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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Detroit: the Final Chapter

Detroit's black middle-class, the last of the middle-class in that city, is finally throwing in the towel and fleeing. Once they're gone the pitiful remainder of a once great city will implode.

It should be noted the political leaders of Detroit were early and eager embracers of the vast array of social programs promulgated by Lyndon Johnson and his Democratic Congress as part of the "Great Society" legislation. Almost all those programs were monumental failures; whatever social ills they were supposed to address in almost every case got worse. Let us not forget the farcically named War on Poverty was well under way in Detroit in 1967 when the city went up in flames.

Liberals today will insist the problems of Detroit were already so entrenched nothing could save it; that by the early '60s the city was so beset by joblessness, bad schools, bad housing--the usual litany that are the putative cause of ever-rising lawlessness and urban decline--even the noble and hugely expensive Great Society initiative was unable to the reverse the city's fortunes and its wholesale abandonment by productive citizenry. Oddly enough though, despite their utter failure, most of those social programs continue to this day in one form or the other.

You think it would dawn someday on the social architects, community activists, urban planners and the like their efforts in Detroit are not just ineffective but counter-productive. That is assuming, however, they care more about the lot of the poor than propagating an ideologically bankrupt social agenda at the expense of the dwindling few who must pay for it, the middle class, the last of which are leaving the city for good.

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