Unelected Emergency Manager Preparing To Break Detroit’s Pension Promises
Detroit’s unelected “emergency manager” wants to stiff the city’s pensioners while repaying the large financial firms that hold the city’s debts. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr unveiled the plan last Friday while announcing that the city is unable to pay its current debts.
The proposal asserts that the funding gap for Detroit’s pension obligations is five times wider than previously thought, at $3.5 billion rather than the $644 million estimated in 2011. Reuters reporter Cate Long dug into the numbers and came up skeptical: “Orr is going to have to show math that demonstrates the pension funds are so massively underfunded,” Long wrote, calling the pensions “reasonably well-funded according to national standards.”
But regardless of the validity of Orr’s numbers, the proposal appears designed to facilitate a bankruptcy filing. Once in bankruptcy court, Orr would no longer need public workers’ unions to sign off on a plan to renege on pension promises. Michael VanOverbeke, a lawyer for the pension fund, explained the basic unfairness of prioritizing investors over retirees: Where bond investments carry “a certain amount of risk,” he told the New York Times, “[p]lanning for retirement and working for employers was not an investment in the market. These are people who are on a fixed income…they can’t go back to work and start all over again.”
Elsewhere, Orr’s report summarizes the barely-functioning state of the Motor City: 40 percent of its street lights are dark, two-thirds of its ambulances are out of service, and 78,000 buildings stand empty. How did Detroit get here? The fundamentals of the city’s economy declined along with the U.S. auto industry, but ill-considered debt schemes and manipulation by big international banks exacerbated the problem. Convicted former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick oversaw huge loans that went bad, including billions of dollars in the interest rate gambles known as “swaps.” But banks were rigging the rates that determine who wins and who loses on interest rate swaps like Detroit’s, as last year’s LIBOR scandal revealed. The city paid nearly half a billion dollars in fees to Wall Street firms for engineering the swaps and other financing schemes that only deepened Detroit’s debt hole.
The combination of local corruption and bank manipulation, which leaves the public holding the bag, is something of a common feature for troubled American cities these days. But the far-reaching powers Orr has to resolve things in Detroit set it apart.
In 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed a law expanding the powers of emergency managers like Orr, who can tear up collective bargaining agreements and sell public holdings. But because the state’s constitution protects public employee pensions, Orr will need either union consent or the help of a federal bankruptcy judge to impose the cuts on Detroit’s 30,000 current and former employees.
Detroit doesn't have the money to pay its bills.
It has no choice. There is no money!
Coming soon to a country near you!!!
Counties, Cities, States and the Feds have created so much debt that it will eventually collapse. The promises of $200K/yr retirement packages for gov't employees is dead. Cradle to grave welfare is dead.
Because there's an unpainful way of fixing years and years of corruption and mismanagement. Let alone the stuff that happened in the economy that people don't have as much control over.
What is your solution for fixing it?? Because the several suburbs (in the wealthiest county in the area) have been forced to close their police departments, to farm out police and fire, to close schools..so the same old solution of taxing people to death wont work, when even those pretty well off can't afford to get government/social services running.
Oh and I mean the universal "you" OP, who have been acting like there's some other way.
Has anyone read Detroit: An American Autopsy?
I'm shocked it took this long for it to happen.
r4, why is that? I thought the wealthier tax base would take care of its own. I'm Canadian, though, so I don't know the details of American taxation systems.
Would you support allowing Detroit to "secede" from the US and become a lab for radical liberal/anarchist policy?
It can't get any worse.
Accept a one time payout of all Medicare/Aid, SocSec, and Fed benefits covering 5 years, and turning all Fed property to the city.
No Fed taxes or regs- all would be local.
All current office holders would be removed, and the only people who could hold office were non-gov employees for the last 10 years.
Maybe the Libertarians can turn it around.
Well, the Democrats certainly fucked it up.
In bankruptcy court this will be sorted out. But you can't solve the problem without everyone taking a hit. The bloated city salaries and union-demanded pensions have to be a part of the solution.
