Integrating all Detroit’s citizens implies providing living wages to the city’s underclass, and to providing jobs to future high school graduates. It also implies reforming Detroit’s schools to give students a realistic hope for a brighter future.
Detroit has 100,000 out of work citizens that require living wages. Yet, Detroit’s history has left many functionally illiterate, high school dropouts with few employable skills.
To date, Detroit has had very limited success in bringing in companies that could provide jobs to Detroit’s unemployed. Most of the jobs that have been provided thus far are minimum wage jobs that cannot sustain living standards above the poverty line.
The type of jobs that Detroit must lure to reduce the city’s structural unemployment are labor-intensive jobs that require low skills. These are the very ones that China lured to her special economic zones in the 1980s and 1990s. These jobs pay low, internationally competitive wages that are much lower that what would be considered a living wage in Detroit.
* Detroit’s Revival ** rests in being the first major city to create a way to bring plants and jobs back to Detroit from Asia and that can simultaneously create a way for these returning plants to pay employees a wage that is livable by Detroit standards and that is much higher than companies are used to paying.
For plants to return to Detroit, they must be reasonably assured that they will make comparable (actually higher for taking on Detroit’s political and socioeconomic risks) profits. Detroit must make the benefits so enticing that 1,000 plants are willing to repatriate to Detroit. And Detroit must be prepared to act quickly on the plan that it conceives, so as to establish Detroit as the place to come above all other cities that might try to copy Detroit.
Detroit must gain the support of the State of Michigan for the idea and Detroit’s government must be willing to commit 100% to the effort. The city must be fully prepared to integrate hundreds of plants into the city.
Detroit must go all in….