Death Of A City - Detroit

The Painful Death Of A Once Proud City

The Warning Signs Were There and Ignored

Most people by now know, I would hope, that Detroit has had to file for bankruptcy. Many probably don't know that Kid Rock is from Detroit and an ardent fan of his home town. He isn't too fond I'm sure to see that the city he calls home has been laid to waste by corrupt Democratic administrations and labor unions who have made demands that city after city across this nation are finding out now that they can't afford.

So as we move forward with this article let me entertain you with a cut off the Kid's latest album about Detroit, Michigan. The whole album is worth a listen but we won't do it here now.

Kid's Tribute To His City Gone South

A couple of decades back the city of Detroit, which encompasses about 140 square miles, was thriving with a population of approximately 2 million people and times were good. After all the city as known as "The Motor City" where the UAW is strong and its demands are usually out of line with economic reality. As this unfolds we'll be able to see how vested the UAW was in the municipal financial instruments of the city itself, specifically as they pertain to retirement funds owed to those UAW workers who have soaked up the gravy for decades on end. Once upon a time the automobile was the king of Detroit and the rest is now known history with the auto company bailouts we, the tax payer, have had to suffer through.

The sad side of this remains that the population of this once thriving city has declined to 600,000 people. They can't pay the freight that is due and if you think they can please explain how.

We DO NOT need to start bailing out failed cities as their economic plight finally starts coming on. We don't need to start rewarding anybody who displays the gross financial management skills that caused this sort of disaster. To set such a precedent based upon political instincts will prove disastrous. Cities will get in line, followed by mismanaged states like California, New York and others, but people need to start paying attention. The facts are that the deficit in Detroit is 34% and this nation's federal deficit amounts to 40%. What should that tell you? Which line is the federal government supposed to get in when its recklessness in fiscal responsibility comes home to roost. If you think it can't happen then look at a small slice of the pie like Detroit and then start doing the math.

BACON? That's the solution?

Talk of quid pro quo, bringing home the bacon and being rewarded for reelecting Obama makes my stomach turn. Then she asks, "Why not?" I'll tell you why not Joann Watson, Because the tax payers of this nation did not create the mess we see in Detroit and have no obligation to pull your post toasties out of the fire. That was your job and you failed at it.

The city of Detroit is now out of gas and running on empty. So the average American who actually pays taxes is responsible for that? Because you were stupid enough to "bring home the bacon" and help insure the reelection of another inept politician by the name of Barack Hussein Obama the rest of us are supposed to compound that very suffering with your suggestion? Incompetence breeding incompetence? Is that it?

The facts are that union pension demands are the reason Detroit has met the fate it is facing. The city fathers over the decades are to blame for the plight it faces. The unions controlled labor in that city, as they do many others, and the administrations over time have capitulated and met those excessive union demands. For the past four decades the citizens of Detroit kept electing corrupt, union coddling politicians of the Democratic Party stripe. Now they have no one to blame but themselves.

They Still Want That Free Lunch

An emergency city manager, by the name of Kevyn Orr, was appointed to try to get a handle on the financial crisis but he ended up failing to get the parties to agree. He proposed that the city employees from the past and the present agree to spread the pain around with the municipal bond holders. Sounds reasonable doesn't it? Not when you're dealing with unreasonable unions it doesn't. There was the typical finger pointing with the unions blaming the bond holders and back at you.

The compromise effort failed and the unions filed in court in the effort to protect their bacon which really amounted to fat at that point. The meat was long gone. It appears to be a final grab fest for city money that just isn't there. Ironic that right now the two largest employers in the city are the school system and the pyramids of bureaucrats who run the city itself. Get a clearer picture now? City obligations are estimated at $19 billion dollars, most of that amount being pension obligations. So who is going to take the shot in the shorts?

The mayor and emergency city manager had to then go to the governor of Michigan and request that Chapter 9 be filed in federal bankruptcy court to fend off the union suits against the city.

I suggest that it not be the American tax payer. Some of the people running their gums are acting like any money obtained from the federal government is "government money." Therein lies an attitude problem because the federal government has done nothing lately but print money to put it plainly and simply.

Life is a risk and so is investing. The bond holders now, who took the risk along with the banks who doled out the money to try to float Detroit, will receive but pennies on the dollar as this fiasco is sorted out. Municipal employees will lose their jobs and the unions will suffer the result of having provisions in their bargaining agreements voided. That's the reality of the situation.

Some may say that the auto industry destroyed Detroit. I'm not certain that is the case. Yes, the industry built Detroit but decades of Democratic political corruption and union largesse are the leading contributors to this city's demise. The automakers saw the handwriting on the wall and began making an exit long ago as the city deteriorated, city services became more and more scarce and Detroit became an place of urban blight rather than a great place to live and work.

