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Detroit Broke because Government got too small?
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Jul 22, 2013 11:03:15   #
ldsuttonjr
 
by Phillip Hodges

Detroit’s in such financial and physical shambles that they’ve had to file for bankruptcy. But a county circuit judge ruled that they had to withdraw their filing, because it violates Michigan’s constitution and state law:
“While Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr on Friday was offering short-term reassurances to thousands of city pensioners whose benefits are in jeopardy, his lawyers were waging a whirlwind legal battle over the constitutionality of the bankruptcy filing that could land both sides before a federal judge early next week…. Friday's legal wrangling marks the beginning of what is expected to be a lengthy bankruptcy process that will involve more than 100,000 creditors, which include the Police and Fire Retirement System and the General Retirement System and its 20,000 retirees.”
Much has been said about the cause of Detroit’s decline over the past 60 years. Much of the reason does involve racial tensions and gang violence, and perhaps that is the driving force. The exorbitantly high violent crime rate combined with a mass exodus of residents (on the order of one resident every 22 minutes in 2011) have contributed to Detroit’s destruction:

In 1950, Detroit was the fifth largest city with over 1.8 million people.
Since then, the population has plummeted to just over 700,000 people in 2012.
560,000 are eligible to work (aged 16 and over).
Of the work-eligible residents, only 305,000 either work or are looking for work.
257,000 don’t work and are not looking for work.
224,000 Detroit residents do work.
Of those workers, 34,500 have government jobs.
The 190,000 workers that are left have private sector jobs.
It’s not surprising then to find out that Detroit’s “average monthly income [is] barely $1,200 before taxes; a fifth of the population [is] in poverty; the official unemployment rate is 30 percent – the real rate [being] much higher.” Detroit is stricken with a 40% poverty rate, and about 35% of its households are on food stamps. And because so many productive citizens have left the city, out of 363,000 housing units, over 99,000 are vacant.
This is the perfect picture of socialism. But leave it to Melissa Harris-Perry over at MSNBC to conclude that this is actually what happens when government is too small:
“This lack of tax base [in Detroit] is also exactly the thing that many Republicans would impose on us even when our cities have sufficient populations. This is what it looks like when government is small enough to drown in your bathtub and it is not a pretty picture.”
Is she wanting the government there to be bigger? With what money? They can’t even support the “small” government they have, because all their taxpayers are leaving the city in droves. And with good reason. What’s left are basically the non-productive citizens, who are waiting on their government pensions, and those on welfare. Most of the productive taxpayers have vacated permanently. This is not the result of “small government.” It’s the result of a culture of dependence on government.

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Jul 22, 2013 11:13:39   #
Dave
 
It is stunning to hear people like her and Ed coming up with reasons why Detroit's failure is something other than this very simple reality - punishing the productive while subsidizing the non-productive will drive the productive either out or to become non-productive themselves. When that happens, funding the continued non-productive subsidizes with borrowed money accelerates the process of decline.

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Jul 22, 2013 11:33:33   #
ldsuttonjr
 
Dave wrote:
It is stunning to hear people like her and Ed coming up with reasons why Detroit's failure is something other than this very simple reality - punishing the productive while subsidizing the non-productive will drive the productive either out or to become non-productive themselves. When that happens, funding the continued non-productive subsidizes with borrowed money accelerates the process of decline.


Dave - the reality is there are many cities in line for the same fate. The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best
political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce
mediocre leadership and policies.
The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently
unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.
As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters
to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, "very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is," Dunning told Life's Little Mysteries.
He and colleague Justin Kruger, formerly of Cornell and now of New York University, have demonstrated again and again

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Jul 22, 2013 11:41:32   #
Dave
 
ldsuttonjr wrote:
Dave - the reality is there are many cities in line for the same fate. The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best
political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce
mediocre leadership and policies.
The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently
unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.
As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters
to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, "very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is," Dunning told Life's Little Mysteries.
He and colleague Justin Kruger, formerly of Cornell and now of New York University, have demonstrated again and again
Dave - the reality is there are many cities in lin... (show quote)


Sounds like you and they are arguing for a different form of government than we have. It has been widely known and discussed since our founding that our form of government requires an informed electorate. What we have, however is something considerably different. The question is why we once did have an informed electorate but no longer.

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Jul 22, 2013 12:03:11   #
Loki
 
Dave wrote:
Sounds like you and they are arguing for a different form of government than we have. It has been widely known and discussed since our founding that our form of government requires an informed electorate. What we have, however is something considerably different. The question is why we once did have an informed electorate but no longer.


