In the ‘60s, public urban renewal programs were proclaimed as replacing blight with viable redevelopment; but now, as the New York Times reports, in Flint, there is a public proposal to replace neighborhoods with non-development.

Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods.

The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores and services. A city built to manufacture cars would be returned in large measure to the forest primeval.

Such retrenchment is shocking, especially in the context of the cresting Echo Boom generation who will soon create increased demand for inexpensive housing. Further, the parallel to the collectivist looting of the 20th Century Motor Company and the decline of Starnesville in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged is chilling.

Michigan, formerly a center of industry, is regressing toward the primeval as a consequence of collectivism.

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