January 27, 2006
A tale of two cities: Detroit and Washington
Within the beltway, Detroit’s troubles are overshadowed by the unfolding Abramoff congressional bribery scandal. Washington’s reaction seems along the lines of a Detroit fixer’s: attack the problem, not with downsizing this time, but by upsizing the rules that limit what kinds of money can legally be given by lobbyists.
Fixes, like the ones being tossed out daily by both Republicans and Democrats, tend to inspire more creative ways to work around them. A real measure of progress would be draining the swamp: using equivalent creativity to remove the need for money by political campaigners.
Detroit, if it is to move forward, has to start building cars people need and want to buy. Easier to say than do, but it is far from impossible, though it’s unclear the road to this kind of growth will be paved with downsizings and cutbacks.