How to make Detroit a good place to live.

From Bill Bonner today in The Daily Reckoning

Bill lived one block over from me when I lived in the ghetto in the early eighties.

*** Want to save money? Sell your house. Move to Detroit. The median
house in the Motor City sold for $7,500 in December. How about that,
dear reader? You can buy a house for the same price as the Dow stocks.
A little low on cash? Put it on your credit card.

Of course, then you've got to live in Detroit. The papers report that
life in the city is so grim 1,000 people move out every month.

We've never been to Detroit. Out of curiosity, we offered to take
Elizabeth for a romantic getaway to Detroit for her birthday. Our offer
drew this reply:

"Are you out of your mind?"

Poor Detroit. No one goes to the city for a holiday. Not even students.
As near as we can tell people only go there if they have to. And then,
they get out as soon as they can.

We can imagine what it is like. We lived in the Baltimore ghetto for
nearly 10 years. If you want to know what it is like, there's a TV show
that chronicles life there - The Wire.

Was it disagreeable living in the inner city? No, it would have to
undergo major improvements to be disagreeable. It was Hell. Drug
dealers on the street corners. Trash in the alleys. Everybody with a
pistol in his pants and a chip on his shoulder.

Elizabeth was once on the phone with her brother.

"What's that noise in the background?" he asked. "It sounds like
popcorn popping."

"Oh, that's just someone shooting in the alley," Elizabeth replied. "I
think they're trying to settle an argument."

We'd been there too long. Elizabeth hadn't even noticed the gunfire.

But it shows what government can do when it tries to fix a problem. In
the case of Detroit and Baltimore, the government provided massive
bailouts. Education standards the government provided
money to the local education bureaucracy. Jobs disappeared (largely
because people couldn't read or write) the government provided
massive bailouts in many different bureaucracies - training centers,
welfare, food stamps. Pretty soon, the only industry left was the
welfare bureaucracy.

We don't know how it works now, but when we lived in the ghetto a
girl's best career path was promiscuity. She got more money with each
child she had...provided, of course, that the father didn't take
responsibility for it. Then, the child grew up...took drugs and stole
cars...until he got sent to prison. One problem led to another - but it
could all be traced to the government's giveaways. They had the same
effect in Baltimore as they had in Burkina Faso. The political elite
took the money and lined their pockets...the masses become more
miserable than before. And the worse conditions got, the more money the
cities received from federal bailout programs.

Baltimore is still in business. But from what we read, Detroit sounds
like it has become a kind of Port-au-Prince with snowdrifts. The whole
city sounds like a hellhole without the warm fires.

And now Obama is proposing to make things worse. More bailouts...more
giveaways...more programs...more bureaucrats... Already, the 'rich'
support whole sections of the population. Obama says he will raise
taxes on 'the rich,' creating even more parasites. Of course, who cares
if the rich have less money? They will still live in their leafy
suburbs and send their children to private schools. But pity the poor

Neither Mr. Obama nor none of the candidates for Mayor of Detroit (the
last mayor is doing time in a federal penitentiary) has asked for our
advice. We will give it anyway. Want to save Detroit? Here's how:

Abolish all welfare of all unemployment child
tax nothing, except
privately-sponsored charities. Close the public schools. Kick out all
the bureaucrats and all federal and state employees. Abolish all rules
concerning employment - no minimum wages, no overtime, discriminate all
you want. Require all residents to say please and thank you...dress
properly...and sneer at people who don't seem to be gainfully employed
or polite. Declare the city an Open City and Free Trade Zone. In
exchange for cutting all federal aid programs, eliminate federal and
state taxes for people living in the city. Allow unlimited immigration
into the all immigrants a U.S. passport after 5 years of
residency. Levy a flat 10% tax to pay for basic services. Eliminate
elections...have the city controlled by a town council composed of 10
citizens chosen at random.

Within five years, Detroit would be the most dynamic city in the