You’re probably thinking it’s the auto industry since Obama’s been taking credit for its recovery (which presumably occurred because of his wondrous economic policies), never mind that the industry isn’t recovering in any recognized sense of the word. But you’d be wrong. It’s the worldwide demand to tour the smoldering ruins of unchecked liberalism on display in the former "Motor City" that’s propelling the city’s comeback. Apparently people are willing to pay for this "once-in-a-lifetime thing" and, fortunately, there’s at least a few entrepreneurs left in the Detroit area to take advantage. Via Alana Semuels at the LA Times:
DETROIT — He’d heard stories of ruin and blight, but that didn’t prepare Oliver Kearney for what he saw:
Prostitutes roaming the streets at 8 a.m., rubble-strewn parking lots overrun with weeds, buildings taken over by bright pink graffiti, the message scrawled on blackboards in deserted schools: "I will not write in vacant buildings."
He took 2,000 photographs his first day.
"No other American city has seen decline on this scale," Kearney said. "It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime thing you’re going to see."
And he saw it all on a tour.
Kearney, an 18-year-old aspiring architect, persuaded his father to travel with him from Britain to Detroit to participate in one of the city’s few burgeoning industries: tours of abandoned factories, churches and schools.
Led by tour guide Jesse Welter, they crawled on their hands and knees to peek inside a train station closed long ago; they squeezed through a gap in a fence to climb the stairs of what was once a luxury high-rise; they ducked under crumbling doorways to see a forgotten ballroom where the Who held its first U.S. concert.
"In Detroit, you can relate, you can see traces of what’s happened, you can really feel the history of a city," Kearney said. "In Europe, when things become derelict, they’ll demolish them."
That’s not possible here. The city estimates it has 78,000 vacant structures, and demolishing each derelict residential building costs $8,000 — money the bankrupt city can’t afford.
So Detroit has become the new Pompeii buried by the Mount Vesuvius of Democrat fiscal policies. Personally I’d prefer to avoid these decaying monuments to modern liberalism (like Count Dracula avoids the sun) and spend my travel dollars on something more productive — skiing, for example — but what do I know? No one has ever accused me of having a single cultural bone in my body. From my childhood I recall my parents dragging me and my siblings around the unbearably hot Virginia countryside touring old Civil War battlefields when all we wanted to do was return to the hotel and dive into the refreshingly cool swimming pool. I digress.
I disagree that sifting through the ashes of Detroit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have no doubt other locales will soon follow (if they haven’t already). Chicago. Cleveland. The entire state of California. Any municipality which has been run into the ground by decades of uninterrupted Democrat Party rule is a likely candidate. Read Semuels’ entire piece and watch the video here.