October 3, 2011

Paris of the Midwest

Today's Bing wallpaper image of Cleveland, shown below, made me think of another midwestern city with an ornate history and a rust-belt reputation - Detroit.

That ornate history is tangentially referenced in the "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign for new Chryslers, and more directly so in this one they didn't use. Adorned with original architecture and art works funded by the private wealth of twentieth century industrial prosperity, Detroit was dubbed "the Paris of the Midwest." Today, however, articles are written about the city's death. Investor's Business Daily wrote last March ?Who, or What, Killed Detroit? Union Greed."

Two years ago, the Center for Automotive Research estimated that for every job created by a foreign transplant, 6.1 jobs were lost by the Big Three - many of them in Detroit. No city can take that much economic abuse.

Nor has the $77 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler - which enriched the UAW at the expense of bondholders and shareholders - helped. True enough, sales have bounced back some, but neither one is out of the woods.

Even as Detroit collapses, new UAW chief Bob King promises to "pound" the transplants into submission and force them to drink his union's poison, too.

And in November 2008, Patrick J. Buchanan had his own explanation for the Motor City's demise: "What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II​."

Obviously both authors are correct. An overburdening regulatory government and big-time labor unions were both responsible for the demise of Detroit's industrial base, and that of the nation. Indeed, they were co-conspirators, for without each other they could scarcely exist.

Remember this the next time you hear President Obama make a speech about how government "needs to create American jobs."

Art Economics and Markets Posted by JohnGalt at October 3, 2011 2:46 PM

Kinda like Paris, but I don't think that's cheese I'm smelling...

If you have not seen Reason.tv's "Drew Carey saves Cleveland," do yourself a favor.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2011 4:36 PM

If that's cheese you're smelling, perhaps it's government cheese.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 3, 2011 4:48 PM

More RW whining

Posted by: Sy at March 1, 2013 2:03 PM | What do you think? [3]