By on March 26, 2013

Over 100 emergency vehicles will hit Detroit’s streets in the next few months, including 23 ambulances and more than 100 police cruisiers, thanks to a coalition of private sector donors that pitched in for the vehicles.

The Detroit Free Press reports that companies like Penske, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Quicken Loans, the Kresge Foundation, and Platinum Equity all chipped in to help buy the new vehicles for the city. The Big Three automakers also lent a hand, providing Ford Taurus, Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice police vehicles.

Interestingly, the city will not be the official owners of the vehicles, nor will they be responsible for their maintenance. None other than Roger Penske said that the vehicles would be outfitted with “top of the line” equipment and would be ready for duty in the next few months.

Detroit is now essentially controlled by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder asked him to help step in and manage Detroit’s finances. Orr previously worked on the 2009 Chrysler bankruptcy.

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87 Comments on “Businesses Band Together To Donate $8 Million Worth Of Vehicles For Detroit...”


  • avatar
    Robstar

    Major props to these companies for helping detroit out. This should be all over mainstream media, seriously….

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      The state run media hates generosity when it comes from the greedy, don’t pay nearly enough in taxes private sector.

      Now, if some hippy liberal donated some granola or the soap they no longer use, it would be above the fold headlines.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Bullshit. I just googled “businesses donate $8 million to Detroit” and got 1,650 hits, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and UPI. Stop with the “liberal media” victim mentality garbage already.

        • 0 avatar
          Robstar

          Uh, sorry I generally check CNN and as of this morning I haven’t seen anything.

          I also haven’t seen it on local news stories here in Chicago (although perhaps ttac is the first one to break it — quite possible as well).

          Btw, a little courtesy on the internet goes a long way rather than flaming me…

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I wasn’t responding to you, Robstar – I was responding to someone whose undies were all bunched up about the “liberal media,” which is bullshit, and I’m sorry, I call bullshit when I see it.

            But since this has hit the NY Times and Washington Post (the papers of record), and the story itself got 1,650 hits, I’d say this story has definitely hit the mainstream media. It may not be picked up everywhere (if I were running a paper in Walla Walla, I’d wonder how this affects my readership), but it’s clearly been run widely.

          • 0 avatar

            FreedMike,

            If the “liberal media” is bullshit, I’ll tell you what. Let’s do a trade. You get Fox News and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and I get the NYT, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN. If you’re not will to do that deal, you’re acknowledging that there is, indeed, a liberal media.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            @RS, I’ll take that deal because I don’t watch TV, but will make you one better. I’ll take Faux News, the WSJ, Fortune, the Grudge Report, the Tea Party Daily Shopper you get MSNBC, the Huff Post, the Atlantic, and Mother Jones. If you can’t take that, then by your argument, you acknowledge that there is a large conservative media and to quit whining about bias.

          • 0 avatar

            dolorean,

            Of course there is a conservative media, but the “newspapers of record” and all three broadcast networks’ news divisions tilt left reliably. Overall, the media is dominated by the left.

            Also, I find it rather telling that you left off of your list of liberal media the most influential new organizations, like the NYT and the broadcast networks. If the conservative media is the equivalent of Mother Jones and the Atlantic, then conservative media is playing in the minor leagues. The house organs of the left, like the New York Times and the Washington Post (and NBC, CBS, ABC) are much more influential than the Atlantic.

            FWIW, Fortune may be a business magazine, but it hardly covers the news from a conservative point of view. Likewise with the Wall Street Journal, which is why I specified its editorial pages. The WSJ’s news reporters tilt left like most journalists do. But then they’re produced by J schools who believe that promoting liberal causes is their raison d’etre.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            I agree with you on my choices of media publications. As I had previously stated, I do not watch TV as I do not own one and have found it extremely liberating to not having the idiot box blaring away in the living room. I disagree with you that the media is overwhelmingly liberal, but it is overwhelmingly opinionated.

