Dec 232013

by Diane Bukowski, Voice of Detroit, Dec. 21, 2013

Protest during bankruptcy hearing in Detroit as Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder testifies

Protest during bankruptcy hearing in Detroit as Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder testifies/ Photo: Cheryl Labash/WW

Stripping Detroit’s workers of their modest pensions will kill middle class

Most pensions are $19,000 year; $30,000 a year for police and firefighters

Culprits are sky-high financial costs, corporate subsidies, tax loopholes

Detroit bankruptcy caused by same dynamics creating inequality in the nation

Ross Eisenbrey
Ross Eisenbrey

By Ross Eisenbrey

December 17, 2013

Editor’s note: Ross Eisenbrey is vice president of the Economic Policy Institute. His views are his alone. Photos inserted by VOD.

(CNN) — A judge’s ruling that the city of Detroit can move forward with bankruptcy and strip the city’s public workers of their modest pension benefits will have a devastating impact on Detroit’s middle class — many of whom are African-American — and the city’s ability to rebuild a strong and sustainable economy.

The largest municipal bankruptcy in our nation’s history, the Detroit decision charts a course where Wall Street banks and bondholders are at the front of the payment line while city residents, police officers, firefighters and other public employees are left at the rear, with only pennies.
Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s unelected emergency manager, misled the public and succeeded in setting a dangerous precedent that will have ripple effects for other cities and states still struggling to get back on their feet in the post-recession economy.

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