Via Instapundit comes this story on plans to bulldoze large sections of 50 failing cities in Great Lakes states. That alone is enough to make one weep. A mere 40 years ago, these cities were still the economic titans of all the earth and now they are imploded wastelands.
Even more shocking and frightening is the strange, delusional state that seems to have settled over the political thinking of the majority of the people in the region. They seem to have no conception that their own political choices destroyed their communities. Worse, they’re rationalizing their own self-inflicted failure as a good thing.
Here’s Dan Kildare, Obama’s point man for the plan:
“The obsession with growth is sadly a very American thing. Across the US, there’s an assumption that all development is good, that if communities are growing they are successful. If they’re shrinking, they’re failing.”
What the HELL is wrong with these people?
Yes, that is exactly what it means! Economically vibrant cities don’t shrink! Bulldozing deserted areas of cities may be their only remaining response to such a massive failure, but it’s insane to talk about the necessity as if it arose from some brilliant economic insight instead of pure desperation!
Mr Kildee acknowledged that some fellow Americans considered his solution “defeatist” but he insisted it was “no more defeatist than pruning an overgrown tree so it can bear fruit again”.
Except that the tree is “overgrown” because it is so healthy and vibrant that it’s growing up and out to capture even more sunlight. We don’t prune healthy limbs from fruit trees to make them healthier. We do so to cripple the tree and force it to divert resources into making fruit for us instead of growing. Bulldozing deserted sections of failing cities is more akin to amputating dead or diseased limbs in order to preserve the rest of the tree.
Amputations work in trees, people and cities, but no one should ever regard them as a sign that things are going well. Instead, people in the Northeast should see this grim necessity as a sign that their political system has grown so dysfunctional and diseased that it can no longer support a healthy economy.
Instead they seem gripped by a full-fledged rationalization frenzy wherein everyone is to blame but themselves, and where having to perform civic amputations is a good thing.
This will not end well. I hope the rest of us can pick up the pieces.