eric scorsone

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As the city of Detroit swiftly works its way through bankruptcy court there are some bright spots on the horizon. The state of Michigan, foundations and corporations are contributing millions of dollars to shore up city pensions and protect art held by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Mayor Mike Duggan is making strides to alleviate blight across the city. However, even in a best case scenario, what issues and challenges will the city continue to face even after the bankruptcy proceedings conclude?

Jennifer White, host of All Things Considered, speaks with Michigan State University Economist Eric Scorsone about the challenges facing the city of Detroit and the key systemic issues that the city must address.

Scorsone emphasizes that although there has been some recovery in the city, the challenges of the high unemployment rate, the big differences in the Detroit labor market when it comes to earnings of city residents compared to non-residents, upgrading the skill levels of city residents and the creation of jobs are issues that no one individual will be able to resolve alone, and will require cooperation from many agencies and non-profit organizations.

According to Scorsone, blight removal is an important step, but it is not necessarily the final solution. There needs to be major changes when it comes to land designated for certain uses such as housing, and stabilizing certain neighborhoods is imperative to the city’s future health. 

Listen to the full interview above.

--Omar Saadeh

Michigan State University

The latest Michigan community to fall into financial collapse is the tiny half-square mile community of Royal Oak Township, in Oakland County.

Late last month, Gov. Rick Snyder confirmed a financial emergency existed in Royal Oak Township. That cleared the way for action under Michigan's overhauled emergency manager act, PA 436.

What's happened in Royal Oak Township illustrates the changes and options available under PA 436 after voters rejected the previous emergency manager law in November 2012. We wondered if other communities can learn cautionary lessons from the financial troubles of Royal Oak Township.

Eric Scorsone, municipal finance expert from Michigan State University, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

No matter who is commenting or offering expert opinion on the Detroit bankruptcy, everyone seems to agree on the fact that this is "uncharted territory." And that's about all they can agree on.

Take the speed of the bankruptcy: you can find experts who predict a slow, tortuous process. And just as easily, you'll find predictions that Kevyn Orr will move this bankruptcy faster than anyone expects.

And, did Kevyn Orr and Governor Snyder have any other options to help Detroit back to financial stability?

And what does this all mean for other cities in Michigan and the state's economy?

So many questions, so many opinions. That's why we were very glad to welcome into the studio Eric Scorsone, economist with Michigan State University and an expert on the ins and outs of government finances.

Listen to the full interview above.

There's money to be made around the passion for Michigan football at Michigan Stadium.
Anthony Gattine / Flickr

The city of Detroit continues to try to find a way out of its fiscal crisis.

A new report led by Michigan State University economist, Eric Scorsone, examines the impact of a bankruptcy on the city – something Governor Snyder, the legislature and the city leaders want to avoid.