HURRICANE COLEMAN: Donald Boudreaux On The Death Of Detroit.

Chicago didn’t collapse when its once-booming stockyards closed as meat-packers moved to rural areas. Denver isn’t destroyed because it is no longer a mining town. And the shift of agriculture away from Silicon Valley obviously hasn’t impoverished that region.

The forces that laid Detroit low were hardly beyond human control. The rulers of that city, for example, (according to the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) have imposed on Detroiters the highest effective rates of property taxation among America’s 50 largest municipalities. Property-tax rates there run about double the U.S. average – a fact that, by itself, goes far toward explaining why so much of Detroit’s landmass now lies abandoned and decrepit.

Lousy government can ruin anything. Just look at Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Africa.