Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Forbes gives respect . . . and yanks it away Previous Next
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Username: Realitycheck

Post Number: 264
Registered: 08-2004
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Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 1:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The proverbial glass seems more than half-full at first in a newly posted feature from the Feb. 13 issue of Forbes mag . . . but some of the sweet taste soon drains away.

Auto industry writer Joann Muller, their local bureau chief (only writer, actually), has satirical fun at GM's expense . . . and The D's. [Free regist. required, so handy hilites here:]

Detroit and GM -- For Better or Worse
After decades of decline Detroit's downtown business district is looking better than ever, with new office buildings, sports stadiums and restaurants. It's so impressive that visitors to the Super Bowl might not even notice the city's near insolvency, decaying schools and rising welfare caseload. Similarly, General Motors' coming lineup of new vehicles just might mask its sinking market share and 30,000 job cuts. Got us thinking of other parallels between Detroit and its biggest corporate citizen.

Detroit: Labeled one of the worst mayors in America by Time magazine, Kwame Kilpatrick was reelected in 2005.
GM: Shareholder value down by two-thirds since G. Richard Wagoner Jr. became chief executive in June 2000. Board is sticking by him.

Desperate Ploy
Detroit: Luring homeless off the streets with three-day Super Bowl party.
GM: Cutting sticker prices (again).

Image Makeover
Detroit: Downtown refurbished with new sidewalks, lighting; vacant retail spaces filled with picture displays.
GM: Tries to reverse lagging reputation with new slogan, "Great Products, Great Prices." Also window dressing?

Detroit: New downtown housing for first time since the Seventies.
GM: Chevy overtakes Ford as America's bestselling brand for first time in 20 years.

P.R. Message
Detroit: "It's not as bad as you think."
GM: "It's not as bad as you think."

(Message edited by RealityCheck on February 02, 2006)
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 1175
Registered: 02-2005
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Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 - 5:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just don't get this sort of cynicism and satire, you know, the type that doesn't make any good points, and is only latent with pointless and often incorrect 'put-downs.'

You can look at the budget deficits, the scandals, and the objectionable (to some people) style and demeanor of KK, and it makes him an easy target...that's why he was named worst mayor. But he is far from the worst mayor. He has worked hard to encourage large and small businesses to set up in Detroit, he has overseen the city over four years where a residential boom (or mini-boom that we didn't have before) came out of nowhere, he's created a slightly fairer tax system, his policies are decidedly expansionary, and from my knowledge of urban economics he's gone by the book. He's also given Detroit a gusto or swagger that it needed to reclaim, and focusing on downtown, even more so than Archer did, was the right way to get us started and build pride.

Is Detroit better off than it was four years ago? On the whole, who doesn't say yes? Plenty of areas are hardly livable, but many many more areas are now better places to live. It's a better place to work or run a business. And it's certainly a better place to visit, unless you only wanted to visit the BI aquarium.

Re: GM...I hardly think that their corporate woes created by mundane products, poor contracts with the unions, and inefficiency in general, can be linked to the city of Detroit at all.
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 109
Registered: 07-2005
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Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^but how much of that stuff was set up by Archer beforehand? Even if he isn't as bad as alot of people say, the city still deserves better.

I don't really understand why people write these kinds of articles. They don't say anything everyone hasn't heard before, and they're mean. It is true that despite the Super Bowl, and a renewed downtown, the city as a whole still isn't doing too well, although it's getting better.
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Username: Crazy_pete

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2006
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Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 - 6:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Forbes is a rag.

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