Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Last Man? A Flawed American Model of Corporate and Union Responsibility: Detroit City and Environs and What Caused the Urban Blight?

So now it is down to the proverbial "last man" in Detroit?

George Will at the Washington Post examines the plight of overcoming the blight of Detroit city at Kevyn Orr, Motown's one-man show.

No one denies that excessive entitlements of all kinds and descriptions are a serious problem everywhere, especially in Detroit, but one must ask where all those trillions in profits made by the automobile industry went over the years -- certainly not into development of a sustainable local infrastructure, financially or governmentally.

Workers from the South streamed North to where the jobs were and industry used them for decades as cheap labor, not caring what came in the aftermath.

Now cars are built by machines -- something long ago foreseeable, my then 1984 Toyota being among the first autos to be entirely robot-made -- but no highly overpaid big shots made any provision for that in Motor City, while hordes of fungible and generally expendable corporate executives and dividend- pocketing stockholders made off with the money, leaving the disaster of Detroit in their wake.

What did they care if down the road the work force in Detroit no longer had jobs in a city that was totally unprepared for the consequences of technological change, when the "gold mine" dried up, as it was foreseeable it would.

How many of those workers and those in ancillary industries are today not sunning on excessive pensions but are rather literally on the street in devastated Detroit, dependent on charity viz. government handouts? Many. It is a hell THEY did not create.

Worse, Detroit, under now allegedly "new" leadership, continues to churn out long antiquated gas guzzlers as if there was no tomorrow, further creating more devastating problems for the future.

This frightening ignorance and apparently boundless irresponsibility at every level of political and business decisionmaking -- and this includes the consumers -- is mirrored in today's "Stone Age" Congress, where many prefer to block sensible national progress and growth for the sake of their petty, personal, mostly erroneous, nostalgic dogmas, rather than working industriously for the good of all.

See Timothy Egan at the New York Times in Saboteurs in the Potato Salad. If these deplorable people have a say in running the country, no wonder things are in dire straits.

When the innate selfishness of men and women everywhere is not properly held in balance by law, nothing good can result, and so too is the legal system to blame for allowing the otherwise avoidable political, financial, corporate, union and consumer excesses that plague our era ... and their predictable deleterious results.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.




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