The wrong way to save Detroit. Michigan Gov.
Rick Snyder declared a financial emergency for the City of… (Jeff Kowalsky / EPA ) Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, took the unprecedented step last week of announcing that he considers Detroit's elected leaders incapable of fixing the city's fiscal problems, and so he will appoint an emergency financial manager with sweeping authority. That's a flawed approach. The problem in Detroit is not the people in charge (though some Detroit leaders have certainly failed the city). The real problem is the broader structure of government in the region. Detroit, once the nation's fourth largest city, has been crumbling since the 1950s, when its population peaked at a little over 1.84 million people. The emptying of Detroit stems from a complex mix of intractable racism, corporate and governmental decisions, failed institutions and crime levels that have driven most of the middle class to the suburbs.
It's time for new ideas. Detroit’s Bankruptcy Marks the Tip of the Iceberg. Detroit’s recent filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection would protect the city from its creditors while allowing it to restructure its debts.
The proceedings that follow will, in many respects, set precedents for the swell of municipal bankruptcies that are likely to follow. Some of these precedents will be set through the courts, but federal policymakers have the power to set the most important precedent of all: that bailouts are not an option. Contrary to popular belief, recent and looming municipal bankruptcy filings were not caused by the recent “great recession.” Rather, they represent the inevitable demise of big-government, liberal policies promoted by self-interested politicians and the coercive public employee unions that support them. A federal bailout of Detroit would reward the very actions that led to the city’s demise and simply enable future fiscal mismanagement. Detroit’s Decline Detroit serves as a poster child for economic decline. Bailouts Are Not the Answer. The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit.
Photo In downtown Detroit, at the headquarters of the online-mortgage company Quicken Loans, there stands another downtown Detroit in miniature.
The diorama, made of laser-cut acrylic and stretching out over 19 feet in length, is a riot of color and light: Every structure belonging to Quicken’s billionaire owner, Dan Gilbert, is topped in orange and illuminated from within, and Gilbert currently owns 60 of them, a lordly nine million square feet of real estate in all. He began picking up skyscrapers just three and a half years ago, one after another, paying as little as $8 a square foot.
He bought five buildings surrounding Capitol Park, the seat of government when Michigan became a state in 1837. He snapped up the site of the old Hudson’s department store, where 12,000 employees catered to 100,000 customers daily in the 1950s. Property costs have dropped to the point that barriers to ownership — to a sort of mogulhood, even — are absurdly low. Continue reading the main story. Who's to blame for Detroit's collapse? - latimes. A for-lease sign on a building in downtown Detroit.
The city filed for Chapter… (Bill Pugliano / Getty Images ) Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday, making it the largest U.S. city to ever seek Chapter 9 protection. It’s sad news for the once-great city. Still, the headline seemed to have delighted many. Just check out The Times' comments section, with several readers gleefully blaming Democrats.
In a 2011 Op-Ed about Detroit’s collapse, Scott Martelle, author of “Detroit: A Biography,” gave readers a view of the Michigan city through a different lens. The collapse of Detroit has roots in intentional de-industrialization by the Big Three automakers, which in the 1950s began aggressively spider-webbing operations across the nation to produce cars closer to regional markets, and to reduce labor costs by investing in less labor-friendly places than union-heavy Detroit. Racism plays a significant role too. So, what’s next for Detroit? No federal bailout, period. 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. 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. Related.