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What's Happening in Detroit?

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 15:35

In June of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder told Detroit citizens, 'Detroit’s not going into bankruptcy. We’re going to work hard to make sure we don’t need an emergency manager, and bankruptcy shouldn’t be on the table.'

On July 19, 2013 Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Story here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/michigan-governor-rick-snyder-vowed-detroit-wouldnt-go-bankr

The link at the bottom of the page contains some eye-opening information...

'However, all is not gloom and doom for Detroit. The bankruptcy was halted after it was found that Mr. Orr and his lawyers had negotiated in bad faith with creditors and shutting down the entire proceeding. Now Dictator Snyder is scrambling to find another way to cheat the citizens of Michigan out of their hard-earned public property, and put it into the hands of those who Dictator Snyder deems worthy.

2014 cannot come too soon, but by then, the damage will have been done. The citizens of Michigan will have had billions stolen from them, and may not have much of a state left to salvage. Dictator-Governor Rick Snyder has already done the damage, and when he leaves office, he fully intends to leave the citizens of Detroit, as well as those of Michigan proper, with nothing.'

Forbes has an interesting view of what's going on in Detroit...

'Perhaps lost in the Wisconsin shuffle is the story of what exactly is happening in Michigan. Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country - and almost no one is talking about it.'

Full story here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/03/11/michigan-governor-plays-fast-and-loose-with-democracy-invokes-radical-new-powers/

Have Rick Snyder and cohorts engineered the fall of Detroit? And who will bear the brunt of this financial crisis, besides the pensioners... and who stands to profit? Is this the sort of eventual story all cities and municipalities can look forward to under what appears to be corrupt governance? How can the people retain their bargaining power in the midst of crooked politicians and their influential allies?

Here is a link that might be useful: Detroit's Engineered Bankruptcy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Puleeze.

Unions, graft and crime are what caused flight from Detroit.

In other words, greed of unions, politicians, and criminals.

The chickens are coming home to roost.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

"The ranks of retirees outnumber the city's active workers by more than a 2-1 ratio. With so many retirees receiving pension benefits as the population shrinks, the city is caught in a perpetual knot, one that other cities with high retiree costs relative to revenues - such as Chicago - might have to face in coming years as well."

Here is a link that might be useful: More ananysis less anger


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

With a heavy loss in manufacturing, many cities will face the same unsustainable model in future. Thanks, Duluth... good article.

What I see too, though, are politicians positioning themselves to make bank from, or come away with some sort of benefit from these situations... situations that some politicians have kicked down field, only to be picked up by those who see a possible future of benefits for themselves and those who hold influence... by crafting and enacting laws that concentrate power, break up unions, use austerity measures, and then in come the vulture capitalists to pick the bones clean...


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

In Detroit, the loss amounts to a staggering 60% of the city's peak population. It is now smaller than Charlotte, N.C., and Fort Worth. More people have left Detroit than live in San Francisco; more people have left in the last decade than live in St. Petersburg, Fla.

You can't pay the bills without taxpayers.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

What are they going to sell off to pay the creditors?


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

A few things they could david.

A: Under the federal bankruptcy code, neither a judge nor creditors can force the city to liquidate its assets. This is a decision the city or the emergency manager would make. It is possible that Detroit-owned assets will be put up for sale, but it isn't known when that would happen and which assets would be on the block. They could include anything from the Detroit Zoo to a van Gogh painting to the historic Fort Wayne, all assets the city owns, according to public filings and media reports.

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

A lot of attention is focused on the Detroit Institute of Arts which includes Bruegel’s The Wedding Dance and Caravaggio’s The Conversion of the Magdalen plus masterworks of Della Robbia, Bellini, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Rodin, a fine group of post-impressionist paintings by Degas, Cézanne and Seurat...

The director of the DIA doubted the city could sell works from the art collection since the Michigan AG's opinion is the collection is “held by the City of Detroit in charitable trust for the people of Michigan, and no piece in the collection may thus be sold, conveyed, or transferred to satisfy city debts or obligation.”

You hate to see a city lose a big piece of its cultural heritage. It's frightening - more sad really - that some things are always subject to this kind of wholesale change and that the Conversion of the Magdalen could possibly be hanging in some Middle Eastern big wig's oda.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

The DIA is a concern here. It is a world class institution, holding many invaluable pieces, including Diego Rivera's murals of Depression Era workers.

Was this an engineered crisis? Of course it was, like the Post Office. Set up conditions to make the city fail, and then trumpet the failure as proof of the inability of government to succeed. Straight from the Koch boys' think thanks' play books.

