Detroit has become the bailout

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  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    Greed (unions), incompetence (banks lending money irresponsibly) and corruption (Detroit's leaders) would be a good place to start. One can add ignorance for any entity, from Enron to the city of Detroit, that does not fully fund their pension plan each year. When working people fall prey to their leaders it is a sad day, indeed. With that history, it will be difficult to convince the rest of the country to subsidize their madness.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 22, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    To "Roland Kayser" and why did they go overseas or simply leave the Detroit area? Please tell us why a manufacturer would want to leave an area or country where labor is very expensive, corporate taxes are high, and regulations cos you millions per year?

    To "marxist" you realize that the modern Union does little to nothing to make things safer. Since the Federal government started OSHA, the Unions are doing nothing for safety, the Feds took that over. So, what do Unions do besides allow for inefficient labor and cumbersome rules for employers?

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    to Mike Richards on July 20th

    "As far as I've heard, the government has not yet seized Google's Gmail."

    Do the letters N S A mean anything?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    I find it ironic that many of the same people who continue to attack Salt Lake City and the LDS Church for its downtown City Creek project are the first to stand and applaud whenever the government "bails out" places like Detroit.

    Meanwhile, the overall economy of Salt Lake City and the state of Utah continues to flourish, while places like Detroit are drowning in debt.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 21, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    I suggest someone google Detroit Decay and take a look of the myriad of videos made about the state of Detroit. Not only was Robocop prophetic, it didn't go far enough in painting Detroit beyond awful. Save Detroit. It's beyond savable. Not even Robocop could save this place.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 21, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    GM stock is rated a strong buy. That was last Friday. From the NY times. Chrysler operates the only factory left within the boundaries of Detroit. The factory is operating at full capacity producing Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos. Both vehicles are Consumer Reports recommended. Due to union concessions entry level wages are have been reduced a realistic $16.00 an hour. Detroit collects $12 million in annual property taxes from Chrysler. The sky is not falling. Bankruptcy is the only option left for Detroit. Isn't that what Romney wanted for GM and Chrysler.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    This is an important time in US history to see if we can come together and rescue one of America's great cities. There is tremendous opportunities to rebuild Detroit and make it, once again, a great city. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see start-up companies or large tech companies invest in rebuilding this city. I hear there are over 80,000 vacant buildings that could be bought and refurbished to house new companies.
    A successful rebuild of Detroit would be a successful rebuild of Detroit. Is it a pipe dream? Perhaps. Can it be done? With hard work--absolutely!

    Let's stop arguing about what is the cause of this great city's demise. Instead, let's come together to rebuild it. If we come together, work together, stop finder pointing, and work hard, we can make American cities great again.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2013 1:58 a.m.

    @wrz "For example, Toyota manufactures very fine vehicles with no labor unions." But if it were not for the possibility or threat of unionization those Toyota workers in the old Confederacy would have lower wages and worse work rules than they have, not that you would be concerned wrz.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    July 21, 2013 12:45 a.m.

    @Virginians for BYU:
    "He might as well say... Humans Breathe air..... Rabbits breathe air... That means humans and rabbits are the same thing..."

    That are the same thing... animals.

    "It is embarrassing for the United states to have such a large city declare bankruptcy."

    What's embarrassing is that no one will admit the real reason for the bankruptcy... Not even the folks who live there... it's called UAW. Obama won't say because Democrats need the union vote.

    My only hope is that the courts will stick to their guns and continue to deny the bankruptcy. Otherwise we the taxpayers will have to foot the bill... yet again.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    July 21, 2013 12:06 a.m.

    "The downfall of the auto industry is the main cause of Detroit's downfall..."

    Yes, but you need to finish the story and tell us about the downfall of the auto industry. I'll help you... The American auto industry fell because of greedy unions... Unions insisting on obscene wages and fringe benefits. That worked fairly well for them until foreign auto manufacturers began to compete. And compete they did. For example, Toyota manufactures very fine vehicles with no labor unions... and they do it right here in the good ole US of A.

  • Virginians for BYU Lebanon, MO
    July 20, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    It is pretty clear that the associations the letter writer tries to create have serious flaws. He might as well say... Humans Breathe air..... Rabbits breathe air... That means humans and rabbits are the same thing... It is embarassing for the United states to have such a large city declare bankruptcy. I can't say that I feel our federal goverment has been doing a better job of managing the piggy bank than Detroit.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 20, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Of course I typed GM, but, my iPad made its own executive decision and decided that what I really wanted to type was Gmail. (I'm perfectly capable of making my own typos without any assistance from the iPad or smartphone.) As far as I've heard, the government has not yet seized Google's Gmail.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 20, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    If you were a GMAIL or Chysler stock holder, you got " nothing". The government seized your assets and gave them to the unions and to Canada. It doesn't matter that the last clause of the 5th Amendment prohibits taking our property without compensation, Obama did it anyway.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 20, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    The demise of Detroit has been decades in the making, but of course it's Obama's fault.

