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Earthcubed
Peregrinus sine aetate

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:41 pm 
 

Multiple news sources are now reporting that Detroit has either just filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy or will file in the morning. I wouldn't have posted it yet, as it seemed like a last-ditch attempt to scare unions and creditors into agreeing to something, but Reuters is now reporting the paperwork has been finalized.


The first link is the most recent news as of now (it's very short):
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/ ... 6O20130718
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/detroit ... 6C10678946
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 41664.html



This is the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history and will almost certainly have major implications for the U.S.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:56 pm 
 

The implications this might have on the whole country's credit ratings will be interesting. Even a tiny increase in the interest rates of USA's national debt could have quite devastating consequences.

This was obviously unavoidable to even looking at it from the European perspective about two weeks ago, BTW, and one wonders why banks are more important to bail out than municipalities. This will trigger something, and while it may be that Detroit is not an isolated case, that particular city will be a major blow to the prestige of the country. In Europe, this would probably have been sorted out somehow. Brutally, likely, but anyway.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:10 pm 
 

I doubt one city will affect the national credit rating. When states start filing then we are going to have serious problems (like we don't already).
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:51 pm 
 

Detroit may be the first city but Illinois will almost certainly be the first state. Our economy is beyond hope at this point and with the ammount of corruption our state suffers from it's just a matter of time before we file for bankruptcy.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:32 pm 
 

I grew up there and still think of myself as an Illinoisan. Isn't Illinois' credit rating the worst of any state right now, even worse than California's? Has to be at least in the bottom five. :roll: :nono:
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:03 pm 
 

Illinois does indeed have the worst state credit rating in the United States.
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Myrtroen
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:25 pm 
 

Ahhh, the wonders of unfettered corrupt to the bone capitalism.....America would rather watch their cities die and outsource all of the jobs than propose any country-first, working class saving measures that might sound too much like socialism. Corporate welfare and socialism is just fine and dandy, but the general taxpayer be damned. This is just the first one, just wait for Cleveland etc. to follow suit. Don't worry, keep buying your arsenals of weapons and prepare for the second civil war instead of being adults about this and recognizing that it is the corrupt leaders of your country (and my hopeless country Canada under Stephen Harper) hand in hand with out-of-control corporations that are destroying your once enviable Union. Occupy Wall Street had it right at the beginning, why are all these white-collar criminals being let off and bailed out while the (for profit) prisons overflow with minor cannabis and other minor offences? You reap what you sow....but hey, those private prisons need clients, right? Detroit has lost a million people over the last few years, it is actually quite a crazy story.
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Oxenkiller
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:40 pm 
 

Detroit: According to the thread below, is allegedly the #13 creepiest place on earth.

Myrtroen makes some good points about the state of the US political system, but I will add: The average voter here is so complacent and ill-informed about the state of the country that they are easily swayed by right-wing media- for instance there were a lot of people who might directly benefit from the president's heath care proposal yet still go around ranting about how "socialist" it was. In other words, they against their own interests because the "smart TV man" told them to.

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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:12 pm 
 

Well, that is a different topic, but PPACA very much goes against a great many people's interests, maybe not on paper but the way it will work in reality.


But whether it is complacency or legitimate voter preferences Oxen is somewhat right. There were, are and will be a lot of things that voters are bringing on themselves at the state and municipal level. You have public sector unions who want benefits they can't have with current tax rates. Between people who just hate taxes and people who don't like the pensions government workers get (or the perception of what they get), most of the voting public doesn't want to raise state or municipal tax rates. Specific to Detroit, you have of course had more people buying smaller imported cars over the last few decades---not their fault, that's just been a preference for some car owners. Business-wise, Detroit and Michigan is also somewhat at the mercy of the choices of outside voters making their states right-to-work, which long-term encourages businesses to move there (and thus, out of places like Detroit).


Anyway, as long as Bernanke is in charge of the Fed no municipality or state should count on getting a Fed bailout. He already publicly addressed that. And on paper, it also appears that Dodd-Frank more or less made it illegal for the Fed to take that kind of action anyway:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 61160.html
http://www.cnbc.com/id/41000612

Here is the bankruptcy filing. There isn't even an option for "Municipality" and the highest fill-in is $1 billion :lol:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/154584471/Det ... tcy-filing

Man, some of that stuff is amazing. 7,000 blighted properties.


