October 3, 2014

Grand Bargain or Grand Scam

The proposed Grand Bargain misuses the assets stored at the DIA and owned by the city. The art should be sold and better utilized for the future prosperity of the city and ultimately its citizens. The reasons given for the need to keep the art intact is summed up by Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation:

"It is an inseparable part of the city's history, It clearly generates enormous international attention to the city's standing as a place of cultural importance...And it is one of those sort of defining institutions of Detroit life."

No doubt this is true, however if the purpose of the Grand Bargain is to save the city, and not just the DIA, the question not asked is whether there is a better use of the funds tied up in art at the DIA that would better add to the quality of life of the city's residents. Orr and his army of experts seem to have lost track of the purpose of Chapter 9 bankruptcy; save the city and make it a better place to live for its residents.

Assets are generally owned to better the life of the owners. How is the life of the citizens of Detroit improved by giving away the art that it owns and getting very little in return?

Detroit will not recover if the city does not grow its middle class and the middle class is not going to grow and prosper without better schools. The Detroit Public Schools is the asset never discussed during the bankruptcy because it is a separate government entity not directly controlled or owned by the city. The Detroit Red Wings new arena was discussed, even though it is owned by a private party, but no time was spent on the discussion of the importance of DPS.

How can Governor Snyder and Kevyn Orr justify giving away assets owned by the city, which could have a value of up to $10 billion, when there is so much to do to turn the city around? Before giving away these assets it seems logical that the city understand exactly what the assets are worth. Kevyn Orr on the witness stand stated an appraisal of all the art was never completed. It seems logical that before surrendering anything of value one would want to understand what one is giving away. One could make the argument the decision makers got too focused on their desire to save the DIA and lost focus on the objective of Chapter 9 bankruptcy; save the city and optimize its future for the benefit of its present and future citizens.

1 comment:

  1. The best way to destroy Detroit, and America for that matter, is to compete with their workers.

    Premium education in Detroit would foil that plan.

    ReplyDelete