I stumbled across an article, Homesick for Detroit, on HotAir.com. It is authored by Ron Fournier, and like many other pieces on Detroit by left-leaning journalists, the article fluffs up the town’s recovery efforts, and downplays any problems as some kind of generational bad luck. If you believe Fournier, it is almost like Detroit was destined to become a wasteland, and it isn’t anybody’s fault.
Never mind the fact that Detroit has been run by union Democrats – or “Reagan Democrats,” as Fournier calls them – for decades and decades. If a Republican had been involved, the media would at least have a scapegoat. Unfortunately, leftist policies and unions have ruled the city for decades – since 1962, to be precise – so every leftist article about Detroit has to conveniently ignore the city’s government policies.
Longtime white residents left the city—they say the city left them—in waves, after the 1967 riots and school integration in 1976. They love and loathe their city. They romanticize the past and color the present with every shade of cynicism.
That’s odd. I wonder why white residents are leaving the city.
According to the FBI, in 2012 Detroit had the most violent crime (2122.9), aggravated assault (1321), and manslaughter (54.6) per 100,000 residents of any US city with a population of 250,000 or greater. So Detroit gets the Blue Ribbon in 3 of the 9 crime categories tracked by the FBI – 1st place in every violent category. Additionally, Detroit has the second highest motor vehicle theft (1746.2), and the fourth highest robbery rate (684.9), and the ninth highest property crime rate (5,792.1).
And we probably shouldn’t even mention the white 54-year-old Detroit resident who was nearly beaten to death by ten black men after a black child stepped out into traffic in front of the white resident’s truck.
On the bright side, if you live in Detroit, you’re more likely to be a victim of violent crime than robbery, so at least your possessions will be safe, even if people are getting physically assaulted. Let’s open up a business in Detroit.
Not so fast. Detroit has an income tax rate of 2.4%, and Michigan has a 4.25% income tax and 6% sales tax. Add it all up, and you’ll need to pony up around 12.65% of any income earned and spent in Detroit for the privilege of calling yourself a resident. That’s in addition to your Federal payroll tax – 15.3% if you’re self employed – and federal income taxes.
If you are a small business making $37k per year in Detroit, and buying your groceries in town, you can expect to lose something like 12.65% * $37k (Detroit) + 15.3% * $37k (Payroll) + $907 + 15% * ($37k – $9075) (federal income tax)… or $15,437 in taxes. That’s an overall tax rate on your small business of about 41%, and leaves you with $21,562 take-home pay. The federal income tax rate also increases from 15% to 25% for any income over $37k.
No big deal, though. If somebody starts a small business in Detroit, they are doing it because they love the city – not for money, or physical security, or low crime rates. We just have to stop being so selfish. It’s time to move to Detroit!