Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's a Charming, Shining City on a Hill...and a Detroit Thing

Dear America,

it's all about a charmed city,  Detroit...more like a charming, shining city sitting on  a landfill.

Here's an excerpt from a news cycle circa a week ago; Daniel Howes of the Detroit News:

"Many failures contributed to GM's epic fall, but few emerged as more important than the failure of imagination by its leaders. They could not imagine GM, a cornerstone of industrial America for 100 years, bankrupt. It was GM; it was a bulwark in the Arsenal of Democracy; it helped put America and broad swaths of the world on wheels; its people and their communities were special, even entitled.

But they weren't. Decades of bad management and union overreach, of costly contracts and too much debt, of too many mediocre products and too few great ones, of too many strong competitors and too few customers, culminated in a colossal crash whose proximate cause is considered to be the global financial meltdown of 2008.

The city of Detroit is not any different, really. Bad management and union overreach, costly contracts and too much debt, dysfunctional politics and a steady stream of fleeing residents are combining to push the city into a brutal financial reckoning that will happen because it has to happen.

Feckless politicking by the mayor and council, by the city's unions and self-described 'activists,' by Detroit's delegation in the state Legislature over creation of regional lighting and transportation authorities doesn't help, either."
Jump starting how quickly things change -- more from the same guy, same publication, now highlighting the  evolving picture and opinion -- go:

"The evolving bankruptcy scenario is a clear signal that Gov. Rick Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon have lost confidence in the ability of the mayor, his management team and council to honor their commitments under the eight-month-old consent agreement with the state, or to make any meaningful progress on restructuring...

The goal of a managed bankruptcy is to streamline the protracted process by minimizing the chaos, uncertainty, delay and steep costs associated with Chapter 9. It would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation's history, an unambiguous symbol of the city's epic failure and a chance for a fresh start...

In bankruptcy, pre-packaged deals arrange settlements with all creditors in advance of a filing that is usually followed quickly with a plan of reorganization (called "plan of adjustment" in Chapter 9). A pre-negotiated deal akin to the one being explored in the Governor's Office would reach settlements with some creditors and leave others to be litigated in court...

Planning for a possible bankruptcy of Detroit should not be surprising coming from Snyder, an accountant-turned-CEO, and Dillon, a former investment banker. Both possess keen financial minds, strategic savvy and a habit for planning further ahead than most politicians, particularly the elected officials in Detroit flailing from one crisis to the next.

In anticipation of Detroit's financial collapse, for example, Dillon retained an investment banking firm in December 2010 — before taking office — to advise the Treasury on ways to restructure Detroit's balance sheet, reduce its liabilities and return the city's credit rating to investment grade."
Enter Romney -- dating back to the now infamous NY Times op-ed, Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.  Of course, he wasn't referring to all of Detroit, just the car makers.

To cut to the chase -- after making a round of viable recommendations and shredding the corners with provocative opinion -- here is how he wrapped things up:

"But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass — they bet on management and they lost. 

The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check."

Now go to The Blaze for a stunning update on the expectations of the "47 percent."

Now go to The Washington Free Beacon for an update on the GM auto bailout lawsuit, currently speeding to a screeching halt.

Here's Obama, quoting Truman, in a speech circa Labor Day in Detroit, 2011, the president spins his union wheels, saying this:

"When labor thrives, so does the rest of the nation."

It's a line plucked from an old piece on Yahoo! News, placing the president on a pedestal, spilled milk and all.  It's also quick -- so click.  Although, on second thought -- considering the title alone, let me just save you some time (fully aware of the number of links in the rear-view mirror...oopsie daisy..sorry for making you work for it today) -- "President Obama Praises Detroit as City That's Coming Back."

Oh the vicious cycle we weave.
The latest jobs numbers are out today -- 146,000 jobs created in the month of November.  Here's a breakdown:  retailers = 53k, temporary help = 18k (Christmas is a good thing)  Education & Health = 18k, Auto Manufacturing.....wait for it...red light....red light....red light...green! A whopping 10, 000 jobs...but overall manufacturing fell by 7k, as that segment took a big hit from the loss of jobs @ Hostess, mostly blaming Ding Dongs and Twinkies instead of Hurricane Sandy.

Dare I say, if Romney had been elected, a half a million jobs would have been created in the remaining three weeks of November alone -- in part, on the overall confidence factor bulging at the seams, and second, upon the promise of the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, eliminating an entirely different concern altogether.  But what do I know, I'm just a girl.

Back to the comeback in Detroit...

And it was such a charming, shining city on a hill, too.
Crowned with the big three car makers -- seems all of Detroit is winning like Charlie Sheen now (just a retread of a favored line of mine..but feel free, go ahead and trash it).
Mr. President, how's that come back coming along?

Where is G going with all this?   Well, let me tell you.
All of this really amounts to a mounting case of how far America has fallen from our glory days.  
The truth is, we are being manufactured all for show -- while increasingly, compromising on the things that truly matter.  It's only a matter of time before it catches up to us.

America is struggling because we have veered far and wide from doing the right thing.   We can't expect our children to have a moral backbone if we stop teaching the importance of ethical choices and abiding by a few golden rules, maybe ten; we can't expect our communities to grow responsibly and healthy, if we are being led by the corrupt; we can't expect industry to expand and exponentially effect the wealth and vibrancy of a nation, if we allow the free market to be ruled by a power elite more concerned with the propaganda and politics than the thoughtful, managed  process -- one that is unmistakably anchored in truth and sound economics, tooling freedom and liberty into every stitch and step. 

Bottom line -- it's never a win if we screw somebody over to get it... or if we have to lie, cheat, steal, bulldoze or bury.  But in equal portion -- the lack of responsibility, accountability, commitment, and earnest participation to contribute positively for a better whole adds  a whole 'nother kind of counterproductive force.    Tragically, whether in the macro or micro, this is Detroit's reality.  It is simply a place that is a downright mess.

But the real rub (Turtle Wax, preferred), we can apply all the Obama-money in the world and Detroit will still fall.  And as goes Detroit, so goes a nation, or something like that.
Sometimes it takes hitting bottom before we realize the capricious, disobedience of our ways ....and means.  In order to make any gains, we must capitalize on the managed bankruptcy of the times and return to the ideals proven to really, truly work.  

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