Honk if you like living in a city run into the ground by Democrats and their Government Class voting wards. Or flee in terror, as the case may be.
Welcome now to Detroit, the last stop in the municipal welfare express. It’s what happens when all the money runs out and anyone who works for a living flees living behind a vast unionized skeleton of municipal services and people who are too lazy to go somewhere else until the whole city burns down.
In other cities, bankruptcy would be a worst case scenario. But in Detroit, it doesn’t even make the Top 10 list.
If you suddenly found yourself gravely ill, injured or even shot, would you call 911? Many people here say the answer is no. Some laugh at the odds of an ambulance appearing promptly, if ever. In Detroit, people map out alternative plans instead, enlisting a relative or a friend.
Being shot is not exactly an unusual event in Detroit.
The Detroit police’s average response time to calls for the highest-priority crimes this year was 58 minutes, officials now overseeing the city say. The department’s recent rate of solving cases was 8.7 percent, far lower, the officials acknowledge, than clearance rates in cities like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and St. Louis.
Gun control. It really works.
The prospect of a bankruptcy filing — a move that is extremely rare for cities and one that has never happened to an American city as populous as Detroit, with about 700,000 people — worries some residents. They say they fear that bankruptcy would add more stigma to a city that has contracted alarmingly in the decades since it was the nation’s fourth largest, starting in the 1920s, and that it might worsen already bare-bones services.
I don’t think anything could really add more stigma to Detroit. If the whole place was overrun by mutant toxic slime molds from outer space, most people would just shrug. Eh, it’s Detroit.
“Bankruptcy scares me,” said LaTanya Boyce, a nurse practitioner. She urges her patients to treat health concerns before they become acute because, she said, “if they find themselves calling 911, it’s probably too late.”
Much like it’s too late for Detroit.
Ms. Boyce goes to the park for exercise, wearing a fanny pack that at times contains a gun — “Do you see any city police here?” — and bemoaning several locked restrooms that have portable toilets planted in front of them.
“I would love to see it leased to the state,” she said of the park. “They’d take better care.”
Because a system run by a Republican and consisting of voters who are less representative of Detroit would actually do a better job of running Detroit.
There have been times in 2013, the authorities acknowledge, when only 10 to 14 of Detroit’s 36 ambulances have actually been in service. Some of the city’s emergency medical service vehicles have as many as 300,000 miles on them, so they tend to break down.
All this helps explain why Mr. Ponder said he, as so many here, would try to get himself to a hospital before seeking help from Detroit.
“If you have a heart attack, you’re dead,” he said. “There is no such thing around here as ‘in case of emergency.’ ”
All of Detroit is a case of emergency.
An independent authority is already planning to take control of the city’s streetlights, 40 percent of which, Mr. Orr’s office said, were not working in recent months. Similar handoffs are being weighed for the water and sewer services, and possibly more.
But… but privatization is evil. It prevents cities from being run by competent democratically appointed officials who turn it into utopias. Like Detroit.
“People almost feel like the city goes on in spite of city government.”