            Find it interesting that you only mentioned Fox News and the ed page of the WSJ, but not the giant portfolio of Rupert Murdoch’s global ‘news’ empire of NewsCorp; all of which pursues his Ayne Rand views. Google it once, you might be surprised.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Ronnie:

            Of course there are liberal-leaning media outlets, just like there are conservative-leaning ones. But just because a media outlet has a ideological tilt doesn’t mean it doesn’t report all the news, or reports it fairly. That was the thrust of my irritation with this poster in question. He started in on his “you didn’t hear about this story in the liberal media” rant, and it’s pure bullshit – it was reported widely in thousands of publications, including the “liberal” NY Times and Wash Post (and Fox News). This guy was full of it, and I told him so.

            As long as people have opinions on politics, news outlets will have some kind of tilt. The question is whether the tilt prevents fair coverage of the news. I don’t think it has to. It didn’t in this case.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            While i agree with your statements, I’d really like to see a news organization (as a whole) have *no slant* and just report the fricking news. Sure there is room for analysis or op-ed shows where both sides can flame the other, but news is kind of cut and dry… this stuff happened, and now here’s Ollie Williams with the Blackie Weather Forecast.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael500

      Anything that keeps Detroit beautiful I am for! I hope they don’t get stolen, but it is Detroit after all. I wish the Liberal media would stop dumping on this wonderful city! I think murders are down 1%.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Man, Detroit sure is screwed. It’s good of the private companies to help them out though since the once mighty city is so helpless now. I heard recently that Detroit police officers have had to bring toilet paper from home, which is pretty sad if true.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    That’s awfully chintzy police livery – more like a vinyl wrap ad for Alizé…

    But how they look is ultimately immaterial. Well done, coalition of private sector donors!

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Detroit provides a long term study of the effects of “capital flight” induced by the welfare state and political corruption, including “human capital”. The central city has been hollowing out for decades as the next county over is the 4th wealthiest of any county with a population over 1,000,000 in the country. A population of 700,000 folks, far too many of whom are not taxpayers, can not support the public infrastructure in place for a city of a couple million.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Rather than the usual conservative chestnut of blaming the welfare state I think corruption teamed with a lack of state/federal/financial oversight are the bigger problem. Otherwise why doesn’t Paris look like Detroit?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Paris is the capital city of France, so it benefits from being the seat of government, which masks a multitude of fiscal and other sins. Detroit isn’t even the capital of Michigan.

        Some parts of Paris DO look distressingly similar to Detroit. You don’t hear much about them because tourists don’t go there (for obvious reasons) and the Travel Channel doesn’t waste time filming them.

        Every now and then, however, residents of these slums will riot, and it makes the international news. The story generally doesn’t receive huge coverage in the press here. Why? The rioters largely limit their activities to burning Citroens and throwing bricks at the French police, as opposed to attacking American tourists. Which makes sense, as the American tourists never venture near these neighborhoods.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          wrt Paris: At least in Detroit they don’t riot in the streets and burn thousands of cars. Just houses.

        • 0 avatar
          Michael500

          Paris and Detroit both have wonderful French names making them two of the most romantic cities in the world. Paris, might have a slight edge on Detroit. Parisians know how to riot “Detroit style” though, one summer a few years ago they burned 1000 cars- in ONE night! We can’t even do that in Los Angeles after a Laker victory. The Moslem neighborhoods in the new section look like the slums of New Jersey (where that Wed. flea market is). Keep my Detroit beautiful!

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Detroit never recovered from race riot of 1967. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot “2,509 stores looted or burned, 388 families rendered homeless or displaced and 412 buildings burned or damaged enough to be demolished. Dollar losses from arson and looting ranged from $40 million to $80 million.” Anybody who tries to deal with the current corruption and incompetence is accused of being a racist. The welfare state is relevant to the Detroit problem because it provides the money to keep Detroit populated with dysfunctional people. The current population discourages rebuilding. Much easier and less risky to build North of 8 Mile Road.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      +1 It is a terrible shame, and largely self-inflicted. The people of this once-great metropolis have now basically lost the right to govern themselves, just like the residents of some other corrupt, dependent 3rd world cities.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Someone did a photo listing of places in Detroit and Somalia. It became hard after while to tell where the photos were taken. Real shame,as Detroit has so much Automotive history.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Newsflash: Welfare doesn’t cause businesses to leave – it’s the NET RESULT of businesses leaving.

