Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ideas to Fix Detroit, Michigan

Bail out the UAW health insurance plans


Cash for Clunkers

Motor City Casinos

Cruise Ship Capitol of the Great Lakes

Downtown Revitalization

Financial management

Hashish U.

High Tech

Hollywood on the Huron

Large Bankruptcy Fees

Low commercial rentals

Merge Chrysler Financial into GMAC and then cut financing to Chrysler dealers

N.I.H. (Not Invented Here)

Presidential primaries


Public corruption

Public sector jobs

Renovated art museum

Socialize 80% of the domestic auto market

Sports stadiums

Stimulus funds


Tax increases

Tax retirees


Transfer jobs from the suburbs

Turing ownership of Chrysler over to the UAW

Turning management of Chrysler to Fiat for “0 Down, 0% interest, 0 principal”

University Research Corridor

World Class International Airport

The tragedy of Detroit is that the city is truly too big to fail. Perhaps Mayor Dave Bing can work a miracle. All these ideas have recently been tried, implemented, or pursued, mostly without major success, often late to the party after the train left the station elsewhere, by the city, state, and federal governments (except for Hashish U.). Each failure further depletes the limited resources of the government.

The state tax increase of $1.6 billion two years ago drove many entrepreneurs out of the state. The Governor wants another large tax increase. Even though she won’t get it (and this Berkeley/Harvard grad doesn’t get it), since the Republicans will not pass it, the mere proposal sends a wrong message to residents.

Detroit is such a large tragedy that the government keeps searching for an instant success. Perhaps the state needs to back off, get out of the waylower taxes and regulations, and let entrepreneurs start up on their own. That’s how Ransome E. Olds, David Buick, Henry Ford, William C. Durant, Walter Chrysler, Charles Kettering, and Albert Sloan built Detroit, the industry, and moved the center of manufacturing to America’s heartland from the East Coast.

Silicon Valley was started by David Packard, William Hewlett, and Frederick Terman.

Government cannot plan jobs and prosperity. Only people can. When entrepreneurs flee a jurisdiction, the remaining residents become increasingly dependent on the government for their economic survival, either through employment or transfer payments.

We don’t know what will bloom, but right now Detroit is growing abandoned homes amidst all the government interventions and 27% unemployment.

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