Original Reporting

Original Reporting | | Urban Policy
What if success for Detroit were no longer defined as avoiding bankruptcy or a takeover by a state-appointed emergency manager? What if there were a way for Detroit to do better than, as one local official put it, “limp along for the next 10 or 20 years”? As it happens, there do appear to be approaches available that could yield a thriving city and region. But experts stress that those approaches would require policy makers at all levels of government to put aside rigid, one-dimensional narratives of causes for the city's decline, and to reckon with sharing the huge cost of a reconstruction program done right.More
Original Reporting | | Corporate influence, Globalization, Labor
In attempting to promote “insourcing” by American companies, the Obama Administration has embraced the report of a private consulting firm that asserts that gains in “competitiveness” can only be maintained with policies that have yielded lower wages and weak unions. The President praised business leaders who have brought jobs home for their patriotism, but experts suggested that businesses were simply looking at their bottom line.More
Original Reporting | | History, Race, Urban Policy
The failure to establish effective regional policy in the Detroit metro area can primarily be attributed to a long history of racial antagonism between the city and its many suburbs. Suburban residents — overwhelmingly white — viewed any attempts at regionalism as an effort to “steal” their tax dollars to subsidize the largely black city. For their part, African American officials in Detroit saw regionalism as an attempt to dilute their newly won political power. According to historians and experts, this narrow perspective on both sides of the issue doomed farsighted and mutually beneficial regional efforts from the start.More
Original Reporting | | History, Role of government, Urban Policy
Contrary to the school of thought that treats Detroit’s decline as inevitable, there were several opportunities to enact broad, regional approaches that, many experts say, could have substantially mitigated Detroit’s decline and may even have prevented it. Largely due to long-standing antipathy between the city and its suburbs, however, all were squandered. The result: the Detroit metropolitan area has remained one of the most polarized, fragmented, and segregated regions in the country, and many of the drivers of Detroit’s decline continue unabated.More
Original Reporting | | Alternative models, Quality of life, Urban Policy
In attempting to solve Detroit’s short-term cash flow problems, city officials want to layoff between 1,000 and 2,300 workers, reducing already-shriveled municipal services still further. But the long-term structural problems that brought Detroit to this point — a massive loss of population, an eroding tax base, and isolation from the rest of the region — remain unaddressed, and the short-term solutions will likely exacerbate the long-term problems. That stark reality has left many experts and advocates wondering whether local, regional, and state officials have set a drastically low bar for the city, abandoning altogether any hope that Detroit can become an integrated part of the larger, regional economy, and share in the gains its suburbs have made in recent decades.More
Original Reporting | | Alternative models, Labor
The big three German automakers — BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen — each produce vehicles not only in Germany, but also in “transplant” factories in the U.S. The former are characterized by high wages and high union membership; the U.S. plants pay lower wages and are located in so-called “right-to-work” states. It turns out that “inevitability” has nothing to do with the differing conditions; the salient difference is that, in Germany, the automakers operate within an environment that precludes a race to the bottom; in the U.S., they operate within an environment that encourages such a race.More
Original Reporting | | Taxes
If you have an adjusted gross income of $1.8 million, for example, and file a joint tax return, New York's Andrew Cuomo has engineered annual tax savings for you of $27,280 in future years.More
Original Reporting | | Immigration
Offered the opportunity to describe in extended interviews how immigration to the United States should ideally be regulated, representatives of three prominent pro-immigration organizations painted a broad picture of a much-liberalized ongoing system (above and beyond a "road to legalization"), but did not set forth any concrete limitations to apply.More