Detroit’s Bankruptcy Reveals Dysfunction Common in Cities…“Every other industrial city has problems that could send them down the same path.”
By William Selway
Jul 21, 2013
No city was hit as hard by the recession as Detroit, America’s one-time industrial capital whose decades-long decline cut its population in half and left $18 billion in debt it can’t afford to pay.
Even so, the pressures that pushed Detroit into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history are playing out on a smaller scale around the nation. Diminished tax revenue and rising labor costs have left four cities insolvent since 2007. Service cuts were made by others such as Detroit, where street lights are dark and police are scarce.
“None of the other cities are as far along, but there are dozens, if not hundreds of cities that have similar issues,” said Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a public-policy research organization in Washington. “Every other industrial city has problems that could send them down the same path.”