I have one very good example why Detroit will not recover for a long, long time. MSN reports that the Detroit school district is in very deep trouble. The schools are failing, but we knew that already by virtue that every organization in Detroit is the antithesis of success, heavily in debt and shrinking population base. The former emergency manager of Detroit's Public schools, former GM executive, managed to cut the deficit by $ 251 million, at least that is what MSN reports, but he is leaving his post.
In his place Jack Martin has been appointed with the task to financially, and academically, save the school. At first glance his appointment seems positive, after all he is a certified public accountant, however, a problem becomes apparent. Jack Martin was once the CFO of the US Department of Education. You might think that I have a problem with this, but no, I don't. I highly doubt that the CFO of the US Department of Education has any real say with how the organization performs other than to try, however futilely, to keep costs under control. My problem is that he was once the CFO of the City of Detroit.
Now, Mr. Martin may or may not have been a Ron Paullian figure fighting vainly to bring sanity into a dysfunctional and insane system, however, without the knowledge that he put in the same sort of herculian effort, the kind of effort Mr. Paul put in, then I wouldn't want him as the emergency manager of Detroit's public school. The reason is that, normally, when an organization goes bankrupt, and assuming the board of the organization actually wants to save the organization, you bring in outsiders. Unless Mr. Martin's history is impecable then he is, however unfortunate it may be, guilty of incompetence by association.
Now, my point is about isn't really about Mr. Martin's competence, after all I would need to do a lot more research into is history as CFO of Detriot to establish how competent he was, but about the exceedingly poor judgement of Michigans governor. You, generally, don't bring someone from the very system that you are trying to fix! The fact that he has made the likelihood of any sort of recovery, much less a speedy one, very remote.