I agree that at times it appears banks get bailed out or too much, but I see this much more a problem at the national level when we guarantee big bank loans to corrupt third-world countries, then "forgive" the debt and pay back the banks.
But when cities are forced to "creative" finance solutions to try to pay bills they cannot afford (bloated payrolls and excessive pensions) all deserve a big financial hit.
In my city six retirees get pensions of over $100k per year. Four of the six are police/fire department officials, one engineer, and one lawyer. That seems really jacked.
btw the State of Michigan Constitution protects public employee pension benefits already earned (Article IX, Section 24)
I'm still waiting for the Emergency Manager to start handing the theft and fraud cases over to authorities, but I recognize he has to put out the major financial fires first before he can get to the forensics.
And far as the 'unelected' complaint goes, the EM gets 'elected' when voters put corrupt or lazy dipshits into office for too ling and refuse to acknowledge reality. The city auditor was hollering out loud more than 10 years ago but the voters and the twits they elected ignored him.
R11, the EM could easily go after some of the banks since they are the guilty parties in loan sharking and the LIBOR fraud. I suspect the banks know that and will work with the EM. It's the unions and pensioners that are going to fight back.
R10, it's not a party thing - it's a social standing/racial thing. Historically those with money always move away from city centers, leaving them for the poor, sometimes returning later to gentrify at much lower cost, sometimes not.
r12, not to go there, but everyone knows why those dipshits were in office and it had nothing to do with voters.
No this is an evil power grab by the corrupt GOP, same as usual in Michigan. And NO, it is not caused by irresponsibility among local elected officials (although I might add, that plenty of cities have gone broke and none have ever benefited from this kind of "emergency financial intervention."). Not even the famous NYC Felix Rohatyn deal.
The rich always present the poor with the bill.
You can't keep up the give aways with no one to pay the bills. Wake up, the future IS Detroit. Cities all across the country are in trouble financially. Even some of the most left wing local politicians are realizing that they can't keep raising sales and property taxes without hurting a lot of people. Very sad.
California is going to go through this kind of pain at some point. Right now they pretend there is a surplus, but there is an unfunded pension liability of over $70 billion and it's growing. The greed of public employee unions is incredible, and it will eventually fall on their members and the entire state.
R18 you hit the nail on the head.
[quote]Cradle to grave welfare is dead.
This isn't "welfare," R3, this is people who paid into a pension system their whole working lives being told that they aren't getting anything back, because the city played fast & loose with the money.
So Detroit's "emergency manager" would rather take away the income from people who have held jobs and paid taxes so the debt on the bad loans and financial schemes can be paid.
Fuck that shit.
Yeah! Stupid teachers and nurses and firefighters and cops! THEY'RE the ones who have caused this financial mess. $100,000 pensions BANKRUPT cities and states. (I think not).
Are the people posting this stuff actually rich people, or do they just want to be?
$100,000 annual pension with healthcare benefits after 20 or 25 years of services is a pretty fucking sweet deal. No one in the private sector gets that anymore.
[quote]Maybe the Libertarians can turn it around.
Oh, my. Thank you, I really needed that.
Some folks just need to face reality.
The problem is that politicians can cause this kind of mess knowing that they will be long out of office when the shit hits the fan. Unfortunately, one cannot hold the politicians accountable. While I will not argue that the banks are to blame for a great deal of this, it is the politicians that signed off on the deals.
We need a federal law to protect pensions.
And I wish the private sector whiners would realize that if the city pensions sound like a good deal, maybe you need to fight for similar pensions instead of bringing every down to your level. Part of the problem with the private sector is that you rolled over and played dead as everything was taken away from you. Salaried jobs turned into independent contractors, you did nothing. Your constitutional right to a jury trial taken away from you, and you did nothing, etc. etc.
The big problem in this country is that people just sit on their butts and say, "that person has too much!!!" rather than taking care of their own home. It is like demanding that the house next door to you have a leaky roof and peeling paint just because your house is in that condition.
