Operation Compliance: Detroit’s Slaughtering of American Businesses?

I heard about this video on one of my favorite podcast’s: ‘Creating Wealth’ with Jason Hartman.  This video epitomizes how foolish the brass is in Detroit, how they are beating up on businesses and ultimately driving tax dollars away from the city.  It is no wonder Detroit is in fiscal ruins and the prospects for a brighter future are as likely as a Tea Party convention hosted by Nancy Pelosi!  Detroit just slammed the prison door on its ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who will now be wearing pin stripes for the next 28 years.  What is wrong with the leaders in this city?  Do they despise businesses and free enterprise, sure appears that way.

One of the latest harebrained ideas concocted by the leadership in Detroit is known as Operation Compliance.  This is the crackdown on businesses the city deems to have broken the law, by not jumping through the proper bureaucratic hoops and for not paying for their permits.  Problem is, Operation Compliance is an aggressive hunting down of law breakers.  To put it in perspective; a normal method of enforcing the law is, if you were speeding down the highway, a police officer pulls you over at the time of the infraction and issues a citation.  In contrast, the Operation Compliance method of law enforcement is; if you were speeding down the highway yesterday, a police officer comes over to your house today, with his gun, and delivers a citation.  Whole different impact on the situation.

So where does Detroit go from here?

If the task force is closing down 20 businesses each week, what happens when they’re all gone.   No tax revenue, no new businesses will want to open up in Detroit, and therefore no businesses serving the working people of Detroit.  Seems like a lose/lose for everyone, or am I missing something?  Not to mention the fact that the already bankrupt city of Detroit, must now pay to fund this new task force.  It’s laughable, spend money on a task force to essentially, limit the tax dollars the city receives.  Spend 10 dollars to get 1, genius!

58 Minutes!

Detroit has had financial woes for many years, they just cant seem to get it right.  According to this Forbes article, it takes on average, 58 minutes for the police to respond to any emergency or non-emergency call.  58 minutes!!!  You’ll be dead by then!  It can’t be that the roads are so crowded from overpopulation that its slowing the traffic flow down.  What on earth are they doing?   I guess it can be that there are so many ‘incidents’ vying for the cops attention, and maybe there are fewer police officers than in years past,  I dunno.

Underpaid and Overworked.

Average starting salary for a Detroit policeman; a paltry $33,000, given that Detroit is one of the 50 largest cities.  Who wants to be a policeman in greater Detroit,  finding quality men and women to serve must be rife with challenges.  So back to our video, maybe Operation Compliance should consider a different approach, say maybe, drive around and commend those businesses who are creating jobs, supporting other businesses, getting people off of unemployment.  You know, turn Operation Compliance into a welcome committee, A more bees with honey approach.   I have to think this may encourage businesses to want to set up shop in Detroit, and as a result, tax revenue increases.  Maybe then, they could afford to pay their police more than $33,000 per year, and ultimately afford to expand the amount of paid officers.  This would be a great opportunity also for Detroit’s citizens who would get to welcome a drastically reduced response time, more amenities, safer environment, all that good stuff.  This my friends, seems like a win/win for everyone, but hey no one asked me?

This week St. Louis, Missouri welcomes FinCon 13, and I for one, am certainly excited.  I wanna give a shout out to a few I know are planning to show up: John at Frugal Rules, Rob at A Rich Life, Stephanie at Empowered Dollar, Ben at Money Smart Life, Bob at ChristianPF, Brandon at Bigger Pockets (great Podcast BTW).  Deacon at Well Kept Wallet, Grayson at Debt Roundup, Holly at Club Thrifty, Jacob at I Heart Budgets, Johnny at Johnny Moneyseed, Kevin at Thousandaire, Kim at Eyes On The Dollar, Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, Melinda at Planting Money Seeds, Carl at 1500 Days, Robert at The College Investor.  Travel safe y’all and I look forward to meeting many of you in person.



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  1. I agree that this operation doesn’t seem to benefit either the city’s coffers or businesses. But how much sympathy can we have for business owners that haven’t pulled the proper permits? It sounds a lot like those people who violate traffic laws and cry out that police should have something better to do. They might, but that doesn’t give motorists (or business owners) carte blanche, either.

    • Jim says:

      True, I think the complaint though is that operation compliance is going out of its way to shut down businesses. It just seems that with tax dollars at a premium, they could come to a better arrangements, perhaps warnings or smaller fines, not sure?

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