Monday, July 22, 2013


This is the changed hands church, recently The Promise Land Church, now in foreclosure, that one sees vacant spires, in Poletown to the south passing by on I-94
“The Detroit bankruptcy filing will be a test case for how far a major U.S. city can go in dealing with a chronic problem facing many local and state governments: unsustainable pension costs.”  This is how one of the sub-headlines leads into an article in the 7-20-13 WSJ.  But what about unsustainable banking and investors costs?  As a story in their paper yesterday noted, Bank of America is likely to get 75 cents on their dollar, while Detroit’s pensioners, 10 cents on theirs.  Are the ‘entitlements’ of banks and stockholders always more morally and fiscally valid than those of common workers? 
The city was not even allowed to face its fiscal crisis on its own terms.  If bad mistakes were made by many over decades of shifting auto industry, let the citizens of Detroit figure out how to fix it, and who to ask for help.  Let them do their own bankruptcy, if necessary.  Are there no Detroit management teams and lawyers equal to the task? 

nstead, we have the plantation-ization of Detroit’s 80% African American population.   [Stockton, CA, the previous largest U.S. bankrupt city, had no emergency manager.]  Detroit’s restructuring is imposed by a Republican state government, local power usurped by an emergency manager and his corporate law firm, Jones Day {a global company that employs more than 2,400 lawyers in 37 cities on five continents}.  These are the outsiders who will now make the decisions [and millions in legal fees] on how this once magnificent city will be sold off, and re-branded.

America is on collision course to become the most well-to-do, heavily class-divided society in modern history—rich and relatively poor, with disappearing middle class.  A monarchy of 1%, dependent on 99% serfdom.  Promises no longer have meaning unless they’re made within the plutocracy.  The bankruptcy of Detroit reflects a bankruptcy of our merciless egotistical economic system. 
White flight and globalization blight helped doom Detroit.  Sons and daughter of slaves, and many other immigrants, were recruited to build Detroit big, and then there was a race of the promoters to abscond to other places, leaving the Johnny-come-latelies to turn out the lights.
  What does it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Mk 8:36

Abandoned confessionals in anonymous vacant Detroit church--photo by Zach Fein
Unconfessed sins are oft-repeated; there are plenty of "mea culpas" to go around.
For a good examination of one of the many episodes of power and money mis-management that has plagued Detroit, please read the late, beloved Jeanie Wylie-Kellerman's Poletown: Community Betrayed, available at the St. Clair Co. Library and at Amazon
Illumination by Kathy Brahney

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Michael. This is a sad day in the history of our state and world. And by the way, I am cured! You were right when you said to wait it out--10 days exactly.