I have often said that not all Reichs are wrong, although Reichs on the right, like the Third Reich and the Republican Reich are certainly almost always wrong. On the other hand, the Reich on the left is almost always right, and Robert Reich is certainly right about how the affluent have learned to take advantage of the economic and cultural benefits and opportunities offered by big cities, like Detroit, while ducking their responsibility to pay for them. They do this by beating feet to the burbs.
Detroit is the largest city ever to seek bankruptcy protection, so its bankruptcy is seen as a potential model for other American cities now teetering on the edge.
But Detroit is really a model for how wealthier and whiter Americans escape the costs of public goods they’d otherwise share with poorer and darker Americans.
Judge Steven W. Rhodes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is now weighing Detroit’s plan to shed $7 billion of its debts and restore some $1.5 billion of city services by requiring various groups of creditors to make sacrifices.
Among those being asked to sacrifice are Detroit’s former city employees, now dependent on pensions and healthcare benefits the city years before agreed to pay. Also investors who bought $1.4 billion worth of bonds the city issued in 2005.
Both groups claim the plan unfairly burdens them. Under it, the 2005 investors emerge with little or nothing, and Detroit’s retirees have their pensions cut 4.5 percent, lose some health benefits, and do without cost-of-living increases.
No one knows whether Judge Rhodes will accept or reject the plan. But one thing is for certain. A very large and prosperous group close by won’t sacrifice a cent: They’re the mostly-white citizens of neighboring Oakland County… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Robert Reich>
I’ve just shared the introduction to whet your appetites. Click through for his detailed explanation of how the 1% are reaping the benefits of urban life and saddling the poor and middle classes with all the costs. Republicans help make this possible by stacking the economic deck against you and I.