Most of the white people who stayed in Detroit were either on government assistance, had government jobs, or had union pensions. They aren’t concerned about jobs. It didn’t impact them too much that the economy was heading south because they just weren’t feeling it at first. The white people who were exiting were paying most of the income taxes and of course helping with sales tax revenues because they had more discretionary income because of having higher paying jobs on average.
One of the major problems with having too much government which is what Detroit has, is that government officials don’t like to cut back even though tax revenues aren’t coming in like before. In the private sector, cost reductions are put in place to keep companies afloat. Democrats had gotten to the point where they were running everything from city councils, governor, mayor, etc., and they were running Detroit into the ground.
Instead of effectively working towards creating and saving jobs to keep tax revenues coming in, they kept increasing tax rates. Could you imagine your company’s sales crashing and they raise the prices on your merchandise? It would be crazy just like raising tax rates versus focusing on increasing tax revenues is crazy. Most people accept they’ll be put in a higher tax bracket along the way but it’s an easier pill to swallow because they know they’re making more money. The government might be getting more out of them but at least they have more discretionary money to spend. This isn’t a perfect relationship, but it is for most, a livable one.