(Excerpt from an article) "Alameda County supervisors have really taken to heart the adage that government should run like a business — rewarding County Administrator Susan Muranishi with the Wall Street-like wage of $423,664 a year.
For the rest of her life." (See link)
Something is wrong when a county administrator makes more in retirement than the salary of the President of the United States ($400K).
Granted this is an EXTREME example, but these golden pensions are killing state and local economies that are cutting down on public services to make sure that these gravy train pensions are paid on time.
It needs to stop and somebody needs to do the right thing and rework a lot of pensions that are just not right (such as this woman's). She needs to do the right thing and voluntarily lower her pension amount. (Hell, even if she halved it to $211K for life that's still astronomical!)
[quote] You can't keep up the give aways with no one to pay the bills.
What fucking "giveaways" asswipe?
You ARE aware that employees contribute to their pensions with every paycheck, correct? And they do this in lieu of paying into and therefore not being able to collect Social Security benefits when they retire.
I'm sure if it was YOUR retirement income in peril you and your ilk would be singing a different tune.
Southeastern Michigan has for decades been a stubborn Democratic stronghold, and because of its majority African American population and unionized local government workforce Detroit has long been a target for the outlying white, Republican areas of Michigan. Now Lansing is seizing its chance to change all that. The plan is to use eminent domain to seize property for redevelopment and sell it off at bargain prices to speculators, who will then sit on it as it gradually turns back to woods and marshland. Meanwhile, bye-bye unions, bye-bye Democratic districts.
[quote]And I wish the private sector whiners would realize that if the city pensions sound like a good deal, maybe you need to fight for similar pensions instead of bringing every down to your level.
Brilliant idea! Here's an even better one: everyone can plant a money-tree in their backyard, and pick off a few C notes every day as needed.
R28, I don't know if you are correct, but that is certainly the wishful thinking of some. I have family in MI. Originally, they were from Lincoln Park. They think that Lansing will force the Democrats (read Blacks) out of the state.
So, R29, you are essentially saying that you are a powerless slave and have absolutely no control over your life?
[quote]$100,000 annual pension with healthcare benefits after 20 or 25 years of services is a pretty fucking sweet deal. No one in the private sector gets that anymore.
We see many CEOs getting far bigger retirement packages than that.
The poster who brought up the $100,000 public sector pensions said it only applies to six highly paid people. We're not talking about everyone who retires getting $100,000.
Those people I know who went to work in the public sector did so for substantially reduced salaries with the understanding there was a pension waiting for them. It was a trade-off: Less pay now for a stable retirement income later.
[quote]Those people I know who went to work in the public sector did so for substantially reduced salaries with the understanding there was a pension waiting for them. It was a trade-off: Less pay now for a stable retirement income later.
I am just quoting this because it needs to be said repeated over and over until people get it.
That said, the people who are getting $100,000.00 a years worked the system to their favor. If they were CEOs that would be on the cover of Fortune and the Wall Street Journal. This is one of the problems. We have a double standard. If a white collar person exploits all available review streams to his/her favor, he/she is a good business person. If a blue collar person does this, he/she is a crook. There needs to be one set of rules for everyone.
And I might mention that the people who scream the loudest about pensions keep completely silent about golden parachutes. It is just ridiculous for someone to get millions of dollars regardless of job performance. The fact that these even exist is evidence that the system is fixed.
40-50 years of financial shenanigans, predatory unions AND bosses, bad zoning, automotive obsolences, corruption, inertia/lack of creativity, and bad faith on the part of officials white and black.
Plenty of blame to go around in Detroit.
#25, here is the problem with your facts:
Unions didn't "fight" hard for their benefits. The unions bought the politicians through campaign contributions. With state and city employees there is no bargaining. Bargaining suggests there are two different groups fighting over an issue. With state and city employees you just have the unions on one side and bought and paid for politicians on the other.
Blaming the Democrats- despite the fact that they were elected in Detroit by margins approaching 90%- misses the point.
