City of the future?

What's unfolding in Detroit is a cautionary tale for other major cities

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They rebelled in Wisconsin for less.

Then again, they were rebelling against a Republican governor. Detroit’s Democratic Mayor Dave Bing is being given a
lot more leeway than Wisconsin’s Scott Walker was.

“The Democratic mayor,” writes the Wall Street Journal, “has slashed wages across the board by 10 percent; increased health premiums and co-pays; reduced current-worker pensions and suspended retirees’ 2.25 percent cost-of-living raises. ... The mayor has also floated raising the retirement age and moving new hires to 401(k)-style plans as the state did in 1997. He’s even put the nuclear option – freezing pensions for all workers – on the table.”

By comparison, the Wisconsin Rebellion was fought over nothing.

Then again, Detroit is in far worse shape, and is headed for bankruptcy – which would be a watershed event in American history, as the largest municipality to do so. The state has kept Detroit afloat thus far, but the city “may soon be cut off since council members last month rejected a contract for a legal firm to advise the mayor, a condition of further aid.” The reason? Unions don’t like the law firm that drafted the agreement.

Not surprisingly, but no less brazenly, some in Detroit are already looking to Uncle Sam – in other words, you – for a bailout.

In fact, one Detroit councilwoman seems to think that a bailout of Detroit ought to be a direct reward for helping re-elect Barack Obama.

“Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo and you ought to exercise leadership on that,” said Councilwoman JoAnn Watson. “After the election of Jimmy Carter, the honorable Coleman Alexander Young, he went to Washington, D.C., and came home with some bacon. That’s what you do.”

Wow. That’s what you do.

But that’s the shameless mindset today among some in American cities and states that have irresponsibly overspent their capacity to pay for it: They don’t just come asking for help; they expect and demand it.

“President Obama faces an impending crisis that is as bad, if not worse, than the national debt,” writes Michael J. Hicks, associate professor of economics at Ball State University. “I write, of course, about the potential for widespread bankruptcies of perhaps dozens of municipalities and the effective bankruptcy of at least three and as many as a dozen states.”

Some 28 cities have reached bankruptcy in the past two years, he notes, and hundreds may follow. States are also in trouble due to pension contracts executed on Fantasy Island.

Just wait until California comes knocking.

“In Chicago, New York and Los Angeles,” writes Hicks, “it will mean fiscal chaos that is outside of modern memory. This will lead to calls for federal interventions, which must be largely resisted.”

The professor is absolutely right. More responsible states and hamlets will be put on the spot to bail these others out, and that can’t happen. It’s wrong – taxation without representation, one could argue – and there just isn’t enough money to do it.

In Europe, industrious Germans and others have been financing lavish pensions and public benefits in cash-strapped Greece. They’re getting tired of it.

Is it the future you see?

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itsanotherday1 12/25/12 - 11:53 pm
Oh, but it isn't the highly

Oh, but it isn't the highly paid public sector union workers and their lavish pensions at the root of the problems for these cities and states is it?

Not a penny; NOT ONE BLANKETY BLANK PENNY!! from the federal government (aka YOU and ME) to these states/cities (people) who've lived above their means. Let them take pay cuts, pension reductions, and social services cuts to get back in line with the real world.

seenitB4 12/26/12 - 08:23 am
How insane.....

The councilwoman said,....

“Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo and you ought to exercise leadership on that,” said Councilwoman JoAnn Watson. “ are saying give us a payout because we elected let me see many payouts can we afford B4 we go UNDER!!!
No payouts....none zip--nada--stop this madness..

Riverman1 12/26/12 - 08:43 am
Richmond County?

Hey, what are we laughing about. Overwhelmingly Democratic Richmond County will have the repo man in its driveway at midnight, soon enough.

rmwhitley 12/26/12 - 10:18 am
Detroit, and Dave Bing, are

black while Wisconsin has an overload of cheeseheaded unions(lefty whites).

bubbasauce 12/26/12 - 10:25 am
Riverman, you are absolutely

Riverman, you are absolutely right about overwhelmingly Democratic Richmond County! They are an exact mini version of Washington, D.C., and they know it and still do nothing. I remember a song about "Augusta, Ga." is just no place to be! Oh by the way, hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Gary Ross
Gary Ross 12/26/12 - 10:58 am
We're all in for a very

We're all in for a very serious wake up, not just Detroit. Obama doesn't care about rescuing any American institution, even if they voted for him. He's got a different agenda. The majority of American voters were lulled into complacement believing in the false hope that there are endless federal resources for all. So it is with "no tax increases for the middle class" as well, while we happily go over the cliff. Who are these people going to blame when their paychecks are so heavily taxed that they cannot afford to hold a job any more, and gas reaches $9.00 a gallon?

Fiat_Lux 12/26/12 - 12:11 pm
It really is time to simplify

especially on a personal level. That might not be something considered by the indolent and dependent classes, but those who have worked to support their families, even if they have retired and receive social security benefits, will probably be able to understand what it means to scale back on the expenses and reduce one's outlay in order to stay afloat.

That has got to happen now. There is no other option because our economy is failing. Our economic base has shrunk so drastically, even as we became so affluent and so well-educated, and so accustomed to living a life of opulence that we have priced ourselves out of our own ability to produce wealth.

Simplicity in our personal living and spending habits is about our only option, and we can choose how we will do it or wait and have it forced upon us by circumstances. It is coming, though. We probably are going to see a lot more extended families living together under the same roof, which, IMO, will be a good thing once the dust settles from working out relationships and how to get along peacefully.

Hopefully, we will have the option to return to being a nation of thrifty, responsible citizens who think ahead and save for what they want and for their own retirement.

itsanotherday1 12/26/12 - 01:35 pm
I think you have a very

I think you have a very accurate crystal ball FL: and why I don't want another tax dollar spent bailing out anyone. The producing people in this country need every dime to take care of themselves, because tougher times are coming. Those feeling the pinch today, like Detroit, just need to make adjustments.

debbiep38 12/26/12 - 04:06 pm
Gary Ross, "who are those

Gary Ross, "who are those people going to blame", why Bush of course.

Conservative Man
Conservative Man 12/26/12 - 05:28 pm
On November 7th....

.....I "shrugged"......

I believe a few million producers and net tax payers did the same.....

The moochers and leeches will kill the host....slowly but surely...

I have my escape plan in you?

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