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Detroit goes bankrupt

detroit Michigan bankruptcy 2013

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#21 Lin731

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:22 PM

View Postscherzo, on 23 July 2013 - 08:47 AM, said:

If Governor Snyder thinks tax increases on ANY income bracket is likely to do his state any good, he needs a remedial course in conservative economics pronto. Word on the street is there's a possibility of him getting opposition in a Republican primary, due to his reputation as a tax hiker. The problem I have is, you're characterizing a reduction of taxes on business as "welfare" which it certainly is not. Contrary to popular belief, the money doesn't belong to our government masters. Retaining what you've earned legally is not largess, whether you're an evil corporation or an individual worker.
When you're taking from the poor, the old and the struggling middle to give huge tax breaks to corporations, for me that rates as corporate welfare for the well off. Snyder may see opposition in his reelection bid but the Republican party can't blame all those hikes on him, THEY are the ones who pushed them through, he merely did their bidding by signing them. If you're at all interested, do a little research on what's been going on in this state and you'll see gross abuse of power doesn't have a party affiliation because here, the Republicans control the legislature and the Governorship and they have grossly abused their power. After all those other hikes, Snyder actually purposed hiking the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 33 cents per gallon and also proposed a 60 percent increase in license plate fees. I just spent 94 bucks renewing mine (at the old rate) imagine a 60 percent jump. All this while NOT revenue sharing with the counties as he was supposed to which helped drive some school districts into fiscal collapse because revenues that were expected weren't received. Then he brings in Emergency managers into these failed school districts. Add in them pushing through Right to Work and tacking on an appropriation (which under Michigan law makes it referendum proof) so that Michigan voters couldn't repeal it. The abuse of power here is nauseating and makes the point that ANY party with too much power WILL abuse it. So what can a voter do when there is so much to loathe from BOTH parties?
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#22 Dev F

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 11:06 PM

View Postscherzo, on 22 July 2013 - 01:35 AM, said:

In a way, MSNBC Ed's madness and Dev's preposterous crack about austerity serve to illustrate something I said in the first post. The hard-left are incapable of UN-learning their chosen religion. Liberalism's inherent wisdom and virtue, are absolute articles of faith that no amount of empirical data can shake.

What empirical data? All you've done is take probably the most overdetermined economic disaster in the modern United States -- one tangled up in such issues as corruption, racial conflict, encroaching suburbs, the recent economic downturn, and, of course, the collapse of a gigantic national industry -- and tried to paint it as the inevitable result of profligate liberals who had the gall to imagine that the city's greedy retirees were entitled to an average pension of less than $20,000 a year. Never mind that there are numerous cities in the United States that have liberal governance but aren't postapocalyptic hellscapes. (Though that's also part of rhetorical game, of course; since most urban areas skew Democratic, of course the cities that fall on hard times are more likely to have left-leaning leaders.)

If Chicago had lost more than 60 percent of its population in the past half century, or large swaths of Los Angeles had been abandoned to be reclaimed by nature, then maybe you'd have a point that Detroit is just the first domino to fall. Fortunately, that isn't the case. But for the same ever-skeptical conservatives who pooh-pooh scientific consensus and insist on "unskewing" supposedly biased polls, hey, this single point of idiosyncratic data constitutes ironclad evidence that liberalism is leading us to our destruction! If that's not a sign of thinking based on absolute articles of faith, I don't know what is.

Speaking of which . . .

View Postscherzo, on 23 July 2013 - 08:47 AM, said:

If Governor Snyder thinks tax increases on ANY income bracket is likely to do his state any good, he needs a remedial course in conservative economics pronto. Word on the street is there's a possibility of him getting opposition in a Republican primary, due to his reputation as a tax hiker. The problem I have is, you're characterizing a reduction of taxes on business as "welfare" which it certainly is not. Contrary to popular belief, the money doesn't belong to our government masters. Retaining what you've earned legally is not largess, whether you're an evil corporation or an individual worker.

You're certainly entitled to believe, as a matter of conservative ideology, that the rich have a right to keep more of their own money. But when you convert it into an element of conservative economics -- that is, to argue that it is good for the financial health of the country that the rich keep more of their own money -- that's where you're arguing more on faith than evidence. Because as I mentioned above, it's an argument that is directly contradicted by the growing wealth gap. Since the rich do have more money, and the rest of the economy is not improving proportionally, it's time to give the old trickle-down theory a rest.

