This, by French economist Veronique de Rugy, from NRO's Corner, is comical:
Over at Modeled Behavior, Adam Ozimek has an interesting piece about one way to save Detroit: Increase the city’s depleted tax base by letting hundred of thousands of immigrants in with Detroit-specific work visas. He writes:
So how can we selectively allow in immigrants to Detroit? I and others have argued for regional visas. This would give states or regions their own visas to issue how they see fit. The state of Michigan could issue tens of thousands of worker visas for Detroit. The demand is there, all the government needs to do is find a way to let them in.
Importantly, immigrants who located in Detroit under this visa should be able to choose any employer in Detroit. This would provide compensating flexibility relative to existing employment visas that tie workers to a specific employer. Yes, an immigrant is made worse off by forcing them to go to Detroit rather than anywhere in the U.S. they want. But right now visas already only allow immigrants to go places where they can find an employer prior to moving here, and then they are effectively tied to that employer. And you don’t have to actually restrict the movement of these immigrants; they should be free to travel throughout the country. They will simply be restricted to working in Detroit. Again, visa holders are already effectively tied to working in a particular city as a result of being tied to an employer within that city. Paired with a plan to help regional visa workers who prove themselves get normal green cards also should help reduce concern about limiting mobility.
He notes that while it may sound like “a radical experiment in ‘foreignizing’ a city,” it really isn’t. Other cities have large foreign-born populations (New York, for instance, is over 36 percent immigrant). He concludes:
Immigration is an economic development policy that is currently largely ignored. A city like Detroit could be a symbol and demonstration project to show other cities the huge potential for this. If this works, it will mean more political demand for immigrants and ultimately raising our overall immigration levels, which is an important goal in and of itself. A regional visas should be created that let’s cities experiment and choose their own path in this way. It’s the only free market plan out there with any chance of making a serious impact in Detroit, and it’s consistent with America’s spirit of federalism. And unlike just about every other plan you see, like bailouts or tax cuts, this has the advantage that it doesn’t require other people’s money.
Being a big believer in the idea that immigrants create a lot of economic value, I like the suggestion. It’s not a completely new idea. For instance, a few months ago, the Wall Street Journal had a piece about how rust-belt cities were putting a lot of effort these days into trying to attract immigrants in the hope of reversing their long-term population declines.[More]
Well, I suppose it's a logical outcome of the idea that Ron Unz recently published—that
"replacing a city’s blacks with immigrants would tend to lower local crime rates by as much as 90%, and during the 1990s American elites may have become increasingly aware of this important fact, together with the obvious implications for their quality of urban life and housing values. "
But colonizing Detroit with foreigners in its present state would require a literal foreign army. Not 100, 000 guys named Cho, but some crack infantry divisions from the South Korean Army, with armored personnel carriers and engineer divisions.
Of course, that would be “a radical experiment in ‘foreignizing’ a city,” and there's no reason for it to be done. The same thing could be done by the American Army, after all—it was done briefly during the '67 riots—if it weren't for Eric Holder.
You see, that's what killed Detroit—the fact that there was crime, and nothing was allowed to be done about. Limited policing, no death penalty, no self-defense, and both a city council and a legal system that, in the end was on the side of the criminals.
If you want to know what would happen to those new settlers, remember what just happened to George Zimmerman. But there is something that would stand in the way of such colonization.