It can be argued that the Motor City has been ground zero for institutionalized socialism through the dominance of the unions and their dependence on federal funds. Michael Auslin, writing at NRO’s The Corner, notes that the progressive disaster that is Detroit shows the way to The Uniquely American Way to Dictatorship:
Detroit’s ongoing collapse and the seeming inevitability of its being placed under the control of an emergency manager is revealing the wages of governing incompetence in America. Detroit, stuck in a financial emergency of its own making, has lost the confidence of the state government, and Michigan governor Rick Snyder has less than 30 days to decide whether to appoint an emergency manager. I’ve written on how this is a perfectly rational response to a completely failed local government, but how it also raises much darker questions about the slow erosion of democratic rule in America. We may be heading into an era in U.S. history where the decades-long failure of Democratic management in America’s inner cities leads to the suspension of governance by democratically elected officials in order to save the cities that they are destroying.
Almost two years ago, Utah had a prescient post that discussed how America could slip from capitalism to Marxism in 6 steps:
Here’s how something like that would work:
Over time, shift the tax burden to a smaller and smaller base – institute a “progressive” tax scheme to shift the vast majority of the burden to only the highest of earners, exempt the bottom 47% (actually give them tax “refunds” even though they have no tax liability) and significantly reduce the burden of the next 28% so that the majority of the tax falls only on 25% of the taxpayers.
Create ongoing structural deficits by making promises to the people who don’t pay taxes and funding them with debt and higher taxes on those who do. Make sure that every time someone tries to cut spending that cuts in the high profile programs are targeted first and demagogue something like this:
“…And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we’ve got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.”
Of course, that’s just a suggestion, I’m pretty sure that no one would be that brazenly transparent…or would they?
Then you go out and borrow enough money from foreign entities to reach 102.6% of GDP. Celebrate by buying your own paper and printing more money to make the debt even more expensive now that it is paid in devalued currency.
Create a little class warfare by telling the people that we can’t cut spending because that would be immoral and we need to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires (but define them as families making over 250K and single people making over 200K).
Once you have isolated the tax burden to a small group, convinced the rest that there can be no cuts in spending, left raising taxes as the only option and you have ramped up the debt to almost $130,000 per taxpayer so that there is no way that even if you confiscated all the wealth in America the debt could be paid off and to keep the country from defaulting, everybody has to sacrifice even though only a few are carrying the load, you are there.
There you go – capitalism to Marxism in 6 easy steps. Not a shot fired. As Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev remarked in his 1963 speech in Yugoslavia:
“I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.”
Detroit shows the way by following these six steps to the letter.