by Byron Schlomach
May 01, 2014
Cities across the country struggled through the recent recession, and several even declared bankruptcy, including Stockton and San Bernardino, California, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Central Falls, Rhode Island and, most famously, Detroit, Michigan. Stockton’s finances have so declined that essential services, especially the police, have been reduced. The city’s gang and narcotics teams had to be disbanded even as the city saw its murder rate hit an all-time high in 2012. The city is learning to fight back with help from the county sheriff and changes to its policing methods, but real long-term damage has been done to its reputation. Detroit’s decline has been so thorough that it has been used as an example of what happens to buildings in its Life After People series. Favorable institutions are critical to recovery and economic development. These include privatization, procurement reform, transparency, deregulation, and personnel reform.