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A Little Data About Detroit
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Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/24/2013 11:39:53 PM
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That's just a ludicrous amount of money.  Unfortunately, there is not a single way they are going to be able to pay all of that out, so I totally agree with you that they're going to get out of it in some way.  Or, like you said, basically pull some nonsense of: "oh sure, we'll pay you the money you're owed. just over the course of 200 yrs"

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/24/2013 10:23:02 PM
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@chapAnjou, it's estimated that Detroit has $3.5 billion in unfunded debt on benefits owed to current and future retirees. That would be a HUGE amount of money to stiff workers. My feeling is that they'll get out of some of it, or figure out a way to fund it over time.

Businss Climate
  • 7/24/2013 6:54:58 PM
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Other big cities have managed to negotiate a successful transition from one industry to another.  San Francisco became a technology hub as the shipping industry faded.  New York became a world-wide leader in banking and financial services as the garment industry changed.

Detroit had a better starting point than either shipping or garments - US auto manufacturing remains strong even today.  It's just located in other cities now.

How did Detroit manage to lose heavy manufacturing?  And what prevents other businesses from flowing in to take advantage of vacant space and hard-working employees?  Not sure what, but there must be something missing in the business climate.

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/24/2013 1:46:02 PM
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"underfunded responsibilities toward its workers (healthcare and pensions) go a long way to explain why other cities and unions will be watching Detroit. If Detroit is able to escape its pension liabilities and its union contracts, that could be very scary for municipal workers everywhere."

@Broadway, great points and to be honest I hadn't even thought about the implications this would have on other cities. I really hope Detroit is not able to weasel out of paying the pensions they agreed to with their workers.

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/24/2013 1:35:30 PM
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"The real problem may be the unsustainable retirement promises so many cities have made to their civl servants."

@Noreen,

Exactly! If Detroit ends up going completely under, then this is going to be the catalyst for that.  The city is cutting back on pensions which then leads to angry current employees, which then leads to bad will, which then leads to fewer workers, which leads to less garbage pickup...and so on and so forth until the city isn't even deemed safe to live in again.

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/24/2013 1:07:28 PM
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"How do we save the city? We start encouraging people to think in terms of "real" communities instead of just virtual ones. Bring back the town square, and put away your cell phones."

@Alexis,

While I completely agree with you, I wonder if it's even possible for the majority of people in detroit to think in terms of community at this point.  The unemployment rate is staggering and people are probably more concerned about taking care of themselves than to band together.

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/23/2013 7:40:03 PM
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One of the remaining bright spots in Detroit is Hitsville USA - home of the Motown sound

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/23/2013 7:31:27 PM
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@Beth, You're right, changing the motto would be a lot better.  The city must keeps the history of being the biggest auto industry of all time.  

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/23/2013 7:48:06 AM
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I'd like to see Detroit's revival, but let's not try to get rid of the Motor City moniker. Instead, maybe use it as a new motto -- "Driving Forward," or some such. Changing an iconic name doesn't always work so well. Of course, I'm from Chicago, where the Sears Tower will never be the Willis Tower.

Re: Beautiful sentiments
  • 7/23/2013 12:51:53 AM
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The causes of Detroit's decline are many yet interdependent. The great city was built and sustained by large manufacturing and every sector fed off of that. When the core was disintegrating and no shift to a replacement economic core was occurring. It's fate was sealed and yet the city continued operating and spending without adjustment to new realities. The realities were known and chose to ignore them. Maybe resorting to baseless hope.analytics can't make you see what you don't want to see.

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