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02 August 2013


Ben Emery

To blame workers for the obvious results from a manufacturing exodus out of the US while those same corporations have never seen higher profits is ridiculous. Corporate tax breaks and pitting workers against each other is a major factor but you seem to think these ideas are good.

Here is a bigger piece of the pie.

George Rebane

BenE 122pm - I think you're missing the more important "manufacturing exodus" out of Michigan to other states which has been invisible to Detroit politicians and unions. And yes, I do think that "corporate tax breaks and pitting workers against each other is good", and apparently so do the other states that have attracted other domestic and foreign car makers. Just as no one will start a new high tech manufacturing plant in California, so will no one restart an auto plant in Detroit.

Todd Juvinall

I was the hated enemy of Local 39 at the county the whole time I was a Supervisor. I was always trying to get the "negotiations" between us and them into the front room instead of closed sessions but alas I failed. Pensions were voted on and now we see the results. Detroit was a lost cause many years ago when the Big T

I hope Tom and Doug can slow down the Federal Steamroller on the people's lands. We pay for them and all the things and people on them and they use these A21 and ESA scams to keep us off of them. The grazing wars are back as are timber and mining. When one reads the ECO management plans for the forest people can only shudder in disbelief. When I stared CABPRO in 1993 the Feds were trying to do all the same things as they are now and it was quite a battle. I told the bicyclists, four wheelers, hikers, campers and the equestrians they should join us because they would be singled out someday. They said nope and took the exclusions in the management plans fore their sports. Now they are toast. While our local libs were complaining about Republicrats, many of us were in the fight to preserve our rights. But, like all libs the local yakkers from the left think we are all just numb-nuts on the right. While they were strumming their guitars, we were doing the heavy lifting.

Bill Tozer

This material is too rich and up my alley. Yes, Greece just another few billion from the IMF.

Interesting that the day O gave his economic speech at that small college in Illinois a few days ago, just a few hours before the Prez's long winded monologue Moody's downgraded Mr. O's hometown of Chicago by 3 notches. Reason? Moody's says Chicago under reported its unfunded pension liabilities by half. Moody now says most cities have reported only 1/3 of their unfunded liabilities. Moody may have got caught with their pants down during the economic crisis, but they won't be fooled again.

Brother Ben, please listen for a second. Detroit is a mess because of decades of mismanagement of the city, including racial politics. Yep, some things were out of their control such as global economic trends. However, most people do not blame white flight to the suburbs. More people blame the inner city flight that has shrunk the city's population by nearly half. How the city leadership responded to these challenges is why 90% or more of the city's wages are being paid by federal grants.

Here is the deal: If you, Ben, read this, I will read 3 of your links, ok?


And yes, I am well aware that we are sending more money to the South American nation of Colombia than to Detroit. Geez, the web is full of excuses and blamers and flamers concerning poor little Motor City.

Bill Tozer

Ben Part 2. I love the comments to the link you posted. Guess some people don't see eye to eye concerning Detroit. I know one thing. If I can have a car built in Michigan for 75 bucks an hour per employee (bennies included) and can have the same car built for 30 bucks an hour in the Sunshine South, where would I go to stay in business? and complete with Toyota and Nissan?

Thank you lucky stars that US made pickups are selling like hotcakes last month, driving year over year sales up 23-41% for the Big Three respectively. Toyota just cannot compete with US made Ford, Chevy and Ram Trucks. Americans love their pick ups are big trucks with big engines are what the non Washington types love! Plus Ford's eye pooping mileage little cars.

Ken Jones

Mr. Tower
The link and opinion piece you suggested is no more than the typical smear piece on President Obama by Jon Kraushar. Jon is an adviser to Congressional leaders including Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan; Dick Cheney's debate coach and Roger Ailes former partner. Too much baggage and too much bs in that opinion piece. And yes the web is full of partisan excuses and blames and Fox News leads the pack. I know you can do better.

Todd Juvinall

Thanks for the link BillT. I see the usual apologists for Obama are at your throat. Of course we all on the right had to listen to his ilk's bias most of our lives and we get a neutral network, FOX and these lovelies go apologetic. Too funny.

Bill Tozer

Ok. let look at Detroit's leaders. This has nothing to do with making cars:


Detroit's pension fund pension fund

Democrat controlled history (recent years)

Mr. Jones. You can fill pages upon pages just by Goggling Detroit corruption. You will find judges to policemen. Too much info, so little space. Looks like Detroit does it Chicago Style! Or just has a tiny leadership problem.

