That's one way of putting it. (Look up this video. It's pretty amazing.)The Heritage Foundation is a place for great thinkers, so it comes as no surprise that one of their geniuses has finally, from his little marble Koch cubicle in D.C., solved why Detroit is losing population: it’s full of liberals. Scary! One would think it would be easier for the people of Detroit to just start electing Teabaggers instead of leaving all their possessions behind and running to borders to escape the sheer terror of living under the rule of Democrats, but apparently that is not the case, according to this man who has never been to Detroit. This is such a brilliant answer to that city’s population loss! We bet if you look at other regions of the country led by Democrats, you will see the same thing. Regions such as the one ruled by Barack Obama.

But to understand why folks are really leaving Detroit, it’s worth looking where they’re headed. As Detroit suffered a population loss, its neighboring suburban counties with lower crime, better schools and an improving economic outlook saw their population increase. One former Detroiter told The Detroit News, “Detroit just got too messy for me … I was not getting the benefits of those tax dollars. The city services are poor and I could not use the school system. And you look at the cost of living and the corruption, we had to leave.” In other words, bad government drove her out, and she’s seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

First off, “improving economic outlook”? Hilarious. Yes, when you think of Michigan, you think “improving economic outlook!”

Second, this quote is a Detroiter complaining that there is not enough big government in the city. The city has seen a decline in the socialistic services it can provide. Isn’t that the Heritage Foundation’s wet-dream scenario? There is less socialism in Detroit! It must be paradise!

And the problems that plague Michigan and Detroit are the problems with liberal policies. The promise doesn’t live up to the results. The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone writes: “When people ask me why I moved from being a liberal to being a conservative, my single-word answer is Detroit. The liberal policies which I hoped would make Detroit something like heaven have made it instead something more like hell.”

And now, after living in that liberal nightmare, Detroiters have voted with their feet in record number.

Makes sense! But if we’re just cherry-picking random places in America to prove the other ideology is wrong, what about Mississippi? That one has a bunch of black people too, so you still can secretly hate it because you’re racist. It ranks 50th of 50 in income, 50th of 50 in life expectancy, and is number one in obesity. Yet, its leaders are conservatives. People would probably leave Mississippi if they could to escape this CONSERVATIVE NIGHTMARE, but they’d strain themselves trying to roll that far.

Meanwhile, in this guy’s second graf, we find an answer to Detroit’s woes:

Detroit, once known as “the great arsenal of democracy,” has made headlines of late for its notorious fall from grace. The “Big Three” automakers are no longer the biggest, falling behind their overseas rivals, and the Michigan economy lost 450,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years

Oh look! Their economy is terrible and can’t provide people jobs! That’s the reason why people leave! Why didn’t he just stop the column there? Because this brain-tanker guy has too many brains, obviously. [Heritage Foundation]

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  • Beowoof

    I thought it was the car companies management making bad decisions on the type of cars to build and features such as planned obsolesence built into every American car. This led to consumers finding a higher quality machines without the planned obsolesence feature coming from Japan. Thus causing the car companies in Detroit to near collapse. But thinking about it, yeah I was right.

    • Texan_Bulldog

      Toyota: Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    • Bluestatelibel

      I take exception to your statement. As Dave Barry wrote years ago, you forget that U.S. car makers were the first to come up with the opera window–they turned auto innovation upside-down with that little innovation that dared to imagine a car with ROUND not square windows. Take that.

    • Doktor Avalanche


    • BerkeleyBear

      The really funny part is that every time, the fuck ups at the Big 3 basically ignored the options given to it by its quality Tier 1 suppliers because the innovative stuff cost too much. The latest example was a few years ago when GM decided to introduce more global sourcing only to get screwed on quality from shitty East German/Czech plants (among others) who basically faked their way through safety tests because they didn't care and GM didn't observe/duplicate (just pulled a Wal-Mart and tried to shift liability through contract, but as it turned out lowball bidders with tiny factories who can shut down, move across Europe and start again in a matter of weeks don't care). Oh, and to top it off, GM pegged those contracts in Euros, not Dollars, only to watch the value of the dollar slide all through the mid-2000s. Yaay, morons.

      And don't even get me started on how they sat on solar, electric and fuel cell technologies that they had advanced access to, not to mention little innovations like eliminating the gas cap and making more fuel efficient systems commonplace.

  • fuflans

    detroit is right next to canada.

    i don't think i need to elaborate.