Without a private company to feed on, the "public" sector is worthless. How much value does a DMV worker create? Or a traffic cop?
Or, even better, a cop that just wants to put people in jail for gambling, or smoking weed, or selling sex for money. Or drugs. If all three of these were legal, then the "criminal" element would be destroyed- 99% of their money comes from the fact that these things are illegal, therefore creating a lucrative black market.
Just think-- Levi's jeans were a black market item in the USSR, and were worth 30x the amount you paid in the USA. I sold some that I was wearing in Prague in 1990 (or 91) for +/-$300- I took them off on Korlova(?) bridge and put on the sweatpants he was wearing since Levi jeans, and Coke, and MTV were virtually unknown.
(Yes, he was hot, spoke little english, and I wish I had been more bold and told him he could trade me at the hostel...)
If Detroit was declared an independent "city-state" and all federal laws (not constitutional rights) annulled and all local laws suspended until voted on by the locals, Detroit would become the hottest city on the planet.
-Companies would fight for land in order to find a tax free zone -
-hospitals and medical research companies would find people who want to try treatments that the FDA won't approve (but are available and proven safe in Singapore, or Costa Rica) coming in droves
-manufacturing companies would relocate to be rid of the ridiculous OSHA regime
-the schools wouldn't be burdened by LCLB and stupid "standard tests",
-the TSA wouldn't molest you every time you got on a plane,
-welfare would be tied to performance instead of existence,
-GMO foods would be labeled as "frankenfood",
-CIVIL LIBERTY would be respected- no more interference by the government on who you marry (since marriage would be religious and contractual, not civil matter) and no MORE SPYING.
Best of all- every person in the Free City of Detroit would get a 15.3% raise since they wouldn't have to pay SS taxes they will never see.
There is a small secessionist cadre of civil liberty advocates trying to save Detroit, and I hope that they can succeed.
[quote]go after some of the banks since they are the guilty parties in loan sharking and the LIBOR fraud
It's not the banks- it's the corrupt thugs in the Mayor and Alderman's office that did it. The banks aren't angels, but it's more like the "leaders" of Detroit stole their jewelry, replaced it with Cubic Z, then went to a pawn shop and jumped through the hoops to prove that it wasn't stolen and THEN the banks gave them money.
The banks could only do this due to the magic money Greenspan and Bernanke and the FEDS were printing day after day.
[quote]No this is an evil power grab by the corrupt GOP
R15 are you for real?!?!?!
The GOP? In Detroit?
Bitch you be trippin!
Can someone be that stupid, blaming the problems of this city on the GOP? The schools in Detroit must be shit.
The GOP sucks donkey cock, and needs to drink a bleach and cyanide cocktail, but it has NOTHING to do with Detroit's trick-ass "leaders" bankrupting the city and paying every crony city employee (and their cousins) 5x what they should be paid.
Ahh, at last a sane reply.
The $222TRILLION in Federal (not including state, county and city) liabilities are going to crash, sooner than most people think.
Very few in the MSM predicted that Detroit would file for bankruptcy, and most were laughed at.
Good for you, too, R18- there's no way to fund these pensions without raising taxes by 100%, which would drive 99% of the companies out of Cali, making it a third world state. Socialism at its finest!
Look at how many high profile French citizens have left for Switzerland or Monaco due to the onerous tax rates.
[quote]So Detroit's "emergency manager" would rather take away the income from people who have held jobs and paid taxes so the debt on the bad loans and financial schemes can be paid.
No, they should default on the loans to stupid banks first...but since it's politics, they will screw the people first. It's the same in Greece and Cyprus- the people get fucked, but the banks get their pound of flesh.
This is why libertarians have been warning people for years that their "public" pensions (and increasingly private as well) will be raided to pay for the unsustainable debts.
Do you think anyone under 55 will see a penny of Social Security money? If so, have you looked at the privately researched (not the bullshit lies from the GAO or SSA) actuarial tables that show that a person under 50 today will get .10 cents on the dollar in inflation adjusted SS payments?
