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