In a semi-related bit of news, Carlos Danger finally has one politician stepping forward to support and defend former Representative A. Wiener (D,NY) on his bid for Mayor Bloomberg's job. Nope, its not Bill Clinton who gave the nuptials at Mr. Wiener's wedding. Not Bill. None other than the famous Democrat Mayor himself, the Honorable Marion Berry.

Bill Tozer

Mr. Jones: this one seems non political and is actually quite moving. Think Mr. Ben would conclude that its all about race.


Ken Jones

Mr. Tozer a better link and source. Keith B. Richburg expressed a more honest view and hit upon the reality that is Detriot, decades of slow decay from many factors, internal in the city and in the state and the external with international trade. This isn't a one issue, I.e. "liberalism" as RR likes to imply and place blame. Multi issues with no easy solution. Yes those issues include race, corruption and politics. But as the root cause, hardly. Life and our world is never that simple.

Bill Tozer

Phony scandal. If Benghazi is just another phony scandal, then why all the sudden silence from witnesses?
Let them testify before Congress or be interviewed by Congressional members or by the 4th branch of government to prove this is just another phony scandal and nothing to see here, move on. Just like Fast and Furious, Tea Party applications for non-profit advocacy status forwarded to the White House General Counsel's Office, NSA infor on citizens shared with the FEC....these are just distractions by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who can't get over the fact that a partial black man is sitting in the Oval Office.

You are only paranoid until proven correct.


George Rebane

Re KenJ 624am – Mr Jones’ point is semi-correct. However the pursuit of it in public policy leads to slow progress at best and gridlock as the most likely solution. Detroit has demonstrated the latter.

Yes, any conclusion or terminating event (like municipal bankruptcy) has many contributive causes. In the study of causality these are envisioned, modeled, and analyzed in terms of a causal basin that looks like a multiply connected tree (graph). In the overwhelming number of cases this basin has a dominant sequence of events/processes called the causal beam that leads to the event. Severing the causal beam will with high likelihood prevent the terminating event, while severing other branches in the causal basin may just lower the event’s probability.

In commentaries like RR, the reader is usually treated only to the causal beam for the sake of brevity and clarity. And here we come back to Detroit and its national municipal brethren. It well acknowledged that the causal beams leading to bankruptcy all have the common attribute of public service pension mismanagement (a polite word for sleaze and corruption). And going back in the causal beam we run into collectivism as its launching provenance – more simply, wealth redistribution with no regard to market pricing. Socialist principles are the sine qua non of the intellectual rationale that unions present to managements before bribes and strikes enter the picture.

Another way to look at the multiple cause problem is from the principal factor perspective. All systems, patterns, processes, … are understood in terms of multiple factors that characterize them. These can be arranged in order of importance through various analytical means. The higher the ranking of a factor in such a spectrum, the more of the observables it explains away about the nature of the pattern or the system’s behavior. Again, socialistic principles introduced by liberal ideologues are the acknowledged principal factors pushing American cities into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Finally, if all the above is too obtuse, we can return to the point of my commentary and long argued conclusion – in cahoots with many other dependers, progressive governance is the liberally consumed secret sauce that has gunked up the gears of the nation’s cities.


Re: Detroit... only capitalism could rebuild Detroit. That is not even an option in the US of A.

Re: Pensions... taxpayers will get the shaft, again. Unethical compensation packages of 'public serpents' will continue to make headlines. Pensions are getting a free pass this year due to a Bernanke Bubble in stocks.

Re: Obama.... we so desperately need a leader.

Re: Greece.... a foreshadow of collectivisms end game.

Joe Koyote

" socialistic principles introduced by liberal ideologues are the acknowledged principal factors pushing American cities into Chapter 9 bankruptcy." Acknowledged by whom?


What will LIBS have to say when the Benghazi cover up is exposed as the "big brother" to Fast and Furious? Remember the "manpad" recovery excuse?
No wonder "O" got nutless with the chemical weapon "red line". Just maybe
it was his pals ( which side? Who knows.... Muslim Brohood?) actually used them. Yaa,, He sure doesn't want news like this getting out.
It may be "O"'s own criminal actions that filled a grave right here in our own county.

George Rebane

JoeK 548pm - everyone who understands municipal cashflows.

