15 thoughts on “Detroit’s Belle Isle Park threatened by privatisation

  1. Developer Rodney Lockwood has proposed, for example, to buy Belle Isle for $1 billion and “turn the island into a private city-state with a focus on free market capitalism and limited government.” What a great idea. Hats off to Rodney!

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    • Though the idea might sound good on paper to some readers, practice probably would turn out to be less good. The market would turn out to be “free” only for a minority. And the government would not really be that limited, as armed mercenaries would be employed to forcibly keep out Detroiters who might want to go to Belle Isle, like they used to do for over a century, when it still was a public park.

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          • Yes, indeed. The Detroiters were not good caretakers of their public property. They allowed the government to spend them into oblivion by giving handouts to the public unions (in return for votes). Now there is no money remaining to maintain the park. So Detroit must sell it to a private person or conglomeration; who would indeed maintain it. It is a sorry story that will repeat itself all over the USA if the citizens do not wake up and reign their governments (all levels) in.

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            • If Rodney Lockwood’s plan would go ahead, then Rodney Lockwood would become dictator of Belle Isle; whether he would use the words “limited government” one time, a thousand times, or a billion times. Dictatorial government is UNlimited government.

              If Detroit has an elected government, and if police then kill or wound someone rightly or wrongly suspected of theft, giving someone the death penalty without trial, then, at least in theory, the police people in that case are accountable to the people. Elected organs may dismiss or otherwise discipline them.

              Now, to Rodney Lockwood’s Belle Isle potential monarchy. If Rodney Lockwood’s armed mercenaries would kill a Detroiter for wanting to visit Belle Isle Park, like happened for over a century, and was the intention of the park’s creator, Olmsted, then those mercenary killers would be accountable to the dictator only. Will they get sacked? Or, rather, promoted?

              Thomas Jefferson’s comment in an 1825 letter to William Short: “Some are whigs, liberals, democrats, call them what you please. Others are tories, serviles, aristocrats, &c. The latter fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society; the former consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort; they cherish them therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent.”

              http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-government-fears-people-there-libertyquotation

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              • You have made several suppositions to support your argument and then quoted an aristocrat who helped set up the electoral college because he and the others knew they could not trust a pure plural vote to make the correct electoral decisions.
                Well, he was correct. The minute that Detroit was able to elect those who would give them things then the whole thing collapsed on itself; just as the pure democratic system in ancient Greece collapsed on itself with a pure democracy and is now collapsing again because the Greeks found out they could live an easy life if they elected the “correct” people.
                May a higher power save us from ourselves.

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                • There was no pure democracy in ancient Greece. In Sparta, there was a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy, which collapsed, just like “democratic” Athens collapsed.

                  Athens was not a pure democracy either. It excluded women, slaves, and “perioikoi”. So, “pure democracy” was not the cause of the decline of ancient Greece.

                  In Greece, most people voted against the European Union-IMF imposed disastrous “austerity”. Nevertheless, the government consists of the “centre” right ND party, with the “center left” (in name) PASOK as junior partner. They continue “austerity”‘s downward spiral.

                  Bankers, European union bureaucrats, Greek shipping billionaires, etc. are to blame for economic disasters in Greece; not the majority of Greek people.

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                • Yes. It was bankers and EU and the 1%s just like in the USA. Too bad that the politicians wanted to get more votes so they insisted that the USA banks give mortgages to people who could not afford them.
                  Then rather than tell the truth about what they had done, which would have meant telling the people that they had been screwed over by their own elected officials, they went on TV and said “Look, look, look over there – – – look at those terrible bankers – – – its all their fault.”
                  So as long as we have a vulnerable populace we will have politicians that will sell them to the highest bidder; whether that be a union, a private enterprise or another form of government.
                  You should have seen the scenes on TV yesterday as the salesmen/ladies for the Affordable Health Care (Obamacare) went around neighborhoods telling people to go to the exchanges and sign up. A large number of people had never heard of it and had no idea what it was. AFTER FOUR YEARS of TV and radio and many, many speeches by our president.
                  It sure doesn’t give me a warm feeling about what the population is aware of – – – or not aware of.

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  2. The people got mortgages, because the banks wanted it. And when the crisis broke out, the bankers got bailed out with billions of taxpayers’ money. Not the people who lost their homes.

    Bush did not call bankers terrible. Neither did Romney. Neither did Obama.

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