Why did Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr rush through a settlement that even the bankruptcy court found to be fundamentally out of balance while simultaneously pounding away at the public employee pensions?
Mayor Duggan cannot rest his laurels on mere trash pick up and snow removal. He has got to attack poverty in Detroit head on.
A deal still has to be made to rescue the city and all stakeholders should have some say if the end result is to sustain a vibrant and viable city.
Detroit has become the victim of the worst aspects of predatory post-industrial forces of capitalism ranged against this city, and against American workers overall. These are the forces of deindustrialization, globalization, failed government policies, and the legacy of intractable racism.
That's the one good thing you can say about what's going on in Detroit: It will hopefully motivate the politicians, employees and unions everywhere else to face reality and not believe the Tooth Fairy will somehow deposit the cash under their pillows.
"Detroit is not just abandoned buildings, people live here." -Jack Watkins, age 25. To be a Detroit native is to have felt that catch in the throat, ...
Neighborhood revitalization is the key to Detroit's transformation. Our city will never truly be transformed until we can affirm it as a safe city.
If we don't make good jobs available to every resident of Detroit, we will lack in safety, education and the economy.
Why not provide an opportunity for Nugent to demonstrate his humanitarian side? In other words, why not turn lemons into lemonade (or perhaps more aptly, feral hog entrails into pulled pork sandwiches)?
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.
Like most young writers/artists/creators who entertain the idea of moving to Detroit, I visited for all of the reasons Patti Smith told me to and also because I'd found a house for one dollar through a Re/Max agent on the Internet.
Our cities were once engines of growth and prosperity. They're still rich with potential resources, both human and material. But restoring them will require faith -- in the future, in our people, and in our ability to meet and overcome challenges.
The refrain on repeat across news outlets includes some combination of the following: decades of mismanagement, a shrinking tax base, the decline of industry, and corruption. All of these factors doubtlessly contributed to Detroit's financial distress, but as an explanation for it they are woefully incomplete.
One part of my blueprint however, always stayed the same. After traveling the world I'd ultimately settle down in my hometown. But what do you do when the place you planned your dreams around no longer exists? What do you do when you're from Detroit?
The world will shrug when Detroit's art collection is put on the block, when cops are fired, when schools close and when real people suffer. But don't pay back bondholders and attention must be paid.
The Windy City is likely the next shoe to fall. Above all, elected officials around the country must take this lesson from Detroit: Do not spend money you do not have because one day, the bills will come due.