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


In the 19th century, Detroit, like the rest of the United States, was an environment of near complete economic freedom. Detroit had a city government, but it was small and fairly powerless.

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 fare in Detroit without government programs and unions?


Poor immigrants moved to Detroit, and like in other U.S. cities, found opportunities for a far better life than the ones they left behind. They worked hard, started businesses and provided needed goods and services to the community.

Free from the burdens of government taxation and regulation, the increase in the quality of life in Detroit (along with the rest of the U.S.) from 1850 – 1900 was dramatic, especially for…

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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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