Detroit – The Largest Municipal Bankruptcy Filing in U.S. History – What happened?

On July 18, 2013, the City of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy making it the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history as measured by the amount of outstanding debt.  Detroit is estimated to owe $18-$20 billion in debt over 10,000+ creditors, 100 discrete bond issuances and 50 labor bargaining units. Prior to the Detroit filing, Jefferson County, Alabama’s $4 billion filing in 2011 had been the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in the United States.

So where did things go so horribly wrong?  The above video is the first in a three part series on the Detroit bankruptcy filing. Video #1 concentrates on The Economics of Failure. The video begins with an illustration of demographic trends for the following three major U.S. cities:

  • Dallas – People are solidly moving into Dallas due to limited taxes; limited benefits and reduced regulation;
  • Los Angeles – While the climate of Los Angeles still attracts people to the state, high state income tax and the most restrictive environment regulations in the country are driving many people out of the state of California;
  • Detroit – There is a massive population exodus from Detroit with virtually no immigration due to the city drowning in debt from more than 50 years of democratic mayors running the city. The video cites cronyism, incompetence and crime as some of the major contributors.

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Talking Politics At Work Can Get You Fired

During the presidential elections political disagreements can easily arise in the workplace at any time. Usually such conversations can be heated and it does not matter whether you are on “red” or “blue” side or you consider yourself in the middle. The fact is that many private employers restrict political speech in the workplace.

In other words, sharing your opinion at work can get you fired. Susan Adams noted in Forbes that the Society for Human Resources reported 25% of employers maintained written policies. Some of these policies restrict having conversations about politics at work. Only a handful of states have laws that strictly prohibit private employers from discriminating against employees.

At least 80% of workers believe that they have a “free speech” right to have conversations on politics. They are absolutely wrong. The Fourth Amendment protects employees only from government interference but not employer interference. And maybe it is a high time to take a closer look at your employers’ written policies.

Some people believe if there is not any written policies at their company they can have a possibility to wear political buttons, T-shirts or they can outlaw political posters and instigate a conversation about hot-button issues during the lunch time. The answer to this question is NO.

The good news is that most employers are tolerant. 2/3 of the employers allow their workers to have a political discussion in their workplace as long as it does not interfere with work. And, of course, the employees remain respectful for that.

Do you think employers should be allowed to restrict the political speech of their employees? Please, share your opinion in the comments section below. 

More information can be found here: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/09/12/why-you-shouldnt-talk-politics-at-work/