BLUE MELTDOWN: Detroit Seizes Homes to Fund Corruption.
Detroit is foreclosing on tens of thousands of homes — in order to pay for an unaffordable city government that fails the essential tests of governance. The NYT reports that the city is seizing the homes of residents who failed to pay property taxes, and putting some of the houses up for public auction. . . .
This story shows just how bankrupt the Great Society model of urban governance has become. These property taxes are themselves exorbitant, and the structure they help pay for is an unsustainable system of unionized employees. Since the 1960s, Democrats have supported a model that, at its worst, is characterized by corrupt political machines that rule in de facto single-party urban enclaves. They are propped up by state and federal subsidies and show little to no interest in effective management, economically sustainable development policies, anti-corruption efforts, or school performance. . . .
This wasn’t the Great Society that Lyndon Johnson had in mind, but it is the society that Detroit and New Orleans, among others, have today. And things could get worse. The financial pressures on the city will intensify as the pension squeeze continues and as the unions fight harder to protect their privileges. Meanwhile, in too many places, single-party political machines will continue to focus on cronyism and identity politics without thinking hard about the urgent economic tasks city governments need to perform.
Which single party is that?