Michigan’s swift conversion to a right-to-work state has galvanized advocates of the law, who vow to seek similar legislation nationwide under the battle cry: “If it can happen in Michigan, it can happen anywhere.”
It’s hardly helpful to a bankrupt Detroit to say “I told you so,” but I did tell you so. In the October 1995 issue of the Atlantic, I suggested that large Rust Belt cities such as Detroit, whose populations had declined drastically during the postwar era, needed to consider planned shrinkage. This may sound like a declaration of defeat. Yet as I wrote, “Downsizing has affected private institutions, public agencies, and the military, as well as businesses. Why not cities?”
From northern Michigan’s iron mines to Pennsylvania’s natural-gas fields, the industrial heartland of America is humming with jobs again as a region once left for dead recovers faster than the rest of the U.S.