    No doubt an extinction causing meteor would be blamed on his alteration of the earth's gravitational field caused by his messianic ego.

    Partisan spiked kool aid anyone?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    July 20, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Greedy unions caused the problem. They insisted that people be paid more than they were worth. They insisted on pensions that were not funded. They insisted that the quality didn't matter. Japan showed them. Korea showed them. Germany showed them.


    You meant to say:
    Greedy Union Workers in Socialist nation like Japan, Korea and Germany should us!

    BTW -
    As we all recall,
    Mitt Romney wrote a letter entitled:

    "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
    Nov 18, 2008.

    I guess he got his wish...

  • SLars Provo, UT
    July 20, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since 1962.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    The wages and benefits paid workers in Detroit and at least 20 other major "rust belt" cities were begun in WWII. When wages were frozen, the employers offered fringe benefits to keep their workers. The trend continued for 30 years until the mid seventies. The slide in quality and tone deafness to what the public wanted to buy gave the Japanese the opening they needed. In order to keep the stock price up company after company lower costs to compete. Moving production to other countries became the "easy way" to profits instead of improving quality and offering a product to compete with Japan. Millions of workers who had but a high school diploma were unable to replace the jobs they lost when the manufacturing moved elsewhere. The "American" companies still existed, they just built the economies of other Countries but the profits came back here until they figured out ways to keep those away from taxation.

    Net result: If you are a stockholder, you reaped huge benefits. If you are a worker, you paid the piper. Now when you have no job, no house, no health ins. and no retirement, they want to cut food stamps. Pathetic.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Is Reid suggesting that Detroit's problems are some kind of divine retribution for voting against Mitt Romney? Wow! This is the same Mitt Romney who said about the auto industry that we should let them fail? Can you imagine how much worse Detroit and Michigan would be if Chrysler and GM had gone under? Though not out of the woods yet, both are recording quarterly profits.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    July 20, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Geez, Mr Swensen, it was the Mitt's of the world that chased our manufacturing base from our shores so a few could reap more profits. George Romney saved a company(AMC) but his son has done the opposite. By the way, Governor Rick Snyder took over Detroit and a year ago and tried to run it like GM. Maybe regressive policy doesn't work for government. Do you think?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    "...Those who listened to those lies now live in a ghost town. Where's Obama now? " As a socialist I was not too keen on the GM and Chrysler bailouts, because I saw them as band aids and favoring the capitalist class. But, fact is, without them Detroit wouldn't be there at all. Another example if the bias of an Obama hater.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 20, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Thanks for the reminder that Michigan, the state where Mitt Romney grew up, voted against him. You may also recall that the state where Mitt served in public office, Massachusetts, also voted against him. In other words, the two states best acquainted with Mitt Romney voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Perhaps there's a message there.

    For what it's worth, I liked George Romney and very much appreciated his honest statement on Vietnam.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    July 20, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Thanks Ultra Bob, great idea!

    So I used the Internet and gained greater insight into this letter writer. In 1988, Reid Swenson, wrote into this very paper making the case that Reagan would be the perfect Vice President to Bush I. He states, although the Constitution limits the terms a President can serve (as President) to 2 terms it does not limit the number of times he can serve as VP. In other words, he's making the case for a Monarchy under the guise of "Democracy."

    Knowing this about this author, we should most definitely take his letter today with a "grain of salt."

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 20, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    GM is underwater - still.

    Forbes reported on August 15, 2012: "President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.

    Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday."

    GM stock is currently running at $36.89. Obama can't sell GM without taking a huge loss. It's not his money, it's our money. He didn't pay the police and teacher unions who invested in GM stock when he seized it to pay the auto unions. He doesn't care who gets hurt financially. He didn't care about the police unions and the teacher unions who were sold out.

    Apparently, many posters don't care about those people, those workers who were cheated out of their pensions.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 20, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    For greater insight into the Detroit failure, see the internet.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    July 20, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    I must be a really pathetic History major because... I don't get this letter...

    Soooooo Detroit was a humming industrial center UP UNTIL this past election? What happened to over half of its population? Remember now, in the 50s it was a huge city with 2 million residents. All of this happened because of not voting for Mitt?

    Because Detroit didn't vote for Mitt Romney they are all being punished? Huh? What about those red states who are stuck on welfare and food stamps? Why aren't they being rewarded for voting for Romney?

    What does Mitt Romney have to do with anything? He lost the election. It's over! I voted for him but he lost. I don't understand why we keep rehashing this. Lets move on!

