[Originally published by Forbes]
[note to readers: this week I became an urban affairs columnist for Forbes. Because of their reprint policy, I can’t post full articles here until after 5 days, but will happily link you over whenever they are published.]
When Detroit went bankrupt in July of 2013, it marked the climax of urban failure in the U.S. In a half-century, the Motor City had gone from the nation’s richest city per capita to its poorest, and was now $18.5 billion in debt. Yet Detroit was merely an extreme example of numerous other American cities that declined over this period. Some causes for this have been beyond their control, such as deindustrialization and the rise of the automobile. But like in Detroit, much of it has been self-inflicted.
If there is a common thread between America’s struggling cities—irrespective of regional or demographic features—it has been their tendency for government growth… [read the rest at Forbes]