Detroit is a lesson in greed. Each of the parties involved had their hands in the till wanting to hang on to what they thought was theirs. The politicians were being the usual pick pockets I've come to expect to hold public office. They are in the game for the pursuit and maintenance of power. In the long run there are serious consequences to be paid in the pursuit of money, privilege and power. We're about to see a small portion of the consequences and then should start projecting it upward to those others we elect to be sound fiscal stewards of our money who aren't doing so.

Share it with your followers here and on Face Book, Tweet It, Pin It and do anything else you can to let people read the truth.

Have a nice weekend.

As Always,

The Frog Prince

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14 comments

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

Detroit might become the textbook study on "How Not To Run A City". The situations evolving from the Zimmerman case which continue to be stirred up by this administration coupled with the frustrations brewing in cities like Detroit could be the spark which ignites the flames of chaos in this country and opens the door to declaration of marshal law and beyond. Maybe this is what Homeland Security has been planning for all along...chaos in the streets by irate people in one city after another as these dominoes begin to tumble into one another. There has to be a trickle down effect as Detroit collapses financial and that effect will likely be felt rather widespread. Americans have no patience, low frustration level, a desire for total convenience and instantaneous gratification so it will not take much to light riots, looting, etc. in places like Detroit. Good one, Frog! ~WB


my_girl_sara profile image

my_girl_sara 3 years ago from Georgia

It comes down to city leaders governing with their hearts and less with their calculators. Sure, I want to see that every child is fed and well cared for. But I can't afford to. Unions have bullied politicians for years into these outrageous pensions that are unsustainable. This is money these workers didn't fund 100% with their own money but take money from today's workers. Yes, let them go down into bankruptcy. Only then will they resolve never to govern in this manner again. If we bail them out, we are supporting bad behavior. Voted up.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Sara - As Maggie said, "Socialism is fine until you run out of other people's money."


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Or as in the case of Detroit, not reap!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

No different than families who live on credit cards until they are forced to declare bankruptcy. I can't tell you how much money I got cheated out of due to this bankruptcy policy. But even after they declare bankruptcy, they drive newer cars and live in bigger houses than I do.

Why should we bail out a city like Detroit that totally mismanaged their finances?


Ghost32 3 years ago

Frog: Well done.

I can't help thinking back to...1977, I believe, or maybe 1978. My second wife and I were in Detroit for a long weekend, the one and only span of time I've spent in the city. That was, of course, long before the roosters came home to roost. The place appeared to be running strong then, with the residents happy to be living there.

The biggest problem is that this could and eventually will happen to ANY city (or state, or country) where money is mismanaged consistently, whether through greed or blindness or for any other reason. Nor am I personally innocent; I'm one of the guys Mike mentions who filed bankruptcy--twice, in my case.

Although, note to Mike: I did make sure no small business owner or personal creditor got nailed at those times, nor did any of the payments to ex-wives suffer.

Anyway, yes, this could morph into the domino effect rather rapidly. Let's hope not, but it surely could.


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

Detroit is just one of a sequence of dominos that are falling here. I think it will continue, for the simple reason that so many continue to elect people whose sole purpose in life is to be re-elected, rather than responsibly run a government.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

My father was a union man and believed they were for the little guy. It might have been ib his day, but now they are desperate to hang on to power. I believer they are for themselves or they would act more rationally.


Stu 3 years ago

Another great Hub Frog. Nailed it as usual. Detroit is a testament to Lady Thatcher's sage teaching that "Socialism collapses when you run out of other peoples' money to spend." Had the unions and the city managers realized this, negotiations with the auto makers might have saved both jobs and the city. Now one of the US auto makers went bust, the other two are offshoring jobs, and Detroit looks like Yucca Flats after the blast.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Of all the American cities, I have visited Detroit the most in last 10 years. I am an eye witness of the deterioration it has gone through by its own residents. No other city has incurred that much of an opportunity loss factor as this city.

A very informative and a well written article! Voted up!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Greed -- indeed -- is the catalyst here and you have presented the situation very succinctly. I fear this will be another situation where the American people who have lived logically and reasonably are going to have to bail out those who didn't -- and the "bail-outs" can't continue forever because as stated "other people's money will run out!" Good one, Frog! Best/Sis


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 3 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I think what we are seeing in Detroit is the direct results of liberalism.

For the last thirty or forty years, it has been ruled by liberals. The UAW was living high, and social programs were born there.

The results are in...and it is a failure.

This could be our wake-up call.........Detroit is a living example of what could happen to this Nation IF we don't wake up soon!

Frog, this is a wonderfully written hub and I will indeed pass this on.

Great HUB!

Chris


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Thanks Chris and good to see you. All was good until they ran out of other people's money. I hope folks are starting to pay attention and get their hands out of our pockets.

The Frog


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 3 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

"Detroit is a lesson in greed. Each of the parties involved had their hands in the till wanting to hang on to what they thought was theirs. The politicians were being the usual pick pockets I've come to expect to hold public office. They are in the game for the pursuit and maintenance of power. In the long run there are serious consequences to be paid in the pursuit of money, privilege and power."

For "Detroit" just substitute "The federal gov't"...

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