It may seem like a crazy statement, but the difference between a large, industrial city like Detroit, and a regular man or woman living in St. Louis, is minimal. On the surface, this sounds way off base. But in actuality, both examples are looking for the same thing: a fresh start / clean slate.
The City of Detroit has seen its fair share of economic hardship. It was a booming metropolis up until the late 70s, early 80s, when the major car manufacturers faced stiff competition from places like Japan and Germany. Fast-forward a few decades later, and what you have is a city that still has incredible potential and pride, but has taken a pretty big punch on the chin. All the talent in the world lies within their borders, along with the know-how, hard-work, and eagerness to move forward. But its debts have weighed down so heavily against it that the city can barely make payments on time, meet its basic obligations, and is struggling to keep up with necessities. They just need a break.
This set of circumstances may sound very familiar to an individual (or married couple) who have worked hard all their life, and trying to make a decent living. But because of a failing economy and the loss of a job, they have had to take out lines of credit just to get by. Maybe even a few high interest loans so that they can bridge the gap between the next paycheck and keeping the lights on. These people are smart, hard-working, full of ambition, and want to make sure that they can provide for their families. And boy, do they just need a break!
This is the fundamental idea behind filing a St. Louis bankruptcy. It is the opportunity to regain a foothold over your life, get your house back in order, so that you can reestablish your financial standing. In a St. Louis Chapter 7, things like unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, old utility bills, overdrawn bank accounts, personal loans, etc) are all knocked out, discharged forever. And in a St. Louis Chapter 13, it is sometimes possible to readjust your secured debts (like a car loan) so that a more reasonable interest rate is used, or the amount you pay back is closer to the current fair market value.
The same concept applies for the people of Detroit. They need a chance to get back to where they know they can be, a chance to seek out their greatness. The bankruptcy is a step in that direction. And much like the average person filing bankruptcy in St. Louis, the opportunities to move forward are there for the taking.