Why Workers Are Losing the War Against Machines. In the 21st century war of man vs. machine in the workplace, what if man isn't supposed to prevail?
At least since the followers of Ned Ludd smashed mechanized looms in 1811, workers have worried about automation destroying jobs. Economists have reassured them that new jobs would be created even as old ones were eliminated. For over 200 years, the economists were right. Despite massive automation of millions of jobs, more Americans had jobs at the end of each decade up through the end of the 20th century. However, this empirical fact conceals a dirty secret. People with little economics training intuitively grasp this point. If wages can freely adjust, then the losers keep their jobs in exchange for accepting ever-lower compensation as technology continues to improve. Of course, this was only an abstract model. Why did Detroit go bankrupt? DETROIT – The city of Detroit, which for years paid its bills with borrowed money, is the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy protection.
Here’s a look at how the city spiraled into financial ruin and why it’s in so much trouble: For decades, Detroit paid its bills by borrowing money while struggling to provide the most basic of services for its residents. The city, which was about to default on a good chunk of its $14 billion-plus debt, now will get a second chance in a federal bankruptcy court-led restructuring.
Detroit’s budget deficit this year alone is estimated at $380 million, and Kevin Orr, its state-appointed emergency manager, chose bankruptcy over diverting money from police, fire and other services to make debt payments. The move conserves cash so the city can operate, but it will hurt Detroit’s image for years. It took decades of decay to bring down the once-mighty industrial giant that put the world on wheels. It’s a big factor. Detroit - FEI. Greening Of Detroit. Detroit Oppotunities. Duggan addresses issues of jobs for Detroiters, future of public schools. Detroit within the next two months will have a new policy on how the city will approach community benefits requirements – jobs for residents, neighborhood improvements and the like – from developers and employers seeking city tax breaks, Mayor Mike Duggan said this morning.
Speaking at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Detroit Policy Conference at MotorCity Casino, Duggan said he's focused on ending the "us vs. them" mindset that he said has too long dominated discussion about redevelopment in a city that sorely needs jobs and new businesses. He said it's also wrong-headed of state lawmakers to consider approving a bill that would ban community benefits agreements outright. Cities should have a right to expect community benefits from companies that seek extended tax breaks to locate or expand in Detroit.
Duggan said he was seeking a middle ground. Detroit's Skilled Workers Problem. Detroit Jobs Might Return, But Workers Still Lack Skills. DETROIT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has a long list of things to fix in the city and among them is one that may sound surprising: there are not enough skilled workers to fill job openings as they become available.
“Every problem in this city revolves around jobs,” said Lindsay Chalmers, vice president of non-profit Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “That’s at the heart of the issue for Detroit.” The decline of manufacturing jobs, above all in the automotive industry, has played a major role in the slide of the Motor City’s population to 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in the 1950s. Despite recent gains, Michigan has 350,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than in 2000. Seismic shifts in the local labor market have left many unskilled workers behind. Detroit's workforce lacks job skills; it's called a 'huge problem' They're students, retirees, people living on disability and those laid off, too discouraged to look anymore.
Whatever their background, they're among the 1 of every 2 Detroit adults neither holding a job nor looking -- the worst percentage for 2010 among 41 major U.S. cities. This vast segment -- some 174,000 Detroiters ages 16-64 do not work -- poses a serious challenge for a city on the brink of fiscal ruin. If Detroit is to pull out of its fiscal mess, a higher percentage of adults needs to have the skills necessary to enter the workforce and join the local economy, ultimately adding to Detroit's income tax base, said Kurt Metzger, director of the Data Driven Detroit demographic research firm.
"These are not necessarily people who have chosen not to work," he said. "Some of them have been beaten down for years. The labor force participation rate is based on different criteria than the traditional unemployment rate, which counts people who want to work but cannot find jobs. Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline - Interactive Feature. Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980.
Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns. Charles E. Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. Industrialism; urban decay; Census; The collapse of Detroit - latimes. Imagine for a moment that every single person living in the city of San Jose, plus another 150,000 or so, just up and left.
Vanished. Poof. Gone. Leaving their homes, business buildings and factories behind. Detroit emerges from nation's largest municipal bankruptcy. The nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy ended Wednesday when the lawyer overseeing Detroit’s fiscal recovery declared the crisis over and gave elected officials control of their own budget for the first time in 20 months, a deal made possible in large part by the city’s exquisite art collection.
The bankruptcy closeout was hailed by city officials as an opportunity to begin rebuilding what was once one of America’s most robust cities. But the city now faces pressure to control spending as it tackles the problems that arose during the decades of decline that turned Detroit into a poster child for blight and urban decay. At a news conference, Mayor Mike Duggan warned that it would be years before the once-booming center of the automobile industry could stand on its own without oversight from a state commission assigned to watch its spending.