Detroit is about to be savaged — not by the industrial woes that have plagued the city for too many years. Nope, now riding into the city with an axe is an “emergency manager.” And let’s be clear: workers are the target.
Rick Snyder, who was last seen attacking collective bargaining rights, has now sent in a person to eviscerate a social safety net:
Over the fierce protests of this city’s elected leaders, the State of Michigan plans to send an emergency manager to repair the deeply troubled finances of Detroit, one of the largest cities ever to reach such a dire point or to face such a level of oversight.
And what do you think will happen?
But Detroit city officials, who have 10 days to seek reconsideration from the governor before a state board formally appoints a manager as early as this month, objected strenuously. Under a much-debated state law, an appointed manager would ultimately hold powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, recommend bankruptcy proceedings. In an election year for mayor and the City Council, many candidates, incumbents and community leaders denounced the move as an affront to democracy and a state takeover, and called for legal action. [emphasis added]
First up, I guarantee you, will be a bludgeoning of the city’s pension benefits. It’s all the same stupid game that is part and parcel of the obsession over debt and deficits that don’t matter when you have a national emergency over jobs. Pensions will be cut — and so retirees won’t have money to spend and, then, these idiots will sit around wondering why no one is buying stuff.