Remember that famous headline?
The fiscal crisis plaguing Detroit is now in the hands of Michigan’s governor after a state-appointed review team determined the city was in a financial emergency with “no satisfactory plan” to resolve it.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has 30 days to decide if Detroit needs an emergency manager to take charge of its finances and spending, and come up with a new plan to get the city out of its financial mess.
After spending weeks looking at the city’s books, the independent review team released a report Tuesday saying Detroit’s deficit could have reached $900 million last fiscal year had it not borrowed enormous amounts of money. The city’s long-term liabilities, including underfunded pensions, are more than $14 billion.
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room: Detroit is over 80% black. But that doesn’t have any relevance by itself. That black people vote overwhelmingly Democrat begins to have relevance. Detroit has been a single-party fiefdom for decades—with all the incompetence, cronyism, and corruption that accompanies that situation. Of course, the electorate (overwhelmingly black) is as responsible for the clowns and creeps they elect as the creeps and clowns themselves.
Only ultra-sensitivity toward Detroit’s demographic make-up has kept the white, Republican state machinery from long before taking over the dysfunctional black, Democratic city machinery.
How else to explain the delay?
If Snyder appoints an emergency manager, Detroit would be the sixth and largest city in Michigan to have one. The cities of Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Pontiac, Flint and Allen Park are currently under state oversight. School districts in Detroit, Highland Park and Muskegon Heights also have managers.
Pontiac and Flint, the only two cities I’ve heard of, are just over 50% black, yet they’ve been run by the state for some time already.
Flint, Michigan was the subject of Michael Moore’s first big movie, Roger & Me (which Pauline Kael famously dismissed as “shallow and facetious, a piece of gonzo demagoguery that made me feel cheap for laughing”). If we were smart (I once, briefly, loved his work), we would have seen that he was a liar and a charlatan from the moment he opened his mouth or his camera lens. General Motors had no loyalty or responsibility for a town that couldn’t manage its own affairs. The auto industry changed, it entrenched unions refused to make concessions, businesses closed and jobs were lost, and still these towns carried on as if nothing had changed.
“The checkbook needs to be taken from the politicians.”
That is not only profoundly undemocratic, it’s counterproductive.
Elections have consequences. If the people don’t learn that they have to live, however miserably, with the choices they made, they’ll never learn to make better ones.
PS: Kale’s prescient evisceration of Moore here.