In case you missed it, and judging by the dwindling population you might have, Detroit officials declared their intent to pursue Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings in order to deal with the city’s $18 billion budget gap. Although, I suppose ‘gap’ is a bit of an understatement when you’re talking about that kind of money. Gorge may be more appropriate. Or canyon. Crater might work as well. But whatever you call it, it’s big, and it’s going to be a massive undertaking just to get Detroit back to the brink of solvency, let alone to return it to any semblance of a thriving major American city.
Of course, as is always the case when financial catastrophe strikes in this country, the first priority is to make sure the creditors (i.e., big banks, hedge funds, etc.) are paid off. And this is a bedrock principle of our modern capitalist economy. When everything falls apart, it is imperative that the people with the most get theirs first.
That’s why I applaud the city’s announced intention to go after the pensions and health benefits of current and future municipal retirees. Those freeloading ass clowns have been gravy training their way to below average healthcare, inadequate city services and declining buying power for too long now.
Meanwhile, the poor Wall Street bankers and other creditors who find themselves on the hook for a lot of those unfunded liabilities simply can’t afford to take a far reduced value on the dollar for the money they decided to lend, primarily in the form of buying bonds from a city they’ve known for years was taking a steady plunge down the toilet. If they did, they might have to buy smaller private jets, or host their company retreats in Cabo instead of St. Kitts (the horror, the horror).
That’s why I’m glad to see Detroit has finally gotten its priorities straight. Enough of the whining about burned out streetlights and abandoned homes. Enough with the ‘woe is me, the police took an hour to respond to my emergency call’ hand wringing. It’s time the residents of Detroit pulled themselves up by their boot straps – which, incidentally are also being claimed by creditors as part of their repayment plan – and dug their own way out of this mess.
No more government bailouts (at least, not unless Detroit can somehow prove it is a major bank in disguise… Wait, Detroit, you’re not actually a major bank are you?). No more handholding by state bureaucrats (that’s for Republican voters who live outstate). No more excuses. It’s time you paid your debts (and by debts, we mean only what you owe to the people at the top of the capitalist pyramid). It’s time you showed some of that ingenuity you’re supposed to be so famous for.
It’s halftime in America, folks, and apparently the second half is mainly going to consist of the losing team having its few remaining sideline amenities bulldozed, its medical staff fired and its postgame meal relocated to the other locker room.