The city I grew up in, Bridgeport CT, I believe was the first city in the country to declare for bankrupcy.
I was a kid at the time and really don't know what the practical implications were at the time. Just remember hearing and reading about it, and people joking about it, and knowing it was not good. But what actually happened? I can't really tell you.
I can say that the city has never recovered, not necessarily from the bankrupcy, but perhaps from what caused it to begin with, although it's shown some signs of life over the past decade, building a minor league baseball stadium, and basketball arena that hosts some pretty good concerts and stuff. And the city in general in terms of resturants and bars around that area has really picked up too.
But the city has serious issues. I'm still in the house buying market, and I know that the taxes in that city, for the neighborhoods you're in are absurd. And my uncle who actually just passed away was a career firefighter in the city, and I know that his retirement program, along with the cops and other municiple workers in the city, was rediculous, which is what is driving the crazy taxes.
So that means the only people buying property in the city are doing so for rental purposes, and the people renting are doing so in large part because they either can't afford to buy, or because they have credit issues, and you also get a lot people who are working in *ahem* cash driven businesses, which means you wind up with a city of renters, who just aren't going to have the same level of care for the city that property owners would.
So yeah, a lot of factors, although I don't have any answer for the specific question of what happens when a city declares bankrupcy.
Some parts are, but some also are not. It's not like you cross over city lines and suddenly everything is on fire. A lot of it is in extremely rough shape, but it's largely avoidable. That said, even pre-bankruptcy, the media tended to focus most of their Detroit energy to the ruin-porn aspect, and I can understand that. It's just random trashed boats sitting on the side of the road isn't something that happens everywhere in Detroit.
Folks love these pictures:
But not so much these pictures:
Again though, I get it. Detroit is really jacked up right now. But even with all that's gone wrong, I think its reputation sometimes gets a bad wrap, if that's possible.
Also, on the topic of Detroit's bankruptcy filing, such a move may actually free up a significant amount of funds to put toward serious city needs.
Bankruptcy may pay for better services by reducing Detroit’s daily costs as much as 40 percent, said John Mogk, a law professor specializing in urban policy at the city’s Wayne State University. Orr has proposed giving holders of $11.5 billion in municipal debt pennies on the dollar to free up money for programs, including new equipment.
“You’re talking about $300 million or $400 million that would not go toward past obligations, but could be put into new investments or services for the city,” Mogk said. “It opens up new opportunities for the city to try to improve living conditions in the city and try to stimulate economic growth.”
Orr has proposed spending $1.25 billion over 10 years to improve services — especially public safety — for a city that has lost a fourth of its population since 2000 and is riddled with blight. A neglected government infrastructure is partly to blame, Nowling said.
Doesn't Clinton have a lot to do with this too? During his tenure he signed that NAFTA/GATT. So that also helped kill the economy. I'm not trying to bash Clinton. So it's corruption, unions, white flight, clinton, what else?
Bloated pensions and union benefits + White flight + corrupt city government = the mess that is Detroit, a once proud example of the hard working American middle class. Sad.
The issue wasn't the unions and pensions, its that there is no room to actually build these factories in the city of detroit. Back in the day car companies and other manufacturers had multiple story factories actually within city limits giving the city lots of tax revenue. Manufacturing changed, and so did the manufacturing facilities that needed a lot of room and had to be built outside of the big cities. Detroit's infrastructure was built upon and based around all that taxable income going into the city. It all didn't just disappear because workers were getting paid too much, it just moved out to better more efficient locations.
The big 3 all still use union factories all over the country, but they are all away from big metropolitan centers.
Last edited by DukeDelonte13 : 08-09-2013 at 04:16 PM.