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So a major US city files for bankruptcy and everyone seems to be washing their hands of the problem. Once a city of 1.5 million now declined to around 700,000 with massive poverty levels, broken infrastructure, yet showing some positive signs of renovation. Yet an Emergency manager was appointed and now we have a city filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. A constitutional requirement is also being conveniently ignored

§ 24 Public pension plans and retirement systems, obligation.

Sec. 24.
The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby.
Financial benefits arising on account of service rendered in each fiscal year shall be funded during that year and such funding shall not be used for financing unfunded accrued liabilities.

History: Const. 1963, Art. IX, § 24, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964

Now if Detroit was a bank we would be rushing to create save Wall St legislation and finding funds from thin air to do so; then again Detroit involves poor people.

Many of us have argued for a massive investment program in our infrastructure to turn around the great recession and consign austerity to the trash can of history.

How about using Detroit as a starting point?

First of all ensure peoples pensions and jobs.

How about knocking down the tens of thousands of abandoned buildings.

How about creating parks and affordable housing from the rubble thereby creating thousands of jobs and making the city a desirable place to live?

How about ensuring Detroit's emergency services work to an accepted national standard and that the police/ambulance/fire truck actually turn up in time?

Rather than declaring a bankruptcy to slash pensions and services making Detroit an even less popular place to live how about declaring it:

An Economic disaster area similar to the after effects of a major weather emergency.

Hell, when rich folks jobs were threatened we came up with $700 billion for TARP

How about creating a $2 trillion for an infrastructure repair and management fund for the US. This is what the cost has been estimated to be for this basic maintenance.

How about declaring Detroit ground zero for this investment? You know, like was done for the automobile industry.

The increase in jobs and tax revenue would make bankruptcy filing pointless.

The city would become a place where people would actually like to move to once again increasing revenue and jobs.

Detroit could once again be run by its elected government, you know, that democracy thing.

Oh, what the hell

That's socialism, well actually to my mind it makes economic sense rather than a slash and burn mentality it is a building one.

You just gotta have austerity and bankruptcies it's the only way after all.

Meanwhile the infrastructure crumbles.

Meanwhile the economic divide widens.

We cannot think outside of the box, no matter what the benefits we have a party [and part of our party] dedicated to obstruction and the enrichment of a small percentage of the population.

Thinking big was once upon a time an American characteristic [ or so we would like to believe]

Now its small and petty, fueled by greed and jealousy and hijacked by an elite.

We came up with a Marshall Plan for war torn Europe even after the vast human and economic costs of World War II because it made economic sense to do so, how about we do something as far sighted once again?

We have tried austerity, sequestration and non government and for the 99% this is just not working.

Be bold, be brave and leverage the American Dream by doing something we can all profit from.

A Rebuild America Plan and let's kick it off in Detroit.

Tsk Tsk silly me

More Austerity

More Congressional dysfunction.

Less Gubbmint = Less socialism!

The Banks are necessary for the economic fabric cities are full of people who don't like Republicans, you know, minorities. Now go away because we are trying to make it harder for them to vote as it is.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. How about thinking big rather and make (116+ / 0-)

    the US a better place to live rather than just plugging up the holes and handing the 1% the rest?

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:15:59 AM PDT

    •  never change your mind half way through a (9+ / 0-)

      sentence, ditch "rather"

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:23:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ironically, Detroit once had a mayor who (31+ / 0-)

      not only dealt effectively with similar problems, he went far beyond with his innovative problem solving.
      He apparently was a genuine "Leader" of people, unlike the succession of corrupt bastards and SOB's Detroit has had for decades.
      His example could also be a damned good template for our current crop of 'leaders' in state and federal governments; starting at the very top (y'all know who), the WH, and bipartisanly descending from there.

      His name was Hazen S. Pingree , he was a Republican progressive back when they were what Democrats should be today,  a four-term Republican mayor of Detroit (1889–1897) and the 24th Governor of the US state of Michigan (1897–1901).
      I ran across his very interesting history while perusing a list of Detroit mayors on Wiki.
      Let me quote some Wiki stuff and see if you don't agree:

      ...he was a social reformer who battled corporations and was an early leader of the Progressive Movement.

      A businessman with no political experience, Pingree was elected mayor in 1889 after a colorful campaign in which Pingree revealed his tolerance by making a circuit of saloons. Pingree added to the old stock Yankee Republican base by making large inroads into the German and Canadian elements. He was reelected in 1891, 1893 and 1895. Warning repeatedly against the dangers of government by the corporations, he launched nationally visible crusades against Detroit's streetcar, gas, electric, and telephone companies. He successfully forced rate reductions that won him widespread popularity . He won public approval for a citizen-owned electric light plant, and became a national spokesman for municipal ownership and close regulation of utilities and street railways. When the nationwide Panic of 1893 caused a severe depression, gained support by opening empty lots to garden farming – people called him Potato patch Pingree.
      (During the depression of 1893, Pingree expanded the public welfare programs, initiated public works for the unemployed, built new schools, parks, and public baths.[52)
      Pingree was a Republican, and had nothing to do with the Populist Party that had considerable support among labor union members. He supported the gold standard in 1896, and work to carry Michigan for William McKinley over silverite William Jennings Bryan in the intensely competitive 1896 presidential election. Pingree was on the ballot to and was elected governor Michigan. As governor he fought a strong conservative opposition, but did succeed in forcing passage of the nation's first major statewide reappraisal of railroad and corporate property, with an eye to raising their taxes. This led to a rational basis for railroad regulation and taxation, emulated by Progressive reformers in other states and nationwide.[1] A survey of scholars in 1999 ranked him as the fourth best mayor in all of American history.[2]...

