Detroit: From Motown to Notown …

The city of Detroit has lost more than half of its population over the last 60 years.

In 1950, the city was the fifth-largest city in the country with a population of around 1.8 million.

Today its population is estimated at just under 700,000.

Translation: a tax base that’s asymptotically approaching zero.

Last week, the inevitable happened: the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy petition seeks protection from creditors and unions who stake claim to $18.5 billion in debt and other liabilities – mostly bloated union pensions.

Here’s a short video that puts the Detroit situation in perspective.




Consider the following regarding the city of Detroit …


Several sources report that:

  • Almost half of adults are functionally illiterate
  • It takes an hour for police to respond to a 911 call.
  • One-third of the city has been abandoned.
  • Only a third of its ambulances are drivable.
  • 40% of its street lamps don’t work.
  • 210 of its 317 public parks have been closed.

In an initial response to the filing, Judge Rosemary Aquilina ruled that Michigan’s governor and Detroit’s emergency manager violated the state constitution and ordered Friday that Detroit’s federal bankruptcy filing be withdrawn.

Her logic: “It’s cheating, sir, it’s cheating good people who work …. It’s also not honoring the (United States) president.”  Source

In other words, as one editorial put it …

“If Obama ran a city it would look just like Detroit” Source


Thanks to JWC and SMH for feed the leads

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2 Responses to “Detroit: From Motown to Notown …”

  1. Jody Wise Says:

    Ken, I have always respected your opinion and perspective. You always bring facts that illustrate a larger truth. This post was not worthy of your reputation.

    Jody Wise Prudential Rubloff Properties Cell: 773.251.0143 eFax: 773.572.6581

    • Andrew L. Says:

      Bah. Judge Aquilina opened that door, he just walked through it.

      I’m not really sure what the beef is. What is your argument other than a huff? I do think it is fair to ask:
      – Why, after decades of atrocious mismanagement, does this get dropped on the President (Other than him having the biggest wallet)
      – Why the U.S. government is in the business of dropping large wads of cash on private firms, but not on struggling cities
      – Why the Treasury will send a task force to protect bonuses for bankers, but not so much as make a few phone calls to protect pensions for public servants

      I might also ask why money paid for services rendered 20 years ago (pensions) are somehow morally more valuable than money paid for services rendered last week (payments to small businesses).

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