“I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there was certainly to be a second act to New York’s boom days,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. It’s a good thing he wasn’t talking about Detroit.
Until the city’s politicos treat its humble entrepreneurs with the same respect they show big investors, Motown’s second act will never arrive.
Detroit just became the biggest city to file for bankruptcy in America.
Many people are hoping that bankruptcy, the largest of its kind on U.S. soil, will give Detroit another chance. But that’ll remain wishful thinking until Detroit reverses its backward economic strategy.
Every mayor for the last two decades has tried to jump-start Detroit by reviving its crumbling downtown. In the 1990s, Dennis Archer erected stadiums and casinos. His successor, Kwame Kilpatrick (now serving time on federal extortion and racketeering charges) hosted mega-events.