Yeah, I remember now when Illinois got downgraded. And almost every neighboring state has a perfect rating too.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:17 pm 
 

Actually, now that I read parts of that filing, I think it needs to be said they probably would not have been able to raise taxes high enough to pay even half of the union pensions. I knew they had suffered from a shrinking population over a period of 30 years, but I had assumed a lot their problems had to do with corruption and mismanagement. I didn't realize almost one third of their population has left just in the last 12 years.

Yeah, no way taxes could fix that.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:14 pm 
 

Subrick wrote:


:thumbsup: we're number one, we're number one, we're number one. Suck it Michigan and for that matter suck it 'Murica. :brick:
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caspian
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:22 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
Actually, now that I read parts of that filing, I think it needs to be said they probably would not have been able to raise taxes high enough to pay even half of the union pensions. I knew they had suffered from a shrinking population over a period of 30 years, but I had assumed a lot their problems had to do with corruption and mismanagement. I didn't realize almost one third of their population has left just in the last 12 years.


I've heard that the prairie is steadily reclaiming the city, which sounds pretty crazy. My suggestion is to let it all rot a bit more and then it can be used exclusively for post apocalyptic movies :)
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:32 pm 
 

Yeah, to be fair, Detroit has been in a pretty steady downward spiral for quite a long time now. The city was doomed long before any of our current financial problems really started to impact stuff. I visited there right before the housing bubble burst and things started really getting shitty nationwide, and it was awful, then. Pretty much already an ideal filming location for post-apocalyptic movies at that point.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:50 pm 
 

I don't have the link on-hand at the moment but a few months ago I saw a chart comparing housing prices in major urban areas from the period of 2000 till present. It was a classic bubble in pretty much every city---lower prices at the start, an incomprehensible balloon in the middle, and then a steep drop between December 2007 and December 2008---except in Detroit. Detroit was just a nearly flat line the whole way through, shit, shit, shit. Obviously the rest of their economy suffered the other effects of the financial crisis, but their housing market had already hit rock bottom 8 years before everyone else and it stayed there 13 years.
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FasterDisaster
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:36 pm 
 

How can an entire city file for bankruptcy? Is the whole town just completely out of money?
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:41 pm 
 

Well, considering about 8 or 9 people live in Detroit at this point, and there ain't much in terms of businesses, their expenditures just to keep the city running probably cost more than they earn in tax revenue. Same story in Flint, as far as I'm aware.
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GuntherTheUndying
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:03 pm 
 

Yeah, as much as I hate to see my hometown and state mocked and ravaged, it's true. I was born in Detroit, and I've been there many, many times over the years, and its condition is just abysmal. I'm curious to see where this goes, I guess. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
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AcidWorm
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:16 pm 
 

The country is still suffering horribly from the unregulated capitalism that was largely caused by Bush. The greed of people is sickening.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:00 am 
 

AcidWorm wrote:
The country is still suffering horribly from the unregulated capitalism that was largely caused by Bush. The greed of people is sickening.



The Code of Laws of the United Stated of America is 200,000 pages long. There are an additional 65,000 to 80,000 pages of regulations written by the executive branch added on to this (it varies from year to year). I have been told by a budding Finnish lawyer that the amount of laws, rules and regulations we have dealing purely with firearms is longer than the entire body of national law in Finland. I've never checked, but I wouldn't be surprised. Assuming you print it out on standard size paper, the tax code alone is several miles long.

We are not unregulated. We are poorly regulated, misregulated, unevenly regulated, and grotesquely unfairly regulated.


GuntherTheUndying wrote:
Yeah, as much as I hate to see my hometown and state mocked and ravaged, it's true. I was born in Detroit, and I've been there many, many times over the years, and its condition is just abysmal. I'm curious to see where this goes, I guess. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.



Well, it is bankruptcy court. I imagine they will not be required to pay all their debts, but the judge will have some discretion. I'm not sure what debts are given priority in Chapter 9. One thing about Chapter 9 filings is they enable the bankrupt entity to very substantially rewrite collective bargaining agreements in a way you can't do with other (private company) bankruptcy filings. It is much easier legally for a bankrupt municipality to void its union agreements than it is for a bankrupt company to do so.

