When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month, most would say that it came as no surprise. After years of being run almost literally by unions, increasing crime rates, and an ever increasing portion of the population unemployed and on welfare, the big question is, who's next?
According to a recent piece on Newsmax.com, the answer to that question could be any one of a dozen or more cities. From Compton California, to Strafford County New Hampshire, there are endless tales of unfunded pensions, downgraded bonds for everything from lease-revenue bonds, to bonds for a waste-to-energy trash incinerator. And not to mention, high crime rates, illegal payments to city officials, and unfavorable economic indicators.
So what, if any, are the common denominators? The common threads that run through all of these communities? Most of the cities in question, such as Oakland California, Menasha Wisconsin, and Salem New Jersey, are in non Right-To-Work states. Traditionally, those states with forced union membership have less stable tax bases than their RTW counterparts, and higher unemployment rates. Another commonality among these at risk communities, is that, like Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, and other larger cities, many of them have been run by Liberal Democrats for decades. They have been subject to classic Liberal hallmarks like higher taxes on higher wage earners, becoming sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, super minimum wage requirements, and stricter gun control laws. And has been demonstrated in Chicago, strict gun control has contributed to higher than average murder rates.
Another leading poverty indicator is out of wedlock births. In Detroit, two out of three children are born into families with no father in the household. One of the simplest, most effective ways to avoid economic downturns, and promote more stable economic growth, is to foster a culture where two parent families are the norm.
Is it possible for these cities to come back from the brink of economic chaos? Housing trends do show many 50 and 60 somethings are returning to the city limits of places like Chicago and Boston for things like restaurants, theater, and the availability of waterfront condo space. This may provide new populations to urban areas once thought to be dying out.
Getting out from under the thumb of decades of union control could mean a new phase of urban renewal for struggling cities.