By Paul Kersey, Mackinac Center For Public Policy
Occupy Detroit? How About Accepting Responsibility for Detroit?
Inspired by protests that started in New York and proliferated around the country, activists are preparing to “occupy Detroit,” with a downtown rally set for this afternoon.
Aside from the tragicomic imagery of activists occupying an increasingly unoccupied city, there’s the question of just what the “Occupation” movement, a vague grouping to begin with, would want to change about governance in the city. Over the last 40 years, the city has been governed by a political machine that is Democratic in all but name.
Union membership is well above average and organized labor is overwhelmingly powerful in city politics. If corporations are the occupiers’ main adversary, then Detroit is admirably free of corporate influence: According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the city’s seven largest employers are government agencies or nonprofits, rather than profit-making corporations.
Even Dave Bing, for all his business experience, is inclined to dabble in the sort of governmental planning — witness his ideas for consolidating neighborhoods — that progressives are fond of.
And somehow, in spite of all that, the city’s population has plummeted to less than half it was during its heyday.
And now left-of-center groups plan on “occupying” Detroit. Is it possible they’ll start accepting some of the responsibility for it?
Paul Kersey is the director of Labor Policy for The Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He blogs from a conservative perspective for CBS Detroit.