RUSH: Detroit. It is almost, except it isn't, unimaginable what has happened to Detroit. Almost unimaginable, except it isn't unimaginable. It was in fact entirely predictable what has happened to Detroit. And it has been predicted, and it's just the first of, sadly, what will be many to come. A lot of people alive today have no memory of the Detroit that was. Detroit, Michigan, was at one time one of the great cities in the world. It was among the richest and most successful cities in this country. It was the envy of the world, primarily because the assembly line to mass produce automobiles was invented there, and the automobile industry's home was Detroit. Motown, Berry Gordy.
It was the envy of the world, and now it's the biggest city in the United States to ever go bankrupt. And why? Two things, that are actually under the same umbrella: unions and unchecked liberalism have led to the bankruptcy of Detroit. Would you like to hear something that is, to me, interesting historically? Detroit, now bankrupt, was where companies first started offering health care benefits and other perks in order to compete for skilled labor during World War II when there were wage and price controls. And so with wage and price controls, the market will always outsmart government and limits, and so the birth of health care benefits was created in Detroit as a means of becoming attractive to people seeking good jobs, because there were wage and price controls in place in World War II.
And now those very benefits have killed the city of their birth, the birth of the health care benefit. I mean, the chickens have come home to roost, in the famous words of Reverend Wright. Is that not something? The city where health care benefits were created have been brought down, essentially, by health care benefits and pensions and unions. Whatever else Detroit is, it is the epitome of everything that's wrong with the Democrat Party. And yet Obama is going to launch another speaking tour today about his latest new economic plan, which is really just the same old thing he's been saying for five years and what Detroit has been practicing for the last 30 years.
Detroit has been run exclusively by the Democrats for over 30 years, folks. The last Republican mayor in Detroit was elected in 1957. Only one Republican has been elected to the city council in Detroit since 1970. Back in 1960 the city of Detroit actually had the highest per capita income in the country. My, how things change. In 1960, 53 years ago, the city of Detroit actually had the highest per capita income in the entire nation. Sixty years ago Detroit was the fourth largest city in the United States. And since then, in the last 60 years, Detroit has lost 63% of its population. The statistics, there are 25 facts about Detroit and its plunge to bankruptcy that will stun and amaze you.
RUSH: I mentioned at the top of the program, I talked about Detroit and the statistics, how great Detroit used to be. And it was. Detroit was one of the four greatest cities in this country and one of the greatest cities in the world. It was one of the most productive. It was a city that had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world back in the 1950s and the 1960s. Detroit was a model city. However, I find it fascinating. Detroit was the place where the whole concept of health care benefits to employees was created. During World War II there were wage and price controls. Companies therefore needed ways to attract really qualified employees and since they couldn't pay them any more money, they had to come up with something that wasn't controlled, and that would have been something they had to invent.
So they invented the benefit. In this case, the health insurance benefit. And it's one of the things that ends up doing Detroit in. That and unions, that and the pensions. Detroit is a city, I think the last Republican mayor in Detroit was 1957. Detroit has been run unchecked by liberal Democrats for 40-plus, 50 years. It's bankrupt. But there are some facts about the fall of Detroit that will just stun and amaze you. Every one of these facts comes from a news story about the subject, every one of these 25. I'm gonna take a time-out here and we'll come back and I'll run through this list. And I will review some of the statistics about Detroit's greatness in years gone by.
RUSH: It really is almost unimaginable what has happened to Detroit. It's easy to forget that not that long ago, Detroit was the richest and most successful city in the country -- it was the envy of the world -- and now it's the biggest city in the US to ever go bankrupt. It's because of the Democrat Party, liberalism, and the unions. Detroit was where companies first started offering health care benefits and other perks in order to compete for skilled employees during World War II when there were wage and price controls.
Now those very benefits... I find it poetic justice. Those very benefits have killed the city where they were born. Whatever else Detroit is, it is the epitome of everything wrong with the Democrat Party. Detroit's been run exclusively by the Democrats for over 30 years. The last Republican mayor was elected in 1957. Only one Republican's been elected to the city council since 1970.
