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(:include {=FullName}#poststart#postend:) ---- >><< [[#recentblogend]]   (:pagelist link=Category.Blog fmt=#recentblog order=-ctime count=5:)  Add Comment 15 September 2013 - Detroit Debt Redux by David The Detroit Free Press has posted a very detailed series of charts explaining what happened to Detroit's financial situation over the last 6 decades. In a nutshell the city's debt took off in the mid-90s and hasn't slowed down yet. Interestingly during Coleman Young's administration total debt was lower than annual revenues, but budgets were only balanced during the Archer administration. This suggests that it would be interesting to see how much of the year change in debts was due to general operating budget deficits and how much was due to infrastructure spending and other forms of investment (worthwhile or not). Add Comment 15 March 2013 - Who Is Kevyn Orr? by David So, I saw earlier today that Snyder has appointed Kevyn Duane Orr as Detroit's new Grand Poobah. My first thought was "who's that?" So, I decided to find out. Here's what I was able to dig out from the interwebs: More... Add Comment 27 August 2011 - Ownership: The Cornerstone Of A New Strategy For The Left? by David I was reading an interview in Salon discussing the relative lack of success of the left in the United States in comparison with Europe. It attributes most of the difference to long-term influences of the formal class structures in Europe, which lead to traditional political alignments along class lines which never took hold in the US for more than brief stretches. The problem today for most progressives/liberals/whatever is that formal or not it does appear that a strong class division has established itself in our society in the last thirty years as wealth and income inequality has grown. However, the traditional villain of the left, capitalism, is almost as ineffective a boogie-man with the US public as communism, Tea Party sound and fury aside. People believe capitalism and relatively unhindered markets are the best options we've got, and as an economist I don't think they are completely wrong. As right-wing visionary (and sometime economic crank) Louis Kelso argued, Marx's analysis was right: the capitalist system is inherently unstable, with a definite tendency for wealth to concentrate in existing hands. The basic instability stems from the fact that the owners of capital tend to capture most economic growth - aside from the basic issue of profits going to the owners, you've also got the Fed capping wage growth as one of the primary drivers of inflation, and finally that corporate investment raises the value of the shares held by the existing owners - money follows money. However, the public doesn't want government owning businesses (which to be fair has not worked that well over the last hundred years outside of public goods like water, security and other utilities, where government is a somewhat logical provider), and clearly the wealthy are rebelling against the New Deal political equilibrium, where government diffused class hostilities by placing a thumb on the scales through progressive taxation and regulatory oversight. Our political discourse today really doesn't contain any ideas for addressing this instability. People who know me well may feel I'm a broken record here, but I believe that as a political project, the left needs to focus on making capitalism work by picking up the needle on Marx and putting it in a new groove. Workers do need to control the means of production if we're going to stabilize and humanize the economy, but the last two hundred years have shown many, many ways to do it without resorting to government expropriation. The left needs to build a political agenda around community wealth building: the mass expansion of cooperatives, employee ownership, credit unions, and the whole gamut of engines for building wealth at the level of the average citizen. It's a straightforward concept that voters could understand, and its has many spinoff benefits that could tie into other elements of a broader platform, such as urban economic development, improved international competitiveness, environmentalism. The left's successes have almost always come from arguing for equity and fairness. We should return to that theme. 27 June 2011 - Wayne State Alumni Mag Fumbles The Story by David I don't know if anybody else has read the Wayne State alumni magazine (honestly, I don't know if anybody reads it, full stop), but this issue had a cover story on the "midtown revival", and it has me a tad peeved. The narrative runs 10 pages with lots of photos, talking about all of the wonderful things going on in Midtown. So, let's see here, they mention Avalon Bakery (they'd almost have to)... and then midway through the article give a list of the other types of stores that have opened in the area, mentioning the name of nary a one. What they do mention in profusion is all of the anchor institutions, office buildings, and so forth which have been in place for decades, to which they grant the majority of the credit for the revival of the area. Now, I really haven't heard much to suggest that the anchors have done much of anything in the last ten years to encourage the establishment of the businesses and refurbishment of the residential clusters in the area which are the heart of the revival, but I may have missed something (not that the article makes much of a case for their role to date). But putting that aside, the growth in businesses, restaurants and residential population is the story here, so the fact that they spent 10 pages focusing on photos of hospitals and talking about the stuff that will happen, may happen, should happen, but not what's actually happening, is kind of ridiculous. A story about the Midtown revival is a great idea for the Wayne State alumni magazine, and I hope they actually publish one someday... Add Comment 14 June 2011 - Pushback On The City Council Budget by David So, I got an email today from the Detroit city government containing a spiffy Powerpoint Δ encapsulating the Mayor's response to the City Council's proposed budget cuts. The most important thing I see is that to save roughly28 million (apparently beyond $20 Bing claimed he and the council agreed on at the Mackinac conference), the cuts are likely to disqualify the city from$106 million in federal funding, at least some of which has already been spent and would have to be repaid. The rest of it's a touch hard to parse, as it doesn't note how many of the services it lists as shutting down are explicit in the council's cuts and how much is the mayor's office's judgement as to what the cuts will entail. Given what I've seen from inside a couple of public institutions, plus the fact that forgetting about federal dollars seems to be typical in poorly thought out budget cutting, I'm inclined to give Bing the benefit of the doubt. So, taking the Powerpoint at face value, the cuts will result in the closure of Hart Plaza as of July 1, the beach and restrooms at Belle Isle, and the People Mover, in addition to the fire and police layoffs. All in all, it's pretty nasty...

