Monday, April 9, 2012

Stalled in Detroit

Like a lot of cities, Detroit is paying pensions, entitlements and salaries far larger than it can afford. It has borrowed as much as it can, and now it is on the verge of bankruptcy, and takeover by a CFO appointed by the state with the authority to re-negotiate (sounds like a euphemism for "cut") labor contracts.

The mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, has seemed keen to negotiate a “consent agreement” between the city and the state. But the unions and their representatives on the city council have been dragging their feet.

It is easy to see why. By delaying, the unions keep earning generous pensions, entitlements and salaries while the city goes deeper and deeper into debt.

I feel for the mayor: it is tough to bargain with an opponent that has no incentive to settle.

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