      And if you want to point fingers for the rise of the “welfare state” in Detroit, some can be pointed at the government or unions, but a LOT more can be pointed at the boardrooms of GM, Chrysler and Ford, where decisions were consciously made to make crappy products that destroyed their businesses.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Higher taxes do push businesses to leave a municipality or a state. The higher taxes, however, are not necessarily used for “welfare” programs.

        The simple fact is that Detroit and many other cities have been poorly run for generations, and they haven’t been run by free-market worshipping, conservative Republicans.

        Residents who do pay taxes pay very high taxes but receive a level of services that, at best, range from fair to poor. That’s because the higher taxes are used to provide higher benefits for politically connected unions, or employ more people (read, friends and relatives of influential politicians) than necessary.

        Those who can do the math move out, leaving behind the people who are benefitting from the system in one way or another. The problem comes when there aren’t enough “makers” to support the “takers.”

        Some cities, such as New York City, mask this decline with immigration and a strong private sector (ironically, in New York, it’s the much-despised financial sector). New York has also been helped, rather than hurt, by globalization. And its city government is still operated much more competently than that of Detroit.

        Detroit doesn’t have those factors to mask its decline.

        As for this: “but a LOT more can be pointed at the boardrooms of GM, Chrysler and Ford, where decisions were consciously made to make crappy products that destroyed their businesses.”

        One of the hallmarks of a poorly run city is that it has hitched its star to one industry. Perhaps if every worker weren’t expecting UAW-level wages and benefits, the start-up companies that can’t afford to pay them would have considered locating in the Detroit area. Then the city wouldn’t have been so seriously hurt by the decline of the Big Three. But that requires foresight and planning. Meanwhile, bashing Republicans and raising taxes are so much easier.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Urban rise and decline is invariably the result of a complex set of factors, amant of which reinforce each other. To lay all the balme at the feet “greedy unions”, the “wefare state” “greedy corporations” or whatever is at best simple-minded. There is always lots of balme to go around, and other factors that are beyond anyone’s control.

          Any manufacturing centre will suffer when economic or technology changes negatively affect it. Look at the mill towns in the Northeast, or Pittsbugh. Dallas and Houston suffered greatly, and became doughnut cities with very unsafe downtowns, when the price of oil dropped in the ’80s.

          Cities don’t pick industries – indutries pick cities.

          Detroit depended on the D3. Their market decline from the ’70s through the ’00s, and the shift of the industry’s centre of gravity from Michigan to Tennessee, made Detroit’s decline inevitable. Economic decline also encourages a host of other evils, that then exacerbate that decline. Once started, that sort of decline is very difficult to arrest, let alone reverse.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Detroit was declining while the Big Three were at the height of their power, so that excuse won’t wash.

            Various factors are only “beyond their control” if government and civic leaders believe that they must keep doing what they were doing (and spending what they were spending) despite a changing local economy. Which is what has happened in Detroit and in other declining cities.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Why did the industry shift from Michigan to Tennessee?

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            “Why did the industry shift from Michigan to Tennessee?” The word shifts implies something moved. That is not what happened. Foreign brands were pushed politically to build here and when they evaluated locations, they were attracted to the non-union culture and mild climate of the south with hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance from state governments. VW, the only maker to “shift” anything, moved their HQ, but still have significant activities in Auburn Hills Mi. They cited the unionist attitudes in Michigan as the reason to move. Michigan’s recently passed Freedom To Work legislation is intended to address this problem.

            The intellectual capital invested in the car business is 95% in Detroit area with all major world makers having activities in the area. Toyota and Hyundai built their NA engineering centers here.

            We have a dichotomy between low level manufacturing functions, none of which chose Michigan, and the higher level engineering and management, where Detroit is still clearly the center.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Geeber, if you really think that unemployed workers in Detroit are looking for UAW-level wages anymore, you’re sadly mistaken. I think a LIVING wage would satisfy them. Problem is, our “new economy” – service and retail – doesn’t really provide living wages for people at the bottom rung.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Problem is, our “new economy” – service and retail – doesn’t really provide living wages for people at the bottom rung.”