I have to vent about something. People always complain about what a Hellhole Detroit is. The city itself still has a lot to offer, there has been major redevelopment in Downtown and some other areas. But, as a lifelong resident of the 'burbs, I have been both amused and at times disgusted by out of towners over the years who have made comments stating or implying that we live in some sort of slum or worse, some Mad Max dystopia. Metro Detroit is a large region with a lot to offer, and our local economy is humming again. My own town, and the surrounding ones, are a great place to live, with everything anyone could want. The weather stinks at times, that is my biggest complaint.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Yes, filing bankruptcy was an engineered crisis. And a long overdue one! Thank goodness it's finally happening!

I'm with you, denn, in that the city and Metro Detroit have alot to offer. If I hadn't done the long distance landlord thing once before and didn't like it, I would have bought property in Detroit over the last few years.

I'll be visiting there again in 2 weeks. I know I am in full agreement with many in the area who are thrilled that the bottom finally appears to have been reached!


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

They also have tracts of public lands, buildings, stadiums, and other real estate they could sell... art wouldn't have to be their only means of paying creditors.

The state is also purported to owe the city of Detroit quite a large chunk of money...


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

They can privatize the major roads - turn them into toll roads. Privatize the parking meters. Privatize the water and sewage system. Privatize the prisons.

All steps that have been done elsewhere.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

The Pontiac Silverdome has already been sold at less than a fire sale rate - $583,000 (it cost $55.7 million to build).

A Detroiter would have a grasp on the wrangling between the state of Michigan owing the city of Detroit its share of revenues, but the link below lays it out.

Here is a link that might be useful: The heart of the matter


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

The City of Detroit doesn't own the stadiums. The Detroit Wayne County Stadium Authority owns them (Comerica Park and Ford Field).

Property and buildings owned by the city have been on a monthly auction schedule for at least all of this year. Much of it is already blighted.

Belle Isle, the one park site that's worth anything, may go under lease with the State of Michigan. That's been under discussion for a while now.

The amount owed by the state to the city would not make much of a dent in the situation.

bankruptcy is THE solution.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

demi: "In other words, greed of unions, politicians, and criminals."

I agree, greed truly caused a lot of it. Greed and corruption - politicians and stockholders. Can't say I agree the unions ruined it. See any millionaire retired union members? Nope.

And, well, of course, criminals yes. I am a Lions and Tigers fan. I have always wanted to go to games there, but I would never go because of the crime. (At least here in Chicago, I know what areas to avoid, and where I would be fairly safe. In Detroit, I wouldn't know.)

It is a beautiful city. From across the river in Windsor the skyline is spectacular. I could (and did once) sit and look at it all evening.

I hope it survives somehow. How sad it is.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 14:15

No, really, the peons are always the problem - not the people at the helm. The tail wags the dog, every time.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Forbes article doesn't blame the unions.

Here is a link that might be useful: forbes article


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

I'm trying to think of cities that have recovered from financial collapse and overcame (or at least found workable solutions for) all the attendant problems tangled up in that collapse.

This city was nowhere on the brink, but the major problem was - the usual can kicked down the road through many mayoral stints - underfunded city govt. health care benefits to the tune of millions... probably no two active or retired employees being in the same plan. All that problem took was for the current mayor to grow a pair and put everyone in the same plan - with court rulings coming down on his side.

I can't imagine Detroit not surviving, but it'll have to reinvent itself a time or two. Been surfing and find reference to Detroit now having 8 people per acre which is down from 21 per acre in 1950. The jobs go and people go with them leaving properties to molder or be targets of arson while waiting to be torn down to cut down on the blight. It's the blight that gets the media attention, not what might still be functioning. And that, sadly, is the picture of Detroit the media shows us. But when the tax base drops so do city services - usually the first things to be cut in any cost saving plans. Police, first responders, trash, bus service, schools all go on the chopping block The people who are left just can't make up the shortfalls.

It's jobs! People need jobs. It seems so simple. But obviously it's not and will remain the one piece of the equation that'll always be missing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bloomberg on survival


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Well, at least this shoved Jefferson County, Alabama, off the top of the list.

How's that going, by the way? Last I heard - and this is a couple years ago - life was pretty dismal for the people living there.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Per Reuters:

"According to Lawmakers in Alabama's bankrupt Jefferson County on Monday chose Citigroup Global Markets as senior underwriter for a planned $1.9 billion bond refinancing in late 2013 that is central to ending America's biggest municipal bankruptcy case."

