1/28/14 Resettling Detroit
For centuries, European powers extended their influence by colonizing distant lands, particularly in North and South America and the African continent.
The Israeli government encouraged Jewish immigrants from Russia, Ethiopia and elsewhere to settle in new communities following the 1967 war.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has suggested applying this centuries-old approach to a new problem. Snyder has asked the federal government to set-aside a large number of visas for immigrants who would agree to settle in Detroit for at least five years.
Detroit had a population of more than 1.8 million in 1950. Its fallen by more than 60% to about 700,000.
In 1960, Detroit was one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. Today, its the largest American city to have ever gone bankrupt.
Detroit is a crumbling city of decay. Nearly one in five residents are unemployed. There is a reported 70,000 abandoned properties. Some homes can be purchased for less than the price of a car. A used car.
Snyder proposes enticing immigrants who possess the entrepreneurial spirit to settle in Detroit and help fuel a comeback.
New settlers cannot do it alone. Detroit must rework bloated financial obligations it can no longer afford to pay.
But Governor Snyders proposal is one that merits consideration.