We stopped having an informed electorate when we started having a Department of Education. (Or should I say Departmint uf Edumakashun?). Thank You, Jimmy Earl Cahtuh. Giving away the Panama Canal and adding the "F" to the ATF wasn't enough damage?

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Jul 22, 2013 12:07:05   #
ldsuttonjr
 
Dave wrote:
Sounds like you and they are arguing for a different form of government than we have. It has been widely known and discussed since our founding that our form of government requires an informed electorate. What we have, however is something considerably different. The question is why we once did have an informed electorate but no longer.


The destruction of the Family Unit & lack of true mentors and
role models to keep us on a productive path. Desensitization has corrupted our culture, values and the ability to make logical choices in life.

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Jul 22, 2013 12:16:55   #
Milton
 
Voting for a person because of their color and appearence is the current issue. BO has no qualifications that would have allowed him to get a mid level government job, yet he was elected president. Because he is black and promised the world to the lazy have not and fair share people. He and his admin. have destroyed this country. A small efficent government is the answer, term limits and full discloseure of all records of the elected would give a clear view of the people we elect. The education system is also to blame as well. The un-informed voter is the cause of the current mess.
Dave wrote:
Sounds like you and they are arguing for a different form of government than we have. It has been widely known and discussed since our founding that our form of government requires an informed electorate. What we have, however is something considerably different. The question is why we once did have an informed electorate but no longer.

| Reply
Jul 22, 2013 12:27:06   #
Loki
 
Milton wrote:
Voting for a person because of their color and appearence is the current issue. BO has no qualifications that would have allowed him to get a mid level government job, yet he was elected president. Because he is black and promised the world to the lazy have not and fair share people. He and his admin. have destroyed this country. A small efficent government is the answer, term limits and full discloseure of all records of the elected would give a clear view of the people we elect. The education system is also to blame as well. The un-informed voter is the cause of the current mess.
Voting for a person because of their color and app... (show quote)


I have to agree. I used to say we have term limits, they're called elections, but that hasn't worked out all that well. I especially think that the Supreme Court and Federal Judges should either have term limits or have to stand for elections. The judicial branch has become so politicized it is difficult to distinguish it from the legislative branch.

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Jul 22, 2013 15:03:54   #
RETW
 
Dave wrote:
Sounds like you and they are arguing for a different form of government than we have. It has been widely known and discussed since our founding that our form of government requires an informed electorate. What we have, however is something considerably different. The question is why we once did have an informed electorate but no longer.


The answer to that $64,000 dollar question is perhaps given in two parts. First and most importantly, I believe it's our educational system. Our federal Government has no business with the interference it ejects into the nations school system. Ever sense its inception, the DOE Has been a thorn in the side of all tax paying citizens throughout this country. And to my knowledge has done little , if anything to promote better education. What it has had great success at , is furthering its own agenda. Promoting it self, and for the past 20 years, creating a firm strangle hold on all school systems. And of course how better to promote it self, then through the teachers union. Ask yourself this question. Why is it, we send tax money to our government in Washington DC, to tells us what to, and how to, teach our children in our own neighborhoods? What do they know about educating children in, say Seattle, or Denver, or
Spokane Washington? Oh there great on pushing educational engineering. But just when are they going to promote the three Rs. Just when is it , they are going to promote basic education?
We have children graduating from our HI school systems, that can not understand, even on a 6th grade comprehension test. Why then, are we giving our tax dollars to the DOE, so they can set in DC and issue edicts to the rest of the country they know nothing about?
I have said this many times before, and it does deserve
repeating here. Just when is it we can expect our educators to deliver education? ( No comprehension, no understanding, no informed electorate ).
2nd
Politicians: God save us all from agenda driven men and woman that remain in the political arena because of promoting there own self worth. Being elected to any office is not, ( let me repeat my self, is not ) a career. It is a privilege and an honor. There should be, and there must be term limits set on all politicians as well as the supreme Court. The intrusion the government has pushed itself into all our lives, has led our younger population into thinking, the government is there to give them, all they need from cradle to grave. Who needs to worry about anything?
The government will provide it all.
So here we have the perfect scenario for the socialists in our government, to manipulate the system to their advantage. They maintain there power because of a dumbed down population. And they get to maintain their lofty Statius, big paychecks and power. ( Don't do as I do, do as I say ) RETW

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Jul 22, 2013 15:22:37   #
Dave
 
I agree totally. We've become a nation split between those who vote for a living and those who work for a living.

Those who vote for a living are a lot more than those who recieve transfer payments and benefits from the government becuase they are either really needy or percieved to be so.

