Skip to comments.We Have to Step In and Save Detroit
Posted on 07/20/2013 12:46:04 PM PDT by reaganaut1
But while Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has capably overseen Detroits march to Chapter 9, neither the state nor the federal government has evinced any inclination to provide meaningful financial assistance.
Thats a mistake. No one likes bailouts or the prospect of rewarding Detroits historic fiscal mismanagement. But apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroits problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs, and eventually Congress decided to help them.
America is just as much about aiding those less fortunate as it is about personal responsibility. Government does this in so many ways; why shouldnt it help Detroit rebuild itself?
Many call for scaling back the city to fit realistic population projections. While logical, the potential for downsizing Detroit is limited because the citys population didnt flee from just one neighborhood; the departures were scattered, requiring Detroit to deliver services across a geographic area the size of Philadelphia, with less than half the population. Further cuts will surely come, but in some key areas, like public safety and blight removal, Detroit needs to spend more, not less.
That necessitates large-scale reductions in its liabilities, which total as much as $18 billion. By comparison, the countrys second largest municipal bankruptcy that of Jefferson County, Ala., which is slightly smaller than Detroit in population involves $4 billion of liabilities.
Detroit faces greater challenges than the automakers because the structure of its obligations is quite different from those of General Motors and Chrysler.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...
I’m OK with NYC bailing out Destroit.
Just don’t come begging money from the rest of America. We’ve got enough of our own problems.
We don’t have to save Detroit, that is what elections are for. The only problem in Detroit is too much RAT poison.
Thank you Mr. Rattner, but we’ll try to handle this on our own. No, really.
Throwing money at Detroit is like trying to cure a RAT problem by over feeding them.
The comments at the link are great. The vast majority are staunchly against any kind of bailout. Even the ones who are for a bailout are very halfhearted about it.
When you’ve lost the comment section of the New York Times ...
fyi, an Obama minion speaks
F FUBO NO!
the first question should be why the nyt lets a criminal lke rattner write a column anyway.
No, we don’t.
I'll bet even a Republican city election slate would be made up of 'Rats masquerading as GOP.
In short, any effort, even by the Feds, is going to be throwing money down a 'Rat hole.
These Obama voters are so smart...smarter than everyone else......let's see them get out of this by themselves.
And, for only conservative Republicans to be allowed to run for office for the next 20 years.
Somebody should tell the writter that the residents of NY didn’t vote to have have a Hurricane hit them.
So Yes, the folks in Detroit deserve what they get.
Detroit, one of our HMCs. (Historically Mismanaged City)
Why not, if we can have historically black colleges???
there will be a long list of cities ans states demanding bailouts - and getting them
Millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars would do nothing to help Detroit in the long term. Like all of the other bailouts and stimulus dollars forked over by Obama, the money would be funneled into the pockets of unions and cronies and generally wasted.
Have a tv reality show where monster trucks and other gear tear down the old buildings. Have Carzilla take apart buildings.
apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroits problems
Why “apart from voting”?
Seems to me that’s how they got IN this mess.
I saw that Detroit, with a population of 700,000, has 10,000 city workers on the payroll. I ain’t no genius but I bet you could trim just a few of them.
We have two choices.
Either we let democrats “fix” it or conservatives come up with real free market solutions.
Those are the only legitimate choices because Detroit is barely a pimple compared to what lies just over the horizon and we better have workable solutions when it comes.
No Mr. Rattner, we need to step in and save our country from the liberal policies that are ruining us.
Really? Detroit's politicians are appointed and not elected?
(Detroit's final Republican mayor left office 51 years ago, when Detroit was still a great place to live and work. Then, after just 5 years with Dems in control, the Race Riots took place. Since then, the white population of the city went from 1.1 million to 55,000 today. Purely coincidental, and has NOTHING to do with voting, political choices, city laws, city taxes or anything else. It was an act of God, like Hurricane Sandy, and you can NOT blame anyone, especially anyone with a slightly higher melanin content in their skin. Heaven forfend!!)
No we don’t Steve. Detroit is a rat-infested hell-hole.
Your very own NYC is due soon. CWII couldn’t happen soon enough. It seems that all the rat infested hell-holes of the north have messed their bed and must now lie in it.