      Sounds like the kind of real Leader we could use these days, eh?

      We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

      by Bluefin on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 05:42:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Detroit's problem (0+ / 0-)

        is really a function of the decline of the US Auto Industry.  I am not convinced any local political leadership could really have dealt with this more effectively.

        Americans have decided to buy cars from foreign manufactures, and even if the cars are made in the US the plants of the foreign manufacturers are almost all located in right to work states (which is not a coincidence).  

        As a result the UAW has been decimated, and Michigan has been decimated.  Think about how much worse this would be had we not used TARP to save 2 of the big 3.

        It is easy to castigate the politicians, but I have little patience for that if you driving a foreign car.

        •  We are one of the very few countries without (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          an industrial policy.  
          We have an ad hoc stragey built around financiers and multi nationals with no loyalty to our nation.
          No city can lose 20-25 % of population and hundreds of thousands of jobs without going bankrupt.

          "Searches with nonspecific warrants were ‘the single immediate cause of the American Revolution.’” Justice Wm. Brennan, referring to the 4th Amendment

          by Nailbanger on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:14:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ^^^(50+ / 0-)^^^ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias, Nailbanger
            We are one of the very few countries without an effective self assisting industrial policy.  
            We have an ad hoc stragey built around completely unproductive  financiers and multi nationals with no loyalty to our nation.

            We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

            by Bluefin on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:18:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Owned an MG in the '60's, all Detroit iron (0+ / 0-)

          otherwise (currently a GMC SUV and Caddies), on purpose.
          Not that I would refuse to drive a Maybach or something if somebody gave me one  ;].

          My point was that decent political leadership (at all levels) could have dealt with the developing problems somewhat more effectively than most preceding and current ones have. Possibly not enough, but the damage wouldn't be near as bad.
          Local Detroit area politicians could have forseen what was coming and worked together to diversify into genuinely productive economic things. Instead some (Detroit) pols went whole hog for bullshit like casinos, etc. (knowing Windsor had the advantage anyway); more opportunity for graft etc. with stuff like that.

          EG: NAFTA etc., haven't been the sole source of these problems, but they have been greedily implemented without regard to long term negative effects on the US.

          Just as today (or recently) a modern "New Deal" type approach (and a complete changeover to a universal single payer health care system)  would alleviate most of our economic problems.

          Instead we are rolling the old good stuff back, and looking at another series of 'asset bubbles' which will strip more wealth out of the 99% (you think the markets are going to hold much longer?). And if the Rethugs ever retake power, more pointless unfunded wars (well, immediately unfunded, 'credit card' pay-(more)-later ones).

          We’re Ready, Wendy’s Ready! WTF Are We Waiting For? Bring ‘em on! The revolution has begun! Come and take it!

          by Bluefin on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:13:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  sorry, can't help Detroit (or anywhere else) (28+ / 0-)

    the cash is needed for Surveillance

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:23:50 AM PDT

  •  Greedy CEOs w few ties to Detroit built this (14+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:28:42 AM PDT

  •  Detroit decline in pics (12+ / 0-)

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:32:41 AM PDT

  •  The question is, where's the money going? (11+ / 0-)

    In this, as in many other scenarios, think about what's going to happen with Detroit after it goes bankrupt? It's still in a really good point vs waterways, the rights of way for the railroads are well developed, even though the infrastructure needs major work.

    To whose benefit does bankrupting Detroit eventually redound?  What kinds of real estate deals open up? Could manufacturing facilities be built on newly available cheap land, because once things have finished, eminent domain is whole lots easier to declare? Who's sitting waiting in the wings for the bankruptcy to complete?

    Detroit grew originally because it was a prime location for industry. It still is. I'm not suggesting a conspiracy to cause the original financial mess, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't non-government money waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces. This doesn't help the current residents at all, of course, but if this is the scenario, it's a good reason why there won't be any major attempt to save the current situation.

    Sorry I wasn't up to signing on to your big thinking here, but I suspect somebody already is - just not the way we might prefer.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:01:57 AM PDT

  •  If Only Detroit Was (11+ / 0-)

    White.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 02:25:21 AM PDT

  •  Detroit is full of people who vote (10+ / 0-)

    the wrong way.
    We all know there is a steady transfer of dollars from the blue states to the red. What we don't realize is that this is because the red states are being rewarded for voting right and the blue states are being penalized.
    That financiers get a work-free income when municipalities have to borrow instead of collecting adequate funds is lagniappe since it obligates the financiers to pony up when it comes to campaign finance time.
    The Capitol Hill Gang has a good scam going, but unjust stewards are nothing new. Jesus Christ told us what to do two thousand years ago. They have to be fired.
    What the people in the southlands need to understand is that their nest eggs are next.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 03:06:35 AM PDT

  •  LIFE... ART... (sound of my head exploding)... wow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, ChemBob, shaharazade
    “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.”
                                                      Oscar Wilde

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 03:18:33 AM PDT

  •  The city of Detroit... (3+ / 0-)

    ...is more like a pension plan masquerading as a city. 38% of the city's income is being spent on "legacy costs"... pensions and other debt that taxpayers get zero value out of paying for.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 03:33:23 AM PDT

    •  Pensions are earned. (15+ / 0-)

      They are valuable because old people who have worked all of their lives need the pensions they earned to survive. Without that, they cannot afford to be old and unable to work.  