  • rocktonsam

    Can they haz Devil's Night back?

    That was always good for the economy.

  • metamarcisf

    Yes. Almost right. The whities are leaving Detroit because Mayor Dave Bing was the greatest Piston in history.

    • vodkamuppet

      It's kinda funny actually, white suburban hipsters are actually moving back in to the city because it's cheap and they hated growing up in the burbs after their parents left in the 70s. I swear to god in 10 years Corktown will look just like Williamsburg.

      • poncho_pilot

        and in 20 years the business leaders who are left in Detroit will find a way to force the hipsters out by buying up all of the cheap real estate. so they can build office parks.

        • tessiee

          In the meantime, Bank of America is demolishing the now abandoned houses in Detroit that they drove the owners out of, and turning the empty sites into "parks and farms" — i.e., vacant lots.

        • vodkamuppet

          They already tried that by renovating old warehouses into lofts five years ago, only no one wanted to buy them. Because literally everything in Detroit has to be done ass backwards.

  • user-of-owls

    This would certainly explain why the waiting list for U-Hauls is eight months long in San Francisco and Boston.

  • bumfug

    Yeah, that's why I can't wait to get out of this country – it's too fucking liberal.

  • smokefilledroommate

    Goddamn librul Reaganomics and shitty librul non-innovative decisions affecting shit decades later. And don't even get me started on that pinko Dubya..

  • nounverb911

    "And the problems that plague Michigan and Detroit are the problems with liberal policies. "
    Right, like moving jobs to China.

    • Beowoof

      I thought that was republican – corporate idea, but you're right just moving the jobs to the commie bretheren.

  • OC_تصفح_Serf

    White Flight has a conservative bias…

  • Jim89048

    I'm sure once the governor appoints a conservator to handle Detroit's business, all those conservative folks will come streaming back.

  • harry_palmer

    "Detroit was getting too messy for me, what with all those coloreds. And they were getting the benefits of all my tax dollars."

    The problem with liberalism decoded.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Thank God we have those great Conservative cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York and Boston for all those people to move to.

  • Wouldn't this mean long lines of people crowding around Heritage Foundation HQ, clamoring to get in?

    • poncho_pilot

      like the last chopper out of 'Nam.

  • EdFlintstone

    See if the we had just let the government get out of the way, and let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, then Detroits population would be up by at least a half a million. Just more common sense conservative thinking. Like you create jobs by getting rid of jobs. Then cut the pay and benifits of the remaining workers( who are also battling rising inflation) so they will have even less to spend in their local communities. It's why Herbert Hooevr is considered by historians to be our greatest president.

  • EdFlintstone

    See if we had just let the government get out of the way, and let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, then Detroits population would be up by at least half a million. Just more common sense conservative thinking. Like you create jobs by getting rid of jobs. Then cut corporate tax rates even further so you can justify getting rid of even more jobs. Next, cut the pay and benefits of the remaining workers(who are also battling rising inflation) so they will have even less to spend in their local communities. It's why Herbert Hoover is considered by historians to be our greatest president.

  • Funny how we don't hear the Heritage chaps talk about a certain teabagger-rich city known as Phoenix that hemorrhaged population in the 2010 census and lost its place as fifth-largest to Philadelphia. Must be all those scary Arizona liberals suppressing the nooze.

    • mumbly_ジョジョ

      And Philadelphia's another one of those librul cities, even! (Read: full of blacks)

    • DahBoner

      Sounds like people are voting with their feet and running away from the ignorant, racist, teabagger policies of Arid Zone Uh…

  • SayItWithWookies

    Since about the early 1400s an insidious and conspiratorial class of skilled laborers has attempted to undermine the status quo of an inbred and exceptionalist corrupt elite dominating a disenfranchised majority by force of arms, an order handed down by The LORD Himself. Only you can help. Send your child's job overseas and then raise his taxes. It's our last chance.

  • proudgrampa

    Where is Detroit?

    • PocketsTheClown

      Search for "$100 house". Should pop right up.

  • pinkocommi

    Inadvertently, the Heritage Foundation has proved just how bad America's education system is to have produced the idiots on their staff.

  • vodkamuppet

    Oh fuck me Jack, I actually had to read a Heritage Foundation article because it's about my city. What this asshole neglected to mention is that all those people that left in the last 10 years moved to right-to-work states because the cons have been hell bent on crushing unions for 30+ years now and all of the jobs moved to the south.

