Felix Salmon bucked the conventional wisdom in the middle of his post today on a hypothetical federal bailout of the city of Detroit:
Over the long term, there are good reasons to be bullish on Detroit. North America is becoming increasingly urban, which should benefit all of its cities. Michigan, more broadly, is one of the few parts of the world which will see a real benefit from global climate change, and it needs a healthy Detroit to thrive. To the city’s east and west, both Toronto and Chicago are booming, and in general the big US border cities — Seattle, Detroit, maybe Buffalo — can’t help but benefit from Canada’s continued oil-fueled expansion.
As usual with FS, the whole post is worth a read.
One of his commenters made another shrewd point you occasionally hear from the locals like Jack Lessenberry, though sadly it will fall on deaf ears:
(T)he broader region (of metro Detroit)… is in much better shape… Rather than figuring out a way to throw more dollars at the city, why not try to integrate the city into the richer areas of the region? To me, political (and thus tax base) consolidation is a much more sustainable solution.
It is apparently quite easy for observers from other parts of the country, when they talk about Detroit, to forget that it now holds less than a sixth of the population of its entire metropolitan area, far less than a sixth of its wealth, and an even smaller share of the region’s automotive jobs.