      But that is just old, vulnerable people, like your Grandma, Sparhawk, and they aren't important. Lets look at what really counts: the balance sheet. A retired person with a pension has a modest amount of money they can spend.  People with money they can spend add value to a community.  People who are destitute cost money. That is the "business case" for not trashing old people's pensions.

      "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

      by Reepicheep on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 06:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't say it was a good situation... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, fladem, PatriciaVa

        He said the budget numbers don't work.

        If you worked your entire life for Detroit, when it's population was above a million, and it's per capita income was not poverty-level, then you have pension benefits that 700k poverty-level people just can't pay. Given GOP dominance in the relevant legislatures nobody is gonna step in and make up the difference.

        The problem in Detroit is that somebody has to be screwed or the money runs out and everybody's screwed. The problem for Detroit's pensionees is that they are pretty much the only ones who aren't being screwed at this very moment.

    •  The taxpayers value came from the years of hard (6+ / 0-)

      labor, sweat and tears that their city's employees put into serving that city.

      To cheat the workers now is the utmost injustice. They worked for decades to earn their pensions.  The city gained from their work. That the pension funds were mismanaged is not the workers' fault.

      I find your view of "taxpayers get zero value" to be shockingly callous.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:30:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think you understand the word "utmost" (0+ / 0-)

        I lived in Detroit. My car got stolen.

        The police took two hours to show up, and then wouldn't even take a police report because my tags were expired.

        I lived on a street where roughly every 12 months a gang would come through at night, remove everyone's street-facing wheels, and replace them with a stack of bricks. I had wheel-locks so I was fine, but my neighbors spent thousand$ getting new wheels every damn year, and the police were too damn busy to actually bust up the gang.

        Other times we'd see guys stealing houses, we'd call the cops, and they'd do nothing. Literally stealing houses. Going in, grabbing copper pipes, running a ladder up to the roof, ripping off bricks, etc. In broad daylight. And the cops were busy.

        I don't really blame any of these cops. We didn't have enough cops at the time, and they had murders to investigate,. But I'm not gonna tolerate some asshole living in goddamn gated community 1500 miles from the City, demanding that my neighbors lose what little police protection they have so he can still get his pension.

        •  So, if someone lives in Detroit, he keeps his (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, GeorgeXVIII

          pension and if someone no longer lives in Detroit they should lose it?

          Your comment is a remarkable example of reasoning from specific to general which misses the point.

          Suppose that the police were ineffective because there were too few of them, not because they were incompetent.   Who made those decisions? Politicians and the people who influence them with donations - the rich.

          The police could have worked as hard as possible, every day, but the lack of appropriate numbers of officers could have meant their efforts were in vain.

          So, simply saying "Screw everyone who earned a pension" because you had bad experiences is extraordinarily unjust.

          From your statements, it sounds like you've bought off on the line that there is a limited pie.  That's the classic way that the wealthy want us to think so they can pit people against each other.   Is this a real choice or a false one:

          demanding that my neighbors lose what little police protection they have so he can still get his pension.
          Do you think people earning pensions are wealthy? Seriously?  Maybe 1% to 10% are.  But the vast majority are just trying to get by - AFTER - working decades in service to their fellow citizens at generally lower than private wages. That's the way public service has been in the USA for many years - put in your time for lower pay, but have a pension at the end.

          And you want to deny them what they earned?

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:17:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I haven't earned police protection? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk

            As I said there are no good answers to this problem. The only solution that doesn't separate lots of perfectly innocent people from something they have earned is a gift from on-high. The Republicans control the purse on-high in Michigan, and in DC, so barring a personal appearance by Jesus H Christ and his magical $20 Billion bill somebody is not gonna get something they have a moral right to.

            Why shouldn't it be former city employees?

            My problem with the employees isn't so much anything they've done (altho, in practical terms, the fact that almost all city retirees move to Florida means that hurting city retirees does not hurt the city itself), it's that they have yet to sacrifice anything in this mess. Property taxes are higher then mortgage payments. Income tax is at the statutory maximum. Police service has been cut to the point that it doesn't really exist. It is literally illegal for the tax burden to go up more, and it is literally impossible for city services to get worse. Yet pensionees still get 100 cents on the dollar.

            In the short term there is no solution to this situation that does not involve pensions being gutted. There is simply nothing else to gut.

            In the long term they might be able to get something back, and we might be able to get some actual police protection, if the City merges with the County in the solution I outlined in a diary a couple months back. But that's not on anybody in power's RADAR, because of racial BS, so for the time being everybody is screwed.

      •  You're absolutely correct, YucatanMan, but.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep

        ..in part b/c of those pensions, current residents of Detroit have to pay a property tax rate as high as 7%.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 11:21:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And of course... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PatriciaVa, nextstep

          ...even if they have a good job in Detroit, they can easily move to a suburb to instantly rid themselves of these pension "obligations".

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:09:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Nope. No way. Aint gonna happen. (16+ / 0-)

    Detroit is being left to rot for a reason.

    The city was once a symbol for what strong unions could build in America. Now it is to be left in ruins.

    Corporate union breakers say, "Look at Detroit."

    "You brought that shit on yourselves!"

