Todo list. Forbes Welcome. How the Democrats Destroyed Detroit. Detroit, now synonymous with failure and decline, was once the emblem of American progress and prosperity. As the late biographer and scholar Matthew Josephson observed in the 1920s: “Nowhere in the world may the trend of the new industrial cycle be perceived more clearly than in Detroit.
In this sense it is the most modern city in the world, the city of tomorrow.” University of Michigan historian Jeffrey Mirel puts it this way: “Throughout the 1920s, Detroit was the shining star of the new era, the very center of the American economic universe, where capitalism and technology combined to produce the greatest goods for the greatest numbers.” To most Americans, Detroit is best known as the home of the “Big Three” auto makers—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—who made the U.S. and the rest of the world mobile. In World War II, Detroit was the arsenal of democracy, producing tanks, jeeps and a host of other weapons that helped win the war. 1) Taxes (2) Harassing Businesses. Detroit's $18 Billion Debt: What That Money Could Buy (INFOGRAPHIC) Since the extent of Detroit’s fiscal crisis was revealed when the city filed for bankruptcy last month, efforts have been made to quantify its assets, especially those that could be sold off to satisfy creditors.
Observers have ruminated on the potential value of the works at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the city’s collection of classic cars, even its zoo animals. But the sale of any of those assets would just be a drop in the bucket. At $18 billion, Detroit’s staggering debt is simply a lot to wrap one’s head around. Even the city couldn’t fully comprehend the magnitude, it seems, until Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr actually went ahead and filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. How could a city of 701,475 people rack up $18 billion in debt? A full breakdown of that fiscal picture is right over here. Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post. Bridge • The Center for MichiganTracking progress in Detroit police response times a fool’s errand.
Detroit Police have reduced the amount of time it takes officers to respond to emergency calls since the city sought bankruptcy protection in 2013. How much the department has improved is difficult to gauge, however. When state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr first pleaded with a federal bankruptcy court to help Detroit in July 2013, he made his case with sobering statistics: the city’s high levels of poverty, blight and abandonment, its declining population and tax revenues, and its insane crime rate.
Orr pointed out how long it took police, on average, to get to the highest-priority crimes: Fifty-eight minutes, or nearly an hour. It was partial proof the city couldn’t “meet obligations to its citizens,” Orr told the court. It was a shocking number – and one repeated by Gov. “You remember those days? But internal police records reviewed by Bridge contradict Orr’s 2013 claim that Detroit Police ever took 58 minutes to answer the most urgent calls. A shaky benchmark. Indicted Detroit Police Officers Allegedly Used Authority To Steal And Sell Drugs. Two Detroit police officers used their authority as law enforcement to arrange drug deals, orchestrate traffic stops, effect false arrests and coerce and extort victims, all in order to steal money and drugs that were then sold for profit, according to a Wednesday federal indictment that was unsealed Thursday.
Lt. David Hansberry, 34, and Officer Bryan Watson, 46, entered “not guilty” pleas in court Thursday afternoon, according to the Detroit Free Press. They were indicted on eight counts of robbery, extortion, possession of drugs with intent to sell, as well as possession of a gun in a crime of violence and drug trafficking. Both men were suspended from the force in October 2014. Hansberry and Watson were part of the Detroit Police Department’s Narcotics Section, which Chief James Craig disbanded last summer after an Internal Affairs investigation uncovered systemic problems with the handling of drugs and evidence.
(See the full indictment below) In a statement from the U.S. Detroit Public Schools Bankruptcy Could Cost the State $3.4 Billion. The Detroit Public Schools' $1.3 billion in pension obligations is the major roadblock to the school district filing for bankruptcy, according to a recent state of Michigan analysis. That $1.3 billion is how much the district must pay into the pension system from 2016 to 2031, according to Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the state Treasury department. “Our estimates are actually quite conservative,” Weiss said in an email. Pension legacy costs for public school employees have skyrocketed statewide, not just in Detroit.
Required employer contributions to the statewide school pension system have increased by 92 percent from 2007 to 2014, increasing from $835 million to $1.6 billion. Overall, the state projects that if Detroit Public Schools filed for bankruptcy today it would enter the process with $3.4 billion in outstanding liabilities, most of which are owed to the state. The state’s analysis broke down Detroit school debt into three categories — direct, potential direct and indirect.
