Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Tin Cup in Detroit

How does the old saying go?

"You can count on Detroit to be there whenever it needs us." Or something like that.

The latest Detroiter to stick out her panhandling cup is city council member Joann Watson who said in a candidate's forum that the federal government should offer the city of Detroit a one time $1 billion bailout. She reiterated her request later in an interview with Darrell Dawsey of Time who asked her, essentially, if she was serious.

She was.

"If the federal government can get a loan from China, if the state of Michigan can get $2 billion in federal stimulus money, why isn't it obvious for the city of Detroit? Why not establish us as an important precedent? They've bailed out Wall Street. They've bailed out General Motors. When are they going to bail out the workers? And Detroit's problems are a direct result of the economic meltdown and the crisis in the auto industry. Michigan's problems are.

"And don't tell me we don't deserve it. Of course we do. The city of Detroit has been a leader in industry, in labor. We built the vehicles in World War II. Our unions have helped lead the nation to more humane work conditions, whether it be in terms of sick pay or the five-day work week. We have led the nation, and we've been dependent on an industry that's been hit hard. So if the federal government sees fit to bail out GM -- and I'm not mad about that because I went to Washington to help ask for bailouts for the car companies -- then the government needs to bailout the city that depends so much on GM. You cannot allow this to continue to happen to one of your largest cities."
That is some mouth full.

The city of Detroit lived high on the hog for many years. Its industry did help to shape Michigan and America, but it did not do this for free as Watson seems to forget. Detroit was lavished with great wealth, a wealth that served to attract workers from all over the country as they sought out jobs that paid much more than they could get elsewhere.

The city of Detroit grew wealthy on the car companies and consequently, its white and blue collar workers. It taxes and taxed and taxed and, with the help of regulators and taxers in Lansing, it helped to slow and stunt the growth on an industry that was its primary benefactor. After helping put the golden goose on life support, Watson is hoping to be blessed with the eggs of a different goose.

Watson goes on to point out that Detroit is the bees knees.
"This is a Midwest megalopolis. We've got waterways. We've got land. We sit on an international border. We have everything it takes for this city to be great.
Ever wonder why Detroit, with all these logistical advantages, still has to scrape by like a poverty stricken crone? It is because the problems of Detroit are with the management of Detroit; a management that Watson takes pride in being a part of.

Detroit should not get one more dime of money from the feds on top of the millions upon millions that were essentially slathered upon the city's industries already. Continued mismanagement of the city would only be encouraged by throwing more money at Motown.

Lets see what efforts Detroit will undertake to clean up its own hygiene before someone else steps in and buys it a series of expensive spa treatments.

h/t Mlive

No comments: