Today, Detroit became the largest city in the U.S. to file bankruptcy. This is only a surprise to the people who live with rose colored glasses who believe that the doomsday warnings that the sky was falling were fallacies invented by the media so the unions would give in and make concessions. How did our great city, the home of Motown and the Red Wings, fall so far? While many wish to blame recent mayoral administrations, I think Detroit’s problems started much earlier.
I would offer that Detroit’s money issues started after the 1967 riots when massive numbers of residents left the city for suburban areas. The city was built on tax dollars, dollars that left and went to suburban city coffers. Along with the tax money went jobs. Employers went where the people were and took their valuable tax dollars with them. In the mean time Mayor Cavenagh did nothing to encourage residents and businesses to stay and rebuild.
Subsequent administrations also failed to encourage people to come and build and stay here . They also made it impossible for businesses to come here and thrive. Between the red tape for permits and a state government bent on taxing everything and every one, we have now come to this.
Bankruptcy is not the end of the world. It is going to be painful and promises will be broken but the residents have no one to point to but themselves. Their refusal to use their voice and hold their government accountable has taken a region to the edge. Detroit is tough. Those who are in the way will finally be pushed aside and the city will rebuild. Time is up Detroiters.