SEARCH BLOG: DETROIT POLITICS
It seems as if years have passed since anything positive has occurred in Detroit. Former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been replaced by Ken Cockrell, Jr., former head of the city council... an organization not known for its astute decisions or leadership.
Meanwhile the city is in disrepair. Schools are pretty much failures with the Detroit Public Schools acting pretty much as the Detroit Penitentiary System... daily incarceration for children... with no hope of rehabilitation. Businesses are floundering. And the Lions are 0-6... soon to be 0-7. The only bright spot is Canada is just across the river.
Not quite 4 years ago, I wrote that:
The city is too strategically located to be abandoned entirely. But it has not yet reached its nadir. Detroit's present population is about 900,000. When it reaches about 750,000, there will be imminent threat of collapse. The state will be forced to step in. At that point, there will be significant opportunities to remake Detroit into a model city.The State of Michigan is pretty much a shambles, too... at least the southeastern portion where the majority of the population and manufacturing is. Still, the old politics of labor unions and welfare are thriving. So, it is unlikely that anything can or will be done about Detroit until the state government is fixed... from the top down.
- Reclamation of large, blighted tracts for development
- buy-out of remaining residents
- tear-down of existing properties
- rezoning to achieve mix of residential, business and public areas
- bring in high-end developers... gated communities...
- Tax reformation
- hiatus on property taxes for residents and businesses moving into the city
- overall reduction of taxes residents and businesses must pay in the city
- privatization of city services such as garbage disposal
I suspect that 95% or more of Detroit residents... living, dead, and imaginary... will be voting for Barack Obama and his message of "hope the government will give me more change... in my pocket." The same government philosophy that has brought ruinous spending and taxing in the state. The same anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-personal responsibility that keeps so many people living like sheep with the government as their "shephard."
It is time for change...
- change at the state level to fiscal responsibility and pro-business policies
- change at the city level to addressing problems rather than cultivating racial power
- change at the personal level to realizing that "stupidity has its own rewards" and not being so damn stupid
That makes it even more likely that ultimately the city will have to be split up into new, manageable pieces. As I also wrote in 2005:
Another radical approach would be to reduce Detroit to a 5 mile radius from the foot of Woodward Ave and then create several new cities along the outer ring or let existing cities annex adjacent areas. This would create a more manageable central area that could focus on high-end businesses and more affluent residents. The outer areas would be more traditional smaller cities that could focus on small business and the needs of its residents.What do economists call that... creative destruction?