So yeah, in the unions' case, they should probably prepare for the worst.
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:39 am 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
One thing about Chapter 9 filings is they enable the bankrupt entity to very substantially rewrite collective bargaining agreements in a way you can't do with other (private company) bankruptcy filings. It is much easier legally for a bankrupt municipality to void its union agreements than it is for a bankrupt company to do so.


The municipality that I work for, a third class city in PA, is going through something similar, though in the case here it's called Act 47, which is PA's distressed city act. Basically our city manager and city council have run things into the ground. Act 47 is almost like a last ditch effort to get back on track before we get too far into the red.

Unfortunately for any city worker, Act 47 allows a group to come in and make recommendations. If a new contract is due, then everything listed in the contract must be something that was recommended by this group. Since the city is officially in distressed status, if someone decides, hey, I have 40 billion dollars to donate to the city, the city can't use it in a way that this group didn't recommend. They can also open contracts and make changes that would otherwise need to be negotiated.

Detroit's situation is much worse than Altoona's, as the entire country will feel the effects, but it still sucks being stuck in the middle of something similar.
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godsonsafari
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:56 am 
 

The developers are already in Detroit gutting buildings and putting in lofts. I've been expecting this day to come for awhile. I don't like that it happened and its "shaming" or whatever, but as long as the zoo and DIA aren't parted out, it's for the best. I wouldn't say there's any conspiracy here on the part of the state of Michigan to force this just as gentrification starts downtown, but its kinda strange nonetheless.

Also, TBH, the overwhelming majority of people who talk about Detroit and haven't been have no idea what the hell happened or why. Yeah, there was an exodus from Detroit. The metro area population, though, didn't shrink. You're not likely to see that in a HuffPost 700 word traffic seeking article comparing it to a third world country, though.
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Abominatrix
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:06 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Yeah, to be fair, Detroit has been in a pretty steady downward spiral for quite a long time now. The city was doomed long before any of our current financial problems really started to impact stuff. I visited there right before the housing bubble burst and things started really getting shitty nationwide, and it was awful, then. Pretty much already an ideal filming location for post-apocalyptic movies at that point.



I've been there three or four times in the last few years and it is kind of a sobering experience. To think too that it used to be quite vibrant, cultural and all that, but now even the downtown core is pretty much dead and half decayed. And that huge GM tower like some kind of vampire standing over everything...
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dontlivefastjustdie
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:14 pm 
 

Been to Detroit a couple times over the past few years and it is indeed a shit hole (I don't mean that as an insult to any of you native Detroiters), not really surprised by this. Seeing vacant, decaying skyscrapers is usually not a good indicator of a thriving economy.

Also, I forget what the statistic is but Detroit is home to an absolutely ludicrous percentage of the Muslim population of the US. Not saying that has anything to do with the current situation as the city has been building up to this for years, just thought it was interesting.
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Dettigers
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:10 pm 
 

Myrtroen wrote:
Ahhh, the wonders of unfettered corrupt to the bone capitalism.....America would rather watch their cities die and outsource all of the jobs than propose any country-first, working class saving measures that might sound too much like socialism.


That is not what killed Detroit. What killed Detroit was the corrupt city council and the corrupt mayor who did not give a damn about the city. They had a Thug mayor who Kwame Kilpatrick who is in prison. It also did not help that he cost the city millions. Then you have Coleman Young who drove people out of the city.

As for the council ever person that has stepped up to help the city was giving the finger. The stat of Michigan offered to take a place called Belle Isle and make it into a state park the city said no. It took them years to come around to letting work be done on there place that holds the North American International Auto Show The Cobo Center. Yeah the people running that city have done such as great job that it's capitalism to blame.

You do not live in the city or state and have no idea what brought the city down so please don't talk about the Detroit until you learn about it more.

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Dettigers
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:18 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
How can an entire city file for bankruptcy? Is the whole town just completely out of money?


Yes, yes they are they have no money.

AcidWorm wrote:
The country is still suffering horribly from the unregulated capitalism that was largely caused by Bush. The greed of people is sickening.



The city has been going down long before Bush and the so called evil capitalism there last mayor was a hip-hop Thug rapped there city of millions. The city council hates ever one who is not black and so on. Yeah the problem have been going on for the past 30 to 40 years.

