The Magazine August 2013 - Page 8

It must be said that Detroit is Singular among large U.S. Cities in terms of its extreme combination of continual, precipitous decline, civic mismanagement, corruption & systemic labor issues. Most big cities have those issues, but few have had so many for so long. They have contributed to a massive population exodus making it nearly impossible for the Motor City to jump-start growth. Half the city's property owners don't pay taxes, according to the Detroit News, some because they've simply abandoned their still underwater homes. Too few can afford to buy, even at rock-bottom prices, since unemployment has tripled since 2000.

For many residents, safety is a more pressing concern than housing. The homicide rate is the highest it's been in nearly 40 years. The police officers who are still on the payroll take an average of 58 minutes to answer calls, compared with 11 minutes nationally. Only a third of the city's ambulances still function. It's hard to feel secure when your house is surrounded by vacant lots.

Now comes the bankruptcy. Generally speaking, bankruptcy is a way for an individual, company or even government entity to solve the problem of having fallen so far into debt that it looks impossible to get out or even to continue paying everyone who is owed money. In bankruptcy proceedings, some of those creditors may get most or all of what they're owed, others may get some and still others may get nothing.

Read more:,9171,2148171,00.html#ixzz2bD6WXKuN