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A few of them might pose genuine public health issues. But the vast majority are being cited for technical violations like not having the proper zoning clearances or licenses or being behind on their taxes.
So a mayor who pleads he doesn’t have the resources to: provide street lights to half the city or arrange timely trash pickup or control Detroit’s soaring murder rate nevertheless has enough inspectors to unleash on poor residents trying to eke out a living.
“They’re all worried about what’s going on in the front of our stores,” fumed a business owner who found puppy-sized rats in her back alley to Black Detroit. “But the city needs to maintain its own business by keeping the public streets safe and clean.”
A city that showers subsidies on well-connected businesses while thwarting individual entrepreneurs and ignoring basic services is writing its obituary — not its second act.
This column originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.
Watch Shikha Dalmia discuss Detroit's bankruptcy with WSJ's Mary Kissel.