            Detroit’s problems aside, I have to agree with this statement, this is a national crisis and those who spoke out about the de-industrialization of the United States and threat of NAFTA/GATT/Globalization twenty plus years ago were made a pariah (Perot), or mysteriously died (Goldsmith). Keep speaking some truth FreedMike.

            What did Lenin famously say… ah “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them”. Take a look around the world and see who really has the power now.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            “Living wage” is a code for “wages some entity or person completely unconnected to the business thinks it ought to pay workers, regardless of whether it can afford them.”

            People get paid what they are worth. This is based on the skills set and knowledge that they bring to the employer, who is running a business, not a social welfare program.

            People who are either barely literate, or high-school drop outs, generally are not in a position to demand that wages be set at a certain level.

            And why did these people fail to obtain necessary skills during the time they spent in high school receiving a FREE public education? How did they end up barely literate?

            Well, my wife, who teaches school in an urban district, can tell you who ISN’T responsible:

            1. Republicans.
            2. Those awful rich people.
            3. Corporations.
            4. Sarah Palin.
            5. Fox News.
            6. The Koch Brothers.
            7. The NRA.

            Now, which party does that leave? Could it be…their parents, who failed to emphasize the need for hard work and education? Who failed to tell them that having children out of wedlock while a teenager will handicap them for life? Who treated school as a taxpayer-funded babysitting service?

            Granted, pointing out the truth tends to result in squawking about “faux news” and tinfoil hats as a distraction, but, the truth is still the truth…

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @geeber well put. my wife is a teacher, too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You raise some excellent points Geeber, but even for those who have marketable skills so called “good jobs” are becoming few and far between. With regard to the welfare class I’m sure there’s a nice war we could dispose of them in if we really wanted too, but the strategic shift of wealth and capital away from the West is staggering. This will continue to create conditions were even qualified people will struggle to compete with fewer and fewer jobs. I sometimes truly wonder if this is deliberate or just the result of huge negligence in leadership, planning, diplomacy and economics.

            The more undesirables who are at least somehow employed means the less drug addicts who will attempt to carjack me or burglarize my house. Fortunately for the time being in my state we can shoot them on site if they break in, since the communists lost the state last election.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        No. The political culture of fiscal ineptitude and mismanagement is THE major factor in Detroit’s decline. That includes a welfare and insane union benefit mentality taken to illogical extremes.

        Other blue-state industrial cities (Pittsburgh comes to mind), also faced serious industrial decline challenges. But they haven’t become the burnt out warzone that is present day Detroit.

        Best of luck to Detroit’s emergency manager. Although when the day comes to make the hard fiscal choices (like voiding union contracts), he should wear a heavy kevlar vest under his suit coat.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s right, blame anyone but the Democrats who have run the city of Detroit, the Detroit Public Schools, and Wayne County.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          I realize you can’t see too far out from your tin-foil hat you’ve made RS, but the failing of Detroit has many fathers, be they Neo-Cons or Lib-Dems. Detroit has been a sore carbunkle of the loss of Middle Class blue collar work and the ineptitude of the city government since.

          When you have a city-state such as Detroit and Flint that were near totally dependant upon the American Automobile as its GDP, you’ll have the same result as those towns which were wholly dependant on the oil fields, or coal mines, or steel mills, or fabric and furniture mills, or to today with fracking making natural gas such a hellabuloo. Once those commodities are gone, the people who work there that had the means to do so, leave to find new work in other towns. Those that are left are generally not the wealthy nor the best educated.

          A car factory that hires 5000 workers going out of business does not just affect those 5000; it affects many more. In the Army, we have a logistics model of 1 Infantry Dude = 10 Who Support Him/Her. He’ll need food, shelter, clothing, ammo, vehicles, medical, communication, maintenance of the before mentioned, all the way to his mail. Its the same with a good paid factory worker. They need housing, clothing, gasoline, electricity, appliances, lunch, mail, medical, lawn care, etc. When 5000 get put out on their ass, within weeks/months/years 50,000 are the same way. Multiply that by the amount of workers over the years in Detroit that got laid off and you can do the math. There was no good, new income coming in.

