General Locusts

Readability

General Locusts

by baldilocks

It’s the first of the month in the last month of the year and I’ve got noth­ing. How­ever, I plan to do some read­ing on the shut­down of the Gov­ern­ment Gen­eral Motors plants and I will start here. A taste:

Gen­eral Motor’s announce­ment that it’s cut­ting thou­sands of jobs and clos­ing sev­eral plants has met intense crit­i­cism because the com­pany was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a $50 bil­lion gov­ern­ment bailout in 2009 — which wound up cost­ing tax­pay­ers $11 bil­lion — even as the gov­ern­ment awarded the United Auto Work­ers’ health-​care fund a 17.5 per­cent stake in the restruc­tured com­pany. Like many big Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, GM has been the recip­i­ent of government-​subsidized largesse over sev­eral decades. One par­tic­u­lar piece of this his­tory is espe­cially note­wor­thy now. Nearly 40 years ago, in one of the most egre­gious cases of emi­nent domain abuse in Amer­i­can his­tory, GM built a plant on land seized from home­own­ers and busi­nesses in Detroit, oblit­er­at­ing a multi-​ethnic neigh­bor­hood known as Pole­town — all for a plant that will now be shut­tered so that GM can invest some­where else in new man­u­fac­tur­ing facilities. (…)

[W]hen GM announced that it wanted to build a new plant some­where in Amer­ica with mod­ern indus­trial tech­nol­ogy — though it was clos­ing plants else­where — Detroit offi­cials pleaded for an oppor­tu­nity to find a site for the new facil­ity. Mayor Cole­man Young came up with a plan: seize some 1,500 homes and 144 busi­nesses in Pole­town, a low-​income com­mu­nity of 3,500 where Pol­ish immi­grants had once set­tled. By the early 1980s, Pole­town was a more diverse neigh­bor­hood, hous­ing older Poles but also more recent immi­grants and black Detroit residents. (…)

The neigh­bor­hood did not go down with­out a fight, how­ever. Home­own­ers and their advo­cates mounted legal chal­lenges, refused gov­ern­ment offers, and hun­kered down. Some patrolled their prop­erty, bran­dish­ing weapons and dar­ing the gov­ern­ment to come in and take their prop­erty. What hap­pened next was chill­ing. To “encour­age” home­own­ers to leave, Detroit began with­draw­ing city services.

Pres­i­dent Trump say that GM should pay tax­pay­ers back for the bailout, but I bet the share­hold­ers are already sip­ping expen­sive booze on their pri­vate islands.

No mat­ter. Pay­back always hap­pens, and if a per­pe­tra­tor is lucky, it will hap­pen in this world and not in the next one.

I won’t say which one I’m hop­ing for.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012. Fol­low her on Face­book, Twit­ter, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

It’s the first of the month in the last month of the year and I’ve got nothing. However, I plan to do some reading on the shutdown of the Government General Motors plants and I will start here. A taste:

General Motor’s announcement that it’s cutting thousands of jobs and closing several plants has met intense criticism because the company was the beneficiary of a $50 billion government bailout in 2009—which wound up costing taxpayers $11 billion—even as the government awarded the United Auto Workers’ health-care fund a 17.5 percent stake in the restructured company. Like many big American companies, GM has been the recipient of government-subsidized largesse over several decades. One particular piece of this history is especially noteworthy now. Nearly 40 years ago, in one of the most egregious cases of eminent domain abuse in American history, GM built a plant on land seized from homeowners and businesses in Detroit, obliterating a multi-ethnic neighborhood known as Poletown—all for a plant that will now be shuttered so that GM can invest somewhere else in new manufacturing facilities. (…)

[W]hen GM announced that it wanted to build a new plant somewhere in America with modern industrial technology—though it was closing plants elsewhere—Detroit officials pleaded for an opportunity to find a site for the new facility. Mayor Coleman Young came up with a plan: seize some 1,500 homes and 144 businesses in Poletown, a low-income community of 3,500 where Polish immigrants had once settled. By the early 1980s, Poletown was a more diverse neighborhood, housing older Poles but also more recent immigrants and black Detroit residents. (…)

The neighborhood did not go down without a fight, however. Homeowners and their advocates mounted legal challenges, refused government offers, and hunkered down. Some patrolled their property, brandishing weapons and daring the government to come in and take their property. What happened next was chilling. To “encourage” homeowners to leave, Detroit began withdrawing city services.

President Trump say that GM should pay taxpayers back for the bailout, but I bet the shareholders are already sipping expensive booze on their private islands.

No matter. Payback always happens, and if a perpetrator is lucky, it will happen in this world and not in the next one.

I won’t say which one I’m hoping for.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!