Environmentalists have used the allusion of the canary in the mineshaft when describing the importance of protecting the endangered Desert Sand Fly, Stephens Kangaroo Rat or the infamous Delta Smelt. By placing these insignificant creatures on the Endangered Species List, they were able to stop construction of hospitals, schools, roads and homes. And in the case of the Delta Smelt, they turned off water to countless farms in the fertile Central Valley of California.
Long ago, the death of a canary in a mineshaft signaled the presence of poisonous gases that would imperil miners. Today, environmentalists argue that the loss of the slightest of creatures is a signal of man’s impending doom. Policies like the Endangered Species Act worked — not to save species, but to slow or stop development. Countless jobs were lost by the imposition of such noble logic. Initially created to protect the American Bald Eagle, according to the Scientific American, only 1 percent of species (20 out of 2,000) under the protection of ESA have recovered to qualify for being taken off the endangered list.
It is time to use this same allusion to analyze the aggressive policies of the Progressive Movement in America as they seek to create their vision of a Blue Utopia in America. One must study the impact of their policies, not on canaries, but to the plight of hard-working American families. Will the canary warn us of the poisonous economic gases of Progressive policies? Or has the canary already died? Look no further than Detroit as a city and California as a state before entering the economic future mine shaft of our nation.
Detroit: A Model City in Blue Utopia
In the 1950ss and 60s, Detroit was the fourth largest city in the United States, with arguably the highest median income, the highest percentage of home ownership and the highest standard of living in the country. The industrial capacity of Japan, Germany, France and England had been decimated by war. America, the “arsenal of democracy” protected by oceans, stood alone with an untouched industrial capacity able to supply the Baby Boom population with the new suburban homes, appliances and cars they wanted.
Detroit’s workers had plenty of good-paying jobs thanks to the dominance of the auto industry. Detroit had modern skyscrapers, mass-transit trolley cars and great public services — water, sewer, roads, public schools and libraries. It had museums, parks, a symphony orchestra and a world-class zoo. Its sports teams included Lions, Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings. Detroit worked. Its weather was not great, but no worse than Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York or Boston. This was Detroit’s Golden Era.