Not dead yet

How big business is saving Detroit

By Jake law

Jake Law is from Canton, Michigan and is a junior at Ferris studying Political Science. He is the secretary of College Republicans.


From the early 1900s all the way to the late 1950s, the city of Detroit was the manufacturing capital of America. Though the city was well known for its mass-production of cars, Detroit also played a massive role in providing ammo, tanks and other products for the military in the second world war.

It wasn’t until the late 1960s that Detroit saw a frightening decline in production, growth and morale. Jobs started moving out of Detroit due in part to the rise of labor unions, and the city’s middle class took off to the suburbs in response to the riots and the decline of property value as a result of government interventions like rent controls.

For years, liberal democratic leadership has dug the city into a massive hole, leading ultimately to the city filing for bankruptcy in July of 2013. Mayors like Coleman Young and Kwame Kilpatrick were some of the worst mayors a major city has ever seen. Issues with these city leaders are far too complex to tackle in this article but to put it in perspective, the key to Detroit was given to former murderous dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein by Young and currently there is a cold, dark prison cell in Texas occupied by Kilpatrick.

But there is hope. A place that has been haunted by democratic socialistic policies for over 50 years is finally making a rebound through just the thing so many of my fellow millennials hate; big business.

These days the city of Detroit is beginning to see somewhat of a turnaround with developments coming rapidly in districts like downtown and midtown. Businessmen like Mike Illitch and Dan Gilbert have been investing huge amounts of money into the city. Illitch, owner of Little Caesars Pizza, the Tigers and the Red Wings, has recently put forth a plan to build a brand new billion dollar arena for the Red Wings in the midtown area of the city. Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, has bought several properties all over the city which he plans to add to and renovate. The Quicken Loans owner and Michigan State graduate also has future plans to do a complete renovation on the Greektown district downtown and was a major voice in the M1 Woodward light-rail project set to open in 2017.

Developments like these by the men and women of big business are what fuel the spirit of the city. Job opportunities have the potential to put people back to work and to put the city back on top where it belongs.

The work of Gilbert and Illitich are prime examples of what capitalism can do to a city with as much promise as Detroit. Instead of criticizing and fearing these two businessmen becoming wealthier, we should hope they do so that they can continue to invest in a city we all know and love.