Green Room

Beeler on Detroit

posted at 11:37 am on July 25, 2013 by

Nate Beeler offers his succinct and incisive commentary on the attempt by public-employee unions to block bankruptcy proceedings in Detroit:


In case readers miss the point, Cato’s Michael Tanner expands on the theme at Bloomberg:

In many ways, Detroit is a model of tax-and-spend liberalism. The city’s per-capita tax burden is the highest in Michigan. Detroit has the country’s highest property taxes on homes, the top commercial property tax and the second-highest industrial property tax.

The city’s income tax — 2.4 percent for residents, 1.2 percent for nonresidents and 2 percent for businesses — is the highest in Michigan. The income tax burden on residents is significantly higher than that for those who live in the surrounding area, which helps drive more affluent and successful residents out of the city. And Detroit is the only city in Michigan that has an excise tax on utility users.

Besides the anti-business taxes, there are the anti-business regulations. The city imposes a “living wage” of $11.03 an hour ($13.78 an hour if other benefits aren’t provided) for public employees, as well as on businesses that contract with the city. This year, Detroit started a campaign against businesses that don’t meet the city’s voluminous licensing requirements, promising to shut some 1,500 “illegal” ventures such as tire shops and secondhand appliance stores operating out of abandoned warehouses. This sector makes up almost a 10th of businesses operating in the city and serves almost 70 percent of residents. The official policy is to crush these operations.

A few years ago, the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research rated Detroit as the most liberal city in America. The city’s own choices, not free markets and limited government, are really responsible for Detroit’s failure.

Be sure to check out Nate’s blog for more of his excellent work, featured at the Columbus Dispatch.

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I don’t care what anyone says, their City Council Meetings are head and shoulders above any other city for entertainment value.

a capella on July 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Detroit’s city income tax is the highest in Michigan because only cities with a population in excess of 750,000 can legally charge a city income tax according to Michigan state law. That means only Detroit is large enough to levy a city income tax. (Or was. They may actually be below 750K.)

No Truce With Kings on July 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

But but but azzhats Ed Schultz and Michael Eric Dyson on MSNBC blamed Republicans for Detroit’s failures. I’m so confused.
high taxes?
ever increasing property taxes?
living wages?
cadillac pensions and health insurance policies?
licensing and killing jobs?
yep, those all seem to be GOP platform points.

schultz and dyson are just plain stuck on stupid.

smfic on July 25, 2013 at 3:31 PM

To effectively build a “progressive” society, one needs to prevent escape. I think Havahart makes a one way trap (you can enter but never leave, same as Hotel California and FaceBook).

teejk on July 25, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I can see why the conservatives and the moderate repubs gets blamed. They live in the surrounding cities like royal oak, warren and other counties like Oakland and get the benefits of being near metro Detroit without the burden. But it goes double for the libtards for not doing their patriotic duty to support their progressivism.

I left Detroit/Flint almost right out of high school and never looked back for 20 years until the army brought me back to Warren. And even after a year I was itching to escape again so within 4 years gone. I ain’t going back no ways, no how. Lol

AH_C on July 25, 2013 at 10:15 PM