Proponents keep proclaiming the virtues of a ‘progressive’ platform in large metropolitan areas, such as
A ‘living wage’ ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private [union] contractors.
A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
Other government employee unions that do the same for its members.
A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.
What city best exemplifies such a potential paradise on earth? Why, that would be Detroit, Michigan, found in a study to be “the most liberal city in America”.
In 1950, Detroit was the wealthiest city in America on a per capita income basis. Today, the Census Bureau reports that it is the nation's 2nd poorest major city, just "edging out" Cleveland.
In case you think that this may simply be a case of coincidental correlation, consider the other top liberal contenders, in order: Gary, Indiana; Berkeley, California; Washington, DC; and Oakland, California.
(Conversely, the top conservative city was Provo, Utah, followed by Lubbock, Texas; Abilene, Texas; Hialeah, Florida; and Plano, Texas.)
The report in the Michigan Capitol Confidential’s “Detroit: The Triumph of Progressive Public Policy”, goes into some detail about how the city arrived at its distinction, and concludes with
Tom Bray, former editorial page editor for The Detroit News, has made the following observation:
"Detroit, remember, was going to be the 'Model City' of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the shining example of what the 'fairness' of the welfare state can produce. Billions of dollars later, Detroit instead has become the model of everything that can go wrong when you hook people on the idea of something for nothing - a once-middle class city of nearly 2 million that is now a poverty-stricken city of less than 900,000."
Today, Detroit is down 25 percent over the past 10 years; to just over 700,000 and dropping fast.