Don’t worry Detroit, the Congress will add a earmark to the amnesty bill giving you all the money you need to pay those union pensions.
Count me (and my money) out. I don’t want to give these feral lawless losers in detroit any help or any thing.
“But apart from voting in elections” is like asking Molly Todd Lincoln “Other than that, how was the play?”. The voters and unions got what they wanted and killed the golden goose. Detroit can always be useful, as an example of how NOT to manage a city.
I have one simple reason the NYTimes writer is wrong - the people of Detroit elected the governments that got them where they are today. The people that tried to elect different government in Detroit, and failed, left in frustration. Indirectly, the people left in Detroit ARE responsible - they got the governments they asked for. That’s why everyone else left.
The only way to help them now would be to ask them nothing and impose some solutions on them. Oh gee; that’s what a bankruptcy court is going to do for us. There - mission accomplished.
Saving Detroit sets the precedent for saving California and Illinois.
Why is it every time I hear a liberal say “we have to...” I can feel a hand in my wallet?
They can just use some of Obama’s money. What would Rattner think if I bought a car and made him pay for it? Why should the rest of the country bail out people who knowingly and consistently voted for crooks? Try to get your neighbors to pay your mortgage. See what they say.
After reading Rattner’s bio. and since he so firmly believes that Detroit should be bailed out, my suggestion is that Rattner use his millions to bail Detroit out.
Detroit is what happens when you run out of other people’s money to spend, Mr. Rattner! Spend some of yours and save Detroit!
STOP RIGHT THERE. "Apart from voting in elections." That is the difference and you CANNOT make an equivalence with hurricane relief by dismissing that pesky little fact.
Furthermore, if you ignore that abysmal electoral choices played a major role in causing the problem, you also miss the fact that abysmal electoral choices will follow during the "recovery."
Does the phrase "throwing good money after bad" ring any bells, Rattner?
That's what I was going to say, but I was going to call for forced relocation.
The only thing left to save Detroit is for Obama's domestic army to round up people and forcibly relocate them to Detroit. Nobody's going to willingly move there now.
The state should just demolish the empty sections and resize the city boundaries.
Let Detroit return to the earth and name it Liberal National Monument.
What sort of feeble-minded scumbag would write something like this?
I think the city has already been doing that... Operation Move the deck chairs
Too late to save the historic parts of Detroit, they were raised in the 80s to make room for the parking lot of a Cadillac plant, remember?
Cities come, cities go....Adapt or die.
Darwin didn't create it, he just discovered it.
It is nature's way of strengthening the population by rewarding the most successful.
By rewarding the corruption and recklessness of cities like Detroit at he expense of prudent cities, you take away the incentive for cities to live within their means. You incentivize cities go hog wild, secure in the knowledge that somebody else will have to pick up the tab.
The analogy I think of is trying to drown an eel in the town pond.
Whenever Detroit falls off another cliff I feel compelled to repeat this excellent article originally posted in 2009.
Posted: July 6, 2009
Detroit: The Triumph of Progressive Public Policy
By Jarrett Skorup
Imagine a city where all the major economic planks of the statist or “progressive” platform have been enacted:
A “living wage” ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors.
A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
A powerful government employee union that does the same for its members.
A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.
Would this be a shining city on a hill, exciting the admiration of all? We don’t have to guess, because there is such a city right here in our state: Detroit
Detroit has been dubbed “the most liberal city in America” and each of these “progressive” policies is alive and well there. How have they worked out?
In 1950, Detroit was the wealthiest city in America on a per capita income basis. Today, the Census Bureau reports that it is the nation’s 2nd poorest major city, just “edging out” Cleveland.
Could it be pure coincidence that the decline occurred over the same period in which union power, the city government bureaucracy, taxes and business regulations all multiplied? While correlation is not causation, it is striking that the decline in per capita income is exactly what classical economists predict would occur when wage controls are imposed and taxes are increased.
Specifically, “price theory” predicts that artificially high business costs caused by excessive regulation and above-market labor compensation rates imposed by so-called “living wages” will lead to an increase in unemployment. Detroit’s minimum wage is a whopping $7.40 an hour, more than $2 above the federal minimum wage when it was enacted; and pressure groups are pushing for more. Additionally, any company contracting with the city must pay its employees $8.23 an hour if they offer benefits or $10.28 an hour if they do not offer benefits.
