That's the question Daniel Hannan asks in this article today in the Telegraph. He opens with a description of Detroit from today's Observer:
"What isn’t dumped is stolen. Factories and homes have largely been stripped of anything of value, so thieves now target cars’ catalytic converters. Illiteracy runs at around 47%; half the adults in some areas are unemployed. In many neighbourhoods, the only sign of activity is a slow trudge to the liquor store."
After comparing Detroit with Ayn Rand's Starnesville (a ctiy in her novel Atlas Shrugged), Hannan cites Mark Steyn and asks whether Detroit could be "a forerunner for the rest of the United States."
"Like Detroit, America has unfunded liabilities, to the tune of $220 trillion, according to the economist Laurence Kotlikoff. Like Detroit, it’s cosseting the government class and expanding the dependency class... Like Detroit, America’s governing institutions are increasingly the corrupt enforcers of a one-party state — the IRS and Eric Holder’s amusingly misnamed Department of Justice being only the most obvious examples. Like Detroit, America is bifurcating into the class of “community organizers” and the unfortunate denizens of the communities so organized."
Read Hannan's article, "Statism is Turning America into Detroit: Ayn Rand's Starnesville"
The Prophetic Atlas Shrugged by Ed Hudgins
The Pension Bomb by Joshua Rauh
Cries of Betrayal as Detroit Plans to Cut Pensions The New York Times
Detroit not alone under mountain of long-term debt Detroit Free Press
Farming Detroit Makezine
Read about "squatter-farmers" and property owners who grow food on empty lots.