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« To paraphrase one of our previous presidents: It all depends on the what the meaning of the word "smidgin" is | Main | "California High-Speed Rail—the Critics' Case" »

July 14, 2014

Good Lord, people, don't you know that these are . . . *public goods*?!

Everyone know the private sector can't supply these efficiently. It's, it's . . . impossible! 

/Sarcasm off.

Whether or not they’re expecting to profit, Gilbert and other capitalists — large and small — are trying to rebuild the city, even stepping in and picking up some duties that were once handled by the public sector. Shop owners around the city are cleaning up the blighted storefronts and public spaces around them. Only 35,000 of Detroit’s 88,000 streetlights actually work, so some owners are buying and installing their own. In Gilbert’s downtown, a Rock Ventures security force patrols the city center 24 hours a day, monitoring 300 surveillance cameras from a control center. Gilbert is proposing to pay $50 million for the land beneath the county courthouse and a partly built jail near his center-city casino, with the intention of moving the municipal buildings to a far-off neighborhood; his goal is to clear the way for an entertainment district that flows south, without interruption, from the sports arenas past his casino and into downtown. Detroit’s new mayor, Mike Duggan, told me he had no problem with the private sector doing so much to shape his city: Other metropolises had their entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed magnates who built and bought and financed things. With a state-appointed emergency manager overseeing various aspects of Detroit’s operations, with many civic services inoperable for years and with a dire need for investment, Duggan said he felt lucky that his town was getting its turn.

While the jury is still very much out, there is much potential good news in "The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit".



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Living next door to Detroit and having many current and former students from Detroit, I'm convinced that not too much good will happen until a) about 400,000 of the <700,000 current residents lose their angry "You owe us because . . ." mindset *and* b) the city makes sweeping changes to how new, small businesses are regulated.
I don't see either one happening any time soon.

And I'm not too sure about a very large subculture that apparently sees nothing wrong with the violence in the city now.

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