The mayor in Flint, Michigan seems to be pondering something that used to seem impossible. The idea is to cut off abandoned neighborhoods from city services. No police, no fire, no services of any kind.
It certainly seems logical from a purely realistic standpoint. As more and more property is left to rot, there simply isn’t enough tax money coming in to provide services to every corner of the city. Might as well concentrate on the areas that still have enough legal residents still paying their taxes.
What do I think of the scheme? The very first thing that comes to my mind when someone tells me of a pie-in-the-sky project is “How are we going to pay for that?”, and this just seems to be the reverse. If the situation has deteriorated to the point that there just isn’t enough of a tax base to pay for basic services in less populated areas, yet the city government still tries to provide those services, then pretty soon the system would collapse and there wouldn’t be anything.
And, before I get a lot of angry comments, I realize that good, honest, hardworking people will suffer for this. People who have followed the rules, paid their taxes, and watched while the good neighborhood where they bought their house decades in the past became a criminal infested blight are going to get the shaft. But they will be screwed anyway if Flint goes bankrupt and everyone inside the city limits is left swinging in the breeze. They are just the one in the lifeboat who drew the short straw.
So far, it seems to be a notion the mayor of Flint has discussed only in passing, but I don’t see the situation improving any time in the future. It will be interesting to see if they have to go through with it.
(Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)