Do you still believe a government that lies about domestic spying and invading foreign countries and killing whistleblowers is telling you the truth about your future Social (IN)Security benefits?
If you do, can I have some of the Hopium you're smoking?
There is a federal program for pensions that protects some pensions - I don't know all the details but I think it only applies to private pensions.
For those who are pleading poverty (more or less) for salaries of government employees, today the average government worker makes about 25% MORE than private workers and has greater benefits.
Not every government plan requires retirees to pay towards their health care while working or after retirement. New plans require contributions, but contribution-free plans were demanded by unions in many places and granted. The money isn't there to pay for them now.
Given Medicare and the promises of Obamacare (yes, I know they are bullshit, but they were made and he will be held accountable some day) medical benefits should be the least of the worries.
R22, I love you.
[quote]$100,000 annual pension with healthcare benefits after 20 or 25 years of services is a pretty fucking sweet deal. No one in the private sector gets that anymore.
That's peanuts compared to what the BIG boys in congress get.
It's criminal that these public parasites- I mean servants- who have harassed us, poorly edumacateded our kids, watched while our houses burn down, lied to protect their buddies when they "accidentally" kill someone, sent innocent people to jail for political points, ticketed us for going 2 miles of the limit...I'm so so sad they are going to end up destitute. God, I feel so FUCKING sorry for them.
[quote]The problem is that politicians can cause this kind of mess knowing that they will be long out of office when the shit hits the fan.
Yes, that is why giving power to politicians, who can pass legislation that will cause major problems 10-50 years in the future, is a bad idea.
[quote]While I will not argue that the banks are to blame for a great deal of this, it is the politicians that signed off on the deals.
Yes, because the banks via the FED are a government money machine. The politicians know they can print money to cover their schemes.
[quote]The big problem in this country is that people just sit on their butts and say, "that person has too much!!!" rather than taking care of their own home.
The sin of ENVY. Perhaps if the government didn't make envy so easy- paying big banksters and politicians and making anyone who could "pay off" their local or state or federal rep the big bucks...well, maybe this wouldn't be such a rampant problem.
[quote]It is like demanding that the house next door to you have a leaky roof and peeling paint just because your house is in that condition.
R25, that is the most incisive and dangerous comment I've ever read on Datalounge.
The crux, the soul, the deep dark truth of socialism can be seen in that one sentence. Socialism is based on the sick idea that if my neighbor has it, and I don't, then I should be able to take it from him.
R41 - he Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures private sector defined benefit pension plans. But the insurance isn't guaranteed to replace the entire pension.
I'm not sure what study you are referring to which leads you to conclude public sector employees earn 25% more than private sector employee. I do know USAToday reported the Ohio public employees earn more than private employees in Ohio. However, the report was discredited.
The problem most of these studies have is they don't control for education and years of experience. For example public employees as a group tend to have more positions with specific education requirements: teachers are a great example, so are social workers. If you don't control for these factors the numbers are distorted.
I'm not sure what your point about healthcare is. I know for example where I work, and other places, you can retire before you qualify for Medicare. As an incentive to get employees to take early retirement health insurance is provided until the employee becomes eligible for Medicare.
The municipal unions in this country are the greedy fucks on the left. The banksters and the greedy fucks on the right.
Heaven help you if you're a poor private-sector working stiff, getting the blood sucked out of you by these two insatiable leeches.
The corrupt GOP in Michigan are worse than any 'greedy union', notice the Michigan snowbirds move to Arizona? Yeah, another effed up state.
Take every node on the corruption web down federally. RICO them.
I'm sure the NSA and DHS have enough of their communications traffic to share with the FBI.
It's only one part of the solution, but it will send a message.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the guts to do that up here (in Montréal, especially).
R46, Michigan snowbirds go any place warm - Arizona's hardly the only destination.
The GOP here has lost its way but the Governor is actually a moderate. Unfortunately the obstructionist GOP Legislature is fighting him, too.
Why would you rely on anyone, especially a government, for your retirement?
