From The Detroit News: National media speak out on Detroit’s financial crisis
Saving Detroit from itself
Wall Street Journal editorial: The AFL-CIO and its friends are mourning Detroit as a victim of capitalism, claiming the government has a moral obligation to rescue the bankrupt city. This is a nice political fable, but the hard truth is that Motown is a victim of its own political vices and a bailout would merely forestall the necessary rehab.
Unions say it’s not fair for the city to break promises to workers, though it long ago abrogated its social contract with local taxpayers to protect their safety and provide basic public services. What would really be unfair is to make taxpayers in cities like San Jose, California, and Providence, Rhode Island, which have scaled back current worker pensions to avert bankruptcy, pay for Detroit’s recklessness.
As history shows, sending more cash to Detroit won’t fix its breakdown in self-government. Another bailout would merely support its toxic political culture of neglect and corruption.
Detroit could be better off
Nathan Lewis, Forbes: Ideally, a bankruptcy filing not only allows governments to escape the consequences of past mistakes, but also provides the political impetus to renew government operations on many levels — reorganizing offices, headcount, services and so forth in a rational and effective manner. They go through cycles of corruption and decay, and also of rebirth and renewal.
It is not only a one-way slide into disintegration. Believe it or not, sometimes governments get smaller. Typically, the “renewal” phase follows some disaster. Detroit has other issues regarding how to downscale a city gracefully. Sometimes people just don’t want to live there anymore, not because it is unpleasant (although it is), but because a city has lost its economic purpose.
America as Detroit
Jay Zawatsky, the National Interest: The malignant cancer cells oozing from the petri dish of progressive policy known as the City of Detroit are soon to metastasize throughout the body politic. The disease, which has been described by Mark Steyn as the “malign alliance between a corrupt political class, rapacious public-sector unions, and an ever more swollen army of welfare dependents,” will first lay low other formerly great American cities. Newark, Oakland, Cleveland and Los Angeles initially come to mind. But the same fate awaits nearly every other large municipality ruled for generations by so-called progressive thinkers. Read more at The Detroit News.