What's that Matter with Kansas? Wrong Question. What's the Matter with Detroit?
The always-fascinating Walter Russell Mead, writing on the website of The American Interest, notes that the city of Detroit is now only a few weeks away from bankruptcy. How low has Detroit sunk? Very:
Unemployment in the city of Detroit is estimated at about 20 percent; two thirds of the city’s children live in poverty. The two largest employers in the city: the dysfunctional public school system and the crippled city government. Decades of incompetence and corruption by elected officials in tandem with the decline of the once flourishing American automobile industry and (entirely understandable) flight by the better educated and the better off have thoroughly blighted what was once one of America’s most flourishing cities.
All this raises an obvious--and important--question. Not that you'll ever hear it:
Leftie intellectuals spend a lot of time analyzing the “false consciousness” that keeps American workers voting for Republicans who (in the view of the intellectuals) support anti-worker policies. We don’t hear nearly as much from these incisive social thinkers about the false urban consciousness that keeps voters supporting policies and politicians that have ruined the cities, but there you are.
Many of the policies that are dearest to the hearts of powerful Democratic politicians are responsible for wrecking the lives of many of their most loyal supporters, but the loyal supporters turn out year after year.
Democratic policies...and wrecked lives.