Detroit Corruption. Public Corruption: Inside the Kwame Kilpatrick Case. The case of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who stole from citizens he vowed to serve. When Kwame Kilpatrick became mayor of Detroit in 2002, he promised to revitalize the city. Instead, he shamelessly used his position to steal from the citizens he had vowed to serve. “Criminal activity was a way of life for him, and he constantly used the power of his office to look for new opportunities to make money illegally,” said Special Agent Robert Beeckman, who investigated the mayor and his corrupt regime for eight years. Last month, a federal judge sentenced Kilpatrick to a 28-year prison term for his role in a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy that included extortion, bribery, and fraud. Thirty-two others have also been convicted of crimes in connection with the case, including Kilpatrick’s contractor friend Bobby Ferguson, who received a 21-year jail term. Kilpatrick and Ferguson established a “pay to play” system that made breaking the law standard operating procedure.
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. Bowles, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was in office for seven months in 1930 before people demanded his removal. 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.
Albert Cobo was considered a candidate of the wealthy and of the white during his tenure from 1950 to 1957. Coleman A. Kwame M. Dave Bing, a former professional basketball star, took office in 2009 pledging to solve Detroit’s fiscal problems, which by then were already overwhelming. Detroit Is an Example of Everything That Is Wrong with Our Nation. Back on July 18, 2013 the city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Detroit is now seeing a little life, but the city is far from where it once was. Once the wealthiest city in America, known as the “arsenal of democracy,” Detroit was the fourth largest city in the U.S. in the 1960s with a population of two million. Now it has become an example of everything that is wrong with the American economy, Detroit has become nothing more than a devastated landscape of urban decay with a current population of 714,000 whose unemployment rate at the height of the recession was as high as 29 percent, and has only decreased due to the rapidly decreasing population.
Visiting Detroit is the closest Americans can come to viewing what appears to be a war-torn city without leaving the U.S. Unfortunately, Detroit is not alone. Now the city is debt-ridden and forced to cut many of its beleaguered services like transportation and street lighting. The Real Story Behind the Decline of Detroit … And Yes, Great Things Are Happening There Too. Photo Credit: © Vladimir Mucibabic/ Shutterstock.com As a life-long Detroiter who has lived both in the city and the suburbs, I’ve been fascinated by the media frenzy over Detroit’s bankruptcy.
Like most big news topics these days, Detroit has become a screen onto which people project whatever political viewpoint they have. First off, it’s worth considering why the bankruptcy is getting so much attention. Is there really that much there, there? In the private sector companies file for bankruptcy every day without making much, if any, news.
At the height of the depression Congress added a new tool, Chapter 9, to the Bankruptcy Code to address financial failure by local governmental bodies. Admittedly municipal bankruptcy is not as common as private sector bankruptcy. In that context, what the MSM is mostly missing is the extent to which bankruptcy is but the latest incremental step in a long running destruction of democracy for African-Americans. The noise can be deafening. Government? Detroit: Myths and truths about bankruptcy. DETROIT -- Suddenly, everyone's a Detroit expert, whether he or she has ever been here or not. Greedy unions. Decades of neglect. Too much government. Not enough government services. Some of this volunteered wisdom is sprinkled with kernels of truth. With the city of Detroit's financial laundry hanging out, the Detroit Free Press decided to "truth squad" the nuggets of facts, pseudo-facts, observations, opinions and insights put forth from the national media and commentators of all stripes.
Here's our best interpretation of what's accurate and insightful along with the exposure of half-truths and canards. The fact is that the auto industry — now posting strong domestic profits as demand rises — has not been connected financially to the city proper and its operations for decades. Meanwhile, Detroit police and fire pension benefits, when compared with those in other major cities such as Kansas City, Mo., and Los Angeles, are modest. "City governments don't equal city economies. 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. It took decades of decay to bring down the once-mighty industrial giant that put the world on wheels. It’s a big factor. Top 10 reasons Detroit went bankrupt. Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy July 17, making it the largest city in American history to enter the municipal bankruptcy process. A local judge ruled that filing unconstitutional July 19, but, as the city sorts out its next move, here are 10 key facts about the causes of Detroit's financial mess. 1. The population has collapsed in the past six decades. Detroit was America's fourth-largest city in 1950, when it had 1.8 million people. In the 2010 census, the city had fewer than 702,000 residents -- an astonishing decline of 60 percent in 60 years.
Yes, fewer people means a smaller tax base, but the real problem is the city's government did not shrink along with the population -- more on that in a bit. 2. This is both a cause and an effect of the population situation. 3. That's a lot more than some of the other high-profile municipal bankruptcy cases in recent years. "Detroit has been working its way to a level of insolvency for decades. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. National Review Online. It took only six decades of “progressive” policies to bring a great city to its knees. By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motown’s Greatest Hits — 40 percent of its streetlamps don’t work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. — Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great city’s downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug.
But it shouldn’t be. To achieve this level of devastation, you usually have to be invaded by a foreign power. In the War of 1812, when Detroit was taken by a remarkably small number of British troops without a shot being fired, Michigan’s Governor Hull was said to have been panicked into surrender after drinking heavily.