#23 scherzo

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:35 AM

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What empirical data?
The completely dismissed empirical data.

You'll find a skimmed copy on Ed Schultz' desk next to the anti-depressants.

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You're certainly entitled to believe, as a matter of conservative ideology, that the rich have a right to keep more of their own money.
I said not a single word about "the rich", but kudos for getting that strawman in the game early. It saves me from having to pay very much attention to anything that came after. More than once I've posted about supply-side economics here, with all the detailed graphs and charts you can eat. The empirical data on that philosophy is conclusive, fairly recent, and of course...meaningless to the religious left. So I'll reserve discussion of "trickle-down" for parties actually interested in digesting new information.
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#24 scherzo

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 02:48 AM

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When you're taking from the poor, the old and the struggling middle to give huge tax breaks to corporations, for me that rates as corporate welfare for the well off.
A tax cut doesn't "take" money from anyone. If your taxes were cut tomorrow that does not mean you're receiving government welfare.

As for your Republican legislature, about the only thing you've detailed above that reads "conservative" is the Right to Work move. Everything else sounds like the same 'ol tax first, ask questions later routine favored by most big city Dems. None of that can be tied to Detroit's overall condition at the moment though.(although I'd be surprised if it's helping much) The big damage had been done decades ago.

Edited by scherzo, 25 July 2013 - 02:48 AM.

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#25 Nonny

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:27 PM

Detroit, and the Bankruptcy of America's Social Contract

http://www.huffingto...ntent=BlogEntry

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The geo-political divide has become so palpable that being wealthy in America today means not having to come across anyone who isn't...

In other words, much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who's inside and who's outside. Who is included in the social contract? If "Detroit" is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, "Detroit" has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. Politically, it would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this "Detroit" were willing to subsidize the poor inner-city through their tax dollars, and help it rebound. That's an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.
In drawing the relevant boundary to include just the poor inner city, and requiring those within that boundary to take care of their compounded problems by themselves, the whiter and more affluent suburbs are off the hook. "Their" city isn't in trouble. It's that other one -- called "Detroit."
It's roughly analogous to a Wall Street bank drawing a boundary around its bad assets, selling them off at a fire-sale price, and writing off the loss. Only here we're dealing with human beings rather than financial capital. And the upcoming fire sale will likely result in even worse municipal services, lousier schools, and more crime for those left behind in the city of Detroit. In an era of widening inequality, this is how wealthier Americans are quietly writing off the poor.

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#26 Kota

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:53 PM



#27 Lin731

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:51 PM

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A tax cut doesn't "take" money from anyone. If your taxes were cut tomorrow that does not mean you're receiving government welfare.

As for your Republican legislature, about the only thing you've detailed above that reads "conservative" is the Right to Work move. Everything else sounds like the same 'ol tax first, ask questions later routine favored by most big city Dems. None of that can be tied to Detroit's overall condition at the moment though.(although I'd be surprised if it's helping much) The big damage had been done decades ago.
In this case it does because the new tax hikes (per Snyders own words) was to make up for the revenues lost by giving those tax breaks to big business.  As to the abuses of power: http://www.michiganr...ter-referendums

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Typically, policy bills do not appropriate money. But, every now and then – and it is rare -- a policy bill does include an appropriation. Courts have ruled, reluctantly sometimes, that this makes a law referendum-proof.

How does what the state is doing have bearing on the cities, counties, towns and townships here? http://www.thenation...gency-managers#

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On January 20 the progressive think tank Michigan Forward and the Detroit branch of the NAACP sent a joint letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder expressing concern over Public Act 4, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act. Signed into law in March 2011, it granted unprecedented new powers to the state’s emergency managers (EMs), including breaking union contracts, taking over pension systems, setting school curriculums and even dissolving or disincorporating municipalities. Under PA 4, EMs, who are appointed by the governor, can “exercise any power or authority of any officer, employee, department, board, commission or other similar entity of the local government whether elected or appointed.”

