T Nation

Detroit becomes Largest City in US History to File Bankruptcy


#1

State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr on Thursday asked a federal judge permission to place the city into Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection


#2

Here is another link to cnn.


#3

Was just a matter of time... This is the way of the dodo, the important question is how many other cities will follow in Chicago's footsteps, or can we all learn from it?


#4

Or will states follow next?


#5

Country is in a sad state for sure. 40%+ on government assistance and growing, not much money coming from people still working and national / state debt continues to grow.

Why are our leaders going this direction? That's the good question.


#6

Votes and Power.


#7

Shouldn't sell your fellow man short for the sake of your own gain. These men were elected to represent the people - I know, what a joke right?

I honestly did not believe that in this day and age another "fall of the Roman empire" would occur, but we are heading that direction. And just like Ancient Rome, the fall will be due to poor infrastructure and stretching too far.

What happened to the hard-working America that my grandparents (and somewhat parents) remember?


#8

I nominate California as the first state to go belly up, if we had to pay up for the whole debt, it would be somewhere approaching $1 Trillion.


#9

This is prevalent in the middle America communities that were the leaders in technology and manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry. A lot of it got automated, a shit-ton of it has gone off shore. The trade alone kept a bunch of people employed and the peripheral industries that supported it. Also cash flow was high, which covers up a lot of evils.

Rob


#10

As much as I hate to say it, blue collared jobs are going the way of the dodo, and that - aside from people's seeming eagerness to just hop on welfare - is a big part of the problem.

I'm not talking skilled trade blue collar jobs, like brick layers, carpenters, etc., I'm referring to other blue collar jobs, manual labor that doesn't require training. Its just a matter of time before robots are taking over all simple work. Hell, even in welding - which is a skilled labor job/art - they now have robots that do it just as well.

People are falling behind the times, there are no longer as many options out there. Either work part time, remedial, go into a skilled trade, military, or go white collar. Many of the degrees you get in college are absolutely worthless (liberal arts) unless you want to go masters/doctorate and intend to teach, and even then you're at risk.

Its too easy to find people who can work for cheaper, and the US doesn't produce much anymore (except grain) its all international. I'd expect it to get worse once Africa has been brought into the equation and IF the US can get on their good side, all raw materials will be coming from there and it will be turned into the next refinery/industrial location.

I second California going out, or a giant earthquake separating it from the country and letting it sink into the ocean. Save the few important folks (like Arnold) let the rest go down with it :P.


#11

?Detroit?was going to be the ?Model City? of Lyndon Johnson?s Great Society, the shining example of what the ?fairness? of the welfare state can produce,?


#12

Careful what you wish for. If California fell into the Pacific the resulting tsunami would wipe Chiba off the map.


#13

Detroit and the surrounding area had many blue collar workers that essentially did menial labor. They got big $$ as the unions were strong and what the fuck, they spewed forth cars in the millions.

In came the robots, initially to do the most hazardous tasks like welding, cleaning and painting. This was the shoehorn to get people on the line to accept them. Now they're more commonplace. They work lights-out operations, don't take breaks, don't call in sick, don't drink on the job. Although maintenance on a robot can range from $150k to $300k a year, they still are cheaper than people.

Little by little the fab part and assembly detail work went offshore. I believe that most of the big stampings are still kept here.

Another thing that failed Detroit was that most of the factories were old and antiquated. It was easier to start a factory in China or Mexico with all the latest technology. The way things are built also changed using the latest factory philosophies that most of the world now embrace.

Rob


#14

Pretty much... Money & power. Mankind has always and will forever get drunk on power.

Sorta the reason the 2nd is there.


#15

Well I guess I'll just swim the fuck outta here Quasi, good lookin' out for a brother :slight_smile:


#16

Just to add to what Rob wrote:

The concept of a "Pension" is a glass-house that would eventually fall.

The concept is/was built on way too many assumptions (e.g. favorable worker-retiree ratios; perpetual growth of a company; continued strong tax bases; "controllable" overhead (like Health Care Cost!); etc.)

Companies (and now Municipalities from cities to States)...have FAR more obligations to retirees that they simply can never meet (Detroit's are in the BILLIONS of dollars).

The Federal Government is about the only one that can "sustain" Pensions...(via Taxation/Force and printing more money, I guess).

Mufasa


#17

The "Free Market" has actually spoken on the concept of Pensions.

Nearly all companies, (both Privately and Publically held) have either eliminated, or are in the process of eliminating, Pensions as a retirement vehicle.

Mufasa


#18

#19

Pensions were set up in the days where the average worker worked until 65 and died before 70. Pensions continued to follow those same actuarial tables for too long and the companies figured they'd be able to cover it.

Pensions are on the way out. My dad was an aerospace worker for a big company for 33 years making $7.50 an hour when he retired. He retired at age 60 at $1500 a month and they kicked in the difference until SS kicked in. So he made more after working than while working. He's now 96 and STILL collecting, 36 year's worth.

I have one good pension, another minor one as well. I can collect a 3rd by going back to an old job for 3 years. I have a good 401K. The smaller pension is being talked about for conversion into a 401K.

Pensions will shortly become extinct in the private sector. Municipalities, federal and state jobs may still able to support them, for how long, who knows? Pensions have become major stumbling block in buying and selling businesses. The debt-load can be a deal breaker.

Rob


#20

No offense meant to those who live in California, but it is probably one of the first states to go under if that starts happening. Might be base to "wash everything away" so to speak.

Varq, you are correct, I probably would not survive. Should we consider it taking one for the team?

Beachguy you are right. Blue-collared jobs were slowly replaced by robots. In a country where production/manufacturing is no longer a primary producer for us, I would have to say this isn't a surprise. The problem is technology caught up so fast that people couldn't adjust in time. Skilled labor is still needed, but not to the extent it was - and I can assure you, based on what I've seen at the Technical Expo's here in Japan alone, the next 10 or so years I'd expect blue-collar jobs to decrease even further.

What this means is that people either need to further their skillsets/education - see actually go to school for a job that's in demand, not something to party for 4 years and hope that when you get out there will be a job - or accept two to three part-time jobs to make ends meet. I'm a blue collar boy at heart and it sucks to say that. My parents thankfully will be retiring in 5 years, so they dodge that bullet.

On a positive, there will always be work in the service industry, which is a very respectable blue collar job.