I don’t usually write about political parties and when I do, I don’t make broad statements about their intelligence, character, etc. This is in contrast to Paul Krugman at The New York Times, who routinely tells us that Republicans are cruel, heartless, selfish and responsible for almost all our public policy problems.
If only they would go away … well … hmmmm … what would happen if all the Republicans went away?
There are places where there aren’t any Republicans – or at least there are very few. And I’ve noticed that one of two things happens. Fearful of how bad things might get, voters in some Democratic cities vote for Republicans anyway. That is, they elect mayors who either are Republicans or at least govern like Republicans.
This has been the pattern in New York City for the past 40 years (up until the last election) and in almost all cases the mayor the city elected had the endorsement of the Gray Lady herself. There are other examples. When Republican Bret Schundler was elected mayor of Jersey City there probably weren’t more than five Republicans registered to vote there. Chicago has always had mayors who govern like Republicans.
But there are other times and places where this doesn’t happen. In these cases, Democrats elect mayors and city council members who think just like they think.
That’s when you get …. Detroit.
An unconstrained legislative process is completely free to take from Peter and give to Paul. Or to take from Paul and give to Peter. What you will get is a slew of taxes and a slew of subsidies. There will be minimum prices here, maximum prices there and barriers to entry everywhere. Government will intervene in the marketplace in all manner of ways in order to create benefits for some at the expense of others. Think of sharks in a feeding frenzy.
The trouble with cities run amok is that it’s so easy to pack up and move to some other city. And that’s what many productive people apparently did in Detroit.
What Detroit looks like today. I previously described how the city of Detroit was managed like a Bernie Madoff scheme. Half the people who once lived there are now gone. What they left behind is described in this article from The New York Times:
John C. Goodman is President of the Goodman Institute and a Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute. He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts.”