It's been a long time comin'
It's goin' to be a Long Time Gone.
And it appears to be a long,
Appears to be a long,
Appears to be a long
Time, yes, a long, long, long, long time before the dawn
--It's Been a Long Time Coming, CSNY
I have no choice but to dismiss you.
It breaks my heart, but I can't
expose my guests
to your firearms.
It may be wrong of them, but they
value their lives
--Rules of the Game (1939)
I mean - come on! You can have a Billion Man March!
If you don't put
down that malt liquor and chicken wings,
and get behind someone other
a running back who stabs his wife,
you're NEVER gonna get rid of
somebody like me!
To me you were the greatest thing
this boy had ever found
And girl it's hard to find nice things
On the poor side of town
--The Poor Side of Town, Johnny Rivers
[Alternate title: COPD -- Chronic Obstructive Problem, Detroit.]
Ranger grew up in Cleveland, he watches the unspooling of fellow Rust
Belt city Detroit with keen fascination. Not that Detroit's bankruptcy
claim is a surprise; hardly ... the nails have been being driven into
that coffin for a long time.
It seems intractable:
only a third of Detroit's ambulances are in service; police take 58
minutes to respond to emergency calls; 78,000 abandoned buildings;
average home price: $7,000 (America's Most Miserable City, Forbes
idealism rears its head when he asks, "We're all Americans, right?
Don't we all sink or swim together?" It's pretty to think so, no?
He asks, "Why
have two Presidents used the Michigan National Guard (among others) to
(re-)build two entire nations while a major United States metropolis
flounders -- shouldn't nation-building begin at home?"
biblical: "Love thy neighbor as thyself"; translated: "Don't go stomping
about thinking to help others until your own house is in order." There
is no answer apart from profiteering -- a time-honored human endeavor --
that answers the question.
Our friend FDChief @
GraphicFiringTable recently gave a precis of his wife's dissertation
cataloging the ills that plagued that once productive city, along with
her recommendations to her committee ("Heart of Darkness
"). It is an apolitical, scientific approach and we can do no better than her findings.
indicted generationally-disordered family systems, which dovetailed
with a disordered city plan. Her suggestions were creative, including
the idea of farming out city denizens to live cheek-by-jowl with more
functioning citizens elsewhere in the hopes that they might assimilate
some functional behaviors via proximity, much as average tea becomes the
exceptional Jasmine through simple positioning next to the flower's
blossoms, the fragrance now an integral part of its "tea-ness". Not that
exposure or immersion therapy is a bad thing, but unlike inert Camellia sinensis
, people are the wild card, no?
idea parallels the actual plan implemented upon the citizens of New
Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (2005) when scores of N.O. residents
were transplanted across the nation. However, aside from the National
Institutes of Health one-year study on the results of that experiment,
DNORPS (Displaced New Orleans Residents Pilot Survey
), we do not really know if new ideas can be impregnated into fully-formed humans en masse (shy of Moonie-type indoctrination.)
The core of the (our) problem is, the game's rigged.
Why has Robert Kiyosaki's book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad
been on the New York Times
Best Seller's list for six years? Because not everyone is born sucking a
silver spoon, but some people have figured out that they might like to
know some of the rules of the game. We then cry alligator tears over
National Public Radio's expose of the usurious 29.5% car loans that poor
people take out, without asking the salient question -- which is NOT,
"Why are car lots financing loans for those people?"
sort of simple-minded question does not address the heart of the beast,
which is that Capitalism is a system of profit-making, and everyone
wants nice things, and credit allows people to live beyond their means.
And America has always been a Scarlet O-Hara nation ("tomorrow will be a
better day"), and Thorstein Veblen revealed our conspicuous consumption
which has not become a source of shame but rather, a foolish pride.
Pawn shops and Payday Loans exist because they are a logical presence in
our capitalistic culture. If people eschewed them, or had no need of
them -- voila!
-- they would be gone.
recently met a woman from Detroit, "Beatrice", who shared a sad story
which for her encapsulated one piece of the puzzle. Her daughter, who
taught in a program for young unwed 13-14 year-old mothers, asked her
class of 25, "How many of you have been on a proper date?"
Precisely two of the girls felt that they had. Now, if one is an
affluent mature woman and pays for artificial insemination, that is one
way to civilly avoid the date trap. But for the rest of us?
As for what to do with the dregs? Ranger
suggests a "strategic hamlet"-type program in which services can be
provided more readily to a concentrated population.
than risk a potential Cabreni-Green, why not try a social program on the
scope of those in Iraq or Afghanistan? Schools, hospitals, vocational
programs, all from the ground up.
We could use Ms.
Clinton's "It Takes a Village" concept, outstripping Reagan's
compassionate conservatism and moving beyond having churches shoulder
the brunt of the burden, as if to say, "Only God can help you now, you poor suckers."
This would be a multi-pronged approach to social engineering, and would be stated as such. Detroit and its denizens need more than a tweak.
the National Guard to patrol and augment civilian police. Maybe even
try a stateside "Sons of Liberty" program wherein the indig are trained,
armed and paid to assist the police and not kill their fellows.
Oh, and we have a program title, though it sounds unfortunately like a pejorative: OAF
American Freedom"). It has ring: "We are working for the OAF's". Get
another Paul Bremer type in Army boots to over see the OAF Detroit
What idea do you have that could be added to our OPLAN? How to solve bankruptcy -- moral, economic, national?
And still the question hangs: "Do we pay taxes to build other countries or to destroy ours?"
This question is exclusively aimed at America, which has been in this
business since World War II, with Japan, Italy, Greece and beyond that
-- South Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq and Afghanistan.
Will any of those nicely reconstructed countries (save the last couple) now volunteer to rebuild a single city, Detroit? Where are you, Hugo Chavez?
[See another perspective, here: "What Really Ails Detroit"; an extended version will be published @ The Globalist 9.15.13..]
Labels: bankruptcy, detroit bankruptcy, escape from detroit, motor city, nation building