“The last thing Detroit needs is a bailout. What it needs is to sweep away a city charter that protects only bureaucrats, civil-service rules that straightjacket municipal departments, and obsolete union contracts. A bailout would just keep the dysfunction in place. Time to start over.”

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Detroit has filed for bankruptcy. The city’s decay is such a visual spectacle that tourists flock there from around the world. German college students came for a “tour.” When asked what the appeal was, one student gleefully exclaimed, “I came to see the end of the world.”

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“Why pay taxes?” asked Fred Phillips, who owes more than $2,600 on his home on an east-side block where five owners paid 2011 taxes. “Why should I send them taxes when they aren’t supplying services? It is sickening. … Every time I see the tax bill come, I think about the times we called and nobody came.”

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Hiroshima was reduced to rubble in an instant. The year was 1945. America dropped an automatic bomb on this proud city, leading to the death of 60,000 people and the destruction of the city’s infrastructure.

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