federal default

So what can we do?

Oct 16, 2013

Last night I spoke to a group in Northville, a pleasant and mostly affluent little town that straddles Wayne and Oakland Counties. Northville is about 30 miles and thirty light years from Detroit, but my audience wanted to know about the city. Wanted to know how Detroit got in the mess it is in, and what was going to happen next.

They all seemed to hope the city would come back, that someday it would be prosperous again. When I asked, I found that perhaps eighty percent used to live in Detroit; only one does now, which was one more than I expected.

They were people with varying opinions, but with good will. Besides Detroit, they were interested in the dysfunctionality and corruption of Wayne County government. I gave them as much information about the facts as I could.

But then one person, and then another, and another, asked me questions I couldn’t answer, questions along the lines of:  What can we do? What can we do about all this? How do we fix it? What can ordinary people, do?

Project Hope

State officials are hoping for the best when it comes to the federal shutdown and potential default on its debt.

But they're preparing for the worst.  State agencies have been told to submit contingency plans to the budget office by next week.

The worst-case scenario is pretty grim.  

Food banks could quickly be overwhelmed if the 1.6 million people getting food assistance in Michigan lose their benefits, and tens of thousands of people on unemployment are cut off from their checks.