    This better be good. Because it is not going away.

    by DerAmi on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 04:01:57 AM PDT

  •  Juan Cole, MI mideast history prof - on Detroit (18+ / 0-)
    The big question is whether  Detroit’s bankruptcy and likely further decline is a fluke or whether it tells us something about the dystopia that the United States is becoming. It seems to me that the city’s problems are the difficulties of the country as a whole, especially the issues of deindustrialization, robotification, structural unemployment, the rise of the 1% in gated communities, and the racial divide. The mayor has called on families living in the largely depopulated west of the city to come in toward the center, so that they can be taken care of. It struck me as post-apocalyptic. Sometimes the abandoned neighborhoods accidentally catch fire, and 30 buildings will abruptly go up in smoke.
    I added the bold

    Detroit’s Bankruptcy and America’s Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%

    On the other hand, it is worse other places.

    For a book on the current dytsopia in 4 places worse than Detroit, and what that can lead to in America, see Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco "Days of Destruction: Days of Revolt"

    From the book description:

    Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels.
    The book starts in the western plains, where Native Americans were sacrificed in the giddy race for land and empire. It moves to the old manufacturing centers and coal fields that fueled the industrial revolution, but now lie depleted and in decay. It follows the steady downward spiral of American labor into the nation's produce fields and ends in Zuccotti Park where a new generation revolts against a corporate state that has handed to the young an economic, political, cultural and environmental catastrophe.
    •  The pain would be far less, the problems far fewer (12+ / 0-)

      maybe not even exist, if worker wages had kept up with productivity.  The parasites at the top sucked too much blood money out, and starved the host.

    •  That John Cole piece is thought provoking (15+ / 0-)

      He points to the role that labor displacement (moving to low wage states - then to lower wage countries) played in Detroit's decline. Then addresses worker supplanting by automation - which leads to this prescription, fraught with difficulties of implementation:

      It seems to me that we need to abandon capitalism as production becomes detached from human labor. I think all robot labor should be nationalized and put in the public sector, and all citizens should receive a basic stipend from it.
      Despite that though, he has an interesting conclusion:
      Insisting on a 19th century political economy like barracuda capitalism in the face of the rise of mechanized smart labor and the decline of human-based industry produces Detroit. Racial segregation and prejudice produces Detroit. Shrinking and starving government and cutting services while forcing workers to work for ever shrinking wages (or even forcing them out of the labor market altogether) produces Detroit. In essence, Detroit is the natural outgrowth of the main principles of today’s Tea Party-dominated Republican Party. It doesn’t work, and isn’t the future.

      The future is not Detroit or today’s GOP-dominated state legislature in Lansing. It is Something Else. Michigan’s slow, painful decline is trying to tell us something, that robots, race and unhealthy forms of globalization are death to cities under robber baron rules. We need new rules.

      Today Detroit - Tomorrow our Democracy? Shiver.
  •  Planned Shrinkage (12+ / 0-)

    The city follows a plan that includes offering fewer and fewer services. Infrastructure begins to crumble around residents who can't afford to escape or fund the services themselves. Property values decline more rapidly. The private sector no longer offers secure retirement / pensions so many or most of these tax payers, look at their own perilous retirement options and decide their tax dollars should not be used to fund the retirement of public sector workers. The vultures swoop in and grab remaining assets at a huge discount. It works perfectly for the small circle of insanely wealthy pirates.

  •  Detroit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom

    I am not so sure that anyone wants any Detroit assets, not even vultures.  It resembles a third world country.  

  •  Sadly,The indifference to the economic collapse... (19+ / 0-)

    ...of Detroit, and possibly soon to follow other major cities apparently isn't limited to the tone deaf, "I've got mine" republicans in DC, either.  

    We can spend billions (attempting) rebuilding nations that we go to war with--with little oversight into how that money is spent; yet, when it comes to our own tax-paying citizens in large cities, there supposedly is no money.  

     

    •  spend for military and US contractors, little left (12+ / 0-)

      we have about 1,000 military bases in the world

      that is a gigantic construction project

      we have more contractors in the war zones than troops

      another gigantic give away to MIIC

      when we do "infrastructure" in other countries, more money to our contractors

      the BIG expense is fighting wars, not the PR in rebuilding

      In Iraq, there are 2 million refugees outside the country, 2 million refugees inside the country, that is 4 million people

      Iraq was one of the most prosperous countries in Mid East before W Bush destroyed it

      we only know how to destroy, not to rebuild

      and what was learned in war we are bringing home

      what if the $3 to $6 trillion dollars in the wars had been spent at home?

  •  i like your thinking. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, shaharazade

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 04:31:42 AM PDT

  •  Diarist blockquotes Michigan's Constitution... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, peregrine kate

    Where TF is the STATE of Michigan in this bullshit?
    How TF did Michigan let Detroit go bankrupt?

    Oh wait a minute, I forgot puggy's are in charge in Michigan They wanted G.M. to go down that road.

    There's $4 trillion dollars of U.S. municipal debt.
    The bankster saliva glands are doing overtime.
    Big money to steal.

  •  Urban poverty in America made me question everythi (9+ / 0-)

    Chris Hedges: Urban Poverty in America Made Me Question Everything

    this is a conversational interview where Chris tells of his experience living in a poverty area and saw the destruction first hand. The worst destruction is aimed at children.

    Poverty is invisible in our country.

    There are several parts to the interview not sure how to get to the others. The first 3 parts are excellent.

  •  Detroit is an abandoned city, it is that simple. (3+ / 0-)

    What is missing from all of these conversations about Detroit is the fact that the people who abandoned it live (mostly) within 20 miles of its boarders.  It was simply easier to build shiny new suburbs than repair and maintain the old, so people did it*.  Detroit will not turn around until it becomes cheaper to maintain the old than to abandon and build new.  In 20 years, southeast Michigan will be concrete from Port Huron to Flint to Ann Arbor if nothing changes, and there will be a massive abandoned core of not only Detroit but its closest suburbs.  (And some of the close burbs are already looking pretty shabby...)

