Joseph Stiglitz Looks at the Many Economic, Social, and Political Forces at Work in the Collapse of Detroit

He has a very good piece on NYT’s Opinionator blog, part of their excellent series, “The Great Divide.”

Corrupt and inept local government didn’t help, and the auto barons’ refusal to change with the times and the markets in the 1970s (heck, they’re STILL cranking out cars like the kind they made in 1967), giving Japan and Germany a huge opportunity in the U.S. market certainly contributed to the loss of vitality of the city’s main industry.

But it wasn’t greedy unions or the city’s low-income residents who caused this implosion, even though they are the targets of the attack. There are deep tides that started moving decades ago that have pulled the city down.

I personally have little optimism any of this will matter. The banks and other creditors will prevail, and who already have little left to lose will lose it.



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