In short, Detroit is a city on the brink of ruination. At the center of that ruination is 50 years of Democrat rule. The last Republican Mayor the city had was Louis C. Miriani, who lost his reelection bid in 1961 and ended up spending 10 years in prison for tax evasion. Incoming mayor, Democrat Jerome Cavanagh, brought the "Model City" program -- fashioned after Soviet Union centralized efforts to transform entire urban areas at once -- to a nine-square-mile section of the city. Using a commuter tax and a new income tax as his vehicle, Cavanagh promised residents "the rich" would pay for it all. Yet because people were being told by government how to run their businesses and their lives, in exchange for government goodies, the program ended up failing spectacularly.
In 1967, after police broke up a celebration at an after hours club, an enraged neighborhood began to riot, igniting the worst race riot of the decade. Black-owned business were looted and burned to the ground. Forty people were killed and 5,000 were left homeless, and the "white flight" out of the city center, totaling 140,000 people over an eighteen month period, ensued. The city was never the same.
An unbroken series of Democratic mayors followed, all of whom had a hand in implementing the full panoply of progressive policies, highlighted by the giveaways to public service employees. Their outlandish salaries and benefit packages, coupled with highly inefficient work rules, killed the golden goose: the auto industry, and its attendant industrial community headed South, where lower taxes and right-to-work rules kept their businesses afloat.