Thursday, March 24, 2011

To which Mark Steyn says, “No sh*t”

While subbing for Rush Limbaugh back in February, Mark Steyn made remarks about Detroit that some from the Motor City took umbrage with:

We're now being told that this is the model for America in the 21st century," he said. "If it is, we're all doomed."

Referring to a book published last year that showed the city's ruins, Steyn compared Detroit to European cities reduced to rubble during world wars.

"Unlike European cities, no bombs fell on this American city," he said. "This American city did it to themselves."

He blamed the city's decline on unions and a succession of liberal political leaders.
Reaction to Mr. Steyn’s words was, putting it mildly, unkind:


I heard you took some shots at Detroit today. What was the point of that? Just to be an asshole? Like the commercial said last night, people talk about Detroit even though they have never been here. I am sure your Canadian ass has only been to the East Coast after you moved out of that Socialist country. Are you that insecure with yourself that you need to pile on to the city of Detroit like you did? Did it give you a hard-on?

It would be original if one of you “talking-heads” actually took the time to see the city, learn about the history of the city, and see the good in the city too. It's real easy to throw out insults to Detroit.... be original guy, you embarrassed yourself today.


Rush just lost a listener for life....nice job.
“…learn about the history of the city…”. What, like the 1967 riots that left forty-three dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed? It took five days, the Michigan National Guard, and the United States Army to quell that little disturbance and years later parts of the city have never rebuilt. For the record, I was born in Detroit in 1958 and was living in Blissfield, Michigan at the time of the riots. I seem to recall that my parents never had much use for the city after that and apparently, neither did anyone else:

What happens when a city buys the liberal dream hook, line and sinker? Just take a look at the City of Detroit. The once-great city lost 237,493 residents over the last decade according to the 2010 Census, bringing it to 713,777 – a population plunge of 25%. That’s its lowest population since 1910, and it marks the city’s fall from a 1950s peak of two million, over 60%. And that’s just the people who can afford to leave.

Detroit, once known as “the great arsenal of democracy,” has made headlines of late for its notorious fall from grace. The “Big Three” automakers are no longer the biggest, falling behind their overseas rivals, and the Michigan economy lost 450,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years all while Detroit lost population. And while the Motor City suffers unemployment from a decimated automotive industry, it suffers crime, high taxes, poor city services, plummeting home values, and a public education system in shambles with a $327 million budget deficit and a 19 percent dropout rate. Is it any wonder people are leaving in droves?

But to understand why folks are really leaving Detroit, it’s worth looking where they’re headed. As Detroit suffered a population loss, its neighboring suburban counties with lower crime, better schools and an improving economic outlook saw their population increase. One former Detroiter told The Detroit News, “Detroit just got too messy for me … I was not getting the benefits of those tax dollars. The city services are poor and I could not use the school system. And you look at the cost of living and the corruption, we had to leave.” In other words, bad government drove her out, and she’s seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

For the record, Detroit has been under liberal leadership for decades. And the city’s big problem today is that its road forward is blocked by the very same political machine that helped deliver it to its state of ruin. Case in point: the state’s powerful teachers unions. In 2003, a philanthropist pledged $200 million for the creation of 15 charter schools in the city. Despite the city’s tragic public school system, the plan failed and the offer was withdrawn following protests by the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Little has changed, eight years later. A state-appointed emergency financial manager has proposed sweeping changes to the city’s public school system, including a plan to convert 41 of the city’s schools to charter schools. Guess who’s opposed to the reforms? That very same union.
I doubt that of this comes as a surprise to Steyn, who pretty much has the city pegged. I also doubt that Mr. Steyn will find his mailbox full of missives of the “you were right” variety. It takes a whole lot of willful blindness, greed and corruption to turn an American city into a third world cesspool but that is just what they have managed to do. Perhaps if we throw in Buffalo and a city to be named later Canada will kindly take Detroit off our hands.

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