My letter to the NY Times re: The Fallacy of Planning–set Detroit free

Re: A Picture of Detroit in Ruin

Dear Sirs:
Detroit does not need another worthless plan in order to deal with its problems. To what end will a “blight plan” be put? This is the question that should have been asked before spending time and money documenting what all can see. Detroit’s blight is a symptom of a larger problem; it is not the problem itself. Detroit needs economic freedom. Declare Detroit a free city–free from federal and state taxes and regulations. End zoning. Sell off government owned property at whatever price it commands. Allow the people to make whatever use they may put their property, and then get out of the way. What will happen? Expect the first flowers of true economic freedom to blossom–unlicensed schools, beauty and barber shops, day care centers, restaurants, home and appliance repair centers, storage facilities, bodegas, computer repair, etc.. Then watch for light manufacturing to return–all unlicensed, of course–perhaps supplying parts to what remains of the automobile industry. Allow people to arm themselves without getting a government approved license, so that the average citizen can protect himself and his property. If you say this is impossible and that it will not work, then you obviously haven’t read American history.

Patrick Barron

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