          This problem is exasberated by a left-behind population whom most do not have the means to leave or the skills to transition to a different career even they could find a job in the local area. The short term survival skill is Unemployment, but that runs out. The latest trend, to the tune of 14 million Americans whom mostly live in rural areas, is to go on Disability; a trend that continues to grow. Anyone on Disability will tell you, they are required by the dept to not seek employment or they lose their benefits.

          Its a vicious cycle that festers on itself and neither political party, in Detroit, Michigan or Nationally, had managed to be able to staunch the bleeding. Blame at this juncture is irrelevant, as is your rant.

          • 0 avatar

            I was respectful to you so please, cut out the tin-foil hat disrespect.

            Also please explain the relative financial health of Detroit’s surrounding counties? Oakland county is still one of the wealthiest counties in the country.

            The only reason why you think blame is irrelevant is that you don’t want some of the shit they created to stain the Democrats.

            It’s easy to blame the decline of the US car industry for Detroit’s decline, but there were never, at least in my lifetime, a huge number of auto assembly plants inside the city limits. Off the top of my head, the only big car assembly plant closings inside the city of Detroit were the Clark Street Cadillac Plant and Dodge Main, which actually was in Highland Park> Yes, supplier plants like Fisher Body 21 closed down, but that was decades ago.

            As a Detroiter who still lives in the area, it has always seemed to me that it was the loss of small and medium sized businesses that left the city following the 1967 riots and then during the Coleman Young administration, that had a greater impact on employment than the closure of a handful of large assembly plants.

            Besides, even if those plants had not closed, due to productivity gains, they’d be employing far fewer people. An assembly plant back in the 1960s might employ 10,000 people. Today it’s closer to 2,500.

            BTW, what’s wrong with people going on disability? The people you vote for encourage people to sign up for Food Stamps and disability payments. They want us all to be beggars, dependent on the government, because beggars are far easier to placate.

          • 0 avatar
            rwb

            “BTW, what’s wrong with people going on disability? The people you vote for encourage people to sign up for Food Stamps and disability payments. They want us all to be beggars, dependent on the government, because beggars are far easier to placate.”

            This is the type of thing which justifies tinfoil hat comments.

            Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence- and the country hasn’t had a competent set of leaders in a long time. Not everyone is out to get you. Nor does everyone see the binary political divide that you do.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            Last time I checked, Detroit had been run by Democrats for decades. But, somehow, to suggest that they bear any blame whatsoever for the city’s condition qualifies one to wear a tinfoil hat.

            The same people who were running GM must be have been running Detroit and other major cities all of these years. Nothing is ever their fault…

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Agreed Geeber. Suddenly it all gets very complex and there is much blame to go around. There is a thriving automobile industry in this country, but very little of it seems to be taking place in Detroit. I wonder why? Oh well, who knows, this sort of thing just happens, I guess.

            Detroit is the absolute poster child for self-destructive unionism and corrupt statism run wild, but to some people, there is certainly no need to get all ideological about it. Watching too much faux news Geeber? Need more tinfoil for your hat Ronnie?

            We wouldn’t want to take a look at Detroit to see how catastrophic people’s precious leftist policies are when they are actually allowed to run wild, would we?

            Nope, this is a non-partisan failure that everyone is responsible for but nobody could really do anything about. Kinda like an earthquake. Oh well, what can you do? The economy is complex and dynamic. Sht happens.

            Meanwhile, the people of Detroit live like residents of a 3rd world hellhole.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Companies have been and continue to open automobile factories in the United States, but not in Detroit. Why? Blame is very relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Dolorean Old Rupert tapers his views for his Audience. Faux News is a very Ayn Rand in the US, but his other News services outside the US can be surprisingly Liberal to the point they contradict “Faux News”
            Even Rupert does not take Fox News seriously. It is a tool like his other services to increase global market share.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @freedmike-” decisions were consciously made to make crappy products”. Utterly absurd.

