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Lead makes you stupid

23 Jan
Published Thursday on Breitbart.

While in Detroit rallying union members yesterday President Obama made a statement that the water crisis in nearby Flint, Michigan, where government water authorities have knowingly supplied 100,000 residents with unhealthy, high lead level water, demonstrated the need for more government.

It followed a week of Democrats calling for the resignation of Michigan’s Republican Governor for not solving the problem sooner.  And blaming the crisis on Republican penny pinching.

As it turns out, many levels of government, and politicians and bureaucrats of both parties, have known that Flint residents were being supplied with poisonous water for months, including officials at the EPA.

The reason the crisis is happening is that politicians have incentives to defer maintenance and upgrades on infrastructure and instead spend public funds, even to the point of bankruptcy, on buying votes, especially from organized special interests like unions, with programs like luxurious pensions or bail outs of failing corporations.  Like the unions Obama was in Detroit to rally.  The result is that citizens, in the words of analyst Mark Aesch, “are paying Ritz Carlton level taxes and getting Bates Motel quality government”.

One aspect of the story that has gone uncovered is that it isn’t new.  It’s a repeat of a very similar event that happened only 12 years ago.

In 2004, Washington, D.C.. was discovered to have been serving up high lead content water to its residents and to some neighboring communities like Falls Church, Virginia, that used water from its municipal water authority.  During that crisis, where it was discovered that the water authority, WASA,  had fired their own scientist, Seema Bhat, when she started to inform the EPA of the high lead levels, and the almost all Democrat D.C. City council spent weeks distributing bottled water and water filters to pregnant women and families with small children, held many CYA hearings, and tore up most city streets and replaced water pipes for almost two years, there was discussion that the problem of high lead levels in public water systems was probably ubiquitous and that the EPA does nothing to monitor it proactively.

Back then D.C. had a luxury Flint doesn’t have, a booming economy based on an expanding federal workforce paid for with taxes from the rest of the country.  D.C. was adding 1,000 highly paid bureaucrats and lobbyists to its population monthly, and they were driving up real estate prices about 25% annually.  The local government was taking in income and property taxes and replaced its lead water pipes and also built a new $800 million convention center.

Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and other alternatives to the mainstream media didn’t exist in 2004.  Journalists didn’t hold negligent Democrats accountable.  But the D.C. government did still feel the need to spin the story and avoid law suits from those damaged.  It hired a silk stocking corporate attorney as its spin meister.  His name? Eric Holder.

So what Democrats normally do when caught poisoning their subjects with lead water is (1) not learn from the crisis, and (2) reward their PR flaks with high level presidential appointments.  Holder must think the water is safe now.  He just bought a one and a half million dollar condo in downtown D.C.

Luxury living among Detroit goverment class

29 Jul


28 Jul

Abandoned automobile factory in Detroit.
The news is full of stories of Detroit, and understandably so. It’s an unmitigated disaster. But I know how to fix it.
Seriously, I do!
I have a plan that would cost the state of Michigan nothing – not a cent. It wouldn’t cost DC anything either, and it would turn Detroit into the most thriving city in North America. As a bonus, it would give the remaining property owners in Detroit a financial windfall.
Here’s the plan:
  • The federal government (in writing) forbears taxes, regulations, laws, and impositions for a hundred years to the area of the current municipality of Detroit and to all persons and commercial entities resident there.
  • The government of the state of Michigan forbears taxes, regulations, laws, and impositions for a hundred years to the area of the current municipality of Detroit and to all persons and commercial entities resident there.
  • All municipal government agencies within Detroit are disbanded.
  • All state and federal offices within the city of Detroit are disbanded.
  • The federal government guarantees that entry and exit to/from Detroit will remain unchanged from the current conditions, and that no obligations will be placed upon residents of Detroit in any other place.
  • Federal and state governments immediately cease all payments to residents of Detroit. (They may resume payment to those persons if and when they are no longer resident in Detroit.)
The final legal document would be more complex than this, but those are all  the main points necessary.
What this plan does is to return Detroit to its natural state – to the way it was managed when the first settlers arrived. (In other words, not managed at all.)
And think of the money that will be saved by Michigan and the feds. Billions per year.

And Then…

And then we have a free for all… and a good one. Think of Hong Kong, but easy to get to.
Businesses would begin to relocate the next morning. Hundreds of them, thousands of them. The people who still owned and lived in their homes would be offered lots of money for their properties.
Libertarians and conservatives, disgusted by the gang in DC, would load up and drive to Detroit.Productive former residents would return. Thousands of opportunity-seekers, anarcho-capitalists, and pot-smoking hippies would be gathering their money and buying property.
Detroit would, within only a few years, become the coolest city on the planet – by FAR.

But, But…

“But there won’t be any police!”
“There won’t be any courts!”
“It will be non-stop murder, death, and mayhem!”
You wanna bet? Do ya? (And you don’t think Detroit has non-stop mayhem already?)
The people who come to Detroit would be coming to escape from their chains and to be productive. These are precisely the kinds of people who clean up a town. And with no taxes to pay for a hundred years, they’d have plenty of extra money to spend on whatever services (security or otherwise) that they wanted.

The Truth

The truth, of course, is that the state and fed guvs will never agree to a plan like this one, for a single reason:
Because they fear it would succeed.
They’ll let every last person in Detroit rot before they’ll let a group of producers live free of their chains.
Detroit returned to its natural state would expose the great lie of the government game – that we can’t survive without them.
Paul Rosenberg

Featured image courtesy of Albert duce,

Investors Propose to Cleave Off Portion of Detroit to Create Free Market Commonwealth

15 Jan
John Galt comes to Detroit: Here’s the scenario for the Commonwealth of Belle Isle that Lockwood and others want to see: Private investors buy the island from a near-bankrupt Detroit for $1 billion. It then would secede from Michigan to become a semi-independent commonwealth like Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Under the plan, it would become an economic and social laboratory where government is limited in scope and taxation is far different than the current U.S. system. There is no personal or corporate income tax. Much of the tax base would be provided by a different property tax — one based on the value of the land and not the value of the property.
City “leaders” likely to reject…