Everyone agrees that something must be done to “fix” Michigan’s struggling urban centers and school districts, although news of a $457 million surplus in early February prompted the state budget director to declare, “Things have turned.” But at what cost? In 2011 Governor Snyder stripped roughly $1 billion from statewide K-12 school funding and drastically reduced revenue sharing to municipalities. Combined with poor and sometimes corrupt leadership and frequently dysfunctional governments, these elements have brought Michigan cities to the brink of bankruptcy. Residents of the hardest-hit places have fled if they are able.


Despite their relatively short history, EMs have a record of abusing their powers. This past summer Arthur Blackwell II, Highland Park’s former emergency financial manager, was ordered to repay more than $250,000 he paid himself. In Pontiac EFM Michael Stampfler outsourced the city’s wastewater treatment to United Water just months after the Justice Department announced a twenty-six-count indictment against the company for violating the Clean Water Act.





That has happened a couple of times since the beginning of this year on some controversial measures proposed by the Legislature’s Republican majorities and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

The law repealing the requirement that most retail items carry their own price tag, and the new tax on pensions are both immune to a referendum. Bills up for final votes in the Legislature this week that redraw the state’s congressional and legislative districts will also be referendum-proof.

Will Lawrence, a petition circulator, says that’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

“The fact that the Legislature and the governor are deliberately taking that right away from the citizens shows their contempt for the democratic process and the will of the citizens.”

“I think it’s a deliberate tactic to really disenfranchise the citizens of a crucial check that we have here in our system in Michigan.”

What did they do when Michigan voters DID repeal the Emergency Manager law? They reverted to the old version of it. So they've jacked up taxes to offset the breaks they gave business, slashed revenue sharing, slashed school funding, instated EM's to union bust and break contracts, privatize and sell off assets. Repeatedly tied appropriation bills to keep Michigan voters from calling a referendum (Right to work, an abortion bill, redistricting to favor themselves etc...) For me, that is NOT business as usual. I'd liken the EM situation to starving a kid and then sending them to a doctor, claiming they were anorexic.
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#28 Lin731

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:56 PM

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The geo-political divide has become so palpable that being wealthy in America today means not having to come across anyone who isn't...

In other words, much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who's inside and who's outside. Who is included in the social contract? If "Detroit" is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, "Detroit" has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. Politically, it would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this "Detroit" were willing to subsidize the poor inner-city through their tax dollars, and help it rebound. That's an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.
In drawing the relevant boundary to include just the poor inner city, and requiring those within that boundary to take care of their compounded problems by themselves, the whiter and more affluent suburbs are off the hook. "Their" city isn't in trouble. It's that other one -- called "Detroit."
It's roughly analogous to a Wall Street bank drawing a boundary around its bad assets, selling them off at a fire-sale price, and writing off the loss. Only here we're dealing with human beings rather than financial capital. And the upcoming fire sale will likely result in even worse municipal services, lousier schools, and more crime for those left behind in the city of Detroit. In an era of widening inequality, this is how wealthier Americans are quietly writing off the poor.

As one of those "whiter more affluent" folks in the burbs, I can only say what a load of crap this article is. This fails to address MANY points.

1. The people in the burbs as well as the State government HAVE attempted to help on numerous occasions, the last time this past year, The surrounding burbs voted to tax themselves to keep the DIA going.

2. The state offered to lease Belle Isle and fix it up, the city counsel said NO.

3. This article entirely ignores what led to whites (and many middle class blacks) leaving the city. Namely the 67 riots that drove thousands of businesses and homeowners from the city in fear, taking their jobs and tax dollars with them.

4. Then came the Coleman Young administrations racial dividing policies.

5. Incompetent city management, corruption, crime, gangs etc...

Yet apparently being driven from the city by hostile, violent, destructive behavior is now considered "abandonment" and all those who fled to communities that were properly governed should just throw money at Detroit? As someone who has watched this states history unfold over 50 years, the situation isn't what the article would have you believe. Listen to NPR out of the Wayne State University campus if you want the real deal about Detroit and the burbs. Believe me the racial divide here has TWO sides and Blacks where more than happy to drive white folks out of the city back in the late 60's and until the city completely went to Hell, they seemed pretty proud of having done it. Now the wheels have come off the wagon, it's all the fault of white flight? I don't think so. Detroit has fallen victim to a perfect storm of a declining auto industry, riots that drove businesses and tax base out, slashed revenue sharing, government corruption, incompetence and general distrust and hostility on both sides. If you only knew the level of incompetence there...MILLIONS in uncollected taxes every year, tax bills not sent out at all, tax assessments on property people don't even own. MILLIONS of dollars missing an unaccounted for etc...
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#29 Dev F

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:34 PM

Was on vacation last weekend, so I'm getting back to this a little behind schedule. . . .

