Mayor Dave Bing gave it his best shot, knowing that “business as usual” was a road to financial ruin. But he was stymied at every turn by a deeply entrenched Democrat political machine and the unions that supported that machine. A once vibrant city of 2.1 million that had the highest per capita income in the nation is now a bankrupt wasteland with a population less than a third of the size than during its peak.
The bankruptcy’s effects won’t be felt just in Detroit or in Michigan, but across the nation. It could affect “the nation’s municipal bond market and the sanctity of public pension funds…”
The Chapter 9 bankruptcy was filed after the Emergency Manager of the City of Detroit Kevyn Orr was unable to come to agreements with a number of the city’s creditors after more than 100 meetings with them.
Did these creditors really think the city wouldn’t file for bankruptcy if they couldn’t come to some kind of agreement? It’s obvious they did because they tried to get a restraining order to prevent the city from filing. Too bad the order was issued 18 minutes after the city had filed their paperwork with the bankruptcy court.
The White House allowed Detroit to go under, all efforts by Orr to garner a federal bailout of the city to the contrary. As Walter Russell Mead writes:
This is where blue governance has brought Detroit in the end: not even a liberal Democratic administration will step in to save the pensions of thousands of public workers and African Americans, condemning countless innocents to having their pensions and health benefits gutted in bankruptcy court.Or not. Cities like Chicago seem to be heading down the same path yet have chosen to ignore the lesson of Detroit. But it’s not just cities that have to look to Detroit as an object lesson, but states as well.
Progressive politicians, wonks, and activists can only blame big corporations and other liberal bogeymen for so long. The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one-party system devoted to the blue social model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair. The sooner blues come to terms with this reality, the greater chance other cities will have of avoiding Detroit’s fate.
Do you think those in power in California will look upon Detroit’s fate and see a possible future for the Golden State? Or do they think themselves immune from the effects of the very same factors that brought Detroit to its knees? If I had to guess, I’d say it was the latter and not the former. They certainly haven’t learned from the bankruptcies of a number of cities in their own state, why would they take one from a city a couple of thousand miles away?