From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-07-31 07:40

(China Daily)

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Detroit a warning for other cities

The city of Detroit in Michigan, once the industrial center of the United States and famous across the world as Motown, has filed for bankruptcy protection, although the court has asked it to withdraw its application. The possible reasons for Detroit's decline are its failure as a manufacturing base, over-reliance on the market, rising labor disputes, racism tensions and wealth gap. But the structural defects of the US political system, too, is to blame for Detroit's decline from being the center of the world's automobile industry to almost a ghost town, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpts:

The heavy debts that Detroit has accumulated have a lot to do with party politics that dominates the US landscape. In order to get popular votes and win elections, American politicians have spent huge amounts of money. They have also ingratiated constituencies with welfare policies that are unrealistic and unsustainable. As a result of massive welfare spending, Detroit has run up huge debts that it thinks cannot be repaid.

Besides, after spending huge amounts on welfare, governments usually cut down the funds for municipal construction and public services, especially reducing or stopping expenditure on education and infrastructure.

When it came to helping a "bankrupt" Detroit regain some of its past glory, Republicans and Democrats tried to shirk their responsibilities and, in process, have left the city's residents to fend for themselves.

Some media reports say that Detroit was forced to file for bankruptcy protection because of the political game played out between Michigan's Republican governor and Detroit's Democratic mayor.

Unfortunately, the federal government of the US has not paid enough attention to the plight of Detroit. This is surprising given the huge bailout package offered to the "Big Three" automakers - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler in Detroit - by the US administration just after President Barack Obama assumed power in January 2009. Obama even used the success of the auto bailout package to be re-elected for a second term.

The decision by Detroit to move court for bankruptcy protection has left other US cities mired in debts wondering about their future. The plight of Detroit has also left them brooding over their unfair exploitation under the American political system.

Dating game promotes vulgar values

Recently wife-seeking campaigns for millionaires have taken place in many cities, the astonishing criteria for the potential brides, such as virgins only, have drawn heated discussion online. Although some women have complained about the selection criteria, there are still a huge number of applicants who want to marry a millionaire, says an article on Excerpts:

According to reports about previous wife-seeking campaigns for rich men that were arranged by an online dating organization, there were more than 50,000 women who registered to take part. Even though they were fully aware that they had to disclose more personal information than the men in advance, the applicants still flocked to join the unfair "game". Therefore, they have nothing to complain about after being kicked out.

As long as such "millionaire blind dates" neither violate any laws nor run counter to normal social order, we cannot judge it as fair or unfair, since it is an individual choice whether to take part or not. Moreover, even if there were no such high-profile "blind dates" with millionaires, love and marriage in today's society are no longer innocent.

On the one hand, the applicants have already clearly calculated their potential losses and gains before throwing their hat in the ring; on the other hand, such blind dates are common nowadays: Everyone wants a wealthy husband or a good-looking wife. What makes the two different is that such marriage-seeking campaigns for millionaires have just magnified the common pursuit of many.

The problem of such campaigns is neither the millionaires nor their money, but rather the vulgar values society is conveying to its citizens. Rather than spending time criticizing such blind dates, why not reflect on love and marriage values that do not involve money?

(China Daily USA 07/31/2013 page12)