View Postscherzo, on 25 July 2013 - 02:35 AM, said:

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What empirical data?
The completely dismissed empirical data.
Oh, that data. That I still have no idea what you're talking about. Got it.

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You're certainly entitled to believe, as a matter of conservative ideology, that the rich have a right to keep more of their own money.
I said not a single word about "the rich", but kudos for getting that strawman in the game early.
So even though Lin was arguing that Governor Snyder shouldn't be raising taxes on the poor to give breaks to the wealthy, and your reply was that he shouldn't be raising taxes "on ANY income bracket," that doesn't constitute an argument that he shouldn't be raising taxes on the rich specifically? It's the only income bracket you and Lin were in disagreement about.

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It saves me from having to pay very much attention to anything that came after.
It's interesting that you always seem to get offended and stop paying attention right before you get to the actual substance of my argument -- namely, that if letting the rich keep more of their money improves the economy at large, why isn't the economy currently improving in proportion to the growing wealth of the upper class?

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More than once I've posted about supply-side economics here, with all the detailed graphs and charts you can eat. The empirical data on that philosophy is conclusive, fairly recent, and of course...meaningless to the religious left.
I don't recall these posts specifically, but if they're anything like the other bits of right-wing "evidence" I've seen posted here -- the report that claimed, absurdly, that infrastructure spending doesn't stimulate the economy by misleadingly quoting a study confirming that it does stimulate the economy; the one that tried to brand the stimulus a failure by misinterpreting a purely theoretical study of its predicted effects -- I doubt I would be hugely impressed. But, of course, it's easier to accuse us liberals of rejecting all sensible conservative evidence out of some kind of kooky fundamentalism than to engage with the fact that we reject it because we don't find it persuasive.

#30 Lin731

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:31 AM

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  More than once I've posted about supply-side economics here, with all the detailed graphs and charts you can eat. The empirical data on that philosophy is conclusive, fairly recent, and of course...meaningless to the religious left.
Figures lie and liars figure (not you in particular). Figures can be manipulated to support whatever you want them to. I don't need a ton of graphs and charts to know supply side economics doesn't work. I merely need to look around me every day to see it doesn't work, I need only look at the Bush tax cuts to see that. We have LOTS of college degrees bagging groceries at $8.00 bucks an hour. We have the obscenely rich crying for even more H1B visa's when we have a huge pool of Tech related workers OUT OF Work. Wages in this country have been stagnant or falling drastically over a 30 year span. We gave "job creators" how many YEARS of tax breaks and yet what jobs did they create. Look at income distribution in this country over the past 30 years. The wealth in concentrated in a TINY percentage of Americans and the rest of us are fighting for table scraps. Tax breaks for the wealthiest that are tied to NOTHING produce NOTHING. All these tax breaks did was force taxpayers to foot the bill for these obscenely wealthy companies to further outsource.
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#31 Balderdash

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

View PostDev F, on 02 August 2013 - 09:34 PM, said:

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More than once I've posted about supply-side economics here, with all the detailed graphs and charts you can eat. The empirical data on that philosophy is conclusive, fairly recent, and of course...meaningless to the religious left.
I don't recall these posts specifically, but if they're anything like the other bits of right-wing "evidence" I've seen posted here -- the report that claimed, absurdly, that infrastructure spending doesn't stimulate the economy by misleadingly quoting a study confirming that it does stimulate the economy; the one that tried to brand the stimulus a failure by misinterpreting a purely theoretical study of its predicted effects -- I doubt I would be hugely impressed. But, of course, it's easier to accuse us liberals of rejecting all sensible conservative evidence out of some kind of kooky fundamentalism than to engage with the fact that we reject it because we don't find it persuasive.

Thank you Dev.  :)

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