    Trying to make Detroit 'viable' without changing this simple economic reality is meaningless.  What the dumbass white suburbanites refuse to understand is it is their shit on the chopping block too: by virtue of being a tax-payer who's state income taxes have subsidized the City, they have every right to demand a say in what happens to the DIA, water department, fire and police dept assets, school system, and everything else.  They unfortunately seem all to willing to walk away and let snyder shoot as many of these assets over to his crony capitalist buddies as he can get away with.  They'll even brag about how snyder is making new wealth, not realizing that the 'new' wealth is their own that Snyder is giving away.

    *Of course you have to factor in that by moving out, people could 'avoid' dealing with teh blacks.  The white power structure has never forgiven detroit for electing a black mayor back in the 70s, and kids who have no clue what is going on are still fighting a fight they do not understand and have no gain from simply because the propaganda is that strong.....

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 05:03:25 AM PDT

    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the people who abandoned it and built white suburbs are mostly dead.  

      The white people living in those suburbs today are one or two generations removed from the white flight that peaked in the late 60s and early 70s. They have no affinity for Detroit because they never lived there. In fact concentric migration continued through the 80s and 90s, when many of those second and third generation suburbanites moved further out, lured by things like bigger homes and brand spanking new infrastructure. We have also seen a wave of non-white flight from the city, which is what drove the population of Detroit well below one million. So the problem isn't just that white people don't want to live there. Clearly there are lots of non-white people who don't want to live there either.

      Of course, concentric migration from cities is not unique to Detroit.

      BTW, referring to us as "dumbass white suburbanites" does little to persuade. Personally, I didn't walk away from Detroit, my grandparents did in the 1950s. I did, however walk away from Allen Park to Brighton in 2000. And given the dire straights Allen Park is in due to a stupid movie studio deal, I'm glad I did.

      I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

      by itsjim on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, say you had a million dollar boat in storage (0+ / 0-)

        that you never use.  That might sound cool but assume it should be a five million dollar boat, but it is in such a state of disrepair there is no way you'd get that for it.  And, since the seats are torn, the engine blows smoke, and it is quite a haul to simply get it out of storage and into the water, you never use it.

        Now say the storage facility calls you and says: "We have a great plan to lower the storage costs for your boat!  We  found a wrecker who is going to haul it away!  Won't cost you a dime!"

        "So, great!" you respond.  "I can stop paying for storage then"

        "Oh no!" the operator replies.  "We said a lower cost for us, not a lower bill for you.  We still have expenses...."

        Detroit is your boat.  The fees are your taxes.  The operator is Snyder and his crony capitalist buddies.  He is going to 'save alot of money', but you will not see any of it in your taxes.  Any questions...???

        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

        by ban48 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:56:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or - riddle me this: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine

        How many 'investors' sat down with Snyder and Orr and said:

        "You know, I'd love to invest in the City of Detroit, but there is just too much art in the DIA.  Go sell some of that art in the DIA and then we can talk."

        The simple fact that they even had this on the table reveals that is a simple money grab, no more, no less.

        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

        by ban48 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 01:02:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Banks skimed billions of dollars from cities... (12+ / 0-)

    and small towns across America.

    ...The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from "virtually every state, district and territory in the United States," according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime....
  •  A perfect storm (6+ / 0-)

       I have lived in and around Detroit most of my life. I cheered the Tigers from Kaline to Cabrera and the Lions from Karras to Stafford. Even when I lived in beautiful San Diego I was a Detroiter at heart. Many powerful forces have converged on Detroit over the decades to bring it to this point. The first real disaster was the '67 riots. That accelerated the white flight to the suburbs. The next big hit was the decline of automotive jobs. They peaked about 1974. After that, most new auto jobs went to the South or overseas. It didn't help that the long time mayor of Detroit, Coleman Young, was always fighting the suburban officials and exploiting race to consolidate his own power. From the 80s on, stagnant wages and fewer good jobs hampered every city but Detroit was weakened and was hit harder. The poverty and crime decimated the schools. Few corporations were willing to invest in the city because of these problems. When you add in the fact that the states and federal government have abandoned the cities it is obvious that Detroit didn't have a chance.  

    •  Detroit WILL rise from the ashes. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious, Yoshimi

      There are a lot of us putting a lot of work into seeing that this happens.

    •  1967 and 1943 riots wiki: (6+ / 0-)

      (43 dead and 34 dead. No national memory. Distant memories for a few but sometimes passed on.)
      1967 wiki
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan, US. It began on a Saturday night in the early-morning hours of July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in United States history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot.
      To help end the disturbance, Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in Army troops. The result was 43 dead, 1189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. The scale of the riot was surpassed only by the New York City Draft Riots, which took place during the U.S. Civil War, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The riot was prominently featured in the news media, with live television coverage, extensive newspaper reporting, and extensive stories in Time and Life magazines. The Detroit Free Press won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage.
      1943 wiki:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(1943)
      The riots lasted three days and ended once Mayor Edward Jeffries Jr. and Governor Harry Kelly asked President Roosevelt to intervene. Federal troops finally restored peace to the streets of Detroit. Over the course of three days, 34 people were killed. Of them, 25 were African–Americans, 17 of whom were killed by the police. Thirteen murders remain unsolved. Out of the approximately 600 injured, black people accounted for more than 75 percent and of the roughly 1,800 people who were arrested over the course of the three-day riots, black people accounted for 85 percent.
    •  Thank you for this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fladem

      I've seen a lot of ignorant comments on this thread from people who have never been to Detroit. Your comment shows the complexity of the problem.

