City of Port Phillip…the next Detroit?

July 25, 2013

From James Paterson

As you might have heard, Detroit is bankrupt. In the New York Times Paul Krugman says (I am not joking) “it’s just one of those things that happens“. Yep. Just one of those things that happens when you follow advice from people like Paul Krugman that government debt is no big deal.

For the best commentary on the lessons from Detroit you can’t go past these great pieces from our friends Dan Hannan and Mark Steyn, and this video from our friend Mary Kissel. If you want one graph that explains it all – this is it. The city’s decline is also brilliantly captured in these photographs. And as the IPA’s Julie Novak warns, there’s much for Australia to learn too.

But perhaps there is a silver lining. While government collapses, the private sector and civil society are re-emerging to fill its place. And Bono has some good advice that applies to Detroit – only capitalism can end poverty.

Next time you hear a local council needs to increase rates – or federal funding – for essential community services, remember this story. It’s from the City of Port Phillip, the same council that brought you Smile Spies. And it seems when councils aren’t wasting money, they’re persecuting good Samaritans.

And here’s yet another example of your taxes being spent to push ideological causes, this time to new migrants. I suspect they wouldn’t have much luck if they tried their indoctrination on this refugee from Iraq.

This is a fun tool from the Cato Institute – calculate how much global temperature increases will be averted based on your chosen emissions reductions for the United States or the industrialised world.

Finally, this week’s interesting read: a review of George Gilder’s upcoming book which could reshape the way we think about economics.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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