Skip to main content

Wherein George Will yet again echoes the "Culture" problem as the root of all evil, in this case - Detroit's Bankruptcy.

http://www.rawstory.com/...

“You have a city, 139 square miles, you can graze cattle in vast portions of it, dangerous herds of feral dogs roam in there,” he opined. “Three percent of fourth graders reading at the national math standards, 47 percent of Detroit residents are functionally illiterate, 79 percent of Detroit children are born to unmarried mothers.”

“They don’t have a fiscal problem, Steve, they have a cultural collapse,” Will added.

Even from here, in California, that smells like bullshit.

Detroit has a fiscal problem.  It's dollars and cents.  Their industry has been slowly depleted by outsources and offshoring for decades.  It's the subject of Michael Moore's first film Roger & Me from 1989.

It's pretty well established that without jobs, people have migrated out of the city, the tax base has collapsed while their financial burden to retirees remained and now we have what we have.  Bankruptcy.

As Thinkprogress Reports the Bankruptcy, engineered by the city Republican appointed Emergency Financial Manager, was designed to severe the cities ties with it's retirees. http://thinkprogress.org/...

Orr’s assessment of the emergency manager process reinforces retiree advocates’ arguments that Orr’s actions once appointed were not good-faith negotiations with city employees, but an effort to check necessary boxes prior to filing for bankruptcy. In June, when Orr issued a proposal to retirees and bondholders in lieu of declaring bankruptcy, analysts wrote that the proposal appeared designed to be unpalatable, paving the way for the bankruptcy filing. Orr and Snyder have made clear that the bankruptcy resolution will include some cuts to retiree benefits, which are about $1,600 per month for most of the city’s 21,000 pensioners. “They made me some promises, and I made them some promises,” 76-year-old retired police sergeant William Shine told the New York Times. “I kept my promises. They’re not going to keep theirs.
So an argument could clearly be made by those involved that this Bankruptcy is merely a method for the Governor to Raid Detroit's Pension Fund.

Still Will says the problem are all caused by the people of Detroit with their "bad culture" and baby-making ways.

Conservative columnist George Will on Sunday suggested that “unmarried mothers” had a hand in pushing the city of Detroit into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
What exactly do unmarried mothers have to do with the city balancing their books?  What is with this thing with Conservatives where they have to blame everything on the marriage rate?  Marriage solves all problems?  Then why are they so opposed to gays getting married, wouldn't that just magically help everything?

Maybe much of Detroit's problems can't be linked to Dead Beat Dads, maybe it can be linked to Dead Beat Banks?

Rather than demonizing “deadbeat” homeowners, however, we should examine who actually evades responsibility for paying taxes on those properties. Detroit has been ravaged by an unending foreclosure crisis. Predatory loans trapped borrowers into monthly mortgage rates they couldn’t pay, with lenders particularly targeting lower-income minority areas like Detroit. Many of those homeowners are gone now, evicted from their properties. It is a pattern that has sunk property values, making the high property tax rates in Detroit even more unsustainable. But it also has turned banks into the real deadbeats, depriving the city of revenue.

In a foreclosure, the property reverts back to the bank, which then becomes responsible for all maintenance and upkeep, as well as any fees. Some banks simply ignore these responsibilities and refuse to pay taxes or keep the vacant property in good order. The more clever banks stick evicted homeowners with the bill.

Across the country and particularly in Detroit, banks have engaged in “walkaways,” where they start foreclosure proceedings but then find them too costly to complete. They choose not to finish the legal steps to foreclosure, leaving the properties vacant.  Banks that walk away from homes do not have to notify the city, or even the borrower, that they have abandoned the foreclosure process. Borrowers kicked out of their homes then find themselves still responsible for property tax payments.

And then again if Detroit is so massively cash strapped, why are they considering building new $650 Million Sports Arena?
The headline juxtaposition boggles the mind. You have, on one day, “Detroit Files Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in History.” Then on the next, you have “Detroit Plans to Pay For New Red Wings Hockey Arena Despite Bankruptcy.”

Yes, the very week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder granted a state-appointed emergency manager’s request to declare the Motor City bankrupt, the Tea Party governor gave a big thumbs-up to a plan for a new $650 million Detroit Red Wings hockey arena. Almost half of that $650 million will be paid with public funds.

This is actually happening. City services are being cut to the bone. Fighting fires, emergency medical care and trash collection are now precarious operations. Retired municipal workers will have their $19,000 in annual pensions dramatically slashed. Even the artwork in the city art museum will be sold off piece by piece. This will include a mural by the great radical artist Diego Rivera that’s a celebration of what the auto industry would look like in a socialist future. As Stephen Colbert said, the leading bidder will be “the museum of irony.”

Now exactly could that happen?  Well easy, it's Corporate Welfare.  Take from the tax base and give to the already rich.
Surkin is correct. If anything, this kind of corporate welfare has over the last generation exacerbated Detroit’s existing problems. Why? Because it siphons money out of the city services—things like schools and hospitals—while creating the very kinds of jobs that are the antithesis to those that once built Detroit into the third-largest city in the United States. No living wages. No job security. No tax base. Just spanking new stadiums for suburban sports fans, which Detroit residents will be able to enter only if they’re selling foam novelty fingers.

Read more: On Vultures and Red Wings: Billionaire Gets New Sports Arena in Bankrupt Detroit | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/...
Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook

Herein we see the entire plan. Screw the cities unions & retirees, lavish largesse on the Rich and the suburbs. Screw the Schools, Screw the Workers, Screw the Infrastructure and as everything turns to a dystopian shit pile - blame the "low morals" of the people.  Why spend money on them, they're worthless.  Oh, and btw, a lot of them are B.L.A.C.K.  Is that a whistle, I think those dogs are coming home.  See there's O'Reilly, and even the new pup on the block, Lemon is here.

It's the Ayn Rand Reverse Robin Hood Playbook.  Rob the poor, Give to the Rich then pretend doing so is the "Moral" thing to do.

Now all the need in Detroit is fresh fleet a Drones to Patrol the City and Robocop will no longer be fiction, it'll be a documentary.

Vyan


EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site