July 20, 2013


Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric swirling around the Detroit bankruptcy. We get the sense that Detroit’s problems are a consequence of bungled public policy, bad schools, greedy public sector unions, etc., all conveyed with the usual racist undertones. Sorry, no … not the case. This is about vulture capitalists picking the bones they were never happy about leaving on the table in the first place … taxes and pensions. This is about Republicans snatching what’s left of the public sector to deliver it to their clients and cronies, who will sell it back to us in the form of privatized schools, security, bridges, roads and water. Detroit is an example of one thing only: business socializing the costs of production and keeping the profits. Modern cities didn’t sprout from the frontier like wild flowers. Detroit grew in order to serve the automobile and other industries. Every dollar the public sector and unions were able to wrench from business was marked by struggle. And, when other venues became convenient for the absorption of social costs without collective bargaining and modest contributions to the public sector, the corporations fled. Well, guess who’s back.

image: Detroit Industry Murals, Diego Rivera (1932-33) (detail)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Thank you!