    •  Coleman picked fights? (0+ / 0-)

      This is why I have trouble talking to white people about this issue. And I say that as white boy.

      Coleman Young's opponent in his first Mayoral election was police chief named John Nichols. Nichols anti-crime strategy was to create a unit called STRESS (Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets). In Detroit it's primarily remembered a s a gang that protected a psychopathic racist serial killer by the name of Officer Raymond Peterson.

      Immediately after getting defeated, and several months AFTER Peterson made his (in Detroit proper at least) infamous guilty by reason of insanity plea, Nichols became Sheriff of suburban Oakland County. Unlike Coleman, Sheriff Nichols died in office in 1999.

      Let me repeat: a Police Chief whose entire resume was "I sent a psychopathic racist serial killer out to hunt down young black men," was made chief law enforcement officer in Detroit's main suburban political unit.

      I'm not claiming Coleman ever backed down from a fight. I am claiming that anyone who thinks his fights with the burbs were unprovoked has been talking to to many white supremacists.

  •  2 words come to mind: vrai/savant! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, LaFeminista

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 05:34:31 AM PDT

  •  Time for a new homestead project (4+ / 0-)

    The county is full of of unemployed, skilled people.  There should be a program encouraging people to relocate. First to Detroit and then to other hollowed-out cities.  Instead of 20 acres and a mule, they should be given some abandoned property and a stipend to rebuild it.  Another relatively small influx of money could set the stage for a rebirth of the region.  All that private Gates Foundation money that's going into for-profit schools, etc., could be put to far better use subsidizing for the short term a corps of people to relocate and rebuild and re-imagine our lost Rust Belt cities.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 06:15:58 AM PDT

  •  Psssst. Don't tell Obama about your fantasies. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, shaharazade

    No buck don't stop there no how.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 06:20:15 AM PDT

  •  If Detroit were a bank... (5+ / 0-)

    ...it would be closed down by the FDIC and it's assets would be taken over by Chicago.

    Seriously, we're talking about a city that has lost 2/3 of it's population since it's peak.  A city that has been on the decline since the late sixties.  

    That's why the comparison with a bank doesn't hold up -- if it were a bank, it would be a bank that had been losing assets for decades, to the point where it is no longer a major bank.  And the government only steps in when a bank is "too big to fail"...a status that the Bank of Detroit would have lost probably a couple decades ago.

    It also begs the question of what actually needs to be done to turn Detroit around.  A city that has 700,000 peole but enough infrastructure for over 2 million people really is a city that has major problems.  It's easy to say that it must be turned around, perhaps even to say what should have been done differently in the past.  But what needs to be done now?  Simply funneling money into the city to continue attempting to maintain infrastructure for 3x the current population really isn't the answer...

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 06:23:19 AM PDT

    •  Yes that is what I said, just throw money at it (5+ / 0-)

      really?

      Funny I started off with bringing in the bulldozers, getting rid of the mess.

      Ensuring peoples pensions

      Making sure the services work.

      Then start rebuilding rather than trying to cut it to death. That is why I mentioned the Marshall plan.

      The other way is to asset strip the city and leave it to rot, which is what the plan at the moment seems to be [have been]

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 07:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Honestly you're looking at the problem wrong... (0+ / 0-)

      The 1-2 million who left Detroit didn't disappear into thin air. They moved to 13 Mile in Oakland County. If Detroit was a bank they'd let it disappear. Oakland would finish sucking up it's assets (ie: residents), and the area between 8 Mile and Dearborn would return to wilderness.

      But since all governments are too big to fail Detroit will merely have it's debt written down to sustainable levels, and everyone will hope that frees up enough cash to create working a working police department. I doubt it will, and 20 years from now we'll be having this conversation again.

      My plan would be to merge Oakland, Wayne, etc. so that the assets (ie: taxpayers) match up with the debts. This would be good for Oakland and Macomb because it's really hard to convince Kia to open it's American factory in a  County that's across the street from the biggest municipal disaster on the continent. It would also put Detroit much nearer the top rank of most of those silly lists you see ranking cities.

  •  Lemonade Detroit documentary, check it out (4+ / 0-)

    There's a documentary in the making called Lemonade Detroit which highlights the urban decay but also powerful individuals who are doing their part to reignite the city. I've donated a small amount toward production. There is an extended trailer, definitely worth watching.

    http://www.lemonadedetroit.com/

  •  You are such a commie. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, melo

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:07:48 AM PDT

  •  And Detroit would be a less risky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    investment than some of the TBTF will be in the long run.  Investment in these banks commits this country long term to many things which are odious, but not necessarily obvious.  

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:21:26 AM PDT

  •  Republicans and Third Way Democrats have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prishannah, aliasalias

    determined that government is for serving private not public interests. The rest of us can just piss off.

    The only questions are:

    How do we wrest control of the Democratic Party from the Third Way when they are in league with the plutocrats?

    Can that be done on a time scale to address the security state before it becomes a death star or climate change before it becomes a death certificate?

    or

    How do we wrest control over policies from the beltway?

    And when? When, people?

  •  Why Not Have A Bake Sale? (0+ / 0-)

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 09:59:03 AM PDT

  •  Professor Juan Cole posted on outstanding essay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    today about reviving Detroit and the nation as well. He builds on Dr. King's call for a guaranteed income.  Dr. Cole argues that the need for a guaranteed income will become essential world-wide by mid-century if a modern economic system is to survive.