R49, back when these retirees were working for the government a defined benefit pension plan was the norm. It was a totally different scenario from today's 401(k) plans and other tools.
[quote]Why would you rely on anyone, especially a government, for your retirement?
Because they paid onto it, like social security.
R51. Your point? We all pay into social security, but only a fool would think it is going to be there in 25 years.
R40's tinfoil underwear is on waaaaay too tight today
The 401k was never to be an exclusive retirement fund. It was a way for wealthy bankers to divert bonus money untaxed.
R52, SS would be there is Lindon Johnson had not made it possible for the Federal Government to raid it.
R55 if not him, it would have been someone else. Sorry, you cannot rely on the government for your livelihood.
But R56, who can you rely on? Certainly not banks. Indeed the purpose of any for-profit business is to part you from your money ASAP.
[quote] Sorry, you cannot rely on the government for your livelihood.
Citizens of every other country in the Western world do, asshole.
[qoute]Because they paid onto it, like social security.
R51 is so cute. If you are planning on SS income to pay your retirement and you are under the age of 85--- I feel sorry for you. If you're 65, God help you. If you're 45- you better start saving 100k/yr to live the next 50 years.
My aunt, who took care of my Alzheimer's afflicted grandma for 20 years and had to quit her nursing job to do so, gets $700/mo. I'm so thankful that I can let her live (rent free) in a house I own, and was able to give her a car to drive, and can pay the property taxes and give her money to buy gas...because $700/mo barely buys food, water and electricity.
That is one major point for libertarians- they would take the 15.3% that the government steals each paycheck and allow each person to invest it -then such a system MIGHT work.
[quote]R51 is so cute. If you are planning on SS income to pay your retirement and you are under the age of 85--- I feel sorry for you.
SS income is a floor, not a ceiling. There are those who, for one reason or another, will need to depend on it, but most of us will use it precisely as it is intended.
[quote]That is one major point for libertarians- they would take the 15.3% that the government steals each paycheck and allow each person to invest it -then such a system MIGHT work.
Except that such a system would fail those in the bottom 50%, which is precisely why Social Security was instituted. We've already tried your way, moron. It failed. Social Security has worked for decades, which is why it's so popular.
R58. Check out the state of the some of the pension systems in those countries, asshole.
R61, Mr. Libertarian, why did you put your aunt in the position of "having to quit her nursing job" to take care of YOUR mother in the first place? She didn't "have" to do any such thing; YOU should have. Of COURSE you should take responsibility for your aunt now; the woman made it possible for you to accumulate whatever means you now boast of having.
She did your fucking job for you. For twenty long years.
R61 is the typical libertarian asshat.
Trolldar is your friend, R53,63,68
I am not the only libertarian on this thread. There are at least two more people who can see through the intellectually retarded and morally bankrupt socialist system you love.
And R62 went to a government school, since she lacks simple reading comprehension skills. It's my aunt, who took care of my GRANDMOTHER you stupid twat. Her children also give her money, buy her groceries, etc. and my dad (her brother) does all the maintenance on her house and car. She is lucky to have such a family- the government welfare system has destroyed the familial generational bonds that used to bind families.
It makes me sad that you are so ignorant of basic human needs to see how important those bonds are, not only financially, but psychologically.
[Quote]Except that such a system would fail those in the bottom 50%, which is precisely why Social Security was instituted. We've already tried your way, moron. It failed. Social Security has worked for decades, which is why it's so popular.
No, the fact that government programs have made many people dependent on stealing tax dollars has failed. The "bottom 50%" at 10k/yr would have $1530 a year to retire, over 40 years (including compounded interest at 5%) which would give them over $400k in savings for retirement.
The main problem is that the Federal Reserve keeps printing money, destroying the value of savings. If interest rates are 2% and inflation is 5% then they lose money each year.
Instead the government takes the money and "invests" it in government securities and leaves an IOU.
(FYI- in 2 and 3 there is a space between the bracket and "test" while in 1&4 there is no space. In 1 &3 the word quote is lowercase while in 2&4 it is uppercase.)