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(:if equal {>$BlogDate2}:) >><<(:if:) [[#blogdateend]]   (:pagelist fmt=#blogdate order=-ctime link=Category.Blog:)  15 September 2013 Detroit Debt Redux 15 March 2013 Who Is Kevyn Orr? 27 August 2011 Ownership: The Cornerstone Of A New Strategy For The Left? 27 June 2011 Wayne State Alumni Mag Fumbles The Story 14 June 2011 Pushback On The City Council Budget 06 January 2011 Groupon and the Golden Football 30 December 2010 ♩ ♬ ♪ Oh, Sweet Mystery Of Life, At Last I've Found You... 28 October 2010 Local Economy Model, v1.0 11 October 2010 Taxes Suck... Particularly When They're Badly Constructed 16 September 2010 A Reminder To Myself 05 August 2010 Two Quick Notes 16 April 2010 Just Testing MathML 30 March 2010 A Plutonomy, You Say? 26 March 2010 01 March 2010 26 February 2010 Krugman Explains Core Inflation 12 February 2010 David's Brain: Greece + Groceries = Detroit 11 January 2010 The NYTimes Says Nice Things About Detroit 08 January 2010 The 3/50 Project and the Andersonville Study 05 January 2010 A Doremus Jessup Can Never Die 31 December 2009 19 October 2009 15 September 2009 11 August 2009 68! 43! Hike! 22 June 2009 Kiva Opens To US Borrowers 05 June 2009 Charts Update 29 May 2009 GIS Is A Lovely Acronym 20 May 2009 18 May 2009 Modeling Minsky 15 May 2009 So Invisible, It Isn't Even There 23 March 2009 Echoes of the Great Depression: Detroit local scrip 22 March 2009 SBA Loans 29 January 2009 Brad DeLong, Money Velocity, and Local Economies 10 December 2008 More Data! 09 October 2008 Piracy (but not the fun kind) 04 July 2008 A General Update 09 June 2008 Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much 21 May 2008 Ilitch Promotes In-sourcing Meetings To Detroit 04 April 2008 On the Trail of Stimulation 01 April 2008 A Meta-post: Blogging about this blog 31 March 2008 24 March 2008 Designers for Prosperity? 16 March 2008 10 March 2008 More Data Sources 07 March 2008 Charts Part 2 - Inflation 04 March 2008 Charts Part 1 - Employment 29 February 2008 Who Doesn't Love Data? 27 February 2008 Where Are They Now? 26 February 2008 The Economics of Free 25 February 2008 22 February 2008 Who Is Pingree, And Why Potatoes? 17 February 2008 12 February 2008 All Recent Changes 29 August 2007 CNN States the Obvious Concisely 24 August 2007 Bagels and the Freakonomics of White Collar Crime 18 June 2007 What Ever Happened to the Soviet Union? 02 March 2007 Robert Reich Makes a Funny 02 January 2007 No No NōKA 17 December 2006 Yow! Look At 'Em Go! 08 December 2006 Bob Harris Makes a Funny 17 October 2006 Note to Self 09 October 2006 My Kind of Guy 03 July 2006 Economics of Computer Security 15 June 2006 Advice for Journalists and Economists fmt=#blogarchive pagelist by blogdate and only list pages with the same creation month as the name of the page i.e. 2006-02 [[#blogarchive]] (:if equal {=$BlogMonth2} {$Name}:) * [[{=$FullName}|{=$Titlespaced}]] (:if:) [[#blogarchiveend]]  This one won't work unless the page you are using is something like 2006-02. But then you would use (:pagelist fmt=#blogarchive order=-ctime link=Category.Blog:) fmt=#monthlist pagelist of blog month archive links [[#monthlist]] (:if equal {<$BlogDate2}:)
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