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Subrick
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:02 pm 
 

My father and I were talking about this at length earlier today, and at one point I brought up the following question:

Do you think the federal government will step in and bail Detroit out, be it of their own accord or if the city asks for one?

He said that he didn't think so because it would set a precedent for other struggling or failing cities to follow, and while I do kind of agree with him on that, I think it's more of the government thinking that Detroit would be just too messy a situation for them to get involved in. The city is in shambles financially, and even though its $14-$20 billion debt is ridiculously low in federal money terms, there's a whole lot of problems that the city is facing that would make it just too much of a risk to put their hand into.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:42 pm 
 

A circuit court judge has issued an immediate and temporary restraining order barring Detroit from filing for Chapter 9. The judge concluded it violated Michigan's constitution. Basically, Michigan's constitution forbids any state or municipal government to default on pension obligations.

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/judge-rule ... titutional


I don't see this surviving in court. Federal bankruptcy law allows for municipalities to default on pension obligations, and federal law trumps state law. Perhaps it will end up in the Supreme Court.


Subrick wrote:
My father and I were talking about this at length earlier today, and at one point I brought up the following question:

Do you think the federal government will step in and bail Detroit out, be it of their own accord or if the city asks for one?

He said that he didn't think so because it would set a precedent for other struggling or failing cities to follow, and while I do kind of agree with him on that, I think it's more of the government thinking that Detroit would be just too messy a situation for them to get involved in. The city is in shambles financially, and even though its $14-$20 billion debt is ridiculously low in federal money terms, there's a whole lot of problems that the city is facing that would make it just too much of a risk to put their hand into.


Yeah I don't think this is going to happen. In fact, the rumor is that when the emergency manager met with the White House a few months back, he didn't ask for a bailout and the White House told him not to expect one. There is no appetite for anything resembling the concept of a bailout in D.C. right now, for anyone. And in Detroit's case, you're probably right that the city's proprietary brand of failure would make any bailout situation messy. As long as it's important enough to the nation's overall GDP, I think when an actual state gets to where Detroit is now you might hear D.C. openly talking about a bailout. If that happened today though I still don't think they would pull the trigger.

As a side-note, Dodd-Frank specifically banned the Federal Reserve from bailing out municipalities. So any federal bailouts will have to be authorized by Congress.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:14 am 
 

Perhaps this incredible music video is relevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aktLRiWXfqg
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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:01 am 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
A circuit court judge has issued an immediate and temporary restraining order barring Detroit from filing for Chapter 9. The judge concluded it violated Michigan's constitution. Basically, Michigan's constitution forbids any state or municipal government to default on pension obligations.

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/judge-rule ... titutional


I don't see this surviving in court. Federal bankruptcy law allows for municipalities to default on pension obligations, and federal law trumps state law. Perhaps it will end up in the Supreme Court.

This doesn't seem very enforceable. Sooner or later there will be no money to pay the pension obligations, period, and then what? Do they throw the city council in prison? Sell the population to human traffickers to raise money? It's absurd. It makes about as much sense as a law banning earthquakes.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:41 am 
 

It makes more sense than you think actually. If they stop paying the union pensions then it screws those people out of a lifetime of savings. It'd be like you paying into a 401k your entire career and then when you go to retire poof no more 401k. You'd be screwed. Also if allowed to default it opens the door for any number of other union busting mechanisms corporations can fathom up. Sure it sounds dumb but in tue long run it saves a lot of people a lot of their money and retirement.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:39 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
It makes more sense than you think actually. If they stop paying the union pensions then it screws those people out of a lifetime of savings. It'd be like you paying into a 401k your entire career and then when you go to retire poof no more 401k. You'd be screwed. Also if allowed to default it opens the door for any number of other union busting mechanisms corporations can fathom up. Sure it sounds dumb but in tue long run it saves a lot of people a lot of their money and retirement.


But Chapter 9 is specifically for municipalities. That's why it has less stringent protections for retirement obligations, municipalities don't have the same history of union busting as businesses or even the profit motive.

