Conspiracy Theorist

Dayton following Detroit down the looting hole

 by Mark Luedtke

 Eric Peters argued the Soviets conquered the U.S., “One of the hallmarks of the Soviet System was top-down central planning – with ‘incentives’ provided by the government. Natural market mechanisms were crippled. You got what the government decided you needed – at whatever price the government decided was appropriate.” That describes the government we have in Dayton, in Ohio, and in the U.S., and those governments will collapse like the Soviet Union.Dayton’s chief Soviet central planner, Shelley Dickstein, claims Dayton is seeing an economic resurgence. Apparently she hasn’t noticed that Dayton businesses are dropping like flies because of the high tax, spending and regulatory burdens. Maybe Dickstein didn’t know Dayton lost 1,300 jobs last month. Maybe she really believes government can tax and regulate us into prosperity.

But I don’t think so.

I doubt Dickstein could have become Dayton’s chief central planner if she was stupid. I think her personal economy is great because she deposits sacks of cash stolen from taxpayers then paid to her as salary into her bank account, and she’ll say whatever it takes to keep it that way.

Dickstein points to the Water Street Redevelopment Project as the biggest sign of Dayton’s resurgence. Instead of allowing actors in a free market to make the best use of this property on the river by Patterson Boulevard, Dayton’s Soviets locked it away from the people, demanding some ultra-rich developer implement their central plan of a mixed-use housing and retail project. They squandered the property for years before a developer finally agreed.

This isn’t good news. This combination of Soviet-syle socialism and smiley-faced fascism is one of many ways our rulers steal wealth from small businesses and the middle class, and funnel it into the hands of ultra-rich plutocrats. Another way is destroying an apartment building and replacing it with another apartment building.

We only have to look to Detroit to see how this will end. Dayton has paralleled Detroit for 100 years, and it still is. In 2008, Forbes listed Dayton with Detroit on its list of the 10 fastest dying cities in America.

Peter Schiff, famous for his high-profile prediction of the 2008 crash, described what happened to Detroit, “The real story of Detroit is that its problems are entirely man-made, and can be summed up in seven words. Private enterprise built it, government destroyed it.” You could substitute Dayton for Detroit in his analysis, and it would remain accurate.

Schiff continued, “In the first half of the 20th century, Detroit offered good manufacturing jobs to nearly 200,000 workers. The booming labor market caused the city’s population to swell to 1.8 million by mid-century. But the jobs did not come from government programs or public ‘investments’ in education and training. They were in fact created by the vibrancy of American capitalism, the vision of forward thinking industrialists, the strong work ethic of the labor force and the relative non-interference from government or organized labor.”

Similarly, Dayton’s population peaked at 262,332 in 1960, then it went downhill for the same reasons: government looting and coercive unions. Detroit and Dayton both suffer from high government spending, debt, socialization of services, unionized public workers and paying people to not work, i.e. pensions. Detroit’s bankruptcy will wipe out the pensions of retired government workers. Dayton’s impending bankruptcy will do the same.

Schiff offered hope, “The good news is that the same forces that built Detroit could help turn it around, if only they were allowed to function.” That’s where Detroit is ahead of Dayton. Detroit is becoming an entrepreneurial hot spot because its government hardly functions.

But turning things around will be hard. The government will restructure and begin looting anew.

Also, young, bright, educated people left Detroit for cities with less burdensome government and therefore stronger economies, just like they left Dayton. A century ago, Dayton had a relatively free market, and therefore a vibrant economy. That economy attracted the best and brightest people in the world to live and work here. Today, Dayton has a heavily taxed and regulated economy, perverted for the benefit of our rulers. Our crippled economy causes the best and brightest to leave the city, and no government program can keep them here or attract others. Government is the problem, not the solution.

Soviet rulers knew the Soviet Union was going to collapse long before it did. They looted all the wealth they could before the collapse, all the while spouting propaganda about how things were turning around. Detroit’s rulers did the same. Dayton’s rulers are doing the same now.

The federal government is going to collapse down the looting hole sooner instead of later, too. That will have dire consequences for Dayton, since the only growing sectors of our economy are the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base economy, hospitals and colleges – all of which are federally funded. The only hope to mitigate this imminent disaster is to embrace the free market, capitalist principles that enabled Americans to build Dayton, Detroit and the entire U.S. We should start locally today. Every day we delay, will make the collapse worse.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes only.

 Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at


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