Detroit and the Big Bad Wolf

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    “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf, the big bad wolf, and the big bad wolf?” Remember that song we use to listen to as children? The Big Bad Wolf, also known as Zeke Wolf or Br’er Wolf, was a fictional character from Walt Disney’s animation “Three Little Pigs,” directed by Burt Gillett and first released on May 27, 1933. This menacing predatory antagonist was, on the surface, big and bad. The Big Bad Wolf threatened to huff and puff and blow the poor little pigs’ houses down, creating a sense of urgency and disaster through intimidation.

    We have seen it time and time again. “Detroit is going bankrupt sign! Sign the emergency consent agreement!” “Detroit is going to run out of cash next week!” “Detroit is going to have to lay off workers in a few days!” “This can only be prevented, if we (the citizens of Detroit) sign the dotted line,” as dictated by Detroit’s currently elected leadership. The mainstream media plays it up, helping to create the dramatic monologue and playing up disasters, over and over again. It is the same old movie viewed in 1933. Just like the “end of the world” comments in Rush Limbaugh’s “’We’re Doomed’ If Obama Re-­‐elected” article:

    “If Obama’s re-­‐elected, it will happen. There’s no if about this. And it’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be gut-­‐wrenching, but it will happen. The country’s economy is going to collapse if Obama is re-­‐ elected. I don’t know how long: a year and a half, two years, three years.” -­‐ By Rush Limbaugh

    Well, we are seeing the same tactics by Detroit’s political leadership. They are huffing and puffing and swearing publicly that the house is going to come down. But, who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? “Not I,” said the little piggy. Nor should Detroit residents be, because we have been in a crisis for a very long time and it has not been managed. Detroit’s “fiscal cliff” is a result of failed leadership, leadership that should be connected to the community in its decision-­‐making process, but is not— on both sides of the table.

     

    “Detroit should go bankrupt,” says the partner in the law firm of Plunkett Cooney. “. It would be a recognition that they’ve hit bottom, and it’s a chance to go on the upswing. I don’t think they’re going to be stigmatized as much as people think—just like General Motors.”
             —Attorney Douglas Bernstein, who makes a credible case for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in a Detroit News article by journalist Daniel Howes

    We have been at the brink of bankruptcy for quite some time now. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the Big Bad Wolf needs to be the bankruptcy judge. At least that way, special interests won’t be huffing and puffing and someone competent will be responsible for the eventual managed process.

    “Otherwise, you’re going to go down the path and be in one crisis after another. Yes, it’s expensive and it should be a last resort. But at some point, you’ve had enough.” By Attorney
        —Douglas Bernstein

    Stop huffing and puffing, Big Bad Wolf, so we can demolish the house and build a new one that Detroiters can be proud of.

    Besides, haven’t we heard this before from recent Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney? “Let Detroit go bankrupt.” Well, Mitt Romney, you might get your request. 

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