    Furthermore, what was Mitt going to do to save a city? I don't get it... Slash pensions? Now where in the Constitution does it give the President the right to intervene like that? Was he going to pass a stimulus package? For one city? Why would the GOP support that? Was he going to lower/raise taxes for Detroit? Again, how?

    Please help this History major understand this letter.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 20, 2013 10:21 a.m.


    Reid, your patriotism is just oozing from your letter.

    Nothing shouts, "I Love America" more than cheering the demise of one of the greatest cities this country has ever seen. Gone, the picture of American prosperity and happiness. Destroyed, the industry that powered America throughout the 20th century.

    It's so sad to me how folks like this letter writer would rather have their political party score points than to actually help America.

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    July 20, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Blaming the econimic problems of Detroit on failure to vote for Mitt Romney is ridicolous. You conveniently forget to mention the other Republicans and Democrats who served as Governor of Michigan since George W. Romney. You also fail to mention the other Republican and Democratic Presidents since George W. Romney served as Michigan Governor.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Uh... you wanted the President (Romney) to get involved in city level gov't? That seems very non-small gov't. Actually, considering the emergency manager law passed by the Republicans at the state level, that would be par for the course in Michigan.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    July 20, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I'm not sure I understand the political partisanship and triumphalism by some on this news. George Romney was governor of the state when the US auto industry was the symbol of American economic power. That hasn't been true in decades, and Detroit's fortunes are inextricably linked to its decline. Detroit's failure is its inability to diversify and remake its economy like Pittsburgh did after the collapse of the steel industry.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    July 20, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    @mike richards. Greedy unions? That is laughable. What about greedy executives and Wall Street?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Per Reid..."I couldn't help but think of how Detroit and Michigan had recently voted against George Romney's son, Mitt,..."

    Did you forgot (conveniently??) about Mitt's lack of empathy and loyalty towards his "hometown" Though, Ernest has summed it up well.

    To Mike R

    And how are those 2 car companies doing now?

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    You have confirmed Detroit's "good judgment" in rejecting Romney. They have used that same good judgment to run themselves into bankruptcy. Margaret Thatcher said it, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Detroit found this out and although the far left still in denial, it will come to them as it has come to Greece, Spain, Italy and some US cities.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 20, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Let Obama tell us how he saved Detroit by seizing two car companies. Let him tell us how he plundered the assets of police and teacher union pension funds to pay off the union workers. Let him tell us how, because of him, Detroit would not fail.

    Greedy unions caused the problem. They insisted that people be paid more than they were worth. They insisted on pensions that were not funded. They insisted that the quality didn't matter. Japan showed them. Korea showed them. Germany showed them.

    Those who listened to those lies now live in a ghost town. Where's Obama now? Why isn't he taking credit for Detroit's bankruptcy? He showed us that private assets mean nothing to him. Why doesn't he vacation in Detroit? At least that way, Detroit would get the $100,000 an hour that it costs when he vacations like a king and watches the paupers suffer.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 20, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Detroit saw Romney for what he is. That is why they did not vote for him.
    Want to see out of control poverty? Let Reaganomics continue to destroy the 90% of the country. Let the Koch brothers get away with whatever they want. That is when you'll see the US follow Detroit's path.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 20, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    I'm afraid the connection you're trying to make is really spurious.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    July 20, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    This letter would be relevant if there was any evidence, at all, that Mitt Romney was anything like his father when it comes to political understanding of our nations problems. George Romney would be drummed out of the Republican Party today and his compassionate service at Housing and Urban Development is in direct opposition to Republican platform positions. The downfall of the auto industry is the main cause of Detroit\'s downfall but it's not the only one. The mismanagement of General Motors and their lack of creativity in meeting the demands of the public is what caused problems for GM. It has NOTHING to do with how the voted in the last election.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 20, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    The plight of Detroit is nothing new or unusual or not typical of what is happing all across America. The special interest groups in control of our government(s) have systematically robbed the taxpayer for public works beyond the need and affordability of the taxpayer. This would include the over building and under usage of public transportation systems, public buildings, stadiums, theatres, zoo’s and a very long list of business scams.

    Then when the money runs out, they blame the workers and their unions.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 20, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    That's right. When American industry abandons an area and ships the jobs overseas it's the fault of the people who live there. Also, George Romney would be considered a raging liberal RINO by today's tea party folks.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    July 20, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Detroit has gone down hill because of politicians undermining our manufacturing sector and the high paying jobs that came them. More specifically it appears the republicans will not stop the attack on the middle class until we all work for Walmart wages.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    July 20, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    Ironic that anyone from Utah, the bankruptcy center of the nation, would criticize Detroit for trying to solve its financial problems through bankruptcy.

    By the way, the word is "sown," (as in planting seed), not "sewn" (as in stitching a garment).