G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Writing at the leftie Counterpunch, Detroit school board member Elena Herreda makes some sort of argument against the way the finances of the city of Detroit have been handled:
Each of these two [Governor Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Roy Roberts] have caused Detroit Public Schools to go into exponentially greater debt than before the “emergency” was created by the governor and his mouthpiece corporate media. The people of Michigan (82% in Detroit) repealed the Emergency Manager law 52% to 48% when it became clear that the law was nothing more than a license to loot and terminate collective bargaining agreements and sell off public goods to private interests, who do not have to bid or say who they are or where they got their money.
Detroit is the epicenter of the racialized privatization battle going on in Michigan, but it is only one part of the story. The Emergency Manager remains in charge of Detroit Public Schools despite the repeal of the law. Everything the State could do to subvert the vote was done, and when the vote came in at against the Emergency Manager law, the governor ignored the vote and kept the EMs in charge.
There is utter contempt for the people in this lawless corrupt state.
By scare-quoting ‘emergency’, this woman denies that a shrinking populace and a shrinking tax base have sent the city into death spiral. Nothing is being stolen from the people of Detroit. There’s nothing to steal. She ignores that the existing residents of Detroit have not bucked up and saved their city. They have not adapted. They are passive recipients of whatever politicians are willing to allocate to them. Where is the organic, grassroots drive to create something of substance there that can support public services? Lacking such drive, community organizers acting on behalf of ignorant and non-starting citizens must lay blame at external forces. And as usual, the activists and citizens aren’t asking for help, they’re demanding justice. This is a way to get help while maintaining ego and political power.
And what speeds up the entire death spiral process is the desperate election of activists and political organizers like Herreda who take the stage because they are the only ones who are actually offering solutions, however wrong-headed. Nobody wants to hear “well, this is just a process that has to run its course.” Instead, they’re drawn to the firebrand who cries for action.
As Shikha Dalmia has pointed out, the city of Detroit has exorbitant property and income taxes – the highest in the state. Yet receipts for both have fallen 28% and 50% respectively as property values and incomes have fallen as the more prosperous citizens move away. Desperate attempts do not work in the midst of the death spiral, they speed it up.
For context, a video below of the Mexican-American Detroit resident Herreda comparing border patrol agents to the KKK.