mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Detroit Joins War on Blue

After many years of lies and denial, the city of Detroit is reluctantly coming to grips with the laws of arithmetic. The Detroit Free Press reports that Mayor David Bing’s budget plans have received the green light from the broke and discredited city’s financial advisory board. The plans are relatively radical, including layoffs for many city workers, salary cuts for others, and reduction of benefits for union members and pensioners—with more to come in the future:

In its first major action on righting the city’s finances, Detroit’s financial advisory board approved Mayor Dave Bing’s plans Thursday for $100 million in cuts to the city’s unionized workforce that his administration is expected to impose without negotiations.

Included are a 10% pay decrease, higher out-of-pocket health care costs and limits on overtime.

The wage reduction would would apply to police and firefighters, a cut that Bing long has sought. In addition, workers would move into a health plan with higher co-pays and higher costs for prescriptions.

This is what happens to workers when their union leaders make insane demands year after year, and when the corrupt alliance of politicians and union bosses reaches is logical destination: bankruptcy and collapse. Detroit is where the ideas that drive the urban Democratic party had a free hand; it is the clearest example of what happens when political systems reject the implications of the collapse of the old economic model.

Arithmetic, when it finally comes into play, is as nonpartisan as gravity. In Detroit, as in many other cities and states facing dealing with the fallout from blue it is Democratic politicians who end up making cuts much more devastating and hurtful than anything Paul Ryan has ever proposed.

Procrastination does not pay. If Detroit’s leaders had behaved intelligently, making reasonable and prudent cuts, rejecting  over-the-top union demands and laying the economic foundations for the city’s turnaround, nothing as serious as these cuts would have been needed. But a combination of Blue ideology, short term thinking and greed have brought the city to its knees. It will take much more than this to put Detroit back on the right path, but this is at least a step in the right direction.

Read more on Detroit.

Features Icon
show comments
  • The Reticulator

    And to think, there are those that think this class of people should put tighter regulation on our banking system.

  • Anthony

    “…when political systems reject implications of the collapse of the old economic model.” Now, what comes next….

  • Atanu Maulik

    As always reality is catching up with the left.

  •!/suhrmesa Suhr Mesa

    The political left is emotionally invested in their ideology and political leaders. That is all they have. Therefore, to adjust and change, they must reject themselves. That will never happen.

    The political left cannot reform their actions or beliefs. They must be defeated and left behind.

  • An

    @WRM. California cities are leading the way. Costa Mesa is a city in Orange County that is sandwiched by Newport Beach and Santa Ana. In 2011 they laid off 45% (213 of 472 employees) their city workers to solve the pension crisis. Those jobs were outsourced.

    In Los Angeles County, the City of Maywood disbanded all city services and outsourced all their city services to private companies or other cities.

    Vallejo was the fist major city to file bankruptcy, is recovering. Money is tight but their budget is nearly balanced. The police and fire departments are 1/3 of their previous size.

    In the City of Los Angeles, pensions now consume 1 our everything 3 dollars with the city facing a 250 million budget deficit. Even so, green shoots are appearing. The budget deficit as projected to be $1billion dollars before the city began a round of cuts. But what is more important is that the city has outsourced certain jobs. In Pasadena and Downtown LA, you will see private security paid $10-11/hr roaming the streets at a fraction of the cost of a $100k police officer.

    Scott Walker left the police and firefighters collective bargaining untouched as he was politically astute enough to realize it was a political dead end. Californian cities are firing overpaid police and firefighters in masses.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    It didn’t have to be this way; Detroit is now permanently damaged, with much of the city looking like a war zone. You have to blame the Democrats, it was their responsibility, and they are unworthy of the peoples trust and are trying to do to America what they did to Detroit.

    Most of the productive citizens have fled long ago (mostly to red states), many of the physical assets like buildings, homes, factories, and shopping malls have been abandoned and have decayed, and now have a negative worth as it will cost money to demolish them just to have nothing there.

    The Democrats are reduced to closing the barn door, after the horse escaped years ago.

  • thibaud

    “it is Democratic politicians who end up making cuts much more devastating and hurtful than anything Paul Ryan has ever proposed.”

    This, from the man who thinks it’s “principled” to eliminate the food stamps program.

  • justaguy

    Now that the corruption of the union-local politician machine is openly discussed and becoming more accepted in our social culture, when will the reality of the financial mess force dissolving pension obligations to only those funds that were put aside at the time? If past corrupt regimes promised too much to public service union members, based on unicorns and fairy dust investments, why should today’s politicians or taxpayers honor that corruption with funds meant for today’s government services? Let each generation live off what was put aside for it and not take from the future–at least on the local and state level.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service