The Minimum Winning Coalition

In politics, victories are achieved by “minimum winning coalitions.” To the extent possible, each side does what it can to win, which involves selling the goods of victory to potential allies in exchange for their support. So grand coalitions that obtain 70% or 80% of the vote are unusual. Whatever side is losing will promise everything — up to and including kitchen sink bail-outs — in order to attract friends.

While flying cars are still off the agenda, GM, Ford, and Chrysler are beginning to hear what terms will be needed for them to form their minimum winning agenda.

The farm states sound like they can support a bail-out… in exchange for a massive increase in ethanol consumption. Others are talking about federal Volt fleets… or even a free trade agreement with Colombia.

Time is running on Detroit. The median home/condo price there is $9,250. (That is not a typo.)

10 thoughts on “The Minimum Winning Coalition”

  1. the question is: Is this a good time to buy an investment home in Detroit?

    Well, really two others.
    Can America support 2 cities with New Orleans level economies?
    Or will it bounce back?

  2. Is this [1] a city you want to live in?

    However, since 1950 the city has seen a major shift in its population to the suburbs. The city population dropped from its peak in 1950 with a population of 1,849,568 to 916,952 in 2007…

    For the 2000 Census, median household income in the city was $29,526, and the median income for a family was $33,853. Males had a median income of $33,381 versus $26,749 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,717. 26.1% of the population and 21.7% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 34.5% of those under the age of 18 and 18.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

    Certainly it would be better for the country if Detroit would somehow go away, though a snowy New Orleans is probably a more likely outcome.


  3. A snowy New Orleans without the great music performance culture. I love New Orleans and go there frequently. The last time I was in Detroit I drove through the downtown and I felt – the best way I can put it – wary of my surroundings. It was not a welcoming place.

  4. The failures of the city of Detroit demonstrate the need to allow cities to fail. Companies can evaporate. [1] Urban areas can too.

    The failures of the education system of Detroit demonstrate the need for industrial quality control to be applied to public schools. [2,3] We know how to make schools successful, but it requires being more hard-headed than we are now.

    The failures of the populace of Detroit demonstrate the need for genetic therapy. [4,5]


  5. To purpleslogs comment about Detroit’s music culture, You forget that Detroit has spawned some amazing pop culture music. Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, KISS(?), The White Stripes, Eminem (hey, lots of other people like him)
    I have a theory that in todays society poverty=better art.

  6. Haven’t heard a whole lot lately. I’m in Fort Wayne, IN (about 2 1/2, 3 hours away) So people I hear about people going up for concerts now and again. Too cold this time of year for anything else 😉

  7. Michael,

    Generally agreed, with a big exception for #2

    2. Force them to build ‘green’ vehicles
    There’s already a strong incentive for automakers to build hybrids and other high-mileage cars: People buy them. If the government has to “incentivize” a company to build the kinds of products customers want, maybe it should incentivize the top executives to get lost.

    Besides, Detroit isn’t as backward as the lampoonery suggests. There are already a few domestic hybrids, with more on the way. Detroit’s Big Three sell economy cars, too. They’re just not as good as Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas. But all three U.S. automakers say better models are on the way — because their survival depends on it. If that’s the case, let them prove it.

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