If You Can Read This…

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So the economy is not exactly hitting on all cylinders of late. Unemployment hovers around the double-digit mark (the Department of Labor says 9 percent; it’s likely higher). The dollar is showing signs of losing its position in the currency market’s starting rotation (even currencies named AFTER ours — the Canadian dollar is one example — are ahead of our dollar in the batting order). And close to 15 percent of our fellow Americans receive government aid of one sort or another.

But it could be worse. In my Tuesday column “Want Fries with That?,” I mused on the tragedy of a Democratic Party that has delivered such a beating to the economy it now touts as proof of some mythic recovery the very same McJobs it once reviled.

Imagine if close to half of the work-eligible population was so ignorant that a McJob was as much a pipe dream as a winning McLottery ticket. Imagine if even the simplest tasks — especially filling out a job application — were beyond the scope of possibility for nearly half of the adult population. From the standpoint of civilization, a place saddled with a populace so helpless would be an absolute wasteland. There would be little chance of President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change.” Indeed, Hope would have pulled up stakes and hightailed it for the hinterlands long ago, while Change would consist of little more than whatever one might find on the sidewalk.

Welcome to Detroit. The Motor City’s population is 714,000. The literacy rate among adults is 53 percent. That last figure is doubtless one of the more important reasons why Detroit’s population is less than half of what it was during the heyday of (read: pre-union-thug destruction of) the American automobile industry.

I would like to believe that even among the greedy, union-thug-backed Democrats, someone would at least hesitate before employing a workforce that is incapable of real work. After all, we are discussing neither senior citizens beset by the jackbooted Service Employees International Union nor other senior citizens pleading for their lives in front of Obamacare death panels.

Much like the victims of liberal programming in New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington, D.C., the citizens of Detroit may not have made their bed, but they certainly helped fluff the pillows. Detroit, like NOLA and D.C., has long been a Democratic Party stronghold. A 2005 study by the Bay Area Center for Voter Research indicated Detroit is the most liberal large city in America.

In the past decade, despite the virtually epic decimation-from-within of their city, the goodly folks of Detroit elected the repulsive criminal Kwame Kilpatrick mayor – twice. Their school system, which is so atrocious that the entire board was once ousted by the Michigan State Legislature, recently posted the worst test scores ever reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Close to three-fourths of fourth graders in Detroit have “below-basic” academic skills. The numbers get progressively worse as students approach and enter high school.

The whole world watched in 2005 as vast numbers of New Orleans residents, left not only indigent but incapable by decades of nanny-state government, ignored warnings as Hurricane Katrina approached. Then, abandoned by their Democratic providers, they fell either upon the ground outside the Superdome or predatorily upon each other.

The residents of Detroit, similarly enslaved by the callous greed and inhuman ineptitude of liberalism, have lost not only the ability to care for themselves, but the ability to care at all.

A major urban center in the heart of the greatest Nation in history has become a graveyard of progress, littered with the broken headstones which mark nearly every place which falls victim to Democratic Party hegemony. Whether a village or a metropolis, a place in which nearly half of the adult population cannot read simply cannot survive.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.