Anyone that knows anything about Detroit’s current situation knows there are many many streets which have a hundred houses or so where sometimes 75% to 99% percent of those house are literally burned out shells.
Sometimes the last houses standing on these streets are usually occupied by a elderly man or elderly women. The sad part is – because there are no residents left … the business have left too, leaving no tax base to pay for the areas city services. That means that the people who outright own their homes in these areas and still pay taxes, now have no neighbors, vacant schools, vacant church buildings, no lights, no protection and because the neighborhood is filled with squatters, crime is running rapid.
Mayor Bing has come up with a plan to mow down thousands of these burnouts throughout the city. Problem is it would take almost 20 years to mow them all down and millions of dollars which the city doesn’t have. In the mean time the people who still live in these areas, own their homes, have held jobs all of their lives and are now retired, are stuck. The truth is, the city is steadily shrinking and by the time the plan is completed (if it is completed at all) there will be no one left and all those millions of tax dollars spent to complete it will be all for naught.
Government spending and waste of tax dollars like that is a continual complaint Libertarians have with Democrats who have run Detroit now for more than 30 years. If Mayor Bings plan goes into effect, its going to cost the city, which has no money, even more. Spending millions of tax dollars on a city that is declining doesn’t make sense.
I was thinking about all of this as I ran across this blog I read entitled ” A Libertarian Program for Urban Renewal.
After reading it I started thinking of a couple of other Libertarian project solutions that could be taken on in urban communities that could help eliminate government spending. More particularly, the money it would cost the city of Detroit to undertake Mayor Bing’s project.
The project I’m proposing could help get 6 to 700 of those houses mowed down in one area in less than a year that WOULDN’T COST THE CITY ONE RED CENT (the mayors plan is to do 300 a year). This idea would not only save the city millions of dollars but it would bring 100’s of residents and jobs back to the area that’s its implemented in, as well as begin to give Detroit a much different reputation. I don’t think Democrats and Republicans will like it too much because it transfers power from the government to the citizen. That’s the Libertarian way and it is a way that can begin to get the job done
Project 1 which I’m proposing today in this blog, is a plan to replace the blight and bring back jobs and residents. I call it the “The Campus of High Education Project”
“The Campus of High Education Project” :A 5 step plan that ANYONE can implement
Form an Association. The initiator of this plan would go out to recruit a small group people that would make up an association of about 10 or so neighborhood business’s and organizations that would form (what I’m calling) “The Campus of High Education-Association. The Associations mission would be to develop an educational campus in their area made up of about 10-15 private schools (The next steps tell how it can be done)
RECRUIT LEADERSHIP-Once the association is formed, its first job would be to appoint, assign or elect leadership in the association that would be responsible for petitioning the city to see to it that (may be about) 2-400 acres of a dilapidated and depopulated area which the association will represent, will be a area declared a total tax free zone. If the associations leadership can not commit to see this through, it should work to elect libertarian leadership for the district who can (or at best find someone who can get on the inside with a libertarian idea like this)
RECRUIT SCHOOLS -The association board would then do a statewide or nationwide search to find about 10-15 different kinds of “private” schools (possibly franchised) with proven success records who will join the association and come into the campus area and build their institutions. These would be regular private schools, (as well as specialized vocational schools) of all kinds. The incentive for the schools coming aboard would be -they’d be totally exempt of taxes. Since much of this land is already vacant and owned by the city the property would be given to these schools FREE. It would be the responsibility of the Associations membership to see to it that the project is properly promoted (The plan for land still occupied will be addressed below).
RECRUIT RESIDENTS -Once schools have been identified who will participate, the association will then canvas the proposed area to speak to the remaining residents still living on the proposed site to see if they would like to work with them in seeing the project take off. Those left who agree that live in bull’s-eye areas, where the actual buildings will sit, will be offered $50,000 each (which the schools combined will pay) for them to move in houses that are on campus borders. Banks and other residents who own property on areas proposed for parking and landscaping, will be offered $30,000. Residents will also be offered 2,000 scholarships for themselves to family members to attend the campus’s schools. Residents unwilling to participate can remain in their homes but will simply be forted in. The residents and the schools will all pay the association a small monthly fee – residents ..say $10 -schools say $100. (The public services normally to be paid for by the city will now be paid by the membership fees of all associations residents and schools)
RECRUIT EMPLOYEES & STUDENTS. After the residents willing to participate in the project have been identified, both the association and the schools will begin their individual promoting and recruiting efforts for students and employees. All students and employees who come aboard (who don’t live in the target area) would be offered a $10,000 grant to live on property purchased by the schools which the association will buy and sell on behalf of the schools. This will encourage potential students and employees to move back into the area.
WHY I BELIEVE ITS GOOD.
The project is a good and truly libertarian in that its initially initiated by the volunteers from the neighborhood and INVOLVE NO GOVERNMENT SPENDING. Once the land has been given, the plan at at that point involves no or very little dependence on government sources, services OR city tax dollars . It will actually save the city millions of tax dollars that it would have to spend to tear down the hundreds of dilapidated houses in these declining depopulated areas – which produce little tax revenue.
What’s really good is that it will bring to the neighborhood that’s its in, many (professional and non professional) jobs at these successful schools. It will bring educational scholarships for neighborhood residents. It will almost instantly raise the neighborhoods property values because of the heavy flow of new neighborhood residents made up of working class people and students and business’s who would be coming in. It will also bring in sales taxes to the city and very quickly build revenues the business that are ask to be a part of the campus and those that surround it.
I’m not an economist nor do I currently know a whole lot about the budget’s of these kinds of schools or projects, so my financial figures might be off. What I really want to do is just put this libertarian idea out there and those who would be involved would have to determine what would be practical and what would not be.
Its a just a libertarian idea that can liberate a whole community from government dependence that’s brought together solely by a grass roots association. Its also a project I wouldn’t mind working on with some folks myself. Its just made up of regular volunteer neighborhood citizens which have shown themselves to be independent and self reliant, and now able to take on the responsibilities of its own community with out government help.
That’s the Libertarian way of doing things