Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three Is or Three Cs - it all spells trouble for Detroit,

Nolan Finley of the Detroit News, in a well-written article came up with three "I"s that hold back Detroit: ignorance, illegitimacy and isolation.

I've got three "C"s - Corruption, Culture and Crime

Corruption - its endemic to Detroit -- from monies disappearing from medical, fire and city services into politicians pockets, sweetheart deals on city contracts to school paychecks written for non-existent workers. Kwame and friends were just the tip of the iceberg that's been sinking the Titanic that was Detroit, and there's only been prosecutions of the very tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Culture - Detroit is the most segregated city in America, controlled very much on racial lines with the city leaders ruining the show (yes ruining not running) by claims that the suburbs (read whites) will take over Detroit and steal its "jewels". The leadership of Detroit has used race to divide the city from the suburbs and to create a city citizen dependent on the government for services and daily life. In short, its everything Mr. Finley covers with his three "I"s, and he writes it a lot better than I. Unfortunately, I'd have to disagree with his prescription of a regional government - I don't know many people in the suburbs that feel like having to pay for the mess that decades of ineptitude and corruption on the part of the cities leaders and the apathy of its residents have caused, nor will the suburbs pay in to watch the money disappear into numerous rat-holes and Detroit establishment pockets.

It may take removing Detroit from self-governance and instead rule by Gubernatorial fiat to finally get through the pervasive culture of corruption and failure that Michigan's most famous, or indeed infamous city, continues to suffer.

Its a one-party City - straight D Democrat, or in the words of Obama - its in D for Drive - straight into the Detroit river.

Crime - A city with a crime rate that Detroit has will not draw the types of residents that it so desperately needs. Combine the crime with high taxes and pathetic city services and its no wonder that riverfront condos that in any other city would be packed stand vacant. Again, that's something the city officials and residents have to take care of it they're going to move forward.

A vibrant and livable Detroit would go a long way to improving Michigan's outlook.

Detroit can turn itself around, but its going to take shrinking it down to size, cracking down on entrenched corruption and crime and removing a lot of control and decision-making powers from the current rulers of Detroit to outsiders to keep the Detroit establishment's hands off the money to make sure it gets to its citizens and infrastructure where it is actually needed. Not sure if that can happen in real life, given the interests already in place, and it certainly won't happen as long as the state governor is a Democrat counting on the Democrat machine in Detroit for votes.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I read Finley's article over the weekend, and I couldn't agree more with his assessment of the problems in Detroit. I also agree with you that the suburbanites are not likely to agree to flushing their tax dollars down the sinkhole of Detroit. I can see Brooks Patterson laughing his head off at *that* idea when he read that article!

I think that same attitude could extend to outstaters like me - not one dime more of state money goes there unless it's to root out and prosecute the corruption down there.

I think the original "Robocop" depiction of Detroit perhaps isn't too far off. Sadly.