They aren't going to default on all their obligations. As far as we know, the best offer on the table before they filed for bankruptcy was for the creditors and debtors (unions) to get about 10% of what each wanted. How that works out in chapter 9, I don't know. I know there is a specified order of rank; that is, there are certain debts or obligations which have priority over others, and in bankruptcy those must be paid first. I'm just not sure what the ranking is. I'm pretty sure it varies based on the type of bankruptcy.

"Screws those people out of a lifetime of savings" is not really a legal argument against chapter 9. If a municipality is filing for chapter 9 that means those people were already fucked a long time ago, and if they don't go through bankruptcy then they won't get anything, period.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:57 pm 
 

Woolie_Wool wrote:
Earthcubed wrote:
A circuit court judge has issued an immediate and temporary restraining order barring Detroit from filing for Chapter 9. The judge concluded it violated Michigan's constitution. Basically, Michigan's constitution forbids any state or municipal government to default on pension obligations.

http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/judge-rule ... titutional


I don't see this surviving in court. Federal bankruptcy law allows for municipalities to default on pension obligations, and federal law trumps state law. Perhaps it will end up in the Supreme Court.

This doesn't seem very enforceable. Sooner or later there will be no money to pay the pension obligations, period, and then what? Do they throw the city council in prison? Sell the population to human traffickers to raise money? It's absurd. It makes about as much sense as a law banning earthquakes.


If the court could actually stop them from chapter 9, there would only be two options for paying pension obligations. One would be to renegotiate their bargaining agreement with the unions to pay them less. This is almost certainly not going to happen. The other would be to raise taxes to the highest in the nation and hope nobody leaves, which is a fool's errand. City services are already broken due to mismanagement and what I can only assume were cuts designed to save money for more pensions (this is why so many people dislike the idea of large government pensions, they would rather have the government spend money on services for everyone rather than retirement funds for a few). If people are getting little or no public service and paying lots of taxes anyway, they are just going to move. Which they have already been doing anyway.

The judgement in this case was either in error or the judge is just trying to get it to the Supreme Court. Or she is hoping for union cash when she runs for re-election in 2015: http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Rosemar ... h_Aquilina
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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:18 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
It makes more sense than you think actually. If they stop paying the union pensions then it screws those people out of a lifetime of savings. It'd be like you paying into a 401k your entire career and then when you go to retire poof no more 401k. You'd be screwed. Also if allowed to default it opens the door for any number of other union busting mechanisms corporations can fathom up. Sure it sounds dumb but in tue long run it saves a lot of people a lot of their money and retirement.

My point is that you can't pay pensions with money that doesn't exist. Eventually Detroit will default, and you can't enslave/imprison a city like people did with individual debtors before bankruptcy protection existed. A sovereign can at least devalue its own currency to drown the debt in a sea of money-printing (unless the debt is denominated in a foreign currency, which means the only option is default), but municipalities cannot. You can say how awful it is for people to lose their pensions, and indeed it is awful, but there is no money to pay them. Where is it going to come from? Somebody's getting a big haircut, no matter what.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:43 pm 
 

You guys make a very valid point. It's just a shame that this is actually happening, so much for being on the road to recovery. And for what it's worth while I do sympathise with people loosing their pensions (as I am currently working on one myself) I do feel that government pensions and salaries tend to be very inflated and ridiculous.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:32 pm 
 

It depends on the government in question. State pensions are often very inflated, some of the federal ones not so much. I think a lot of people would be shocked at how little a Congressional staffer makes, for example (particularly when you factor in D.C.'s housing costs). It's part of the reason you have such a constant revolving door. But it varies a lot.


The thing is, a lot of these more lavish retirement benefit agreements were written during very prosperous times when cash was flush and the U.S. was economically ascendent. That was a historical anomaly, not a new normal.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:44 pm 
 

I read a bit about this recently and also watched a documentary released last year called Detropia that covers some of these issues and explores the current general social/economic/cultural landscape of the city. Shit is indeed fucked. Though it'll be interesting to see what will come of the city over the next few years...if the crisis will bring about some revolutionary new city planning ideas or whatnot. There are definitely people over there looking to bring some innovative concepts to the fore, so as desperation tightens its grip it'll make the town fertile ground for...well, a lot of potentialities. Some possibly really cool, others terrifying. I mean what even happens when a major city goes bankrupt? The US hasn't exactly had a precedent for that. Does it simply dissolve its police force and public services/works and leave to rot what it can't sell off? I'm to imagine it would be a mecca for punks right about now, except there's no one there to spare them any change. Apparently the population of the city is now lower than it was a century ago.
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:59 pm 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
I do feel that government pensions and salaries tend to be very inflated and ridiculous.


