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Why Detroit may be America's comeback city

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 30th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Detroit is one of America's most famous cities, yet it may cease to exist at least in one regard. State officials are mulling over the prospect of allowing Detroit to declare bankruptcy and dissolve itself into Wayne County. Despite this, Detroit has more going for it than most realize.

DETROIT, MI (Catholic Online) - According to local WWJ Newsradio 950, several Republican lawmakers are openly discussing the idea of allowing the city to vote itself into bankruptcy. Such a move would liquidate the city's assets to pay off creditors and allow Detroit to start with a fresh fiscal slate.

State governor Rick Snyder told WWJ that he would not rule out the possibility. "Detroit needs to solve their problems, but they need support and we've been very supportive partners, I believe, in terms of offering different ideas and thoughts. And I just encourage them to work harder about working better together," he said.

Others oppose the notion outright. Karen Dumas told Talk Radio 1270, "No, I don't think that dissolution is the solution for the city of Detroit; I don't. With every step we get more and more fearful . and maybe at some point that's going to make everybody wake up and realize that we need to stop playing politics and come up with a solution for progress. I don't know at what point that's going to happen."

In reality, there are a number of options the financially troubled city can explore, however bankruptcy is one.

A number of cities across the country have either declared bankruptcy or are considering the option. As the Great Recession draws to an end, it leaves behind a wake of fiscal destruction. The long period of prosperity from the 1990s through the end of the Bush era spoiled people and saw both households and cities grow expenditures well beyond what could be sustained.

As the recession consumed jobs, it also took revenues out of city coffers. Many cities cannot meet their financial obligations without making deep cuts to programs that have become dear to many people, especially long-term benefit programs such as pensions and health care.

In addition to massive revenue loss resulting from a decline in the local job market, Detroit has long struggled with a poor public image. Many still believe Detroit to be a crime-ridden place, a reputation the city developed in the 1980's.

Still, Detroit has made something of a comeback. The auto industry has recovered and although leaner than before, Detroit still enjoys a positive reputation in the industry. Many auto manufacturers proudly announce their vehicles are made in Detroit.

Unfortunately, the city remains in dire financial straits and will not likely recover soon as talks to renegotiate contracts, among other challenges, fall through.

Detroit is a tough city. It's people are resilient and its industry is strengthening again. Even if Detroit must declare bankruptcy in the short term, the long term future for the city remains strong.

Detroit may very well be America's comeback city when all is done.

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