Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Flint Crime: Is the City a Prisoner to Budget Shortfalls?

Would crime go down in Flint if the city could afford to keep its jail open?


  1. Cities like Flint need a government bailout in exchange for making dramatic changes to city pension and healthcare plans.

    Yes, that means city workers would accept cuts for new and current workers to bring them inline with the rest of American workers. That would involve retirement matching funds while they are employed rather than paying them close to full salary and benefits while they are retired and living somewhere else.

    The state and federal government would create a trust to help fund the remaining pension and healthcare payments for retired workers. The state and fed would also help fund essential services for a finite amount of time to stabilize the city.

    City workers have a tough job, but it's simply not feasible given the economic condition of Flint and the rest of America to continue to get these outsized retirement packages. Sorry.

    Likewise, it's unconscionable for the rest of the country to sit back and watch places like Flint implode. Yes, I'll say it, the rest of the country owes Flint some help. We are a single nation, after all, and we should help out our fellow Americans.

    And if patriotism doesn't work, keep in mind that the situation is Flint and places like it is dragging down the rest of the country. It costs America money to have a place like Flint implode.

    And regardless of what you think of Dayne Walling, stop blaming him for this. He's got to balance the budget. What the hell is he supposed to do? He can't lay off every city worker, which is what it would take to try and solve Flint's budget problems through cuts. Flint needs a huge infusion of Federal money and systematic changes to solve the problems long term.

  2. No, having more jail cells wouldn't do much to fix the crime rate.

    A decrease in city and suburban drug use would help the most, because Flint's gangs make their money off drug distribution. A lot of the violent crime is "business competition". A lot of the property crime is dopers supporting their habits.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.