What people are missing in the whole Detroit saga

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:42 pm

Look - I understand that corruption and white flight combined to make it nearly impossible for Detroit to meet its obligations. When a city's population declines by 60%, its obvious that expenses will far overreach revenue.

Who's going to be able to pay for hockey tickets? White people from the suburbs? Tickets averaged $64 a seat last year. A new stadium = higher ticket prices. None of that money will go back to the city - it'll all end up in the Ilitchs' pockets. It's a terrible financial decision to follow up fifty years of terrible financial decisions.

I hope the bankruptcy court puts the kibosh on the stadium deal.
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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:50 pm

DoingHomework wrote:The big difference is that the Federal government owns a printing press. It does not need to and cannot go bankrupt. Regardless of what the morons in Congress and on TV talk shows say, it is unconstitutional for the federal government not to pay its debts. Now, our foreign trade partners might refuse to continue trading with us and supporting us...and things could get very bad...but bankruptcy or default cannot happen.

We need federal laws that require locking up local officials who fail to balance their budget or who allow their city/state to default. I think that would lead to far more responsible behavior. Other countries have this, and even have it for board members of companies. It actually works!


In China you can be executed for criminal business behavior. Hard to imagine that in the US with all we've seen, unless you're just a lone wolf and easy target like say Madoff was, but if you're the CEO of Bank of America, you don't have much to fear, and you get a golden parachute on the way out.

So I can agree with your points, however, I think we all know that isn't happening in the US, because the powers that be that pull the strings and buy the government will never allow it to happen here. It's just too damn corrupt.

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Postby Jacksnow » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:02 pm

djrez4 wrote:You're wrong. Detroit taxpayers are paying 60% of the stadium bill. That's $261 million that should be going elsewhere.

When you're bankrupt as a city, you should be prioritizing the citizens - they're the ones who pay taxes to fund the municipality. Instead, pensioners and taxpayers will see benefits and services slashed so the owner of the Redwings (who also happens to have founded Little Caesars Pizza and is worth $2.7 billion) can get a new stadium subsidized. That's some rank-smelling BS, as far as I'm concerned.




That's odd, the article I read said it was a bond sale, looking further into it. You are correct.


That is some powerful BS.


Apologies.

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:30 pm

Jacksnow wrote:That's odd, the article I read said it was a bond sale, looking further into it. You are correct.


That is some powerful BS.


Apologies.


Someone who changed their mind when confronted with new facts? My gosh, man! You're a rare breed. Kudos! :cheers:
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Postby Jacksnow » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:59 pm

Thank you sir!





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Postby DoingHomework » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:11 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:So I can agree with your points, however, I think we all know that isn't happening in the US, because the powers that be that pull the strings and buy the government will never allow it to happen here. It's just too damn corrupt.


Unfortunately you are probably right. But some of the examples of executives and board members going to jail for business failures are Australia and Britain. So there might be hope for us. But I doubt I will live that long.

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Postby Bksuper » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:57 pm

I really hope Detroit collects some big fine money from Koch for that big cloud of petroleum coke that was released there after being stored irresponsibly and illegally.
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Postby DoingHomework » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:10 pm

If I can be serious and thoughtful for a minute...

Detroit was "motor city." It grew and prospered because of the auto industry. Much of its downfall is tied to the auto industry outsourcing overseas. I realize the Detroit area is still the center of the US auto industry and that a lot of cars are still assembled there. But a big fraction of the suppliers that used to provide jobs are now closed. So basically, people went to Detroit because of auto industry jobs. Now people no longer have a reason to go there in large numbers. That means the city has to shrink. This country has no mechanism for dealing with shrinking cities. I know that corruption, stupidity, and everything else were at play here. But maybe Detroit would have failed even if it were well run. We (the US) pour a lot of money into growing areas to fan the flames and help them prosper. Maybe we should stop doing that and use some of that money to deal with shrinking economies. I'm not saying we should give Detroit a handout because I definitely don't think we should. But maybe when Silicon Valley was growing like gangbusters and getting all sorts of government support in the 1970s and 80s someone should have said "Wait, we have job loss in Detroit where lots of infrastructure already exists...we'll give you this federal workforce training grant, but only if to build that computer assembly plant in Detroit where jobs are being lost and by the way there is a facility available at 1/10 the rent you'd pay in San Jose.

I mean, I'm fine with cutting off most federal aid. But if we're going to have it, shouldn't it be used efficiently to manage national level problems rather than as pork for specific Congressmonkeys?

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Postby Midori » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:07 am

Is there a particular reason why the federal government would encourage jobs to move to Detroit to offset their loss, versus, say, Pittsburgh or Cleveland or one of many other places in decline? Isn't that the job of Detroit itself to recognize, "We're hemmorhaging jobs; perhaps we shouldn't be totally dependent on a single industry; perhaps we should make ourselves attractive to other sorts of manufacturing? Hmm, what's keeping other businesses from coming here?"

I live in a small, rural town. The average household income around here is about $32,000--- it's gone up about $5k since we came here. (Median household income in the US is about $53k.) Our town's economy is totally dependent on two employers; we would vanish from the map if one or both of them were to relocate. We take walks through town and look at the empty buildings, the damaged houses, the poverty, and we wonder what sort of industry we could bring to an uneducated, unskilled pool of workers. I can't imagine that no one has ever done the same thing in Detroit-- whether they attribute the source of the problems to NAFTA, unions, the EPA, government mismanagement, whatever, everyone sees the results of decline. What has made Detroit unattractive to new industries to move in and reclaim the preexisting infrastructure? A city/state/country/empire can be propped up, but unless the root causes that caused its original decay are addressed, it's only a delay of the inevitable.

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Postby DoingHomework » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:34 pm

Midori wrote:Is there a particular reason why the federal government would encourage jobs to move to Detroit to offset their loss, versus, say, Pittsburgh or Cleveland or one of many other places in decline? Isn't that the job of Detroit itself to recognize...


Absolutely. It is the job of Detroit or any other city to manage itself. And I'm not suggesting that Detroit should be given preference over any other city. My point, which I did not make very well, was that Detroit had a heck of a lot of infrastructure in place - freeways, roads, parks, bridges, ports, etc. that were largely built with Federal funding. Rather than rebuild a bunch of infrastructure in San Jose or elsewhere, wouldn't it have made sense to optimize the use of the existing infrastructure? Shouldn't we adopt that as policy now? If for example the NSA wants to build a huge data center, why not put it in Detroit rather than Utah? Or maybe it's just a storage facility for archives....the point is, why not use the infrastructure that already exists? It saves everyone money and avoids the vicious circle we see happening in many places now.



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