Comment 90583

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 01, 2013 at 09:58:28 in reply to Comment 90582

  • It's hard to say which way causality flows between Detroit's poor financials and high taxes (it probably flows in both ways). When revenue is down (due to fewer employers, lower property values, etc.), the municipality has to raise tax rates to capture enough money to function.

  • I'll give you dysfunctional government, no question. Detroit has been abysmally mismanaged for several decades.

  • Everyone's beating on unions these days, but other cities have strong union presence and haven't taken the drubbing Detroit has.

There are some other important issues as well:

  • Suburban land is a lot cheaper then urban land when the use is heavy manufacturing. As automaking has become more and more industrialized, its manufacture has moved farther and farther from city centres.

  • The usual sprawl economics have been particularly in force in Michigan, compared to other cities that for geographic or policy reasons have been more restrained from outward dispersal.

  • The automotive assembly line system displaced a rich, diverse, highly entrepreneurial job market of competitive, innovative employers with a low-skill monoculture. As Edward Glaeser put it, "When a city creates a powerful enough knowledge-destroying idea, it sets itself up for self-destruction."

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