The Rise and Fall of Detroit – A Valuable and Tragic Lesson

My only criticism here is that every major U.S. city is in the hands of progressives. Consider Boston, NY, DC, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco. A conservative can’t be elected dog catcher in any of these places. I would bet that of the 100 largest cities in America, at least 80 have a progressive mayor. In Detroit, however, big government and unions just ran wilder than elsewhere.

In any case, there is much worthwhile reading here.

Trying to make sense of the obvious

Detroit in the 1800s

detroit_1855_60_jefferson_biddlehouIn the 19th century, Detroit, like the rest of the United States, offered people an environment of almost complete economic freedom. In Detroit, there was a city government, but for all intents and purposes, its only role was to provide police and a court system for criminals.

There were no federal taxes and local taxes were minimal. There were no minimum wage laws, very few regulations on business, no welfare, no unions, no Social Security, no Medicare or Medicaid.

How did people live in Detroit without government programs?


Poor immigrants moved to Detroit, worked hard, started businesses and provided goods, services and jobs to the community.

For example, in 1881, Joseph Hudson opened a small clothing shop at the Detroit Opera House. In just 10 years he had 8 stores in the midwest and was the most profitable clothing retailer in the country.

Children’s schooling took place in…

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About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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