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Did unions bankrupt Detroit

Did unions bankrupt Detroit

  • Yes, unions killed Detroit

    Votes: 11 35.5%
  • No, unions are not at fault

    Votes: 20 64.5%

  • Total voters
    31

sawyerloggingon

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.
 

CalGun

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I would say the unions bankrupted Stockton but not Detroit. Detroit lost significant population. You could argue those people left due to high taxes imposed to feed the unions but thats probably the best you could do. The public employee unions bought and paid for the politicians in Stockton, they own them, and they got contracts offering free health insurance for life after just 30 days of service - they broke that city big time. And they don't care either - bankruptcy does not void their wonderful retirements or labor contracts.
 

Fisher

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The evil republicans bankrupted Detroit. Jealous of its success, they selectively targeted Detroit with programs that didn't give it tons of free money to waste on drug dealers and their misunderstood customers who are totally not at fault about anything.
 

MaggieD

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.

I'll tell you what I do think: I think the politicians who failed to fund these plans adequately belong in jail. You make the concessions in contract negotiations? You pay the piper. What you don't do is kick the can down the road and drive a city into bankruptcy.

These politicians who failed to increase tax rates or cut spending in order to fund their promises belong in jail.
 

Thrilla

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I'll tell you what I do think: I think the politicians who failed to fund these plans adequately belong in jail. You make the concessions in contract negotiations? You pay the piper. What you don't do is kick the can down the road and drive a city into bankruptcy.

These politicians who failed to increase tax rates or cut spending in order to fund their promises belong in jail.
... they didn't fail to raise taxes....hell, they'd be in better shape if they did fail to raise taxes ( Detroit is on top, or near the top, of municipal tax rates for large cities)

to the question of unions bankrupting Detroit... the answer is no, not directly.
they were but one factor in a sea of factors.
 

BretBierle

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The evil republicans bankrupted Detroit. Jealous of its success, they selectively targeted Detroit with programs that didn't give it tons of free money to waste on drug dealers and their misunderstood customers who are totally not at fault about anything.

Republicans always over taxing the poor and under taxing the rich
 

Fisher

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Republicans always over taxing the poor and under taxing the rich

With what seems to be a 10% effective property tax rate, I'd say Detroit Democrats have thoroughly over taxed everybody. The rich could flee--the poor not so much.
 

BretBierle

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Unions are a good thing....it protects the people from mistreatment in a workplace....and improves economy by reducing poverty by I increasing flow of money.
 

specklebang

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OMG, a logical post!

The unions got their excessive rewards at a time when we had the only car industry in the world. Who knew those damn Japanese would beat us at our own game? If you take tie to study the history of Detroits failure and you're not a knee jerk partisan, you'll see the multiple factors referred in Thrilla's post.




... they didn't fail to raise taxes....hell, they'd be in better shape if they did fail to raise taxes ( Detroit is on top, or near the top, of municipal tax rates for large cities)

to the question of unions bankrupting Detroit... the answer is no, not directly.
they were but one factor in a sea of factors.
 

BretBierle

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With what seems to be a 10% effective property tax rate, I'd say Detroit Democrats have thoroughly over taxed everybody. The rich could flee--the poor not so much.

Yeah, us democrats I know are not innocent but I think taxing people that can afford to chip in a little more would be nice....it's like "No!Don't take 25% of my 10,000,000$ I'm going to be in the poor house!
 

DaveFagan

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.

I'm a Union supporter, but I do believe that unions contributed significantly to Detroit's demise. Contracts should always be negotiated with profit sharing to tie productivity to worker's pay and to account for ups and downs in economies. I fault management for not being willing to promote profit sharing, so it is not entirely one-sided, but the Union auto contracts were ridiculous.
 

MaggieD

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... they didn't fail to raise taxes....hell, they'd be in better shape if they did fail to raise taxes ( Detroit is on top, or near the top, of municipal tax rates for large cities)

to the question of unions bankrupting Detroit... the answer is no, not directly.
they were but one factor in a sea of factors.

