Detroit, Michigan shows us the ruins of a once-great civilization. It does us an even better favor than that. It shows us these ruins as a precautionary warning – while our civilization actually embarks upon collapse. You can view the very artistic now vs. then photos of Cass Technical High School, and see the crash that awaits the rest of America if we continue to believe in impossible things.
This crash will certainly take place, and Detroit’s future will certainly become yours if you remain foolish enough to believe in Government Claus. Libertarian Author James Payne explains the foolish fallacy of Government Claus below.(HT:Reason.com)
Essentially, people have come to believe that Government is a magical entity that can create value out of nothing. They can create money out of nothing. Most of America’s money supply exists only in the digital Astral Plane. They cannot force the average American producer or consumer to believe that the money has any realistic value. This can be seen in the prices of commodity goods such as Winter Wheat (104.81% increase since Nov 2002), West Texas Intermediate Grade Crude Oil (226.39% increase since Nov 2002), Mild Arabica Coffee (128.90% Increase since Nov 2002), and Rebar Steel (204.76% increase since Nov 2002).
These increases in commodity prices are indicative of the gradual and long-term destruction of the value of individual wealth and savings. This destruction of value makes the prolonged maintenance of capital assets such Cass Technical High School beyond the means of the tax base that uses them.
Once this problem takes hold, we get lots of theories from people close to the situation as to why this happening. Councilwoman JoAnn Watson believes that President Obama hasn’t shown Detroit proper gratitude for supporting him politically. Once the President pays his Detroit Vignette, all will be well as she explains below.
“Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo and you ought to exercise leadership on that,” said Watson, according to FOX 2 Detroit. “Of course, not just that, but why not? After the election of Jimmy Carter, the honorable Coleman Alexander Young [Detroit’s former mayor of 20 years and former vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee], he went to Washington, D.C. and came home with some bacon,” she added. “That’s what you do.”
Detroit Mayor, David Bing blames a culture of victimization and entitlement. This better explains the impending death of Detroit and the long-term threat to America better than anything else you will read on Detroit. He has a point which former City Council Member, Shiela Cockrel amplifies below.
“This city has a lot of issues with entitlement, there are people who believe because I’m a business and I stayed in Detroit I’m entitled to this consideration, there are people who bring their businesses in and say ‘I came to Detroit so I’m entitled to this’ — special timing, special attention. “There are residents who say we’ve lived with this for so long that we’re entitled. We have politicians who foster this culture of victimization and entitlement, which is one of the political issues that really hurts this city.”
Detroit is a harbinger of what could be America’s eternal damnation. But, as was shown in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this doesn’t have to be. As we look at the ruins of Cass Technical High School we Americans should perhaps keep the following passage from Dickens’ literary masterpiece in mind.
“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?” Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!”
The point here is that the tragedy that has befallen Detroit can also serve as an admonishment. We can’t continue our false belief in Government Claus. If we lose that argument, we lose the wealth and power of our country. Nothing about America is exceptional unless our conduct as a nation and a people makes us exceptional. Detroit should stand as a stark reminder that the government cannot just magically create value anytime it is needed. American Exceptionalism is not a “Get Out of Stupid Free Card.” We must emulate Ebenezer Scrooge and heed the warning of Detroit, MI. Not everybody on the wrong path is blessed enough to receive a visit from The Ghost of Christmas Future.