Are we going to see Old Detroit or New Detroit in five years?
With the announcement of Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s emergency manager, the road to bankruptcy will begin, and residents will see Old Detroit become New Detroit. The appointed manager is no slouch, and has the attitude that Gov. Snyder needs in terms of union cooperation. The problem, however, is the cost to the taxpayer and the same secured creditors who were passed over for the “greater good.”
You have a relief pitcher who has extensive experience in selling to unions in Chapter 11. You have Mike Duggan, a specialist in financial crisis management, on deck. Your team is facing contract negotiations with right-to-work laws. With a trifecta of opportunity to restructure Detroit from inside and out, it’s no wonder people are trying to physically block Detroit from operating at all.
Michigan Democrats noted (via The Craig Fahle Show):
“Kevyn Orr may have an impeccable corporate background, but if Rick Snyder wants him to run Detroit, he should move to Detroit and run for mayor.”
Why would the corporate bankster warmongers run someone else for Detroit Mayor when they already have Mike Duggan? Seems the Dems are out of straw and digging deep into the sorghum.
For my money, Kevyn Orr represents exactly what Detroit needs. The problem isn’t politics. It’s math. Detroit is just as vertical as its auto industry, and we need to replace city jobs with private sector jobs. To do this in such a tight time frame, you have to risk a lot of money.
It’s no secret that we already spend money trying to force business to Detroit, so we have to realize a few things. If you are going to cut the city labor force, you’ll need to find a balance in private-sector investment and commitment.
You need to introduce and implement plans that asks for lots of private sector jobs in a short amount of time, something that small businesses and mom-and-pop stores cannot accomplish. Promises of retail aren’t assuring for residents, and PR about downtown doesn’t add jobs either. Investment math isn’t adding up to the press releases.
The acronym-riddled state programs promise hard currency for building in the 313, but also risk your tax money. For what it’s worth, Gov. Snyder has made massive inroads to increasing the transparency of these quasi-public agencies who use your money to build a Whole Foods.
Take a look at the Southeast Region investments via the MEDC.
The project detail link is here (pdf). The number of projects is a little overwhelming at first, so focus on Detroit-only projects, and see where money is going now. It’s important, because this is already invested, and lets you know where the seeds for New Detroit are planted.
The big question is if we’re on the verge of a fire sale prior to bankruptcy. Optimism is dangerous when we really need the truth. The MEDC’s scorecard helps show what’s up with the truth about downtown investment (pdf). If you crunch basic numbers, you’ll know there simply aren’t enough people to support Old Detroit’s finances.
It’s a math thing.
Follow the money on these MEDC projects, and you’ll start to see the skyline of New Detroit.