Still wondering why on earth Detroit is spending $283 million on a Red Wings hockey arena when the city is literally bankrupt? Perhaps it’s in part to earn articles that begin like this Associated Press article from Saturday:
It may be too broke to pay its bills or even respond to 911 calls on time, but Detroit is still thinking big.
The rest of it goes on to give the usual he-said-she-said that articles of this type specialize in — some people say it’ll revitalize the inner city, others say it’s too risky a gamble — but never once attempts to analyze what else the city could be doing with the money, or indeed, what else the city is scrimping on in bankruptcy that could be helping the city to recover. (I’m guessing that answering 911 calls might help encourage those all-important 25-to-34-year-olds to move downtown.) So long as pouring money into massive construction projects is termed “thinking big” — and paying schoolteachers or residents’ pension benefits is not — local elected officials are going to continue to be susceptible to the edifice complex.