I lived in a close suburb of Detroit from mid-1970 through April of 2001. During that period of time, I watched Detroit go from a city ranked fifth nationally in population to one that is now only a shell of city and is essentially bankrupt. During the 1970s and 1980s, Mayor Coleman Young tried to institute policies that failed miserably and added to the downward spiral. They included hiring policies that dictated to companies how to do business in the city that only resulted in higher costs to all involved ("Good intentions don't create jobs," May 22).
Rules such as requiring contractors to hire city residents — a proposal currently under review by the Baltimore City Council — only result in an adversarial relationship with the private sector, thus making Baltimore a bad place to do business. One needs certain skill sets to do the work, not just a home address.
It's also a rule that alienates the suburbs from the city and promotes a "we-they" attitude. And it expands the role of big government. When the government is not performing its job now, how can it be expected to take on more policing of another rule?
History forgotten is history repeated.