Saturday, August 16, 2014

Our Cities, Our Future

Who Lost the Cities? | National Review Online:

Well done article that covers the costs of wishful thinking in key American cities -- and gives some good hints as to what we can expect for the country as a whole in the coming decades.

The following paragraph is what has happened to our cities, but they are only in the lead, the most "progressive" -- the pathology is well at work across the nation:
  1. Higher Taxes (on the productive) -- we are actively taxing work and subsidizing sloth with predictable result. 
  2. Defective Schools -- with active measures to limit school choice and private schools. 
  3. Crime -- Less outside the cities, but back on the rise everywhere. 
  4. Declining economic opportunity -- With the exception of a few bright spots, North Dakota, Texas , Oklahoma, we are in steep decline -- where we are not, the federal government is seeking to damage the progress.
For years, our major cities were undermined by a confluence of four unhappy factors: 1. higher taxes; 2. defective schools; 3. crime; 4. declining economic opportunity. Together, these weighed much more heavily upon the middle class than upon the very wealthy and the very poor. In the case of Philadelphia, the five counties in the metropolitan area have had a mostly stable population, but the city itself lost more than a quarter of its population between 1950 and 2000 as some 550,000 people fled to the suburbs or beyond. How many people matters, but which people matters, too: They were the ones with the means and the strongest incentive to relocate. Over the same period of time, Chicago lost a fifth of its population, Baltimore nearly a third. Philadelphia is one of the few U.S. cities to impose a municipal income tax (one of the taxes Mayor Rizzo raised), creating very strong incentives to move across the line into Delaware County or Bucks County. This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer: In Detroit, the white middle class got out as quickly as it could — and the black middle class was hot on its heels. Upwardly mobile people and those who expect to be — i.e., those with an investment in the future — care a great deal about schools, economic opportunity, and safety. And they know where the city limits are.
The cities are the vanguard of the "progressive" movement -- expect those results to swallow our once great nation, soon to be the equivalent of Detroit.

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