Estimates vary, but groups place the number of strays in the city at anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000. The latter number, which would mean 350 strays per square mile, seems quite inflated; still, there’s no question the dogs are a serious problem. Detroit remains the poorest major city in the United States, and some residents who can no longer afford to take care of their dogs turn them loose, or else leave them behind when fleeing the city themselves.
Another sign of Detroit’s decline into near third-world status comes from the Detroit News, which reports that a $1 million hand-written check to the city from the local school system was somehow stuffed into a desk drawer. The problem is that the city of Detroit doesn’t have a central computer system, and the mix of the city’s decades-old technology with its incompatible service systems is making it difficult to fulfill the minimum requirements of municipal government, like bill collecting:
“Nobody sends million-dollar checks anymore — they wire the money,” said Orr spokesman Bill Nowling. Except in Detroit.“We have financial systems that are three, four, five decades in the past,” Nowling said. […]“It has nothing to do with bad employees,” Nowling said. “These employees in some instances are still following work rules that were created 40 years ago.”
Emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s report claims it costs Detroit $62 to process each employee paycheck, compared with an average of $18 for US public employees.No doubt stories like these will feed the hounds slavering for proof that rule by Democrats is a recipe for apocalyptic decline into Margaret Atwood-style dystopia. But if they really want to help the lives of ordinary people, politicians should focus less on propounding the inherent evils of government and instead work harder to make the government we have more efficient, lean, user-friendly, and tech-savvy. This will go a long way towards cutting costs and strengthening the state’s ability to perform its most basic functions to the satisfaction of average citizens.What’s clear is that the blue model isn’t capable of accomplishing this. It looks like “progressive” governance achieves a bit less progress than its proponents like to think; if Detroit is any indication, it often achieves the opposite.[Image of stray dogs courtesy of Shutterstock]