Those who vote for a living include the majority of those who work for the government at the local, state and federal level. They are major contributors to the Democratic Party and have sway over what Democrats do in office.

Those who vote for a living include almost all trial lawyers and a significant portion of accountants. Laws that enrich both professionals directly and indirectly are a major source of their earnings.

There are those corporations who benefit from crony capitalism - those rent seekers who get legislation that provides either funding directly or are advantaged by special treatment. The fact that Pepsi-Cola was one of the biggest lobbiers for expanded food stamps tells a lot.

Finally, there are the lobbyists, the folks paid by the other professional voters to corrupt the system whenever enough remuneration is available

All of this tells me the only hope for America's future is that those who work for a living wake up and realize where we are - but unfortunately I don't have great hope because too many of the working folks don't have time to learn and pay attention.

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Jul 23, 2013 07:26:19   #
donc711
 
I read most of the posts and have to agree with everything said, with one exception. When we speak of an informed electorate we are speaking of a smaller group of people than we now have. While the education system has failed due to big brother interference and creeping communism it is not the real cause but just one of the symptoms of Big Government.
When the founding fathers set up the Republic the voter base was considerably smaller in comparisons to the population. The only voters were strictly male and property owners. The Age limit was not important but you did have to be able to read and write to vote also.
With that base setup it was recognized that those with the property would be the sustainers of the Republic. Everyone else did not have a voice.
Since that time in 1776 and on until women suffrage the Republic grew. When the women were given the right to vote no change in growth was experienced, but the voter base increased by 50% perhaps?
But soon after the right to vote was extended to anyone that attained the age of 21. That brought in a whole bunch of ill informed voters that looked exactly like what we have today. Easy to persuade to vote for men who were not interested in governing but just looking for a cushy job that was near fire proof, and where great information could be generated to help each one to became very rich.
Then Dr. Martin Luther King came upon the scene. Marched into the South and made voters of all negroes. Very few if any Southern states allowed negroes to vote. Now we increased our voter based even higher and with more illiterates than ever.
Now I am not down playing the rights of citizenship to vote regardless of who they are. What I just stated happens to be history of our voter population. So what is the solution to this dilemma?
As some here have stated we need an informed electorate. We need to abolish the Federal Department of Education to start and then stop recognizing Teacher Unions and Teacher tenor. Then reduce every government agency to bare bones, and even eliminate many of them. Agencies cross over each other setting up different standards that conflict with each other in far too many cases.
Then reduce the voter base to allow only those who own property and can read and write. That should reduce the voter base back to an electorate that can be better informed but then there would still be some easy targets for politicians even then. But I think the majority of voters would be better informed, especially on the fact of where the tax dollar comes from and how to best spend that government income.

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Jul 23, 2013 08:35:45   #
Loki
 
donc711 wrote:
I read most of the posts and have to agree with everything said, with one exception. When we speak of an informed electorate we are speaking of a smaller group of people than we now have. While the education system has failed due to big brother interference and creeping communism it is not the real cause but just one of the symptoms of Big Government.
When the founding fathers set up the Republic the voter base was considerably smaller in comparisons to the population. The only voters were strictly male and property owners. The Age limit was not important but you did have to be able to read and write to vote also.
With that base setup it was recognized that those with the property would be the sustainers of the Republic. Everyone else did not have a voice.
Since that time in 1776 and on until women suffrage the Republic grew. When the women were given the right to vote no change in growth was experienced, but the voter base increased by 50% perhaps?
But soon after the right to vote was extended to anyone that attained the age of 21. That brought in a whole bunch of ill informed voters that looked exactly like what we have today. Easy to persuade to vote for men who were not interested in governing but just looking for a cushy job that was near fire proof, and where great information could be generated to help each one to became very rich.
Then Dr. Martin Luther King came upon the scene. Marched into the South and made voters of all negroes. Very few if any Southern states allowed negroes to vote. Now we increased our voter based even higher and with more illiterates than ever.
Now I am not down playing the rights of citizenship to vote regardless of who they are. What I just stated happens to be history of our voter population. So what is the solution to this dilemma?
As some here have stated we need an informed electorate. We need to abolish the Federal Department of Education to start and then stop recognizing Teacher Unions and Teacher tenor. Then reduce every government agency to bare bones, and even eliminate many of them. Agencies cross over each other setting up different standards that conflict with each other in far too many cases.
Then reduce the voter base to allow only those who own property and can read and write. That should reduce the voter base back to an electorate that can be better informed but then there would still be some easy targets for politicians even then. But I think the majority of voters would be better informed, especially on the fact of where the tax dollar comes from and how to best spend that government income.
I read most of the posts and have to agree with ev... (show quote)


You made some good points, however, I take exception to one point: I think being a taxpayer should be the defining criteria. Although I am a homeowner, and a former business owner, there was a time when I was not, but I was still a taxpayer, and a military veteran. Is it your contention that non-property owning veterans should not be allowed to vote? I'd say they definitely have a dog in this fight.

