Memes Poke Fun at Detroit’s Creative Class!

By: T. Shelton

Introduction: “White Entrepreneurial Guy” pokes fun at the Creative Class!

I was reading the Detroit News today and came across an article named “Popular new meme pokes fun at young white professionals moving into Detroit“. I thought who has said some racist crap now to piss off the Creative Class. Everybody knows that criticizing the Creative Class is the equivalent of “hate speech”. And, this gives them an excuse to go run to the media and government to call more for “political correctness“. So, I went on the meme creator’s Facebook Page named “White Entrepreneurial Detroit Guy” to see what they are all about. In the words of the Detroit News, the page is a “momentary online format for many to unleash their angst about the wave of young white professionals moving into Detroit.” Afterwards, I went on the website where the memes are posted named White Entrepreneurial GuyAccording to the Huffington Post, the guy pictured in the meme in front of the train station is Jason Lorimer. He owns a Detroit-based company named Dandelion. Of course, my comments are NOT  directed towards Mr. Lorimer personally since I know little about him. I am going to start off with a meme that sums The Creative Class Hoax article in a sentence.

Meme#1

Basically what i do is find rich investors looking to pilfer value from the city and charge them to market their pilfering in the form of SiliconValley’esque buzzspeak and media-rich data-memes… this entails a lot of graphs with pie charts, maps, and stick men… and some inspirational quotes i find on tumblr.”

Here is an excerpt from The Creative Class Hoax that the meme sums up:

The Cool Cities Initiative was one of the most obvious failures. It was designed to keep people around my age from leaving from Michigan. How did that work out for Michigan? Well Michigan lost over 50,000 residents last decade. Instead of stopping the schemes, Michigan decided to keep them going. Here is an excerpt from an recent article by Tom Walsh:

In a post-recession Michigan, business leaders from Grand Rapids and Detroit realize they must cooperate like never before to survive and grow. Together, they’re providing money to fledgling start-ups, helping each other with sister initiatives to recruit and retain young talent, infusing respective city cores with new development and retail, and recognizing they are stronger if East and West are both thriving.

He forgot to mention that some business leaders are immune from local and state taxes on top of receiving corporate welfare to accomplish all of this. It came out last year that most of the developers in Detroit have not paid back their government loans. Have they paid back the loans this year? No! The developer of the Fort Shelby Double Tree Hotel was exposed by Charlie LeDuff for not paying his government loans or taxes for the hotel.

Meme#2

I personally do not agree with the racist language but this meme is true. Most of this redevelopment is taxpayer-funded through special tax incentives. Now the Creative Class gets a taxpayer-funded high-speed rail systemlight-rail system, bus-rapid transit system, bike racks and an 1000 mile bike path from Detroit to Wisconsin! Michigan taxpayers now subsidize businesses that rarely create any jobs and are immune from taxes. But, Michiganders have to be lectured about higher taxes for “white elephants” while things people actually use like our roads fall apart. Don’t worry though? We can always finance that new Detroit River International Crossing which really is a Non-Agreement-Agreement that allows Canada to back out anytime. The money bags (i.e taxpayers) will pay for it all since they are already financially stressed. Several cities and one county is now broke in Michigan. Plus, the state unemployment rate is very high. Michigan really needs to get its financial priorities in order.

Meme#3

Thinks Detroit is coming back. Thinks Detroit is only Corktown, Downtown, and Midtown.”

This one is the most truthful one of all. The media and politicians only think of Corktown, Downtown and Midtown as the city of Detroit. But, behind the redevelopment zones are neighborhoods where over 33,000 homes are abandoned and 90,000 lots are vacant. These are neighborhoods where unemployment is more than 18 percent and over half the children live in poverty. These are neighborhoods where 411 people were murdered last year and the murder rate is 11 times New York City. These are neighborhoods that get taxed to death while the median household income is the lowest in the nation. These are neighborhoods that are neglected by their political leaders. The bureaucracy here though well overstaffed and even takes home three times to five times more than the average Detroiter. Did Mayor Bing’s $1 Billion Dollar Budget curtail the bureaucracy? No! Matter of fact, Detroit City Council still gets to keep $7.2 million dollars for their full-time pay and benefits. So expect more “flashmobs” also known as riots towards the summer.

Conclusion: How the free-market with limited government intervention can save Detroit!

The memes at “White Entrepreneurial Guy” are hilarious. You should join in on the fun and stop by the website. Many of the memes show the problems of gentrification in Detroit. The creator of “White Entrepreneurial Guy” said this in an email to the Huffington Post:

While the meme itself is meant to be humorous, it zeroes in on a very critical matter facing Detroit — that is, the influx of profiteers, venture capitalists, and the like who are looking to make a boatload of money in Detroit while hundreds of thousands continue to suffer the urban crisis — unemployment, poverty, lack of access to healthcare and education, racism, and so on — and using nice, progressive sounding language that allows them to feel good about themselves while they do it.
This quote shows the “capitalism for the rich, and socialism for the poor” system in Detroit. These business leaders in the quote are immune from state and local taxes on top of receiving corporate welfare. If you move into the taxpayer-funded redevelopment zones (i.e. the areas surrounding Downtown and Midtown), you pay the lowest taxes in the cityreceive city services and receive a less restrictive business environment. Meanwhile, the rest of Detroit pays higher taxes while receiving fewer city services and a very restrictive business environment. No wonder why 47 percent of Detroiters don’t pay property taxes. Those same Detroiters are planning to leave the city for good. I wouldn’t blame them for leaving honestly.
Do you think it is fair for people who are struggling financially to subsidize developers in the name of “reviving the entire city“?  I don’t think so. The middle class is shrinking and the wealth inequality gap is growing among Detroiters. And, native Detroiters are going to be pushed out of the city by high rents like San Francisco. The native Detroiters who stay are going to live in areas equivalent to Hunter’s Point, San Francisco, CA. Detroit needs a system that will lower the wealth inequality gap among residents before the “flashmobs” turn into 1960′s style riots.
This “capitalism for the rich, and socialism for the poor” system (which is caused by an out of control progressive bureaucracy) needs to pack-up and leave. The only system that will create opportunities and increase the standard of living for all Detroiters is free-market capitalism. The government needs to get out of the way so Detroiters can fully embrace free-market capitalism. They can start by cutting taxes and business regulations for all Detroiters. They also need to cut the bureaucracy at city hall. In return, people will notice Detroit (and Michigan) as place of opportunity and move here without taxpayer-money. This will make Detroit a place where the Creative Class and Working Class thrive together. At the end of the day, we all want to see a better Detroit and a free-market capitalist sytem with little government intervention is going to make it happen.

11 thoughts on “Memes Poke Fun at Detroit’s Creative Class!

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