How lonely sits the city
Who Once Was Full of People
She has become like a widow,
She who was multiplied among the nations
She who was ruling among the countries
She has become subject to tribute
She weeps bitterly in the night
She sheds tears on her cheeks
Yet among all her lovers there is no one who comforts her.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah
Somebody forwarded me or linked me to this video by Steve Crowder, who is apparently a comedian (this video is not and is not intended to be funny). It’s about Detroit.
Now, please be aware that the video is somewhat simplistic. However, it is describing the decline of a city over the course of 50 or 60 years. You can’t drill down all that far when you have 13 minutes to describe that decline.
If you have any imagination, the images are deeply disturbing.
Detroit used to have the highest median household income of any city in the country. Now it is 66th out of 68th.
Think about that. No, stop. Think about that.
During the 80’s and 90’s I always had an uneasy feeling about our economy, like it was something not quite real, laid on false foundations and unsustainable.
I spent idle hours on the Go Train in Toronto, or driving to work in Green Bay, or walking through airports around the country wondering, “What would it look like if our economy basically came to an end? What would it look like if the false supports were removed and all the artificial wealth were removed.”
I actually allowed an idea to enter my mind that was the ultimate in false comfort: “It couldn’t happen.”
It rends the sensitive soul to say it, but it’s happened. All you have to do is look at Detroit.
All who love her have dealt treacherously with her.
They have become her enemies.
Detroit was a beloved city in the 1950’s and 1960’s. She received more government support than almost any other city.
Glorious bastion of economic muscle, home of the business that declared (at a congressional hearing, if my memory is right) that what is good for GM is good for America, ground central for America’s most powerful unions, she weeps bitterly in the night.
The most important question in the American political and economic order might well be, “What happened to Detroit?”
This video suggests that it was dealt with treacherously by those who loved her.
We Americans are an amusing people. On the one hand, we are so jaded that we don’t trust any politicians, while on the other we want our politicians to be nice to each other.
As a result, a politician can deal treacherously with us, and on the one hand we figure it is par for the course and just role our eyes, while on the other we attack others in the media or in politics that have the gumption to indicate the treachery and call it by name.
We don’t like to think that the worst is likely to or even can happen. That is for Russia, Iraq, China, Ethiopia. We are protected from all that.
Once upon a time we thought God protected us. Then we thought our constitutional order protected us. Then we thought our economy protected us. Then we thought our state protected us.
Now, as surely as Chicken Little was eaten by the fox, we are being eaten by our protector.
Chicken Little panicked when she thought the sky was falling, so she ran into the mouth of the only real danger she faced: the fox, her sworn protector.
The irony is not lost on me. For a long time Chicken Little’s voice has been growing louder and louder in our public discourse. We have given up our liberties at the landing of every acorn.
Now we are, truly, in more danger than we are capable of admitting. We are on the brink of being a nationalized Detroit.
All her beauty has departed.
Her princes have become like rams
That find no pasture,
And they journey in weakness
Before the face of the pursuer.
She remembers her objects of desire
What she had in days of old,
When her people fell into the hand of the oppressor,
When there was no one to help her.
When her enemies saw this, they laughed at her deportation.
I wonder: is there anyone to help her. Has our political system so emasculated us as a people that no one will rise up to help Detroit, to push back her traitorous leaders? If not, beware, they won’t stop with Detroit.
The oppressor has spread his hand
Over all the objects of her desire…
All her people groan
And seek for bread.
And yet what they need is not first bread. What they need is to be set free.
I’ll have more on this, but here, watch this video. It’s partisan, so if you are of the left it will probably offend you, but strip past the polemic and confront the argument. Beneath the theatre lies a considerable case.
It is a simple historical fact that where the state dominates and directs the economy and when the energies of the economy are directed to other ends than production and innovation every single political order from the dawn of time has slid down the road of good intentions to desolation.
Remember: free people rule themselves.