With Abortions & Crime At All Time High, Detroit Approaches Third World Status.
Detroit is often heralded by small government proponents as a perfect example of an over-involved government pushing themselves into the culture of a successful city and creating a state of dependence which eventually collapses in on itself. In other words, a great example of why big government fails. But this is really only a partial explanation of the issue. The real issue in America and the | Read More »
Auto Bailouts and the Lessons of Poletown
I had the opportunity to screen a portion of my film, Bankrupt: How Cronyism & Corruption Brought Down Detroit, for a group of about 60 people earlier this week and the experience was thrilling. Not just because it was live audience but because it was a live audience that brought some genuine opposition to the premise of the film, which never fails to be interesting | Read More »
UAW Loses Key Vote at VW Plant in Tennessee
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca to discuss how the UAW lost a key vote to unionize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, why some employees find unions to be less important than they used to be, and the Detroit pension fiasco.
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Shikha Dalmia on Saving Detroit and the GOP Immigration Plan
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Shikha Dalmia to discuss Detorit’s bankruptcy, a new effort to turn it around and why the GOP’s plan for immigration reform plan could lead to a massive expansion of government.
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The “Consider This!” Podcast, Episode 62: What Liberalism Has and Will Do To Big Cities, Learning From Mistakes, and the Reason Poverty Plummeted
Back from vacation, the latest episode of the “Consider This!” podcast is out. Conservative commentary in 10 minutes or less. Bill de Blasio was recently elected as the mayor of New York City. De Blasio is a liberal Democrat, as opposed to the liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg, who just left the post. He promises to bring liberal policies to New York. Well, more liberal than Bloomberg, I | Read More »
How To Solve Detroit’s Pension System Problems In Just One Easy Step
The NY Post had a good piece today by William McGurn on the state of the union (pension system) in Detroit, making the case for Detroit to switch to defined contribution plans for their union workers. McGurn is right on the mark that the such a move is critical for the city’s revitalization. Dispensing with this one particularly enormous financial burden which has added greatly | Read More »
Virginia, Vote TODAY for Cuccinelli, Jackson, and Obenshain. It’s important.
Today Virginia votes. Republicans, and in particular conservatives, come to this election after a difficult year to endure. The Governor depressed us, the Lieutenant Governor depressed us, the transportation deal depressed us, and of course DC establishment Republicans like Eric Cantor depressed us.
But today we face a clear, easy choice: Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe. Easy call. We must make sure to vote today for Ken Cuccinelli for Governor, E. W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Obenshain for Attorney General. It’s important. Please vote.
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Public Pensions and the Death of American Cities
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca to discuss American cities going broke, why public union pensions play a significant role and if Washington may eventually bail out bankrupt cities and states.
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Detroit’s $320 Million FederalAidReliefStimulus Package
Right before the government shutdown, Detroit received a pledge for a $320 million federal “aid package”. The Obama Administration wants to make it perfectly clear: this is not a bailout. That word is too toxic during this time of fiscal instability in Washington. This is relief. A stimulus. It is a hand-up, not a hand-out, and, as the NY Times reports, this will not be | Read More »
Detroit closes charter school for financial reasons
So, apparently Detroit is in the position where they are able to determine whether other institutions are financially sound. Apparently when a school’s debt exceeds half the annual revenue the school is considered unsound. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131016/SCHOOLS/310160108/Set-close-Oct-31-Detroit-charter-school-shuts-doors-early This comes from Detroit with $8B debt outstanding on $1B of revenue. An additional ~$8B or so is due to underfunded pension programs. So Detroit doesn’t want unsound debt accrued | Read More »
“The People”: Two Favorite Statist Words
Stossel did an episode called “What’s Up with Detroit?” not too long ago. At one point he brought up the opportunities Detroit had to bring in income by selling, for example, Belle Island, or some of the numerous expensive paintings in Detroit’s museum. Belle Island alone would bring in 2 billion dollars. What I found odd- along with the host- was the uniform response | Read More »
The Immorality of Government Pension Obligations
I know that pensions are out of the news right now and that defund is the defining issue of the moment. However, I think it is appropriate to revisit these issues from time to time. Let’s consider somebody (Bill) moving from New York State to Illinois. The best estimate of New York’s unfunded pension obligations that I can find per capita is $814 while Illinois | Read More »
What The MSM Doesn’t Want You To Know About Detroit
The mainstream media, and even the financial media, have buried the real story concerning Detroit’s bankruptcy. Or rather, they’ve buried the other real story, besides the fact that the city has been run by Democrats since 1962. The real story is that Detroit was forced into bankruptcy before the many alternatives to this route were even considered – a route that may leave bondholders and | Read More »
Going Bananas As The Fiscal Year Ends
I can imagine Inigo Montoya sipping his rum. He contemplates, then chuckles. He pulls a bit on his mustache as President Obama’s teleprompter bromides blare out of his television. “He uses this phrase banana republic.” Inigo muses. “I do not think he knows what it means.”
You can use the term in a number of ways. As catchy bits of jargon get run through the political mill until shopworn, it’s perhaps quite accurate of Montoya to question whether anyone knows what banana republic means. I tend to think their clothes are overrated. My wife, on the other hand, always appreciates a $100 gift card. All jesting aside, when the American author O. Henry invented Archuria, he had a very specific type of dystopia in mind.
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Dear Kevyn Orr, Emergency Manager for Detroit
Dear Mr. Orr, You have an unprecedented opportunity before you. Even though the city of Detroit is billions of dollars in debt, as the emergency manager, you have a way to dispense with one particularly enormous financial burden which has contributed greatly to the city’s fiscal insolvency. You are reportedly at at odds with the unions over the total amount that union’s two pension system | Read More »