Michigan is not prospering under the republican dominance of state government. The national news focuses on the tragedy in Flint where the once clean and plentiful water supply was poisoned by state actions implemented by the appointed czar, the Emergency Manager. Flint is the latest and most serious of problems either caused by or allowed to develop under republican state control. Another issue making the national news is the horrible conditions of the Detroit Public Schools. Many of the schools are uninhabitable, yet the most vulnerable children in our society are expected to be educated in this environment.
There exist many other negative issues that are the responsibility of the Republican Party. The continuing poor state of the roadways, the corresponding lack of funding and lack of action by government. A bill was passed last year to address road funding but it does not take effect for at least another year and the bad roads are only getting worse.
Education funding statewide needs an increase. The formula for funding needs a fundamental change from dollars per pupil to a more reasonable cost per building for what it will cost to provide better educational service.
Following the schools, local government will also continue to need more state funding. The state of Michigan has withdrawn money from sharing with local municipalities and now has a large surplus. However many cities and towns had to cut services, raise local taxes or are struggling to provide the basics.
The cost of living has increased in the state of Michigan. This is not based on the positives such as growing personal wealth or an increase in prosperity, the average wage in the state is too low to allow growth. There are so many people in Michigan in poverty or within the category of the working poor that it’s impossible for their household wealth to increase based on normal economic conditions. This state of being was engineered by the policy and lack of actions of state government.
Many in the news media comment that Detroit or Flint resembles third world countries or perhaps the aftermath of a war zone. These comments have endured for the past decade or more. This offends those who live in these conditions who have learned to endure and to make do with what is available. But these conditions within the wealthiest country on earth are beyond shameful. The presidency of the first Black man has shown the world that the United States is one of the most racist, harmful, hateful countries and uses the power of government to harm the weak when the weak challenge government’s authority.
This is a presidential election year. Detroit stands on the verge of great change. The status quo is no longer acceptable by the residents. The politicians understand that the breaking point has been reached. Can an American city experience a mini-revolution to change government, public policy and address the needs of the people?