Detroit is America's Best Opportunity in Decades

Michael Schaus
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Posted: Jul 23, 2013 12:01 AM

Assuming Detroit emerges from its bankruptcy in a fairly stable position, it poses the best opportunity America has had in decades to illustrate our resilience, tenacity and American ingenuity. Bloomberg News made a point that many pundits have ignored in recent days: Even if Detroit successfully sets its fiscal house in order. . . What exactly is left upon which we can build? The city has the highest crime rate in the nation, deteriorating infrastructure, and some of the highest tax rates in all of Michigan. However, Detroit has an opportunity. It is up to the council, and people, to seize that opportunity and make the most of it.

While the bankruptcy will, no doubt, present challenges. . . The whole point of bankruptcy is to present to the indebted an opportunity at redemption. Under what possible circumstances could Detroit recover from a tale of American failure to the legend of American redemption? It’s simple. But it won’t occur with the current mindset of Democrat dominance.

Detroit has before it an opportunity to seize the mantle of American entrepreneurship. After debts are consolidated, and obligations reorganized, the city will have an opportunity to remake itself in a successful image. Currently the city has oppressive tax rates, and is burdened with the typical regulatory red tape inherent in large metropolitan areas. By lowering taxes, reducing regulation, and welcoming businesses of any stripe, the city could quickly become a tale of American excellence – rather than a tale of the welfare-state’s incompetence.  

Detroit is rife with unemployed, low skill, labor. The city has some of the lowest priced real-estate in the nation. Furthermore, they harbor a renowned legacy of manufacturing, infrastructure, and name recognition. Circumstances are borderline attractive for would-be entreprueners. However, the crime rate, lack of public services, and general deterioration of the city are an instant turnoff for any would-be billion dollar company looking for some new headquarters.

But, what if the city became America’s very own tax haven? If the city was to set, as its target, the goal of beoming the “easiest place in America” to begin a new business. . . How quickly would the area recoup? If American companies could carry their headquarters to Detroit, and pay some of the lowest taxes in the nation while simultaneously facing some of the most business-friendly regulations, the city would see a resurgence that would rival the boom of the 1950’s automotive era.

Detroit is a consequence of big government, big taxes, and big welfare. After bankruptcy, if they resolve to attempt new and “innovative” rebuilding, they can become the first metropolitian area in the nation to fully embrace the freedom that coorporations (and their workers) have sought out for years. However, they can just as easily perpetuate the altruistic notion of welfare and welth redistribution.

While New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Denver move increasingly toward the very policies that drove 1 million Detroit citizens from Michigan’s Motor City, a free market alternative might very well attract the kind of business that will build wealth and grow the (taxable) population of working age adults. After all, Henrey Ford did not produce a million jobs at the behest of a government program. Our wealth of the 1950’s did not manifest as a consequence of increasing taxes. And our rise as a world superpower was not due to government meddling in the free economy.

Detroit has an opportunity. The Motor City will soon become the beaming example of American Endurance, or the manifestation of liberalism’s lingering failure. Ultimately, the choice will not be up to Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, or the Bankruptcy court. It will be up to the voting residents of Detroit and their duly elected city council. While my expectations are not hopeful, my hopes are optimistic. Bankruptcy, as it turns out, could be the best opportunity Detroit has had for redemption in the last 30 years.