Sixty years ago, Detroit had the highest per capita income in the entire nation. Sixty years ago, more people earned more money in Detroit than anywhere else. Sixty years ago, Detroit was the fourth largest city in America. In the last 60 years, Detroit has lost 63% of its population. Now, I'll give you some fascinating facts, compiled here by the Economic Collapse blog. Every one of these facts is the result of a news story.
Every one of these facts has a link back to a news story"Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about. ... 1) At this point, the city of Detroit owes money to more than 100,000 creditors. 2) Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities. That breaks down to more than $25,000 per resident."
I keep saying this, and I’m going to say it again: "3) Back in 1960, the city of Detroit actually had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation. 4) In 1950, there were about 296,000 manufacturing jobs in Detroit. Today, there are less than 27,000. In 63 years, we've gone from 296,000 manufacturing jobs to less than 27,000. "5) Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48% of the manufacturing jobs in the state of Michigan were lost. 6) There are lots of houses available for sale in Detroit right now for $500 or less."
Dennis Rodman owns about 25 of them. Just kidding on that. "7) At this point, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the city. 8) About one-third of Detroit's 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict." Stop and think about these things now. "9) An astounding 47% of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate," but they know how to say, "Obama stash!" My God, folks, less than half of the residents of Detroit can read! "10) Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
"11) If you can believe it, 60% of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty." I believe all... Well, it's not a question of believing it. It's true. "12) Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63%. 13) The city of Detroit is now very heavily dependent on the tax revenue it pulls in from the casinos in the city. Right now, Detroit is bringing in about $11 million a month in tax revenue from the casinos," while 50% of the children live in poverty and less than half the residents over the age of 16 are working.
They're all eating, by the way.
And they've all got their Obama phones.
And they're all probably driving.
"14) There are 70 'Superfund' hazardous waste sites in Detroit. 15) 40% of the street lights do not work. 16) Only about a third of the ambulances are running. 17) Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 miles on them. 18) Two-thirds of the parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down since 2008. 19) The size of the police force in Detroit has been cut by about 40% over the past decade. 20) When you call the police in Detroit, it takes them an average of 58 minutes to respond."
I know in New York, that sounds like a lot. "21) Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day. 22) The violent crime rate in Detroit is five times higher than the national average. 23) The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City. 24) Today, police solve less than 10% of the crimes that are committed in Detroit." Folks, if this town were run by a Republican, or had been, do you think anything would have been done about this?
Do you think you would know about this if a Republican or if the Republican Party had anything to do with this? "25) Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to 'enter Detroit at your own risk.'" Now, as this website says, "It is easy to point fingers and mock Detroit, but the truth is that the rest of America is going down the exact same path that Detroit has gone down. Detroit just got there first.
"All over this country, there are hundreds of state and local governments that are also on the verge of financial ruin... 'Everyone will say, "Oh well, it's Detroit. I thought it was already in bankruptcy,"' said Michigan State University economist Eric Scorsone. 'But Detroit is not unique. It's the same in Chicago and New York and San Diego and San Jose. It's a lot of major cities in this country. They may not be as extreme as Detroit, but a lot of them face the same problems.' ...
"All over the nation, our economic infrastructure is being gutted, debt levels are exploding and poverty is spreading. We are consuming far more wealth than we are producing, and our share of global GDP has been declining dramatically. We have been living way above our means for so long that we think it is 'normal,' but an extremely painful 'adjustment' is coming and most Americans are not going to know how to handle it," and this idiot judge, the bankruptcy judge just made it worse.
The bankruptcy judge in Detroit said, "Wait a minute! You can't do none of this. Why, the constitution of Detroit or Michigan or whatever says that every benefit recipient will continue to receive their benefits, no matter what," And then this judge said something about how we've gotta do this in honor of Obama, who saved Detroit by saving General Motors. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something like that. Get this: Only 7% of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient in reading.
Folks, this is just unacceptable, and there are reasons for this. This is what happens when there is capitulation to the Democrats. This is what happens when everybody goes along with 'em. It's what happens when their power is unchecked. This is what happens when all you have is Democrat liberalism running whatever it is -- a city, a union, a country, any other organization. You end up with abject misery, despair, and total annihilation. That's just what they do, folks.
It's not me saying it.
It's Detroit living it.