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Impatience is not a virtue

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog, not for reuse.]

Anyone paying attention to Detroit's plight knows that their current financial crisis goes back for decades. Housing policies that favored white flight to the suburbs, the decline of the oh-so-important-to-Detroit auto manufacturing industry and the Great Recession have all taken their toll on this aging manufacturing city. Years of neglect and a blind eye toward investment in our state's largest city have created a perfect storm that has resulted in it a huge chunk of its population. Many of those that remain do so only because they are too desperately poor to escape.

Despite this, Governor Rick Snyder and his administration are giving up on a consent agreement signed with the city last year after only 10 months. The agreement, signed in April of 2012, simply didn't solve problems that have been in the making since the middle of the last century quickly enough for these Republicans so this afternoon Governor Snyder appointed Washington, D.C. lawyer Kevyn Orr to be the new overseer of the city.

The Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board has to make the formal appointment of an emergency financial manager and they meet later today.

When the new Emergency Manager Law PA 436, aka "The Local Financial Stability and Choice Act", goes into effect later this month, Orr will become the Emergency Manager giving him lattitude outside the realm of finances.

As I have shown in my now-(in)famous chart, this means that nearly half of all Michigan African Americans will live without local democratically-elected representation:

City Population % African American # of African Americans
Allen Park 27,921 2.1% 586
Benton Harbor 10,047 89.2% 8,962
Detroit 706,585 82.7% 584,346
Ecorse 9,414 46.4% 4,368
Flint 101,558 56.6% 57,482
Pontiac 59,887 52.1% 31,201
Total -- -- 686,945
Michigan 9,876,801 14.2% 1,402,506
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Here's what that looks like graphically in this chart gratiously provided by my good friends at The Rachel Maddow Show from their recent coverage:

Given the track record of Emergency Managers in Michigan, there are very few people who believe this is going to solve the problems our beloved city faces. Perhaps Orr is a magician that can somehow find a way to build armed only with tools of cutting and slashing. Somehow I doubt it.

My prediction: after the corporatists and their business pals have extracted as much wealth as they possibly can from Detroit, the city will end up in a managed bankruptcy anyway. But, by then, it will be much, much too late.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 11:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan and Motor City Kossacks.

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