DETROIT — If one looks at the big picture, the city of Detroit is being set up by the powers that be, including the news media, for the same treatment as the school system here received — a financial dictatorship, with Wall Street and its agents ripping off the city’s workers and people. Mayor Dave Bing is demanding that city workers take a 10% pay cut over two years based on Detroit’s financial woes and debts to Wall Street.
A big part of this set-up is the years-long project of portraying the elected officials of the city — its mayors and City Council members — as so bad that the masses will accept a non-elected financial dictator to ‘clean up the mess’ of these oh-so-foolish people elected by the citizenry.
Whatever faults they have, these officials, largely African American and including many women, are no worse than the dozens of white men who exclusively ran Detroit city government for so many decades.
It is no coincidence that once the City Council became majority Black and female, the forces that shape public opinion turned them into a bunch of fools in the minds of so many suckers and naive ones among us.
This city’ financial problems are not fundamentally due to city officials’ bad decisions, to but the disinvestment from and failures of corporate America in Detroit, and the related long-term depopulation begun 60 years ago. The last thing the city needs is ‘CEO thinking’ in leadership. CEO thinking has bankrupted Wall Street, GM and Chrysler! No exaggeration.
At any rate, the effect of brainwashing so many citizens ignorant of Detroit’s history and current events has brought just such a CEO-style mayor, who has all the appearances of someone who will facilitate handing the city over to a financial dictator, or emergency financial manager as has already happened with the Detroit Public Schools.
Critically related to this looming financial right-wing coup, within the last several months Wall Street bondholders tightened the noose — through a swithcheroo perpetrated by Wall Street giant AIG’s failure lowering Detroit’s bond rating, thereby triggering and threatening an emergency financial manager, i.e. financial dictator, event. In the end, Detroit was forced to let a Wall Street firm get its teeth deeper into a city jugular vein/revenue stream from a casino. Then AIG was bailed out by the federal government while Detroit was not.
Rushing Detroit to bankruptcy is very much about enriching Wall Street, America’s nationwide financial sector, at the expense of city workers and the people of Detroit. The financial dictator selected will be an agent of that finance capitalist class.
John Henry is a longtime Detroit activist.