Hammering the EM law


Thomas Stephens, a progressive attorney who works for the Detroit City Council’s Research & Analysis Division, has just posted a long, scathing piece on the web site of the lefty publication CounterPunch.

Titled “Detroit’s New Bankster Plutocracy,” the biting commentary, among other things, takes local mainstream media to task for failing to provide any meaningful critical analysis of the historic changes to municipal governance now under way in Detroit and a handful of other cities across the state. (A plutocracy, by the way, is a society ruled by the wealthy.)

Stephens, in part, has this to say about the appointment of bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s emergency manger (as well as the selection of his former firm, Jones Day, to oversee the city’s restructuring) and the potential outcome of the takeover engineered by Gov. Rick Snyder:

consider how little (practically zero) critical attention is focused either by dominant corporate media or prestigious intellectual elites on the extremely poor track record and policy ‘fit’ between the one-man corporate ‘emergency’ rule policy, and successful community revitalization, economic development and social progress.  In short, while an ‘emergency manager’ like Orr can slash spending and balance the municipal government budget, and may be able to negotiate credit extensions with Jones Day’s Wall Street clients (on favorable terms to creditors), he will then leave behind a community wracked by poverty, racism, crime, and looted infrastructure, with an eviscerated social capital and political leadership as a direct result of the state’s brutal, anti-democratic takeover.  Corporate media are blissfully untroubled by such elementary calculations of cost, benefit and agency.”

You can find the entire piece online here. If you are looking for the sort of thoughtful, well-documented lefty analysis, that is largely absent from local media, this is as good a place as any to start.


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