Yes—Let Liberals Bail Out Detroit

Back in May I suggested, less than half facetiously, that if we are indeed to consider paying reparations for slavery, the Democratic Party should have to pick up the entire tab, for all of the obvious reasons. I was reminded of that idea when stumbling across the most interesting story on the front page of today’s New York Times: “Finding $816 Million, and Fast, to Save Detroit.”

The details are fascinating. In order to make a bankruptcy package for the profligate city work, the judge overseeing the case decided to ask the Ford Foundation and other foundations—all of them reliably liberal—to chip in $816 million.

“My initial reaction was, this is a crazy idea,” Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, remembered thinking as he listened that afternoon. “Eight hundred million dollars from a group of foundations? I thought it was rather over the top in its boldness,” Mr. Walker said, adding of the mood in the room: “I think there was a collective gulp.”

The story explains how the lefty foundations quickly came around, culminating in this self-congratulatory conclusion:

“There are often skeptics who have given up on American cities,” Mr. Walker said not long ago. “And this is a big mistake. We can’t give up on our cities.”

This has it all exactly backwards. Having done so much through their destructive left-wing philanthropy over the years to wreck American cities, the Ford Foundation ought indeed to be on the hook for the bills that are coming due. (Or maybe the real motivation was to avoid reading the headline in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that read: “Ford to Detroit—Drop Dead!” Heh.) If Ford and others hadn’t voluntarily coughed up the money, I would have urged the bankruptcy judge to bring a liability suit against liberal foundations.

I hope other bankrupt cities and states will apply to Ford and other leftist foundations for equal generosity when their bankruptcies have to be worked out. After all, Ford, Rockefeller, et al., made—and keep—their money as part of the 1 percent; here’s a chance to put their money where their (very big) mouths are, by helping out the 99 percent, especially those retired public employees whose pensions are under such pressure.

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