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Disasters Can Happen

The Death Of Detroit

DetroitOnce upon a time, the city of Detroit was one of the shining examples of America’s industrial might. Some of the greatest companies in the world provided large numbers of good paying jobs for hard working middle class American workers. Back during the glory days of the 1950s, Detroit was a teeming metropolis of approximately 2 million people, but today the current population is less than a million and residents are leaving in droves. Instead of being a symbol for how great the U.S. economic system is, today Detroit has become emblematic of the deindustrialization of America. Many areas of Detroit now resemble a ghost town. Many once grand structures have been sitting empty for years and years. Unemployment is rampant and crime is rapidly getting worse. We are literally witnessing the death of Detroit.  But what did we expect? We have been shipping our factories and our jobs overseas for decades, and now we are paying the price.

So just how bad are things in Detroit right now?  Just consider the following statistics….

*At the height of the economic downturn, the mayor of Detroit admitted that while the “official” unemployment rate in Detroit was about 27 percent, the “real” unemployment rate in his city was actually somewhere around 50 percent.

*House prices of under $1000 are quite common in Detroit now, and there are some homes in the city that you can actually purchase for just one dollar.

*Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb recently announced a plan to permanently close 44 Detroit schools.

*According to one recent estimate, the city of Detroit has 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant residential lots.

*So how do you possibly turn a city around that is dying right in front of your eyes?  Well, the mayor of Detroit recently unveiled his radical solution – you bulldoze one-fourth of the city.

Yes, things really are that bad in Detroit.  The city literally looks like a war zone in many areas.  Just check out the following video…..

But let’s not jump on Detroit too much.  The truth is that this is happening to once great manufacturing cities and towns across the United States.

So is there much hope that the U.S. economy is going to turn around and that things will soon get better in cities such as Detroit?


Every single month, factories, jobs and an astounding amount of wealth continues to leave the United States.  The global predator corporations that now dominate our economy have decided that U.S. workers are far too expensive and far too much of a bother and they are moving facilities out of the U.S. as fast as they can.

American workers are now in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor in the world.  For many big corporations, it simply does not make sense to pay a worker in the United States ten times more than they would have to pay a worker in China.

So until some fundamental changes are made, factories and jobs are going to continue to leave the country and more cities are going to end up like Detroit.

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  • olde reb

    It would be interesting to review the tax burdens levied by the local government entities. Were they considerably higher than prosperous areas ??

    It would have been fatal for a corporation to pay wages 10 times what a competitor would pay. Automobile buyers would not pay the excessive price.

  • Interesting post. Detroit seems to be the harbinger of things to come as the economy continues to recede, and we slowly sink into a dark age. In a healthy society, an area like this would be seen as an area of opportunity to redevelop and bring new industry in, as the price point for entry here would be lower than in other areas. The problem is that there is simply no new industrial or other economic activity looking for an inexpensive place to grow into. Instead, Detroit is a little like a diseased hand or foot on a body which has less and less blood flow to sustain it, and bulldozing parts of it remind me of nothing more than a therapeutic amputation.


  • Dave in Detroit

    Notice that the plan is not to UNINCORPORATE the withering areas, but to deny the exising property owners their rights. The areas in question should be released to the townships and wayne county as unincorporated areas and they should implement self rule. Detroit gobbled up these areas when it was expanding with the notable exceptions of Hamtramck and Highland Park; it’s time to purge, Detroit.

  • Rick

    It isn’t just companies moving jobs or whatever overseas, it is also the fact that the government has taxed companies (and people) to the point that they can not replace or invest the capital that has and is depreciating. How can we compete with equipment and training that is 40 years old against companies overseas that pay a fraction of the income, property, etc tax that we do?

  • Mo

    The problems with the USA is that is it increasingly becoming worse and worse for conducting business. It is not only high wages, but extremely high corporate taxes, excessive regulations (the endless plethora of federal, state, county, city agencies enacting building, health, environmental, safety, manufacturing, unemployment benefits, etc), the extremely litigious environment, and the future unknowns of what the bureaucrats have in store for us (Obamacare is a good example). It is no wonder businesses are jumping ship and going to other parts of the world, especially Asia, with less taxes, lower wages, less litigiousness, and less burdensome regulations.

  • Beavis

    Good luck with that…

    As long as Americans do not care about quality this will continue.

    Pay $7 dollars for a shirt from China, or $12 for a shirt from the US… $7 dollars, of course!

    Go back and buy another a year later because it was made with lousy materials by people paid $4 a week.

    I still have some of my high quality, US made shirts from twenty years ago!

    So, pay your $7, fill up the landfills with Chinese shirts (and microwaves, and shoes, and furniture, and…)

    I’ll stay here all cozy in my bought and paid for, USA quailty home with my bought and paid for USA quality goods, and I will only replace them once in a lifetime.

    You guys go re-purchase the same things every year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years… And make sure you keep that easy credit, debt slave, service/consumer economy going!

  • June

    I just heard Donald Trump saying that the outsourcing of companies has ruined this country. He called it disgraceful. We can thank Bill Clinton for NAFTA. I recall Ross Perot’s comment about hearing a giant sucking sound – that was the beginning, I think, of the manufacturing base disappearing from this country. Since then, outsourcing, insourcing (bringing foreign workers in) and the invasion from south of the border, sealed our fate. We need a knight in shinning armor who will have the backbone to put this nation back on track and once again be the world’s leader.