    Detroit’s Bankruptcy and America’s Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%

    Posted on 07/19/2013 by Juan Cole

    The big question is whether Detroit’s bankruptcy and likely further decline is a fluke or whether it tells us something about the dystopia that the United States is becoming. It seems to me that the city’s problems are the difficulties of the country as a whole, especially the issues of deindustrialization, robotification, structural unemployment, the rise of the 1% in gated communities, and the racial divide. The mayor has called on families living in the largely depopulated west of the city to come in toward the center, so that they can be taken care of. It struck me as post-apocalyptic. Sometimes the abandoned neighborhoods accidentally catch fire, and 30 buildings will abruptly go up in smoke.

    Detroit had nearly 2 million inhabitants in its heyday, in the 1950s. When I moved to southeast Michigan in 1984, the city still had over a million. I remember that at the time of the 1990 census, its leaders were eager to keep the status of a million-person city, since there were extra Federal monies for an urban area of that size, and they counted absolutely everyone they could find. They just barely pulled it off. But in 2000 the city fell below a million. In 2010 it was 714,000 or so. Google thinks it is now 706,000. There is no reason to believe that it won’t shrink on down to almost nothing.

    The foremost historian of modern Detroit, Thomas J. Sugrue, has explained the city’s decline. First of all, Detroit grew from 400,000 to 1.84 million from 1910-1950 primarily because of the auto industry and the other industries that fed it (machine tools, spare parts, services, etc.) From 1950 until now, two big things happened to ruin the city with regard to industry. The first was robotification. The automation of many processes in the factories led to fewer workers being needed, and produced unemployment. (It was a trick industrial capitalism played on the African-Americans who flocked to Detroit in the 1940s to escape being sharecroppers in Georgia and elsewhere in the deep South, that by the time they got settled the jobs were beginning to disappear). Then, the auto industry began locating elsewhere, along with its support industries, to save money on labor or production costs or to escape regulation.

    The refusal of the white population to allow African-American immigrants to integrate produced a strong racial divide and guaranteed inadequate housing and schools to the latter. Throughout the late 1950s and the 1960s, you had substantial white flight, of which the emigration from the city after the 1967 riots was a continuation. The white middle and business classes took their wealth with them to the suburbs, and so hurt the city’s tax base. That decrease in income came on top of the migration of factories. The fewer taxes the city brought in, the worse its services became, and the more people fled. The black middle class began departing in the 1980s and now is mostly gone.

    Other observers have suggested other concomitants of the decline, like poor city planning or the inability to attract foreign immigrants in sufficient numbers. I suspect that the decline of Detroit as a port is important somehow to the story (only one of the four old locks at Sault St. Marie lets big ships come down to the lower Great Lakes and therefore to Detroit any more. A new, big [pdf] modern lock is being built to accommodate larger vessels, but it will be a decade before it opens. Some observers point out that Detroit would make sense as a Midwest hub port for international shipping containers if its harbor was expanded and linked by rail to the cities of the region, but I suspect the new lock at the Soo is a prerequisite.

    After all these decades of dashed hopes, it is hard for me to take too seriously any assertions that the city is about to turn the corner or that some renewal project is about to succeed. At this point it seems to me a question of whether you retain some of the population that will otherwise leave. I find particularly unlikely the idea that urban farming is part of the solution. It sounds cute, but farmers don’t make nearly as much money as urban industrial workers, which is why they mostly went to the cities. You can’t put money into a city that way.

    While other cities have avoided Detroit’s extreme fate, I think the nation as a whole faces some of the intractable problems that the city does, and I don’t think we have a solution for them.

    Take robots (and I really just mean highly mechanized and computerized production of commodities). More and more factory work is automated, and advances in computer technology could well make it possible to substantially increase productivity. This rise of the robots violates the deal that the capitalists made with American consumers after the great Depression, which is that they would provide people with well-paying jobs and the workers in turn would buy the commodities the factories produced, in a cycle of consumerism. If the goods can be produced without many workers, and if the workers then end up suffering long-term unemployment (as Detroit does), then who will buy the consumer goods? Capitalism can survive one Detroit, but what if we are heading toward having quite a few of them?

    It seems to me that we need to abandon capitalism as production becomes detached from human labor. I think all robot labor should be nationalized and put in the public sector, and all citizens should receive a basic stipend from it. Then, if robots make an automobile, the profits will not go solely to a corporation that owns the robots, but rather to all the citizens. It wouldn’t be practical anyway for the robots to be making things for unemployed, penniless humans. Perhaps we need a 21st century version of ‘from all according to their abilities, to all according to their needs.’

    Communally-owned mechanized/ computerized forms of production would also help resolve the problem of increasing income inequality in the United States. The top 1% is now taking home 20% of the national income each month, up from 10% a few decades ago. The 1% did a special number on southeast Michigan with its derivatives and unregulated mortgage markets; the 2008 crash hit the region hard, and it had already been being hit hard. The Detroit area is a prime example of the blight that comes from having extreme wealth (Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe) and extreme poverty (most of Detroit) co-existing in an urban metropolitan area. It doesn’t work. The wealthy have no city to play in, and the city does not have the ability to tax or benefit from the local wealthy in the suburbs. These problems are exacerbated by de facto racial segregation, such that African-Americans are many times more likely to be unemployed than are whites, and to live in urban blight rather than in nice suburbs.