Such high wage mandates are especially hard on individuals with a poor education and low skills. If struggling and heavily taxed businesses cannot pay such high wages, then they are more selective about the few workers they do hire or go out of business altogether. Those who have promulgated these polices may be well intentioned, but mainstream economists have warned for decades that such policies were very likely to bring about the abject poverty and unemployment that characterize Detroit today. The city has the highest unemployment rate among all large U.S. cities. (On a side note, Michigan is home to eight of the 20 cities overall with the highest unemployment and has the highest state unemployment in the country.)
A similar pattern has played out in public education. It is now conventional wisdom among the political class that higher pay for teachers and increased spending per student lead to improvements in teacher quality and student performance. Again, correlation is not causation, but Detroit Public Schools strongly suggests that this theory must be rejected. It has chronically underperformed state averages, yet reforms are vehemently opposed by the system’s powerful school employee union.
At the same time that union, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, has won rich salary and benefits packages for its members. Median compensation for a DPS teacher is $76,000 and Detroit spends the third highest amount of money per student among 76 large cities nationwide. Statewide, Detroit’s spending per pupil is in the 91st percentile and DPS teachers are paid at the 96th percentile. For all that, by almost any measure Detroit schools have for decades failed their students: test scores, safety, drop out rates, etc. For example, Detroit’s public school students perform at the 3rd percentile in the state - that is, they are in the lowest 3 percent, and the district is in its second state takeover in a decade.
In the private sector such failure would result in mass firings for unsatisfactory performance. No doubt such a response would be condemned by the progressives who support the school employee unions that have made similar actions impossible in their institutions, and have opposed major transformation at every turn.
For example, in 2003 philanthropist Bob Thompson offered $200 million to build 15 charter public schools in the city in which he would guarantee a 90 percent graduation rate. In response, the DFT balked because charter schools are not unionized. The outcome was that the union jobs trumped better outcomes for children.
People vote with their feet, and all the above suggests why, over the past decade, DPS has lost about 10,000 students each year to charter, independent and suburban schools.
Of course it would be unfair to place all the blame for the city’s decline on public employee unions. Detroit is home to the Big Three, whose contracts with their own powerful unions provided the model for those public employee arrangements. The UAW successfully extracted wages and benefits estimated at $71 per hour before the recent shake-ups began.
This is about $25 more per hour than the amount foreign-owned U.S. auto manufacturing plants pay their non-unionized American workers. Due to this disparity, Japanese car companies earn some $1,000 to $2,000 more on each car sold than their American counterparts. The outcome has been a relentless loss of market share that, among other things, has devastated the economic engine that once powered Motor City prosperity.
In addition to being a model of progressive economic, labor and education policy, Detroit is also a case study in welfare statism. Tom Bray, former editorial page editor for The Detroit News, has made the following observation:
“Detroit, remember, was going to be the ‘Model City’ of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the shining example of what the ‘fairness’ of the welfare state can produce. Billions of dollars later, Detroit instead has become the model of everything that can go wrong when you hook people on the idea of something for nothing - a once-middle class city of nearly 2 million that is now a poverty-stricken city of less than 900,000.”
Progressives will complain that this portrait oversimplifies the factors involved in a great city’s decline. Perhaps it does, but with this question in mind: At what point does the weight of evidence and logic make it impossible to avoid concluding that in the case of Detroit, correlation is causation?
Screw Detroit. Let it stand as a glittering example of democrat mismanagement.
Too late. I remember reading decades ago about Detroit’s “Witches Night”. People burning down abandoned houses for entertainment. I thought to myself, how stupid and dangerous is it to set fire to your own neighborhood. Where have the Steven Rattners of the World been these years?
Thanks for posting this. Rattner is a moron, but the comments over at the Times site were pretty good. Either they’ve been invaded by a horde of right wingers or even their liberal readers are in no mood to bail out Detroit.
Obama cites the school busing program (used to integrate schools by rezoning white students to black schools and vice versa) to declare that cities must integrate the same way.
Obama then directs the IRS to only accept tax forms from people if they contain the government-assigned zip code for the household. Otherwise, the tax form is rejected and the family is fined or jailed for not filing income taxes.
Move or go to prison.