        LBJ’s Great Society Federal welfare programs inspire multigenerational poverty and dependence and promote fast growth of these populations. A mechanism by which this trend drives business away is by reducing the potential to make any money within areas where those populations dominate. Urban blight and high crime rates further drive those with the ability to leave to do so.

        The 1967 Riots did dramatically accelerate, if not initiate mass white flight from the city. Many, many people simply walked away from their homes and started anew in the suburbs.

        No doubt the issues that brought Detroit to this point are complex with many factors, including the decline of the D3. There is ample blame to go around.

        • 0 avatar
          oldfatandrich

          Well put, Doctor Olds. The dead dog that is the City of Detroit may be placed at the feet of Lyndon Johnson. His soul mate is the sitting President of the United States and his legacy is an ever growing culture of dependency on ever growing buffet of entitlements. As MoveOn used to say during W’s administration: if you’re not upset, you haven’t been paying attention. But don’t despair. Bismarck often remarked that God watches over fools, drunks and the United States of America.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Hopefully Bismarck’s correct as we have nothing but fools and drunks running the United States of America.

        • 0 avatar

          doc,

          Regarding “white flight”, I’m of the opinion that much of it took place before the ’67 riot and that a lot of the initial movement of whites to the suburbs had nothing to do with race. About 500,000 people moved out of Detroit before 1960, with the inner ring of suburbs being developed just as the outer ring of undeveloped land inside the city limits was itself being developed. There was a baby boom and the FA and VHA loans made it easier to have another bedroom and lot that was a bit wider and deeper. Schools weren’t a factor because Detroit public schools were pretty much world class well into the 1960s. As a matter of fact after we moved to the suburbs in 1966, my parents paid tuition to the DPS so my older sister could graduate from Henry Ford II high school where she’d been going.

          When white flight did happen it happened very quickly but it was a 1960s phenomenon. Building in the suburbs accelerated and by 1967 even suburbs nowhere near adjacent to Detroit were developed. We moved to Oak Park, a near suburb, but while my folks were shopping for houses, they looked at homes as far out as Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield.

          I lived in northwest Detroit, about a half mile south of 8 Mile Road. Our neighborhood changed from Jews and white Catholics to almost 100% black in a matter of maybe 3 or 4 years. By the end of 1965, we were the last white family not only on our block, but pretty much all the way from Outer Drive to 8 Mile.

          There was undoubtedly more white flight after the riot, particularly on the north east side of town, and Mayor Coleman Young accelerated it deliberately for political gain, but as I said above, I think the riot did more damage by driving small and medium sized businesses into the suburbs.

          Who needs to put up razor wire to protect your inventory and employees’ cars?

          • 0 avatar
            Michael500

            You said it man. You forgot about the race riots in 1943 that started it all. My (white) grandmother was killed in that one at her business in downtown Detroit. Everyone started moving out to Warren and Sterling Heights. I heard Hamtramick is all Moslem now, used to be all Polish.
            It’s not PC to say, but anyone that denies that the Liberals and Blacks ruined Detroit is a fool.

          • 0 avatar

            Michael500,

            You can’t remove race from a discussion of Detroit, but the city’s decline in the last 40 years, in particular the city government’s inability to manage the city, is due to its corrupt political power structure and how that has addressed the problems of the city not the race of its inhabitants. The problem isn’t blacks, it’s black and white liberals who practice Einstein’s definition of insanity by doing the same things over and over and expecting different, better, results.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Ronnie- You are likely to know a lot more about it than I do. Growing up well outside the Detroit metro area, my first awareness of any riots was from a newspaper headline and photo in Paris on or about my 16th birthday. It was my first overseas trip. I remember asking my dad if we would be able to get back to Metro Airport. He re-assured me that it would be all right. I pretty much went back to out-state oblivion wrt Detroit city affairs.

