fast returning to the wild is insanity.

So a mayor who pleads he doesn't have the resources to provide street lights to half the city or arrange timely trash pickup or control Detroit's soaring murder rate nevertheless has enough inspectors to unleash on poor residents…

Go here to read the whole thing.

NEXT: A.M. Links: US Paratroopers Preparing for Possible Syria Mission, Pensions Suing to Stop Detroit Bankruptcy, Catastrophic Event Destroyed Mars' Atmosphere

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  1. Iowahawk had another fantastic tweet on this yesterday.

    Turn Detroit into a national park, to show our kids the wonders of "Government Help".

    1. Is Iowahawk ever NOT money? No - he is not.

  2. Fuck Detroit. Fuck Michigan!

    1. Go Detroit! Go Michigan!

    2. Fuck California! Fuck Ohio State!

      1. Dood! I meant GO, as in make like a tree and leave.

        1. Or, as Charles Barkley once said to a reporter after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, "Why don't you make like a tree and go away?"

        2. PS And I mean "Fuck California" with Warty's dick.

  3. Turn it into a penal colony.

    Build a big triple wall around the perimeter*, eliminate all government and just dump criminals into the colony. Eventually they'll form some type of productive society. It worked for Australia. Plus MI can sell reality TV rights to help fund their budget.

    *bonus: it's good practice for building one on the southern border.

    1. If Detroit doesn't qualify as unusually cruel and vile punishment nothing does.

    2. But then what will you do if some important politician crashlands his plan in it?

    3. Oh, sure. That plan works great. Right up until that bastard Plissken comes along...

      1. Call me Snake

      2. I heard he was dead.

    4. You said "penal"....huh huh....huh huh....huh huh....

  4. Good column Shikha.

    1. Holy shit! You're complimenting a Dalmia article? *sniff* For once, I am hopeful that we can see peace in our time.

      Ebony and ivory...

      1. SIV doesn't hate Dalmia, just the dirty foreigners she defends.

      2. She can be alright when she gets off her single subject track.

        Monomania is no fun.

        1. I vastly prefer Dalmia staying within her area of expertise than Tim Cavanaugh's ignorant bloviating about everyone and everything.

          Cavanaugh: Horrible Reason contributor or terrible Reason contributor?


          1. Cavanaugh is a great American and a wonderful human being. You, on the other hand, are borderline unbearable.

            1. Borderline? Is that a mulatto joke?

              1. Borderline. Feels like I'm going to lose my mind. You just keep on pushing our love over the borderline.

                1. No, no - this was WAY over the line.

                  Although Mad Donna is a Michigan product, so points for relevance.

                  I'll allow it...

                2. Seems a shame to ruin such a fine sunny Friday morning with Madonna. How about a little classic Chris Rea, instead?

              2. No, a joke would be 'half-unbearable'.

                1. uh, 'partly-unbearable'?

          2. Sorry, dude. Cavanaugh was a boss.

            1. Let me guess, you have a fetish for reading about the politics of light rail tranist.

              1. It's far more interesting than Shikhas 400th assertion that teh immigrants should get welfare.

                1. Well, let's put it this way; when processing my wife's visa, I had to sign an affidavit of support to provide evidence to the federal government that my wife would not become "a ward of the state". Regardless of what one thinks of welfare, my wife and I work, we pay taxes; why are my wife and I prohibited from taking advantage of a government service that our taxes pay for merely due to my wife's place of origin? If we can't take advantage of it, then how come we don't get it taken off our taxes? Why are we being forced to support native-born layabouts? Two wrongs don't make a right, and this needs to be repeated until the powers that be understand it.

                  1. I signed the same thing to bring my ex in from the UK. It has been 30 + years, but I think there a time limit on the responsibility. My ex has become a citizen, works and has remarried, but I'd hate to think that I am responsible for her in any way. The b!tech.

              2. light rail tranist

                Pre-op or post-op?

                1. Does it matter, Other-er?

                  1. Would a "trainist" be someone who supports or opposes light rail?

                    TRAINIST!!111! I'm thinking "opposes"

                    1. Trainistspotting.

          3. You badly misspelled 'Gillespie'.

            1. Why can't any of you spell "Chapman" right?

  5. I have an old copy of "The Mother Earth News Almanac: a Guide Through the Seasons" that I picked up at a yard sale. It was published in 1973, so among the organic gardening advice and handyman's tips there are lots of practical suggestions about how to save money, live self-sufficiently, and earn a little extra cash during a recession. Just as a rough estimate, I'd say a good 75% of their ideas are now building code violations, health code violations, tax code violations, EPA violations, or otherwise illegal at the state or federal level.

    And, unlike 1973, all of those regulations are now backed up with armies of government-salaried spies, drones, private SWAT teams, and the arbitrary authority to crucify you as an instructive example to others.

    Thanks, guys, That whole "power to the people" thing worked out really well.

    1. You can still build the water wheel, and set it in the creek, to spin your little generator. It's just going to cost you a few hundred grand, a few decades of waiting, funding all the mandatory environmental impact studies and fighting all the lawsuits and legal battles.

      Yes, you can still build the water wheel and set it in the creek to spin your little generator. You'll just most likely have to spin the water wheel by hand.

  6. "cited for technical violations like not having the proper zoning clearances or licenses or being behind on their taxes"

    That's a nice tire shop you got there...

  7. You can't just allow people to do as they wish. That's anarchy!

    1. Indeed. Just consider how Detroit would look if it sank into anarchy.

      1. *SHUDDER*

  8. So, through dedicated Democrat idealism Detroit has been made into a Third World theme park; ineffectual cronyism at the top combined with skulking (but necessary) noncompliance at the bottom.

  9. I hope they have to sell the fist.

    1. I was hoping they'd combine it with the "Spirit of Detroit" (the "Thinker" looking guy) to create something...more interesting...

  10. This is the Rethuglicans fault. Suburbanites who want to steal the city's "jewels" (Belle Isle, the Art Insitituate...um....Cobo Hall?) have been openly not spending money in Detroit and not supporting Lansing sending boatloads of state money to maintain the most important city in the state, so they can lie in wait and SWOOP in to have....all...this. But if Detroit goes down, the burbs all go down, too. And then the state. Cause....something something...collectivist thinking....RACIST!


    I blame Bush.

  11. You know, if the Daily Caller sends some other intern to Carney's press briefing, here's a question to ask: "One of the president's re-election ads promised that what happened in Detroit could happen everywhere in America. Does he still stand by that pledge?"

  12. "We're just going to have to steal harder, boys. It can't be that our plan is flawed."

    1. THIS^^^^

      That's the lesson the left will take from this facas.

  13. I just wonder if I'm going to lose my annuity...having them take out %5 of my check over 17 years with this bankruptcy.

    I want my money.

  14. There's one to do that will systemically fix Detroit: break it up. Different city governments with chunks that break up the city right through the downtown.

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