Just trying to figure it out- this site is NOT optimized for iPad!
[quote]lowercase, no space
[Quote]Uppercase, no space
Asshole Paul Ryan is here! Piss off!
Black folks run it into the ground. Detroit is just one example. Check out Jefferson County, Alabama. Same story. Went bankrupt for the same reason.
Race has nothing to do with it.
It is a result of a government that can spend tax dollars, and borrow billions to waste on crony bullshit, and leave office (while collecting millions in pensions) so the people get fucked.
Government is evil.
Treasury Yields Continue to Soar
Overnight, Treasury securities continued to sell off in Asia and Europe, pushing government debt yields up to their highest levels since 2011.
The 10-year note yield was up 10 basis points on the day at 2.636%. The 30-year bond yield was up 5.5 basis points at 3.638%, and the 5-year note yield was up 9.5 basis points at 1.526%.
[quote]Race has nothing to do with it.
Actually, race does have something to do with it. The question is what is the "something". Are blacks more likely to mismanage a town/city or are they simple less adept at covering their tracks? Or, is society and/or the press less likely to cover up the mismanagement if the politician is black?
Generalizations are not going to solve anything here, r73, it's obvious what you are getting at and it's wrong.
I think you're a racist troll, but I'll give you TBoTD.
[quote]Are blacks more likely to mismanage a town/city or are they simple less adept at covering their tracks?
Neither. The creation of a system that rewards "black market" activities (the drug war) and stymies the formation of nuclear families (various forms of welfare) has affected blacks far more than whites, and in cities where black majority rules the black leaders must "walk a thin line". There is also the disconnect between private markets and the corrupt nature of "public" markets that leads to corruption.
[quote]Or, is society and/or the press less likely to cover up the mismanagement if the politician is black?
Yes, I think so. Look at how any criticism of Obama is met with shouts of "racism" by his defenders. If he was white and republican, the left would be calling for his head on a pike for doing the evil things he is doing.
R75, Sorry, not a racist, it is an issue that deserves some intelligent discussion. I think all to often when one reads about a state taking over a predominately black town or city, we only see the surface. You make an an excellent point regarding black market, public markets, and private markets.
Sorry, "all too often"
[quote]No, the fact that government programs have made many people dependent on stealing tax dollars has failed.
If there were any such program out there, you might have a point. There isn't, and you don't. As noted above, we've already tried it your way, without any safety net. It failed, miserably and totally.
[quote]The main problem is that the Federal Reserve keeps printing money, destroying the value of savings. If interest rates are 2% and inflation is 5% then they lose money each year.
Moron, savings accounts have never been a good hedge against inflation. And we had inflation well before the Federal Reserve started operations. Your complete and total ignorance of history is showing again.
[quote]Instead the government takes the money and "invests" it in government securities and leaves an IOU.
And pays sufficient money in retirement and disability funds to solve the problems for which it was created, which is why it's so successful and popular.
"My name is Melinda Brown Duncan, baby! Now!"
I love her, she could use some polish, yet she probably could figure out Detroit's problems quicker than anyone else.
Good GOD, R78- shut up. Your desire to suck government dick is sad.
[quote]If there were any such program out there, you might have a point. There isn't, and you don't. As noted above, we've already tried it your way, without any safety net. It failed, miserably and totally.
In the 1950s the "out of wedlock" birth rate was lower for blacks than whites. After the "Great (sic) Society" laws were passed for some reason inner city blacks quit getting married. The fact that a married black mother got far less money than a single black mother had no impact. None.
As for your assertion of "the safety net failed"--- prior to the 1960s the number of "charity hospitals" was almost equal to "pay as you go".
Could it be that the introduction of "third payment" distorted the market? Or are you too stupid to look at things from a free market perspective?
If you think the massive buildup in money still in "cold storage" at the Federal Reserve won't soon drive the price of milk, gas, bread, housing, etc. to the roof...well, I pity you.
