[Ed. – White privilege strikes again.]
Detroit is the largest city ever to seek bankruptcy protection, so its bankruptcy is seen as a potential model for other American cities now teetering on the edge.
But Detroit is really a model for how wealthier and whiter Americans escape the costs of public goods they would otherwise share with poorer and darker Americans.
Judge Steven Rhodes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is now weighing Detroit’s plan to shed $7 billion of its debts and restore some $1.5 billion of city services by requiring various groups of creditors to make sacrifices.
Among those being asked to sacrifice are Detroit’s former city employees, now dependent on pensions and health care benefits that the city agreed years before to pay. Also taking a cut: investors who bought $1.4 billion worth of bonds the city issued in 2005.
Both groups said the cuts unfairly burden them. Under the plan, the 2005 investors emerge with little or nothing, and Detroit’s retirees have their pensions cut 4.5%, lose some health benefits, and do without cost-of-living adjustments.
No one knows whether Rhodes will accept or reject the plan. But one thing is for certain: A very large and prosperous group close by won’t sacrifice a cent — the mostly white citizens of neighboring Oakland County.