Like the Big 3, Detroit Is Dying

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2008 7:37 PM CST
The sun highlights the General Motors world headquarters in downtown Detroit on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The Big Three automakers are broke and begging for cash, but that's typical when you're from Detroit, Matt Labash writes in The Weekly Standard. He prepped for his visit to Dysfunction Junction by reading nightmarish stats: The city has 10,000 unsolved murders; its deficit is as high as $200 million; its students have thumbed the same textbooks for 19 years. "How bad is Detroit?" he writes. "It once gave the keys to the city to Saddam Hussein."

Labash got a taste of Detroit's misery by visiting underfunded firefighters on the day after a popular fireman died—in a house slated to be knocked down by the city. He also walked the streets with a homeless man who had moved to Detroit seeking better work. "I know better now," said the former gravedigger. What's clear "is that Detroit has failed," writes Labash. "It's broken and cracked. It is dying. But it's not yet dead." (Read more Detroit stories.)