John Stossel: Detroit was sunk by decades of lousy ideas
The Detroit News revealed that Detroit in 2011 had around twice as many municipal employees per capita as cities with comparable populations. The city water and sewer department employed a "horseshoer" even though it keeps no horses.
Politicians think they know best, but they can't alter the laws of economics. They can't make mismanaged industries, constant government meddling, welfare and bureaucratic labor union rules (Detroit has 47 unions) into a formula for success.
As usual, the politicians want to try more of the same. They constantly come up with plans, but the plans are always big, simple-minded ones that run roughshod over the thousands of little plans made by ordinary citizens. Politicians want new stadiums, new transportation schemes, housing projects.
Insulated from serious criticism, insulated from economic reality, Detroit thought somehow it'd muddle through — until now. There is a big lesson, if people elsewhere are willing to learn before it's too late.
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