Not going to rush out and buy any Jefferson County government, muni and/or corporate bonds - even Moody's gives the county sewer debt a Ca rating. Guess a straight C would be too devastating. Junk bond status, nonetheless, since D would be in default.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Duluth, Did you know that Detroit was one of the top 5 US cities for job growth between 2010 and 2012? Tech is the top industry.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

All I know is I wish a good outcome for Detroit.

I have so many fond memories of Detroit. I was there often in better times. Great neighbourhoods like Greektown, fabulous restaurants especially along the water.....Joe Muirs, The Rooster Tail and so many more.

I too think this is the best thing to happen and I believe Detroit will come out a better city in the end.

JMC...any idea what's going on with the bridge? I lost track of that.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

I just ran across that in my surfing, jmc01.

"This can be traced to the rejuvenated auto industry, which is increasingly dependent on high-tech skills. Manufacturing is increasingly prodigious driver of tech jobs"

It's not just dot.coms and games anymore, they say.

Another interesting link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Detroit population loss slows


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

My hairdressers husband has a PHD and his specialty is robotics. He has had to take a condo in Windsor ( right across the bridge from Detroit) because he is in such demand and so busy.

He says the auto industry is booming and very exciting ...but the jobs are , in large part , jobs requiring specific skills, education and training....who knows Detroit just may become the industrial tech capital of the world!

.......but it will never match Windsor for BBQ ribs...


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

"While Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI), Detroit Mayor David Bing, and emergency manager Kevyn Orr gave varied takes on the likelihood of a federal bailout for the country’s largest bankrupt city on Sunday, Snyder and Orr agreed that the city’s pensioners are going to see their promised benefits cut.

Orr explicitly avoided taking a view on federal help when asked by Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, saying that as an appointee rather than an elected official the question was beyond his purview. On ABC, Bing hinted that federal help might be proper, noting that “when we had Chrysler and General Motors, that the federal government helped in their bankruptcy, they came back and they’re doing well.” Bing said it would be “difficult right now to ask directly” for federal help, and said “not yet” when This Week’s George Stephonopoulos asked directly if he would request federal aid.

Snyder, who appointed Orr, appeared to reject the idea of a bailout. In his first Sunday show appearance, Snyder told NBC that “I’m not going to speak for the federal government.” Later, on CBS, the governor was asked directly if there is a bailout in the city’s future. “No. And I don’t expect one,” Snyder said. “If the federal government wants to do that, that’s their option,” he said, adding “I don’t view that as the right answer.”

The unfunded portion of the city’s pension and healthcare liabilities to 30,000 public employees and retirees amounts to about half of the $18 billion in unpayable debts that lead to last week’s bankruptcy filing. While bailout funds might allow the city to keep its contracts with workers, Orr and Snyder were clear that bankruptcy means trimming back those promised payments.

Each man stressed that the majority of the city’s obligations are funded, and that bankruptcy would curtail only the $3.5 billion in unfunded pensions and $5.7 billion in unfunded health care costs. “There are going to be some adjustments,” Orr said when Wallace asked directly about breaking pension contracts. “I’m empathetic about the problem,” Orr said, noting his mother is a retiree, but “we don’t have a choice.”

Snyder agreed, telling NBC that a bankruptcy judge will appoint a representative for pensioners to give them a voice in the proceedings, where “the real question is how do you address the unfunded piece.” On CBS, he was similarly circumspect about pension cuts, stressing that they’ve promised not to start cutting pensions for six months and are seeking to give retirees a voice in determining what happens “beyond that.” “The bankruptcy process allows us to do it in a much thoughtful, more deliberate, better way where they can have a voice at the table,” Snyder said.

Even before the bankruptcy filing, analysts say, Orr’s approach to resolving the debt burden appeared aimed at forcing pensioners to share in the pain of a bankruptcy they did not cause."

Here is a link that might be useful: Pension Cuts Unavoidable while Declining Federal Help


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

The new bridge should be happening - permits are in hand.. And Canada is financing a chunk of it, Chase.

It's been a treat to read about Matty Mattoun squirming over this!


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

I knew we were financing a big chink of it but last I head there was resistance to Canadian money from some factions .... I I'll go do some research but...in the meantime...

when in Detroit one really must visit the TBQ in Windsor for a true cultural" exchange...beats poutine!


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

I am a Lions and Tigers fan.
Yes, you are real Chicagoan. Ughh.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

I'm a Tigers Fan....nothing better on a hot summer day than a couple of dogs and a few cold beers...then you go to the game.

I loved the old stadium.......loved it!


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

"I am a Lions and Tigers fan.
Yes, you are real Chicagoan. Ughh."

One (or is it just me) is not allowed to root for another city's team, heri? (Y'all see it, heri started it. She's baiting me.)

