Hartford will never reform without the pain of bankruptcy. The writer is referring to the city itself, but I don't see why it's not equally applicable to the Yahoos who hang out in the Capitol.
And here's another question: why are these mutually exclusive?
Yes, Hartford's demographics are awful. There is too much poverty. Little competence in government or society generally can be expected when most people are living on welfare or Social Security, functionally illiterate, fatherless, facing criminal charges or on probation or parole, or employed by government itself.