The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Detroit:
Future City for the Wealthy

Jan 21, 2013

In glowing terms, with dozens of beautifully colored maps, the mayor’s commission describes a marvelous city their plan can create – in 50 years.

But in the short term, the next five years, the plan envisions something else entirely.

Move people out of some areas. The land people are “encouraged to leave” is to be turned over to industrial farms, industry, and to warehousing. The plan proposes to push working people out of other areas of the city, transforming those areas into residential areas for the wealthy.

Hand over public lighting to private industry. In a city where more than 40% of the lights don’t work today, the commission’s plan envisions even fewer working lights: less than half of today’s total. The areas working people live in will be darker still.

Hand over the sewer and water departments to private industry. Detroit water and sewage rates are among the lowest in the country – today. Bring in for-profit businesses to run them, rates will go up, as they have in other cities that privatized these functions.

Privatize the public transit system. The city already beat them to it, giving the buses this year to a for-profit company to run. We’ve seen what that means: fares went up, bus routes were cut, waits for buses became worse.

“Deregulate city inspections.” No longer will there be even a slap on the wrist when businesses run roughshod over the population.

This is not a plan to improve the city for its population. It’s a plan to finish handing over what remains of the city to the wealthy class that looks on the city as its personal bank account.