When American cities embraced the high cost, high regulation statist model two generations or so ago, they were often the richest and most dynamic places in the country. Increasingly “progressive” policies, with higher wages for unionized teachers, bigger bureaucracies enforcing tighter regulations, more “planning” by qualified technocrats and more government services and benefits to improve the quality of residents’ lives were supposed to take the American city into a new golden age.
It’s hard to think of many social experiments that have more disastrously failed. Now many of these once flourishing cities are hollowed out shells, while around them suburbs and increasingly exurbs flourish away from the deadening influence of urbanist politics. None of this affects the hold of progressive and urbanist ideology on true believers; if anything, they believe even more passionately in the cause. Obviously the problem is that we haven’t spent enough on enough tenured teachers, haven’t written enough new regulations and established enough new bureaus to enforce them, haven’t published enough white papers by enough credentialed planners, haven’t extracted enough taxes and provided enough services. If we could just tax the suburbs and exurbs more heavily and spend more of the money in the cities, all would be well.
Via Meadia thinks everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but we wonder: if you can’t learn from Detroit, what can you learn from?
I would say that first you have to WANT to learn,and then apply critical thinking skills to the REALITY of the situation,and be willing to shoulder the burden of FREEDOM.