Detroit goes bankrupt. [Photo via Recreation Dept. video of DetroitMi.gov]

Detroit goes bankrupt. [Photo via Recreation Dept. video of DetroitMi.gov]

DETROIT just became the largest American city to ever file for bankruptcy. City workers and retirees better hold on, because what they may be asked to give up is written in this very sad story that’s been coming for a while.

The New York Times reporting on the uncertainty of what’s beyond bankruptcy:

“It’s sad, but you could see the writing on the wall,” said Terence Tyson, a city worker who learned of the bankruptcy as he left his job at Detroit’s municipal building on Thursday evening. Like many there, he seemed to react with muted resignation and uncertainty about what lies ahead, but not surprise. “This has been coming for ages.”

Detroit expanded at a stunning rate in the first half of the 20th century with the arrival of the automobile industry, and then shrank away in recent decades at a similarly remarkable pace. A city of 1.8 million in 1950, it is now home to 700,000 people, as well as to tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and unlit streets.

From here, there is no road map for Detroit’s recovery…

GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009, but made it back stronger than ever. This isn’t my usual beat, but I’ve not read any model yet that shows a way through to a new Detroit.

Motor City… Motown… Busted town now.

It’s the American economic model that’s hit the rocks and nobody of either political party has any idea of a way out, which can only come through creating jobs that pay a living wage.

This is what drowning the federal government in the bathtub looks like, and I’m not the first to say so. If Republicans, Tea Party especially, and even some fiscal conservatives, had their way on depriving cities, states and the federal government of tax revenue, we’d have more Detroits.

This post has been updated.