Imagine Detroit in 15 years…or rather, The Detroit Factory. It is a new factory that serves nothing more than to be the model city of success. It now has 1 million employees within a factory the size of…well, Detroit of course. The factory is designed to keep churning out money for the new State of Michigan Corporation. The new Michigan Corporation seeks to provide the world with a model of true fiscal management. It is as if it was an Internet site, you are not sure entirely what that corporation is making, but at the very least, it is making money.
Already, the factory is starting to pick up steam and is attempting to compete with other factories and corporations. The manager for the factory is making sure that the finances are continually in order to bring in a profit from the revenue it generates from its work force. As such, the factory needs to be able to provide a viable economic environment that will produce a strong tax base. The workers can go about doing whatever they wish so long as it provides money to the city. One of its key proponents is the strong P.R. campaign that is done to create a positive attitude amongst the work force. The factory has done so through its brilliant magazine entitled “A City on the Rise.”
With that, the factory has vastly improved. Certainly, it is far ahead of Cleveland, and is now approaching Chicago and New York as being the most productive factory in the nation. The work-force is happy with itself. They are living prosperously and in one of the most productive factories in the nation. Many truly believe that this city is on the rise.
In 50 years however, the State has fallen on some hard times (probably from increased competition from the Ohio Company) and they need to remodel. So, the State sees the Detroit factory not going well. As such, they tell the financial manager that they need to make some serious changes. With that pressure, the manager thinks, “Why not shift some parts of the city overseas?” “After all, it works for many companies, why not Detroit?”
“Think about it,” says the manager. “We can re-establish neighborhoods in places around the globe without worrying about little things like citizens’ rights or Medicare.” “We can become millionaires!” “Think of Mexicantown in Mexico, or Corktown in Ireland, it would be taking the Detroit Factory and spreading its best elements around the world while producing the largest profits.”
Yet, a quiet and unassuming intern in Lansing had this to add: “Sir, what are we to do with the people now?”
“That is not our problem or our concern,” the manager replied. “Our goal is to see to it that this factory starts producing a profit for the Michigan Corporation. As in any good economic principle, we must at least occasionally trim out the workers that are unproductive as any good business would do.”
The intern looked puzzled and replied, “But…they live here?” The manager shrugged. “It doesn’t matter where they go!” said the manager. “If they were not so lazy and unproductive, they would not have been fired. Now go crunch these numbers.”
Whole buildings and neighborhoods were being raised and transported down to Guadalajara. Even the tall twin spires of St. Anne’s Church, a fixture of the community since Detroit’s founding, was being leveled. “They got plenty of these cathedrals south of the border, we can just use one of those instead!” exclaimed the moving man. The people, on the other hand, were quite destitute. Cramped in their Rangers, F-150s, and Escorts, they had to resort to a nomadic existence. Some managed to get rehired to the factories around the State, others left to find work at the booming Cleveland factory and the revitalized Pittsburgh factory.
Yet, still thousands of people were left on the outskirts of the factory begging for any sign of charity. Finally, they grew restless and decided to challenge the CEO of the corporation. The CEO met them with a smile and was kind enough to hear their complaints. “Why are we being fired!?” shouted the people. “You were unproductive and had to be let go,” replied the CEO, quite coldly. Outrage emerged from the public as they began to feel the panic of no longer being able to survive.
However, an older woman emerged from the crowd. Though quite well-advanced in years, she surprisingly remained well fit (probably from the cross-country courses she ran in college). She boldly faced the CEO and said “I remember, a time when we had the right to not be subjected in this manner. I remember being able to vote for a Governor and a Mayor and the people had the right to voice their concerns about what a city should do with its finances and not be dictated to. So why now people of Detroit, do you not answer this injustice with Democracy!”
Yet, the people stood in silence. They had forgotten what those things were and simply looked at her puzzled. The CEO stood and after a slight pause spoke to the crowd. “Clearly, this disillusioned woman wants to bring up the past and I shall. The city was one of the worst cities in the world and people like you were incapable of solving your own problems. That is why your predecessors helped formed this corporation under our first CEO, Rick Snyder. Without him, this place would be nothing more than just rubble and ruin.”
Yet, an ex-marine emerged saying, “No, we didn’t sign up for this!” “People like me who served in the old Legislature fought hard against this plan and now look at the people!” “Ordered around like cattle and told to simply graze so long as we continued to produce milk! Now we must go quietly to the slaughterhouse? I say that you, sir, ought to be the one who is fired! Who is with me?” And the crowd violently ran up towards the CEO, but were instead met with the State security guards and battered back with hoses and rubber bullets.
What would happen to these poor souls, I dare not continue. However, I fear what the next 50 years has to bring.