The Spark

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

Pitting the DIA against Detroit Retirees

Jan 20, 2014

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, and a federal mediator announced a plan to “save” the Detroit Institute of Arts and City of Detroit retiree pensions. Nine foundations would put up 330 million dollars, and the state would add 350 million dollars.

But the money doesn’t come without strings attached. The DIA would have to come up with 100 million dollars of its own money to make it happen; money the art museum, of course, doesn’t currently have. In addition, the city-owned museum would be turned over to a non-profit organization.

The implied threat in the “grand bargain” is that if the DIA doesn’t fork over the dough, the choice is between city worker pensions and the DIA’s art.

This is how the politicians, the judges and the media frame the question. None mentions the handouts taken from city tax rolls by corporations such as GM, Ford, and Compuware and real estate developers like Dan Gilbert, Max Fisher, and Al Taubman or the crooked loan swindles carried out by the banks against the city.

Hands off retiree pensions AND the DIA art! Make the corporations and the banks pay!