Thanks for this. I had no idea the city of Detroit had an income tax. Enacted in 1965 apparently. 2.4% for residents, 1.2% for nonresidents, 2% for corporations. I guess when business was booming nobody cares. Appears they care now. They've all moved. Or, at least 1.1 million have...
 

CanadaJohn

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.

In my view, unions didn't bankrupt Detroit, but the corrupt politicians who used inflated union contracts to buy their continued time in office are what bankrupted Detroit. Never blame the guys who get the deals, always blame the guys who cave and give into the deals.
 

sawyerloggingon

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In my view, unions didn't bankrupt Detroit, but the corrupt politicians who used inflated union contracts to buy their continued time in office are what bankrupted Detroit. Never blame the guys who get the deals, always blame the guys who cave and give into the deals.

I will agree there is plenty of blame to go around on the union issue.
 

Mathematician

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.

Have there been any other major cities under strictly Democratic leadership as long as Detroit has been?
 

CanadaJohn

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I will agree there is plenty of blame to go around on the union issue.

Agreed, but to me it's like the fan who blames the player for the big contract when he stops being a star and not the owners of the team who gave him the idiotic contract in the first place. A union has two jobs - keep employees from getting fired any way you can - get the most money and the most benefits possible in every negotiation. Clearly, in Detroit, the union leadership was very good at their jobs and the political leaders were either lousy at their jobs or didn't realize their job was to protect the interests of the taxpaying public, not to feather their own pockets.
 

MaggieD

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Have there been any other major cities under strictly Democratic leadership as long as Detroit has been?

Chicago's longer -- Democrats in mayor's office since 1931. 'Course Chicago's going down the same path.
 

MMC

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Chicago's longer -- Democrats in mayor's office since 1931. 'Course Chicago's going down the same path.

Well, that and the rest of Illinois to Maggie. ;)

El Paso, TX has never had a Republican mayor
Miami, FL has never had a Republican mayor

Newark, NJ since 1907
Milwaukee, WI since 1908
St. Louis, MO .since 1949
Buffalo, NY hasn't elected one since 1954
Philadelphia, PA since 1952
 

CalGun

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I wouldn't buy a muni bond in any city, county or state. You'd be a fool to buy them at any price.
 

Neomalthusian

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I don't think it's as simple as saying the unions caused the bankruptcy, but I answered Yes anyway because they enabled it. If you had asked me if other things (voters, leadership, crime, etc.) caused the bankruptcy, I might also answer yes. Not sure a singular cause can be found here.
 

Objective Voice

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At a time when the auto industry is bouncing back Detroit goes bust? Maybe because auto manufacturers have moved to right to work states? Maybe because public unions in Detroit have wage and benefit packages that are out of hand? There is a lesson here, learn it.

I know it's easy to see things from that prism, especially if you hold strong conservative values, but pension funds whether corporate or government run don't bankrupt cities. Mismanagement does! Lack of adaptation i.e., not changing your city zoning or revamping enterprise zones) does! Refusing to change your financial structures (local tax codes) does! All of these things led to Detroit's demise. Anyone who thinks unions are to blame are just playing to their own politically ideological bend.
 

MaggieD

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I know it's easy to see things from that prism, especially if you hold strong conservative values, but pension funds whether corporate or government run don't bankrupt cities. Mismanagement does! Lack of adaptation i.e., not changing your city zoning or revamping enterprise zones) does! Refusing to change your financial structures (local tax codes) does! All of these things led to Detroit's demise. Anyone who thinks unions are to blame are just playing to their own politically ideological bend.

Even if I accept everything you say here, it doesn't hold water -- since public sector unions have done everything in their power to keep that same Democratic machine in office since forever.
 

ThePlayDrive

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When you try to explain the financial destruction of an entire city with a single factor, you've done something wrong. When you try to explain the financial destruction of an entire city with a single factor that you are biased against, you've done something even more wrong. Detroit's financial collapse is the result of a series of problems not just one and of course it's not going to just be unions as unions influence, but do not determine, policy. Even further, there were probably things that factored into Detroit's problems that weren't even in Detroit's control.

This is like when people try to explain the failure of education systems on "bad teachers" or "tenure". It's just incredibly simplistic and usually based in blind partisanship.
 
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