L.A. Times on “Detroit Heroes”

The LA Times sure likes writing about Detroit, and most recently, writer Alexandra Le Tellier hails this city as “America’s great comeback city.” The author quotes a PBS Fresh Air interview with Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institute. Katz is a guy who once worked for HUD under Henry Cisneros in the Clinton Administration. Katz is a statist, but while talking about Detroit, Katz actually gives credit to Detroit’s pooled philanthropic endeavors; entrepreneurs and business networks; projects financed by local (private) resources; Detroit’s small-batch manufacturing upsurge; private investment; rising technology sector; and the attraction of human capital.

I’m impressed with some of the Detroit coverage by the LA Times. Le Tellier’s article even takes to passing on the same old ruin porn while instead posting a photograph of Detroit in a flattering light – one that most of us here view each day. The LA Times has also been fond of promoting a video from Lowe Campbell Ewald executive Iain Lanivich titled, “We’re Moving to Detroit, and So Should You.” The thesis is pretty good, as well as accurate:

Despite what you might read in the media, Detroit is quickly becoming rich in creativity, innovation and inspiration. With tech investors like Detroit Venture Partners, it’s becoming easy for startups to create an opportunity. And in Detroit, everything needs help, so there are endless opportunities. With a “we’re all in this together” mentality, everyone is becoming friends and utilizing their skills to not only help one another, but define Detroit’s future. Whether you’re a designer, an innovator, an entrepreneur or an investor. The talent is moving to Detroit. And so should you.

Most notable is the comment from a young startup entrepreneur (2:35 mark) who makes the comment that the Detroit bankruptcy is not a negative because it is, in reality, a restructuring of the old model. This means we are moving from a government-based planning model to a market-based entrepreneurial-philanthropic model. The success of Detroit will invariably be inversely related to government intervention efforts on the part of the buttinskis in federal government who see it as their mission to rebuild Detroit with funny money embezzled from the looted masses.