            Now, if you would like to know what it was like to see riot police standing shield to shield for miles on the Grand River and Michigan Ave. between East Lansing and Michigan State University, I can tell you because I lived it. Same as the car business.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ronnie you’re spot on.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      When I was there in 2007, the place looked pretty grim indeed. Hopefully the rebadged LWB Holden Police Cars can be of use.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Classic case of rewarding failure. Hopefully the new emergency manager can clean things up.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      My sentiments exactly. This would be so much different if Detroit were on the right path and needed a boost to help get there… but until the entire city leadership structure that led them to failure is jailed, killed, or otherwise removed this is good money after bad.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Right, but it’s tougher to get on the right path when your public safety personnel are hamstrung by their equipment.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Pittsburgh Police aren’t bankrupt and yet their equipment is quite lacking simply because the city is so corrupt and mismanaged (check the Internets and see whats been going on with the mayor and ex-chief… avg W-body/3900 patrol car has had at least one transmission replacement, most several, and around 100K on the clock).

          I have no doubt the police officers efforts are hampered and I’m sympathetic to police having some in my family, but its good money after bad unless you fix the root of the problem.

          Investigate/indict/remove *everyone* in a position of authority… clean sweep. Go into city liquidation, cancel all contracts, bring in Army Corps of Engineers to demolish most of the uninhabited parts of city, and deploy the National Guard to occupy key strategic positions in the city and within city leadership. Treat this as WWII occupation and begin the process of rebuilding… worked out pretty well for Germany and Japan 60 plus years on.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s more of a case of self-interest. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Quicken Loans and General Motors all have large offices in downtown Detroit and are concerned with the safety of their employees.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    The Detroit Police Department, now brought to you by Omni Consumer Products – OCP. In twenty years, we’ll have ED-209 and F#*^ING RoboCop!

    The future is now, folks, and it is not friendly.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      “The future is now..”

      Nah, that’s the past you’re looking at… unintended consequences of the Civil War.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        @FreedMike

        OK, I’ll don my FauxLiberalForCamoflageAtWork hat and express it thus:

        Unintended consequences of disrupting the antediluvian Southern system of chattel slavery and racial oppression combined with the historic post WWII migration of blacks from the South to Northern industrial jobs that would evaporate two decades after their arrival, fueled by an ineradicable Northern guilt complex stemming from that slavery and permeating all levels of national government policy from at least 1965 onward.

        How’s that for a sentence fragment?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I was waiting for that one…

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ll buy that for a dollar.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    How about more morgue space?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So here’s a question, were they all the same car or did they get a variety of vehicles? When I lived there the city needed snow removal equipment just as badly as police equipment.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    How about putting these welfare folks to work by making them clean up this city…. after all they helped make this city in the condition it is in

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good idea. Kind of a modern-day WPA. But what Detroit needs more than public works is EMPLOYERS.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, perhaps if Coleman Young’s administration wasn’t so focused on making it exceedingly clear to the white owners of small and medium businesses in the city that they weren’t welcome, there might be more employers in the city today.

        However, if you want more employers, you need a business positive attitude and since Detroit is run by Democrats and since the Democratic Party has moved left in the past 20 years, with many Democrats demonizing capitalism and the profit motive (“let’s put people over profits”), I don’t see that happening.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          They are putting the last mayor in prison for a very long time, as a matter of fact!

          Current Mayor, Bing seems like a straight shooter, but has been dealt a very bad hand. He seems to be embracing a partnership with the EFM. Time will tell.

          An interesting trend in the region is young people looking to move into the city. It has a long way to go just to be “OK” and the glory days of 1950 are unlikely to return, but at least the finances will be brought into line.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    But when will they bring in Robocop.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I think this is a decent gesture of goodwill and an implicit vote of confidence in the “receivership” which now governs the city. I think Mayor Dave Bing is a good guy, but most of the members of the city council are not . . . and one of them is going to jail right now.