  • Vickie

    Give the good old USA back to the American people. It is amazing how resourceful we Americans are. We can pull ourselves back into shape and pay off these debts. One catch is the government we have saddled ourselves with. We are letting them destroy America.We must get rid of the dead weight, hidden agendas, theft, graft, NAFTA, CAFTA, add term limits and watch the USA bounce back. Give our children and grand children a chance to have some of what we have enjoyed.

  • Ed

    I like Beavis. Consider one more thing. We actually worry about a country where everything is ” made in China” .

  • It would be interesting to review the tax burdens levied by the local government entities. Were they considerably higher than prosperous areas ??

    It would have been fatal for a corporation to pay wages 10 times what a competitor would pay. Automobile buyers would not pay the excessive price.

  • h5mind

    It’s important to understand that the problems facing America have less to do with which party controls Congress or holds the White House, and the overall migration toward incorporation. Corporations are the antithesis of small businesses the latter which still produces 70% of the employment in this country. And yet, year after year, taxpayer money and political favors flow into the corporations while small businesses– the lifeblood of the economy– are ignored or regulated out of existence.

    Much is said of the disparity of labor rates between the US and China, but the truth is the biggest cost for most businesses is capital– money– in the form of loans. 20-40% of the cost of everything we purchase is composed of interest.

    So if you want to place blame, start with the laws and end with the banks– both are culpable.

  • Lembach Is Staying!

    Beavis & Ed – You’re retards, for several reasons:

    1. If the manufacturers could sell those shirts for $12, that’s more profit for them. How many people check where something was made, even now?

    2. If the “consumers” stop consuming, as they have now, the economy craters, everything made in China or otherwise. So more churn is necessary for the continuing health of economy. Unfortunate yes, but a fact nonetheless.

    3. Just because you cozy American is “bought and paid” for doesn’t mean you can’t lose it. Many of those now-empty Detroit homes were probably paid for, but if you can’t afford to live, it doesn’t matter. You can’t eat a house.

  • Chanthamixay

    The primary reason why Detroit and many cities across the nation are crumbling is because they are one industry cities. The state of these cities is directly dependent upon the health of that industry. When the industry is prospering so is the host city, and vice versa. In Detroit’s case, it relied upon the automotive industry, the Big 3. The difficulties of the Big 3 caused tens of thousands of job loss in Detroit and jointing cities.

    Even with the recovering domestic automotive industry, jobs in Detroit still remain bleak. The reason is the automotive industry that once located facilities and facilitated jobs are moving to lesser unionized cities down south such as Tennessee and Alabama. If Detroit wants return to its precrisis former self they need to match and beat offers given by the competing cities and states. The unions need to more willing to compromise and accept offers such as lower wages.

  • bruce lee

    I am one of those evil corporate business men who is moving all of my business out of Michigan.We chose South Carolina, North Dakota, and Wyoming because of the common sense approach the all take to setting up business in their states. Why should I be taxed on every piece of property and each piece of equiptment that I had to buy and use to create jobs in the state of Michigan And then after spending most of my profits on that equiptment that I used to create jobs for michigan workers I get socked with a huge tax bill for owning that equiptment and for the monies that equiptment generated!!!! after paying my help and providing a good benefits package Obama Care caused a huge increase in health care cost, The city increased licencing packages The DNR wanted to do a pollution audit at my expience, MIOSHA came in and fined me for not having certified Micromiters to certify the thickness of my federally certified sheets of metal and I got a hike in my city income tax, sewer AND WATER BILL AND A BILL FROM THE POLICE DEPT FOR COMING TO A FENDER BENDER MY WIFE HAD FOR 1300 DOLLARS !!!!! So after michigan goes broke completely and gets their heads screwed on straight I may look at comming back but not untill that Good luck and Good bye

  • Williams Okofo-Dateh

    come to think of it this way; the world stage is about the survival of the fittest. for quite a long time now America has been sapping other nations to nourish its citizens hence the name realist. now other nations have become eye opened too and are rubbing shoulders for the already stretched resources. even Africa is fighting for its own place along side gurus like China and others.no one is ready to be subdued anymore. how then can America continue to increase its lots when there are no resources from other parts of the world to support it as it use to be? in fact the leaders in America hardly have antidote to what is happening now.more is yet to come lets all wait and see.

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  • Lovely photo and excellent article! It’s about time Detroit pay for its sins. And pay it will – forever more as it continues to collapse.

  • Brian

    I can’t help but think of the film “The Music Man”, the song about Gary, Indiana and Shirley Jones singing of it as America’s centre of culture. Now, thanks to the polluted congress whores, every state will have 5 or 6 of it’s own. Remember 10 years ago when young people actually saw the writing on the wall and took to the streets. All the idiot media treated them as criminals. The change rocking the world now is the sound of civilization going down the toilet at warp speed. Optimistically, perhaps the vestiges which survive will have learned sonething… and a spiritual awakening can occur. For all you clever atheists out there, the meaning of the old saying “There are no atheists in a foxhole” will become clear, and the limitations of homo scientificus will change a few souls.

  • ron fowler

    so sad we were sold out starting in 1993

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