    The crisis of capitalism is being delayed in part because of the rise of Asia and the emergence of new consumer markets in places with rapidly growing populations. American corporations have relocated to those places with increasing numbers of people and cheap labor, leaving working communities like Detroiters abandoned and idle. US companies are making goods in Vietnam to sell to middle class Chinese and Indians. But the world population will level off in 2050 and probably will decline thereafter. At that point, consumerism will have reached its limits, since there will be fewer consumers every year thereafter. (There is also the problem that classical 1940s and 1950s consumerism is environmentally unsustainable).

    With robot labor, cheap wind and solar power, and a shrinking global population, post-2050 human beings could have universally high standards of living. They could put their energies into software creation, biotech, and artistic creativity, which are all sustainable. The stipend generated by robot labor would be a basic income for everyone, but they’d all be free to see if they could generate further income from entrepreneurship or creativity. And that everyone had a basic level of income would ensure that there were buyers for the extra goods or services. This future will depend on something like robot communalism, and an abandonment of racism, so that all members of the commune are equal and integrated into new, sustainable urban spaces.

    Insisting on a 19th century political economy like barracuda capitalism in the face of the rise of mechanized smart labor and the decline of human-based industry produces Detroit. Racial segregation and prejudice produces Detroit. Shrinking and starving government and cutting services while forcing workers to work for ever shrinking wages (or even forcing them out of the labor market altogether) produces Detroit. In essence, Detroit is the natural outgrowth of the main principles of today’s Tea Party-dominated Republican Party. It doesn’t work, and isn’t the future.

    The future is not Detroit or today’s GOP-dominated state legislature in Lansing. It is Something Else. Michigan’s slow, painful decline is trying to tell us something, that robots, race and unhealthy forms of globalization are death to cities under robber baron rules. We need new rules.
    http://www.juancole.com/...

  •  it would be Lehman (0+ / 0-)

    detorit has lost 3/4ths of its peak population

  •  Breaking: Judge says Bankruptcy Unconstitutional (0+ / 0-)

    This is going to the Supreme Court, and Calpers will probably be the most interested party.

    State law vs. Federal law

    State sovereignty vs. Federal powers

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 12:00:57 PM PDT

  •  Why not create a national park? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeorgeXVIII, melo

    I live in Boston, but I was born and raised in Detroit. It is terrible to see my native city go through this trauma.
    Among the mistakes made by past Detroit leaders, one was not creating enough parks for its citizens. There are some beautiful parks, such as Belle Isle and Rouge Park, but those are rare.
    There are the beautiful Huron-Clinton Metroparks, thanks to some far-sighted people. But most of these are fairly small and pretty far from the city. But there are no national parks (except Point Pelee in Canada and the new River Raisin National Battlefield Park, a significant but small area in Monroe) anywhere close to Detroit. There are no major state parks close to the city.
    It is a tragedy that a large portion of the Detroit's buildings are abandoned, degraded, or reverted to city ownership. I support the revival of areas by visionary in-migrants wherever possible. However, this will not solve the entire problem anytime soon, if ever.
    In may ways, the depopulation of Detroit has been very bad.  However, the one good thing about it is that it provides an opportunity to rethink the city's blueprint. Maybe it is time to think about ecological restoration and historic preservation as a part of a renewed Detroit.
    Why not create a new Detroit National Park"? It would be a restoration park that encompasses existing city parks that are closing, consolidates degraded and abandoned tracts, incorporates obsolete industrial sites, includes key historic sites, and connects them in a new, coherent National Park System unit.
    Detroit is in an ecoregion with virtually no large protected areas. The history of Detroit — from Native Americans to the French and English, to American settlers, to immigrants seeking jobs in the industrial era, to new immigrants escaping tyranny in other countries — has been poorly preserved and poorly told. A new national park could preserve important sites and tell important stories.
    A Detroit National Park would certainly not solve all of the city's problems. However, unlike most of what is happening now, it would be a positive initiative. It could rally citizens looking for a constructive solution. It could gain public attention across the state and America. It could bring state, federal, and private philanthropic dollars. It could result in on-the-ground protection.
    A national park could begin reversing the negative image of Detroit and make it a more desirable place to live (no other Metro Detroit city has a national park). It could actually bring some people back to the city, to live near a park with recovering natural areas, preservation of priceless historic sites, and public education and recreation programs. It could give citizens something to work on together, for the benefit of the people.
    Again, this would not be a cure-all. But the creation of Lowell National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts -- which experienced a smaller-scale Detroit-type meltdown in the 1960s and 1970s — marked the beginning of a gradual renewal of the city. Lowell still has major problems, but it has regained self-respect and a sense of purpose, and it is once again moving in a positive direction.
    I live far away. But I am working on new national parks in the Maine Woods and across the country, and I think there is a possibility here. It seems that given the dire situation, key members of Congress from Michigan might support a "special resource study" of the park idea by the National Park Service. Even the governor and legislature might go along, for want of any other positive solutions. There is not much to lose for anyone and a lot to potentially gain.
    If anyone is interested in pursuing the idea, I am glad to help.

  •  How about some blame for our own party (0+ / 0-)

    There have been stretches of time where democrats have controlled the state and the city and even some periods included the country as well. So why not blame the city and the democratic party for culpability in this declne?

    Yes, the white people in that region show incredible racism. The same white people dont mind demanding help for auto stimuluses. But turn their noses down on federal funds for Detroit.

    Still racism wont go away anytime soon. It's time detroit figures out how to get better on their own and when Democrats retake the state do not blow an opportunity to help improve the city.  We need to blame the city administration of Detroit even if a lot of them are African American.

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