LOL... You first, dear.
[quote]Your desire to suck government dick is sad.
So you keep saying, dear. Were you prepared to back up your silly attacks with anything like, oh, I don't know, an actual example?
[Some rather silly and completely off-topic drivel deleted since it has absolutely nothing to do with anything.]
[quote]As for your assertion of "the safety net failed"--- prior to the 1960s the number of "charity hospitals" was almost equal to "pay as you go".
Moron, go back *before* any part of the safety net was enacted. Free clue: it was prior to the 1960s. Another free clue: we were talking about Social Security, remember?
[quote]Could it be that the introduction of "third payment" distorted the market? Or are you too stupid to look at things from a free market perspective?
Not at all. Were you planning to actually provide some relevant data anytime soon?
[quote]If you think the massive buildup in money still in "cold storage" at the Federal Reserve won't soon drive the price of milk, gas, bread, housing, etc. to the roof...well, I pity you.
Of course it won't. The economic conditions today preclude the kind of massive hyperinflation you've been predicting for the past six years. Your idol, Ron Paul, predicted that we'd have 50% hyperinflation by now. Your predictions are wrong today, just as they've been wrong for years, because you don't have the foggiest idea what you're talking about.
Looks like R82 is a moron.
Care to explain why Detroit won't file for bankruptcy?
R83 was such an enlightened post, thanks for revealing your intelligence.
Over the last 30 years, Michigan has led the country in giving tax breaks to industry.
A sampling of tax breaks, not all were included, showed over seven billion dollars in tax breaks handed over to corporations. That money could have gone to schools, roads, industrial parks, after school programs, art and music facilities -- community investments that would have led to revitalization.
Instead, corporations took the money, and left or went bankrupt. Relocate the profitable parts to Asia so they are more profitable. Loot the pension plan then go bankrupt. Then blame the workers for being greedy.
Try going bankrupt on student loans.
Weren't tax breaks supposed to bring the job creators back?
Didn't a bunch of people like Wall Street barons, taking a sabbatical to be White House advisors, say that if we took cuts in wages and benefits the economy would turn around? U.S. corporations would become competitive and jobs would return?
Were we lied to? Nah, that could never happen. We can trust our government.
"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time, it was... We finally really did it ... You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"
We are switching to the new platform for The DataLounge this weekend. All of our mobile users have been using it for over a week and all first time users have been using it for about a month - which adds up to well over one million users. So we're ready to end this phase of the testing and move everybody to the new site. (more)
And yes, we've changed the look and some of how it operates.
Yes, we know you just *hate* it in well in advance.
Yes, we know we suck.
Yes, we are the biggest suckers that ever sucked.
But it was time for a change and with the huge shift to mobile it was long overdue. We've taken this opportunity not only to update the look but also make major changes under the hood (or "bonnet" if you're either British or pretentious or both). And we have to prepare for 2016 - a presidential election year where we can normally expect to see a 60% jump in traffic (yes, we've seen 5 presidential elections so far…Christ we're old).
The site has a bunch - nay, plethora - of new features which will make the site more usable: better search, the ability to ignore posters and threads, see link previews, to pick up a thread where you left off, spam and malware filtering and more.
If you want you can go explore and see for yourself, Click here.
And while running the tests we've noticed two interesting reactions to the new system - people are spending more time on the site and more people that come stay around longer and look at more stuff. Both good things. Yay!
Possibly we've not slain all the dragons and there will be issues that come up during the switchover. There's a help button in the lower right hand corner of the page which you can use to send us bug reports.
Please include as much information about the hardware (PC, Mac, Tablet, Phone etc), operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS etc) and browser (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer etc) that you are using as possible to help us replicate and fix the problem.
Please note that complaints about colors, fonts, icons and the like are not "bugs" - they are design choices that we've made and we expect one or two cases of world-class bitching. But they won't actually cause headaches, scurvy, heart attacks, Restless Leg Syndrome, Morgellon's Disease or the vapors (but have your smelling salts at hand just in case).
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