It all depends on where you work: local, state or municipal. Municipal pensions are usually fairly shitty, especially for low level employees. The best I can hope for, working for a local government, is fifty percent of my last year, if I complete my twenty-fifth year (but overtime does not factor into that number, only base pay). But, I'm only eligible for up to half of what the local chief of police makes, which, due to recent budget constraints, was just cut by about $10,000 a year (which means I lose up to $5000 a year in retirement).

Now the State Police, on the other hand, can retire at 75% of their highest year, INCLUDING OVERTIME, when they reach their twenty-fifth year. I know people that make more on retirement than they did during twenty-four years of work. It all depends on which agency you work for...
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:38 pm 
 

TheStormIRide wrote:
It all depends on where you work: local, state or municipal. Municipal pensions are usually fairly shitty, especially for low level employees. The best I can hope for, working for a local government, is fifty percent of my last year, if I complete my twenty-fifth year (but overtime does not factor into that number, only base pay). But, I'm only eligible for up to half of what the local chief of police makes, which, due to recent budget constraints, was just cut by about $10,000 a year (which means I lose up to $5000 a year in retirement).

Now the State Police, on the other hand, can retire at 75% of their highest year, INCLUDING OVERTIME, when they reach their twenty-fifth year. I know people that make more on retirement than they did during twenty-four years of work. It all depends on which agency you work for...


Now that's the kind of thing I was talking about. Not blue collar people who (excuse this analogy) get shit on all day long, especially in reference to your FFA post on collecting guns, there is no reason a person should be better off retirement than they were when they were working. Or, and I know this isn't pension related but still pisses me off to no end, the fact that when I go downtown for work I see 7-10 city workers all standing on the same corner smoking and bull shitting with each other and having a good ole' time while one guy sweeps the same spot for like 10 minutes then they move 5 feet and repeat. It's things like that that people can't and shouldn't have to wrap their heads around.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:24 am 
 

Storm, what's funny/annoying about your example there is that certain federal departments wouldn't even make as much as your state example.

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:

Now that's the kind of thing I was talking about. Not blue collar people who (excuse this analogy) get shit on all day long, especially in reference to your FFA post on collecting guns, there is no reason a person should be better off retirement than they were when they were working. Or, and I know this isn't pension related but still pisses me off to no end, the fact that when I go downtown for work I see 7-10 city workers all standing on the same corner smoking and bull shitting with each other and having a good ole' time while one guy sweeps the same spot for like 10 minutes then they move 5 feet and repeat. It's things like that that people can't and shouldn't have to wrap their heads around.



This reminds me of one conservative intellectual/pundit's explanation for why the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka "the stimulus") didn't work: "All you have to do is go down the street from your house and watch the construction workers who were given stimulus money. One guy digging a hole, ten guys standing around looking down into the hole."

I have to add this though. If you ever meet government workers, or see them while they are at work (and I'm a polisci degree, so I've seen both), you can be very shocked at how hard they work and how much they care about their line of work.
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soul_schizm
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:43 am 
 

Subrick wrote:

Do you think the federal government will step in and bail Detroit out, be it of their own accord or if the city asks for one?

He said that he didn't think so because it would set a precedent for other struggling or failing cities to follow, and while I do kind of agree with him on that, I think it's more of the government thinking that Detroit would be just too messy a situation for them to get involved in. The city is in shambles financially, and even though its $14-$20 billion debt is ridiculously low in federal money terms, there's a whole lot of problems that the city is facing that would make it just too much of a risk to put their hand into.


Well, it's definitely an interesting question. The Obama administration bailed out the auto industry, and patted themselves on the back for it. That bailout turned out to be ultimately a good move, but it was a corporate bailout. Now, to sit back and watch elderly people with big medical bills have their meager pensions cut off without any help from the feds?

I think that's just very distasteful, if it comes down to it.

As for a precedent being set, I go back to the auto industry bailout. People were saying that is a bad precedent, too. But it didn't stop it from happening.

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