See? There really is hope after all.
It’s not just Detroit, either. The tottering, bankrupt, possibly un-reformable federal government is perched atop some even more insolvent states, many of which contain intractable cities facing impossible crises. As with Detroit, these crises have been brewing for years. A particular set of bad decisions or political squabbles might grab headlines, but it’s really a matter of municipal voting cultures producing a long string of bad administrations. Whatever their shortcomings might be, the current mayor and city council didn’t make Detroit what it is today. Generations of residents did that. External economic factors surely played a major role, but in the end, it is the responsibility of local governments to deal with factors from beyond their borders. Throwing up their hands and declaring the whole thing an ungovernable mess is not an option, for the leadership of Detroit or any other city. Voters must demand better… and that means they’re going to have to compromise on some of their other demands.
While the current insanity of “fiscal cliff” negotiations make us wonder how long a system that regards $60 billion tax increases as the solution to trillion-dollar deficits can endure, the awful truth is that America’s collapse is likely to begin far from Washington, as the most bankrupt local and state governments implode, creating a shockwave that the hollow city on the Potomac cannot stand against.
Hey, whatever it takes, man.