A Chrysler plant in Detroit last month. (Paul Sancya/AP Photo) A Chrysler plant in Detroit. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

George Will today writes from Detroit, comparing that city’s government to a parasite that feeds on the innards of a caterpillar. But because governments aren’t honed by the merciless pragmatism of evolution, they aren’t as careful to keep their host mostly healthy as traditional parasites do, by not snacking on the vital organs. (From a Darwinian standpoint, those parasites who killed the host too quickly no doubt died without having sufficient babies to keep their genes alive.) And so, metaphorically, that’s what befell Detroit and all those people dependent on a robust Detroit.

Without competition, Will says, governments and parasites become bad at their jobs. So he says the virtual one-party rule of Detroit by union-sympathetic Democrats for the past 60 years is to blame for Detroit’s bankruptcy. Which means the fault is essentially democracy, which allowed the all-Democratic regime.

Commenters mostly agree.


He’s right that Detroit was wrecked by the uncritical voting practices of its residents. Voters should never stop dangling the threat of voting against their preferred party.


Democrats have done to Detroit what they will do to the country, if not stopped. Unlimited spending left unchecked brings the inevitable, BANKRUPTCY!

IntelligentDebate says that Detroit didn’t fail democracy — democracy failed Detroit by not giving voters a choice among parties:

Detroit failed because there were no Republican leaders who could win elections there. The same thing is going to happen to America, meaning Democrats will control everything, unless Republicans stop being complete idiots and promote more moderate ideas.

musicmaker would at least be happier to spend money rebuilding Detroit than Kabul:

While there appears to be no way to save Detroit, I would prefer to have my tax dollars go west of Capitol Hill – to help Detroit, and other cities and counties, as much as possible – rather than east of Capitol Hill – to the Middle East and other countries.

weather3014 says bankruptcy is a step up for Detroit, a way to step out of its obligations:

This is only one city that is burdened with unfunded and unsustainable pension liabilities. The only way to renegotiate the union contracts is with a Chapter 9 bankruptcy judge because unions are not going to allow “give-backs” on pensions already running. Unfortunately bankruptcy is the only pathway to fiscal sanity. Look for more of the same.

And NewNewDealer hopes for a renaissance fueled by low cost of living and some light anarchy:

There’s a glimmer of a high tech community forming in Detroit. After all, lots of things are cheap. Because of that, I can see some places like China investing there also. Filmmaking, too. There’s a lot of dystopia sets near at hand.

Yes, taking advantage of the abundant local resource, despair! PostScript is thinking tourist attractions, theme parks, conventions of emo poets, etc. This could totally revive Detroit, but that depends upon nobody thinking it’s possible to revive Detroit. Good work, everyone.