The patients who reach out while in the quicksand of catastrophic illness, like the 49-year-old man who was terminated by his insurance company because he had the nerve to contract brain cancer, are equal parts heartbreaking and inspirational.
Republican Governor Rick Snyder has appointed an emergency manager to run Detroit in place of the duly elected mayor and City Council. Even more troubling, the governor did so after Michigan voters had rejected the emergency manager law at the ballot box.
"That auto task force," said Keith, "and I'm sorry to get political, but it is political, that auto task force that Obama put together, not one single member of it had any automotive experience."
In Rick Snyder's Michigan, there's no money to make good on the pensions seniors in Detroit worked a lifetime to earn, but there's always a few hundred million available for a billionaire who wants an extravagant new sports arena.
We both took time in a deserted New York City office building on the Friday before the last, long summer holiday weekend, to discuss something that affects every professional, but puts most people to sleep!
In recent years, we have developed an unhealthy habit of blaming the borrower, but there are two parties in every financial contract -- and the lender is almost always the more experienced, more sophisticated, and more powerful of the two.
Rick Snyder may not be to blame for Detroit's fall from grace but standing idly by while his greatest asset imploded is not the work of a great businessman or a great governor. It is the action of man who is out of his depth.
The debate over public pensions shows clearly the contempt that the elites have for ordinary workers. While elites routinely preach the sanctity of contract when it works to benefit the rich and powerful, they are happy to treat the contracts that provide workers with pensions as worthless scraps of paper.
By the time I was 24, I owed nearly $35,000 on eight credit cards. Staying on top of the payments was like having a second full-time job.
Excessive mortgage debt, student loan debt, medical debt and more have placed untenable burdens upon millions. As we learn from our Torah portion, a cursed society is one in which factions are trapped in merciless power dynamics as debtors.
Detroit's financial woes have placed the issue of bankruptcy in the national spotlight. Yet, for many Americans, who are still struggling to get back on their feet amid high unemployment and expensive medical bills, bankruptcy is all too familiar.
As the dust settles after the initial Detroit bankruptcy filing, all sorts of unanswered questions and economic choices are getting clearer.
Do you think the damage from the pending bankruptcy of the city of Detroit will be limited to Detroit? Think again. Detroit is partly the victim of economic trends far beyond its control, the downsizing and outsourcing of the auto industry and the collapse of the sub-prime bubble, to name just two. And yes, the city has suffered from corrupt and inept local government. But leaving Detroit to a bankruptcy process that favors investment bankers over local pensioners will neither provide a fair outcome nor contain the damage. It is a travesty that the federal government and the Michigan state government are not sending Detroit a lifeline. Other cities and states stand to lose both public services and pension benefits as this trend spreads. Chicago, which just suffered three levels of bond-downgrading, looks to be next.
What do you think of when someone mentions "unions"? Me? I think of striking workers marching down streets. I think of Tony Soprano. I think of ceme...
While corporate profits soar and our biggest corporations increase in value by billions, the people of the city of Detroit, some of whom are also the customers and employees who keep those corporations in business, are insolvent.
The message we're sending other cities as well as our own citizens is it's OK to mismanage all of your money because the government will come riding in on the white horse to save you.