Just Spread Detroit's Failure, Why Don't Ya?
Robert B. Reich, the little man with big liberal ideas, has a big idea for bailing out Detroit. It's a simple big idea, which just goes to show Reich's genius. Great thinkers get to the nub of things.
In a nutshell, Reich wants to make things right in Detroit by expanding its boundaries. Or does he want to expand the burbs' boundaries to encompass Detroit? Doesn't matter, really. The key to Reich's ingenious plan is for miserably failed Detroit to glom onto the burbs for resources -- that would be money, in plain English.
But let's permit the Master, via the Detroit Free Press, to explain the rationale behind his latest big idea:
More at the link.
Much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who's inside and who's outside. Who is included in the social contract?
If Detroit is defined as the larger metro area that includes its suburbs, it has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. It would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this Detroit were willing to subsidize the poor inner city through their tax dollars and help it rebound. That's an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.
Drawing the relevant boundary to include just the poor inner city, and requiring those within that boundary to take care of their compounded problems by themselves, lets the whiter and more affluent suburbs off the hook. Their city isn't in trouble. It's that other one -- called Detroit.