    The jokes on them though, even the right-to-work states are getting to expensive to manufacture in now. Before Wall Street blew up the economy and ruined my life, I was a sales rep to GM and American Axle (AAM). When UAW local 235 went on strike in 2008 they settled with AAM by taking a 33% pay cut and reduced benefits, competitive with right-to-work states. That still wasn't enough after the meltdown and they shipped all the jobs to Mexico. American Axle makes all their shit in Mexico now, not Tennessee or Georgia. But that's the librul union THUGS fault, right? 

    Detroit's problems have nothing to do with liberal policies, it's the complete opposite of liberal policies that ruined this city. It starts in the 30s with urban sprawl and the interstate system in the 50s decentralizing the population and decreasing the tax base. Then one night in the 60s a bunch of scary black people decided they would like to not be clubbed over their heads by the cops for drinking at a bar, 10 minutes after closing time. So what should've been a minor fine for the bar owner turned into a giant fucking riot and half the city burned down. Then all the white people ran away on those highways built in the 30s, 40s and 50s because the darkies they'd been oppressing were making a fuss about it and the tax base shrunk even more. Clearly the liberals fault there. 

    You know the rest of the story, a schism in the Democratic party between the labor movement and the hippies in the 70s gave the GOP an opening to start an assault on unions and dismantle the Dem's GOTV infrastructure, which caused Detroit to hemorrhage jobs to non-union states and even more of it's tax base which brings us to where we are today, in this hellscape clearly created by liberal policies. 

    Fuck this HF article pissed me off, sorry if the writing was a bit unfocused, but gaaawd I hate shit like this. Thanks for bringing the article to my attention Jack, now I'll never get to sleep.

    I love Detroit and the only reason I'll ever leave is if the republicans make my entire state unbearable to live in, which might not take too long, they're making excellent progress.

    • OurHoboSenator

      My only regret is that I have but one upfist to give for this comment.

    • LesPaultard

      My family was one of those who left to the exurbs after the riots, when I was four.

    • BerkeleyBear

      I worked for Tier I suppliers like Stant (as a lawyer) and saw the same shit. GM's drive for rock bottom pricing drove the manufacturing jobs to Arkansas, then Mexico, then the Czech Republic. Even then the company kept getting bought by bigger and bigger foreign entities because it was chronically undervalued/cash poor because of how tightfisted the automakers were. But at least they had the sense to keep an active R&D team in Indiana and actually fund/recruit for it, unlike the huge bleed off the BIG 3 did to its own engineering departments. And luckily for some of the workers, the Japanese entities while non-union are also real reluctant to close or relocate plants once they get established.

    • Beowoof

      The only thing I would ask is you use the full term for right to work, which is: "the right to work for less".

  • Extemporanus

    I blame Dan Aykroyd.

    • vodkamuppet

      I blame Journey.

      #9834 Just a city boy
      Born and raised in south Detroit
      Took the midnight train goin' anywhere… #9835

  • Quoting anything published in the "Washington Examiner" shows that the author has no interest in accuracy, original thought or decent prose.

    So does working for the Heritage Foundation.

  • BarackMyWorld


    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

  • arihaya

    and no one blame the idiotic fat cats in Big Auto managements that failed to adapt to 1970s Oil crisis and failed to compete with Japanese cars?

    or all the corporations that shipped jobs to Mexico and Asia?

    yeah blame the workers as always….. as long as you have fat bank balance no one can blame you

  • Negropolis

    Michigander, here, and former Detroiter.

    Detroit would be something if the nation hadn't given us 25+ years of trickle-down shit, which is particularly harmful for areas, you know, that make stuff. For whatever internal issues Detroit has had, the overarching theme has been a national one, with national policies that have crippled any local attempt to turn the place around.

    The former governor tried like hell to turn the economy around, and there are some signs of life I'm sure quite a few years down the road will yield some pretty awesome things (she got us in on the ground floor, for instance, in manufacturing wind turbine parts). But, when the entire national policy for the past 30 years has been off-shoring making shit, well, that's going to impact a place that based itself on making things. Not every town can (or should) be a college town.

    You all remember when people would role their eyes every time John Edwards brought up the "Two Americas"? Well, yeah; that shit's just go real and it's getting more real. Out side a few major nodes of true economic strength which are getting further and fewer in between much of the country is either just breaking even or dying.

    Detroit is the future of the "other" America, the parallel one. It's been a decade or two ahead of the decline game so everyone better take note. If your city is not a college town or not on the coast, Detroit is a real possibility in just about every other area of the country.