Joe Koyote

Pretty vague answer.. Bandwagon argument, "everyone" believes this so I should as well?. Who are these "everyone"'s? What are their political affiliations? Is this just more right wing propaganda to discredit the opposition and get elected? The studies supporting the Laffer (spelling?) curve and austerity have pretty much been debunked (by everyone but the far right) based on unreliable models (as you claim for climate change). How are readers to know if that is not the case with this as well? Instead of a blanket blaming the "libs" what specifically didn't work? We already know about the claims relating to unions and pensions for government workers, what else pushed these cities over the edge? How did the souring of the economy (thanks to greedy banks and bailouts) effect these teetering cities? How did "downsizing" or " moving offshore" effect those municipal economies? How did unemployment and poverty put a drain on funds? Many posters in here seem to find a way to blame ideology rather than actual circumstances. To win an argument among discerning readers unbiased, objective information from widely recognized credible sources is needed. Blaming the opposition is preaching to the choir.

Bill Tozer

Mr. Koyote, glad to see you are still seeking out the exception to the rule. Like if everybody jumped of a cliff, you would find the one sheep that got pushed. You would find some poor soul who shot himself in the foot and say it wasn't the bullet who hurt him, nor his actions. It was something else.

Yes, there is always "the rest of the story".

Take heart, my brotha from another motha. Obama will not let those who pay no taxes be burdened by those taxpayers who are not paying their fair share.

Urban decay is not a new term. But, then again, LA was just a spot on the map 85 years ago. Now the area is home to 30 million people (most of them citizens).

A friendly word of caution. Be wary of loading up on municipal bonds. Might take a haircut in the future. Speaking generally, of course. I am certain you will find a good safe investment in the muni market out there.

Joe Koyote

I don't trust paper in any form. Most of my meager funds are in real estate and metal.

Bill Tozer

Yep, Mr. Koyote, I too have meager funds. I gone from picking stocks to picking mutual funds to now index funds. Even refined it to betting on America. They say buy and hold is over and I have come full circle. Now I buy and hold and forget it. Maybe when I retire and have a year or so to live, I might try to time the market. Until then, I know everything comes around, and like the 4 seasons, we have spring, summer, fall (oh no, its falling) winter (at the bottom, depressed) and then Spring again. Figure if I just keep on keeping on little by little, then I will have more of the stuff, whether its at its highs or lows. Betting on America is the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry bin, IMHO. And in my totally uninformed opinion, lol.

On a very personal note and totally off topic (unless retirement and the status of the economy is semi on topic) the only reason I got this humble abode out in the boonies with 10 acres is the housing market crash. Previous owners bought the land, moved a manufactured on site, built a huge redwood deck with gorgeous views, sunk a well and engineered septic system a few years ago. Cost them 330 grand and then the job market and economy and housing bubble burst. Picked it up on a short sale for a bit over a third the cost. Moved in Dec 15th. Could not afford it buy it today. Timing is everything. I am a dummie, so I just happened to show up at the right place at the right time. Nothing to do with smarts. They say showing up is 90% of the work. Sorry all readers for my digression again. Strike that. Ain't sorry. Psychopaths do not feel sorrow. Either do half the folks who reside in my head. The other half are softies. Time to give myself a group hug. Take care, Mr. Koyote

George Rebane

JoeK 1125am - I can't do much more than recommend you widen your news and commentary media sources. And pay attention to the pics in RR. Did you see that The Economist did a major report on the topic and conclusions of this post. They are not exactly your American right wing rag. Some of you folks will not believe anything until Bill Moyers, Chris Matthews, or Rachel Maddow blesses it. When the America's public service union pension disgrace is reported regularly in the national and international press, it should be time for even liberals to take notice. But I am glad that you visit RR now and then ;-)

Bill Tozer

Ho hum. Yawn. Just another of the usual news today:


Found the last sentence rather odd. As set up, my civil servants should receive a low wage in exchange for retirement pension and benefits. But, noooooooooooo. Now they want to be be on equal pay with the private sector AND receive pension with bennies. Greedy little things them public employees are. Like jawhawks crowding the bird feeder. What every happened to the image of the low paid civil service worker who got the last laugh with a secure retirement? Cut their pay and fund their pensions. Maybe drop surviving spouse bennies and retiree's spousal bennies. That would make them just like the private sector.

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