I’m thinking of inventing a game, sort of a fiscal version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Only the way my game will work is that there will be a map of the world and the winner will be the blindfolded person who puts his pin closest to a nation such as Australia or Switzerland that has a relatively low risk of long-run fiscal collapse.
We also know that many states and cities suffer from the same problems.
A handful of local governments already have hit the fiscal brick wall, with many of them (gee, what a surprise) from California.
The most spectacular mess, though, is about to happen in Michigan.
The Washington Post reports that Detroit is on the verge of fiscal collapse.
After decades of sad and spectacular decline, it has come to this for Detroit: The city is $19 billion in debt and on the edge of becoming the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy. An emergency manager says the city can make good on only a sliver of what it owes—in many cases just pennies on the dollar.
This is a dog-bites-man story. Detroit’s problems are the completely predictable result of excessive government. Just as statism explains the problems of Greece. And the problems of California. And the problems of Cyprus. And the problems of Illinois.