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Jul 23, 2013 09:14:25   #
bahmer (a regular here)
 
banjojack wrote:
You made some good points, however, I take exception to one point: I think being a taxpayer should be the defining criteria. Although I am a homeowner, and a former business owner, there was a time when I was not, but I was still a taxpayer, and a military veteran. Is it your contention that non-property owning veterans should not be allowed to vote? I'd say they definitely have a dog in this fight.


These are all good points and the veteran definitely has a dog in the fight as you say. I look at it this way, when you go into the grocery store or best buy you don't have a homeless or welfare recipient telling you what to buy or what TV you should purchase. so why do we that work or have worked all of our lives allow those who don't work or refuse to work tell us how to spend our money. It just makes no sense to me. Also I can't see allowing government workers that privilege either because then it becomes a pissing contest between two bosses. If we had term limits and real limited government maybe on the government workers. But the welfare recipients are always going to vote for whomever promises them more for doing nothing i.e. the democrat or progressive party of today.

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Jul 23, 2013 10:46:30   #
snowbear37
 
bahmer wrote:
These are all good points and the veteran definitely has a dog in the fight as you say. I look at it this way, when you go into the grocery store or best buy you don't have a homeless or welfare recipient telling you what to buy or what TV you should purchase. so why do we that work or have worked all of our lives allow those who don't work or refuse to work tell us how to spend our money. It just makes no sense to me. Also I can't see allowing government workers that privilege either because then it becomes a pissing contest between two bosses. If we had term limits and real limited government maybe on the government workers. But the welfare recipients are always going to vote for whomever promises them more for doing nothing i.e. the democrat or progressive party of today.
These are all good points and the veteran definite... (show quote)


I have been saying for years that if you "have no skin in the game, you shouldn't be allowed to play the game". The "taxpayer" idea of being able to vote has credence, but I think it should be qualified. If a person "collects" all of his/her income from the government, that person should not be able to vote. People in that position "pay" taxes every time they buy gas, cigarettes, etc. but the money they use is coming from taxes paid by working taxpayers. I think that one of the qualifications would also be if a person is a veteran, he/she gets to vote for as long as he/she served or until he/she gets a job. You serve for four years, you can vote (without working) for four years.
Politicians that serve should also only be allowed to collect pensions based on how long they served, not the way they've got it set up now, serve for a term or two and receive a full pension for the rest of your life. I also believe that if a person can't read or write ENGLISH, they should not be allowed to vote. There should be NO ballots in any other language. If a person can't read or write ENGLISH, how in the hell can they understand and vet any candidate. Most of the people (even if they are citizens) that can't read and write are told by someone who they should vote for. As far as "uninformed" voters are concerned, I don't know what you could do for them. "You can lead a horse to water, but can't make it drink".

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Jul 23, 2013 11:14:16   #
Loki
 
snowbear37 wrote:
I have been saying for years that if you "have no skin in the game, you shouldn't be allowed to play the game". The "taxpayer" idea of being able to vote has credence, but I think it should be qualified. If a person "collects" all of his/her income from the government, that person should not be able to vote. People in that position "pay" taxes every time they buy gas, cigarettes, etc. but the money they use is coming from taxes paid by working taxpayers. I think that one of the qualifications would also be if a person is a veteran, he/she gets to vote for as long as he/she served or until he/she gets a job. You serve for four years, you can vote (without working) for four years.
Politicians that serve should also only be allowed to collect pensions based on how long they served, not the way they've got it set up now, serve for a term or two and receive a full pension for the rest of your life. I also believe that if a person can't read or write ENGLISH, they should not be allowed to vote. There should be NO ballots in any other language. If a person can't read or write ENGLISH, how in the hell can they understand and vet any candidate. Most of the people (even if they are citizens) that can't read and write are told by someone who they should vote for. As far as "uninformed" voters are concerned, I don't know what you could do for them. "You can lead a horse to water, but can't make it drink".
I have been saying for years that if you "hav... (show quote)


You are on the money about the English literacy requirement. If being a taxpayer is also a requirement, that might serve as an impetus to have a better informed electorate.

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