Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Death of the Midwest

It is hard for me as a born-and-raised Midwesterner, and product of a family of industrial workers, to watch what has happened to my region. City after city is basically collapsing. Cleveland, Youngstown, Detroit, etc. All of the old industrial towns are fading away. If ever you want to see the consequences of free trade and globalization, just travel to a post-industrial Midwestern city, because with the exception of Chicago and maybe Columbus or Indianapolis, there are few, if any, whose populations and tax revenues that are not hemorrhaging.

The worst, though, has to be Detroit. It is a city that has been on its death bed since the '60s, during the last great wave of white flight (which started with the rise of the suburbs in the '50s). I have visited this city many times, and it keeps looking worse on every visit. Of course, the media cares to stress stories about its mayor texting one of his lovers. Well, here is the side you do not see. The outcome of Adam Smith's economics.

Postindustrial Detroit....

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