Sure the recession is a tiping point, but as greg' links suggested a few posts ago, Detroits collapse was its incessant need to be, "AMERICAN," and continue the manufacturing process, "in the hands of AMERICANS," thereby Detroit did not acknowledge the new trend in robotics that could be used more cheaply than workers. Businesses of course will ALWAYS go towards the cheaper end yet Detroit being Detroit caused the business leaders in the auto industry to leave, thus cause people within Detroit to relocate, thus causing the tax rate of Detroit to drop below the national average to compensate for there being less people, thus eventually causing its collapse. This bankruptcy was coming long ago, and Michigan in particular has always been ranked poorly among business leaders, and that didn't help Detroit either. Which is why I agreed with Mitt Romney in saying, "let Detroit go bankrupt (in response to saving its failed auto-industry)," he saw what was going to happen, so did every other competent business leader. But, that sort of talk doesn't resonate with the American public because of how scathing it sounds. Mitt should have expanded on those comments of why saving its auto-industry would never work in the long term. Now Detroit is re-evaluating itself and coming up with better solutions than it once had... I don't think the corrupt politicians are a problem if competent regulation is in place, also every state has corrupt politicians. I'd be surprised if one didn't. It's policies like Detroit being stuck in its golden period which brought it to the ground.