Star Parker

We are now hearing the usual voices of protest in Detroit in the wake of Michigan governor Rick Snyder appointing an outside expert to take over financial management of the near-bankrupt city.

Detroit is the largest city in American history to be seized in this fashion and turned over to an outside manager.

Reported deficit of the city is $327 million dollars and long-term liabilities are in the range of $14 billion.

But no matter to the unions, politicians, and bureaucrats who have been at the helm for years as the city has spiraled into the depths of the black hole in which it now finds itself. These interest groups, who have been the driving force behind this fiscal travesty, have one interest – to keep their respective beds feathered. Citizens and public welfare be damned.

So they cry foul when adult supervision is sent in to take on the formidable rescue task.

The man Governor Snyder has put in charge, Kevin Orr, is a high-powered Washington, DC black attorney who, according to USA Today, “has extensive experience in municipal finances, public infrastructure projects, public pension matters, and litigation.”

Al Sharpton’s man in Detroit, Rev. Charles Williams III, has called Orr an “Uncle Tom.”

The travesty now taking place in Detroit should be carefully watched by all Americans. This is not a one off exception to the rule, but is just the latest case study of a pathology dragging down the whole nation. And it’s a pathology for which low-income minority Americans are paying the dearest price.

Economist Dr. Walter Williams has noted that the common denominator of the nation’s ten poorest cities with populations over 250,000, of which Detroit is number one, is that they all have been controlled by liberal, Democratic mayors for decades, the majority of which have been black.

Detroit’s former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, son of former congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus member Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, is now in jail awaiting sentencing after being convicted on 24 counts for running a criminal enterprise out of the mayor’s office.

The point is that we need to discern a rule of thumb here: the more that human lives are governed by compulsion and entitlement rather than freedom, choice, and personal responsibility, the outcomes are uniformly undesirable.

Compulsion and entitlement, meaning liberal government and union power, means less service, less efficiency, more fraud, corruption, and waste, and insensitivity to changes in the marketplace.

If we are going to save our cities, we need to get back to what built them in the first place: freedom, enterprise, and entrepreneurship.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.