    One of the basic problems this exposes — unfortunately not unique to Detroit — is that the burden of paying public employee pensions can easily precipitate a “death spiral” for a city, county or state that begins to lose tax revenue. Even a responsible government can only accomplish so much by cutting current expenses, if pensions are untouchable. If the bad news continues — people move away, tax revenues fall — you end up with a situation where the taxpayers who are left are paying mostly for retirees. Check out Vallejo, California for a good example of this. Sadly, Vallejo did go through bankruptcy . . . but only the bondholders got stiffed, not retirees.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I think Mayor Dave Bing is a good guy, but most of the members of the city council are not . . . and one of them is going to jail right now.

      I lived in Southfield and worked in Detroit from 2000 to 2002. I once wrote a letter to the editor of the Detroit News that opined that Detroit was run in a manner that would have made Boss Tweed proud.

      It was in response to a story about how at that time the city did not require Council Members to live in the area they represented. Predictably all the city council members lived in a few block radius of each other in the “nice” part of town. Guess whose trash got picked up and whose streets got cleaned first?

      The did print the letter.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    I certainly respect the efforts of the private companies to pitch in, but I’m afraid they will just find out why everyone sane is fleeing Detroit.

    Their vehicles will get vandalised, generally abused and used for private use. Their tools and spare parts in maintenance facilities will get looted, and city councillors will promptly be condemning them for not providing enough vehicles and failing to fix them as quickly as the good folks of Detroit trash them. Some of their employees in maintenance facilities will inevitably get mugged and shot.

    A noble effort, but I’m afraid they’ll just get dragged down into the swamp of dysfunction that modern Detroit has become.

  • avatar
    vcficus

    Kevin,

    That’s why they will be managed by Penske and the other donors… they’re donating USE of the vehicles, not the vehicles themselves.

    I agree 100%; I live just north of the city and they can’t take care of what they have left, let alone get new toys.

    I was sorta hoping they had sponsorship info on them too… “This police response in under 30 minutes is being brought to you by Hungry Howies!”

    • 0 avatar

      From Daniel Howes @ DetNews:

      the vehicles will be leased and maintained by a nonprofit agency. That signals the seven corporations and one foundation eager to help are led by people determined to ensure their contributions are deployed wisely and for their intended purpose — not dumped into the cash-eating maw known as the city’s bureaucracy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Leased? Smells like there’s some kind of tax shenanigans going on here. I’m not up on gov’t fleet buying but I was under the impression they buy to own and then dump the cars in order to buy more new ones for economic stimulation, or some such.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    I wonder if Toyota/Honda donated 50 Camrys/Accords, they’d be told to FOAD?

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      You ask good questions.
      That would be so Japan Inc. of Toyonda to do.
      They were pretty energetic at sponsoring university departments and giving to things like local EMT vehicle drives in their heyday. Probably still are to a diminished degree but I’ve lost track.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    At this point, you can do one of two things with Detroit.

    1 – Evacuate the place and let the Navy use it to test cruise missiles.

    2 – Evacuate the place and leave it as-is, as a monument to Marxist economic and social policies.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Why do we keep all of our failed cities and towns? We should have let New Orleans go after Katrina except for the parts high enough above sea level to survive the next Katrina. We will spend billions rebuilding all of the beach towns Sandy washed away only to have it happen again in ten years. Detroit is a man-made disaster. Maybe we should give all of its current residents a $100K and a one way ticket to the state of their choice and then bulldoze it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’ll move to Detroit now if it means I’m getting $100K of Obamanomics to then leave.

      On less sarcastic note, the decay of this city was brought on by man, if you just spread out the problem (the people) and demolish it the cancer is simply spread out to grow anew.

  • avatar

    Seems a Detroit post brings out the best in some of our commentators…

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I would like to thank those donors for buying all those Caprices thereby helping support the jobs of the Australian factory workers in Adelaide.

  • avatar
    Ben T Spanner

    Detroit is the only city that uses retired taxi cabs as police cars

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Now that the Taurus has returned as the basis for the new Ford Police Interceptor, I finally feel as if the Robocop prophecy has completely come completely true.

    If you’ll all turn to the gospel of Robocop 2, you’ll recall the mayor readily engaged in corruption and the city of Detroit went bankrupt. The last of the 4 horsemen!


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