    Liberals didn't kill Detroit. In fact, they were the only ones that never gave up on the place, even while the conservative plan to turn the place into a bantustan by transplanting all of its jobs first to the neigboring suburbs, then down South, and finally out of country, accelerated.

    • tessiee

      "Detroit would be something if the nation hadn't given us 25+ years of trickle-down shit, which is particularly harmful for areas, you know, that make stuff. "

      Agree, and Detroit is far from the only place where this happened, so you can't even blame the unions (at least not if you expect to be taken seriously). See also the histories steel, textile, and family farms.

    • Beowoof

      One of these days I am afraid it is going to get so real that the let them eat cake crowd will suffer a fate similar to Marie Antoinette.

  • Negropolis


    Hey conservatives. You talked for decades about how horrible a place Detroit was, and you finally made it true. Self-fulling prophecy much, you bastards?

    They aren't laughing any more. Now whites haven't just left the city, the recent Census shows that they are leaving the metro and state, entirely, and now the bastards are trying to reverse a trend they championed and whipped for suburban votes. Eat it, you fuckers. Now, everyone is in economic hell. You ran across 8 Mile, then 20 Mile, and now there isn't anywhere left to go but out. You've single-handed reopened Pandora's box in Southeast Michigan, and now you're scared shitless that you can't put the lid back on.

    How's that racial fear-mongering, economic and ethnic segregation thingy workin' for ya'?

    • BerkeleyBear

      Funny thing. I don't know what paper it was, but when I was going through an airport a couple of days ago, there was a banner headline about blacks leaving urban centers. And I'm thinking in what world is this news? Cities are either drying up or being gentrified to the point where all the urban poor are leaving, and until the housing bubble burst everyone who could get a loan was running out to the suburbs, where many are now stuck underwater and/or losing their homes. It was almost like the reporter was surprised to find that non-whites don't like living in shitty conditions any more than white people do. Imagine that.

      Then again, that lack of empathy (which we all found out two years ago is a horrible, dangerous thing) is so damn endemic that Teabaggers really don't think they are racist when they mutter about how bad (read-populated by scary black and brown people) the public schools and inner cities are.

  • neiltheblaze

    Why, you'd almost think the writer of that article had his conclusions all mapped out before fixing the facts around it. That's so 2002.

    • Beowoof

      That is just republican style thought.

  • Crypto-racist white guy says thinly-veiled racist things. Next.

  • Plowmon

    It's pretty clear that liberals and conservatives have driven this once great nation into the fucking ditch…

    • Beowoof

      No this is a conservative movement that started back in 1980 with the election of Ronald Raygun and it continues to this day, most recently in in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, and it will be coming to a state near you.

      • Plowmon

        Conservatives have run Mississippi since, well, since there was a Mississippi and look how well things have gone. On the other end of the shit-stick might be D.C., instead of Detroit with all it's economic woes, just a paradise for average residents.

  • Meanwhile, the shifty-eyed and restless Buddhists are talking a takeover of… Buffalo.

    because it's there?

    • Beowoof

      Buffalo was a great town and it is sad to see it now. Without UB they would have to turn out the lights and shut down.

  • Must be all the conservtards who ride their bicycles in the nude around Lenin's statue that is behind why Kiplinger listed C'Addle as #2 in career best cites for the next decade. Good thinking Heritage, now pass the bong along, you've obvs been bogarting it far too long to come up with that drivel.

  • superdave

    It's true! It's true! After all, look at all the mass exoduses happening from the liberal hotbeds of New York, DC, San Francisco, LA.

  • Weenus299

    It's cold as fuck up there. If I were lucky enough to have a job I'd be stupid and leave it for warmer weather.

  • OurHoboSenator

    So when should we start seeing the population boom here in John Kasich's Ohio? I look forward to the restoration of the glory years of 1990-2006…

  • Preferred Customer

    Anyone who says that they've figured out the single reason why Detroit is in the condition it is in is lying, either to you or to themselves or possibly both. There's no single reason. If there were a single reason, someone would have fixed it by now.

    The thing about Detroit is that there are, historically, so many contributing factors that everyone can find their personal devil at work. The auto industry (both labor and management), local government (both the city and the surrounding counties), state government, transit policies, freeway planning, federal policies, bad landlords…there's enough blame to go around.

    Because of this, I've mostly given up on being pissed about people (especially people who've never fricking been to Detroit) trying to score political points off of the city. It just takes too much energy.

    The exception, though, is this new bullshit mantra about how Detroit (and, by extension, the domestic auto industry, as if the Ford family and the rest are some sort of raging liberals) is evidence of liberal government policies gone wrong. Meanwhile, Sen. Shelby and others represent states that have given HUGE amounts of money to companies like Hyundai and Mercedes to site factories there. Put aside the fact that Mercedes is based in Germany, a place with a fairly robust social welfare network and very strong unions and labor laws (far, far stronger than anything in Michigan)–the pious complaints about government involvement in industry from states like Alabama that are doing everything they can to subsidize foreign automakers are just, collectively, an obscenity.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Well, Detroit should at least be able to generate some revenue as a set for post-apocalyptic Hollywood movies.

    • Preferred Customer

      They already filmed the remake of Red Dawn there.

    • GhostBuggy

      You'd think! Snyder's doing his best to ax that, though, but cutting the incentives to film companies. "Avengers" was supposed to film here, but pulled out, as have others.

  • Jim89048

    I get my "local" news from Vegas, and everyone knows how librul that joint is. On last night's news they showed a clip from the school district's budget meetings, where they're facing $411M in cuts this year, after similar cuts last year. The superintendent said:
    "We just can't allow Las Vegas or Clark County to become a Detroit, where class sizes are running in the fifties or sixties," he said. "At the same time, I can't have the district implode, because we actually can't even support the schools."
    Fucking repubs keep holding the line on taxation, there won't be anything left to tax anyway. Burn the motherfucker to the ground…

    • BerkeleyBear

      There is something so perfect (and yet so wrong) about Vegas, the place with the most cash just sloshing around it in the whole country, where every building is an oversized monument to some capitalist robber baron's ego and/or phallus, where there's just constantly a flood of money oozing everywhere you look, managing to shaft its citizens on public services. Just rename the Strip Wall Street, relocate the Congress to Binion's Horsehoe, and you'd have America's entire recent financial history in one city.

  • WriteyWriterton

    Heritage Foundation = box of hair extensions.

  • hagajim

    I don't think I can add anything the Michiganders haven't already talked about – except this – Detroit, like many midwestern cities, is a weather nightmare and if there are no jobz nobody will stay there because it is a weather shithole. Why freeze your ass off all winter if you can't pay the heating bill?

  • Doktor Avalanche

    I grew up outside of D-town (see, I get to call it that) and the successful suburbs are fairly liberal, or whatever the fuck is not post-neo-conservative. Detroit is more like a demilitarized no-man's land. If anything it's a libertarian's wet dream with no rule of law, fuck all for taxes and survival of the fittest/best armed.

    • Preferred Customer

      BUT! The other thing about Detroit is that, as with every other city in the country, it's gotten a lot better over the past 20 years. It's emptier than it was 20 years ago, but all of these doom and gloom apocalypto stories about Detroit ignore that there is a hell of a lot more to do downtown now than there was in 1991. When I go back (yeah, I left, because of no jobz), there are all sorts of places we go in areas that I would have studiously avoided in high school.

      • Doktor Avalanche

        I hear you. When I was in HS (this would be the early 80s) you could only go to St. Andrews, the Fox or dives in Hamtramck. Now some of those friends now live in the city itself.

  • GhostBuggy

    Guess what, Heritage Foundation? I live on the west side of the state, which is stuffed full of neo-cons, their awful elected officials and terrible policies. There aren't any jerbs over here, either!

  • Gopherit

    OMG! OMG! OMG! It's like a republican rosetta stone! I get it now…….when the heritage foundation says that Detroit is "liberal" they mean too many brown people live there! This could open so much dialog!

  • Zombie_Reagan

    Wow, this article reads like a Regent University thesis:

    Too many blacks = lol, socialism

    Majority of White Christians = the way God wanted it

  • SkinnyNerd

    I am constantly amazed at how the Heritage Foundation is considered a "think" tank.

  • tessiee

    Urban farming might be a good idea in theory. It might even work in practice — there are community gardens in Portland that seem to be flourishing.

    But even if someone really wanted to have urban farming in Detroit, instead of BOA just saying "farms" as a euphemism for vacant lots… Hello? Detroit? As in, Michigan? As in, ten months of winter a year? Unless there's such a thing as an ice farm, it's not gonna work out too well.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    Test message from iPod!?’/:()$&”?

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