ROFL

I would love to see a game in the old Tiger's stadium. Hey, maybe I will go this year. I'll be not too far from there before the end of the season.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

It is unusual (and maybe dangerous) to live in Chicago and root for not one, but two sports teams from Detroit.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Dangerous. Yes. Unusual, not sure.

I am also a Cubs, Sox and Bears fan. And several other teams from other cities. I don't have to pick just one city.

Maybe I'm not a competitive type. I always feel bad for the losing team. DBF stares at me in disbelief when I root for the other team to come from behind. It's pretty comical. Happens a lot. Even when we go to a game. He does worry about the dangerous fans.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

(Y'all see it, heri started it. She's baiting me.)

How juvenile.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

"Posted by frank_il z5Illinois (My Page) on Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 19:53
It is unusual (and maybe dangerous) to live in Chicago and root for not one, but two sports teams from Detroit."

Given that 50% of the recent years combined graduating classes of U of Mich and Mich State have ended up in Chicago, I would say it's not unusual, not uncommon and definitely not dangerous to cheer for even 3 Detroit sports teams in Chicago.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

"Given that 50% of the recent years combined graduating classes of U of Mich and Mich State have ended up in Chicago"

Do you have a source for those facts? I have found that about half are leaving, and that the city they are most likely to relocate to is Chicago. However, I can't imagine that every single one of the ones leaving Michigan are coming to IL.


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

  • Posted by brute Florida 9B (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 7:15

Okay, just let me squeeze past this elephant in the room and get to my computer...
Whew! Made it!
Here's a link that will explain the decline and fall of Detroit...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.vdare.com/articles/detroit-is-a-microcosm-of-black-america-black-studies-professor-s-2010-op-ed-says-what-cons


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

An interesting look into Detroit...

Perhaps one of the largest cities to bankrupt, but certainly not the only one or the last one...

Here is a link that might be useful: 25 FACTS ABOUT THE FALL OF DETROIT


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

  • Posted by brute Florida 9B (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 17:40

Gee whiz! So many theories concerning what went wrong with Detroit! It's enough to make one's head swim!
Well, well, what do you know? Here's another from today's Taki's Magazine.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://takimag.com/article/the_motor_city_blows_its_pistons_jim_goad#axzz2ZoJclLOL


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Post-nuclear crater - good one, brute.

Don't bother folks... Taki's Magazine... "a Libertarian webzine. We believe the best stories are smart, cheeky, and culturally relevant. We take our politics like we take life - "lightly."

Neither smart nor "cheeky" (nothing amusing in an endearing sort of way here).


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Unions, graft and crime are what caused flight from Detroit.
Why didn't the blacks get to fly?
Why do they get stuck bearing the brunt of the economic and social problems that are endemic to a decaying urban jungle?
Detroit is 85% black with many white suburbs surrounding it...but of course we have solved all racial issues like segregation and poverty in our country.

What caused flight from Detroit was lack of jobs and that was not the fault of the Unions, unless you believe that American workers should have settled for non-union minimum wage jobs with no benefits to compete with Oriental workers making $2 an hour or less.
Too much of our manufacturing base was exported to Japan, China, S. Korea. over several years beginning in the early sixties for the most part.
I think it is insane to entirely blame Unions for that.
Undercutting Union workers and weakening Unions only emboldened corporations to increasingly export labor, import products, fire workers and increase corporate profits.

Our country should never have allowed that to happen. We weakened ourselves as a nation by dividing ourselves along partisan lines, along racial lines, along Union/non-Union lines, along socioeconomic lines, and across segregated urban/suburban areas like Detroit and in so many of our other large cities.

Now it looks like the Governor in Michigan wants to bulldoze Detroit instead of having the balls to try to get public and private investment to rebuild it and make it into a great American City we can all be proud of instead of ashamed of.

This post was edited by heri_cles on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 4:45


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

Well said, Heri... emboldened, to be sure. What used to be done under cover of darkness, so to speak, is now being done in plain view, in the bright light of day... corporations and their stockholders are demanding more and more profit in the short term, at the expense of workers, entire companies, and even entire cities.

Big money bought big deregulation, and the ability to seek the cheapest form of production anywhere around the globe... again, at the expense of workers... and this time, also at the expense of the environment, as many nations do not have the same protections in place that the US does.

A consumer and service based economy is not sustainable, as we are seeing... and economic fortune does not trickle down.

Those who hold power and influence are, in effect, outright plundering the US's economy, sucking wealth upward and leaving the worker struggling to live.

You can bet that the politicians involved are not losing their pensions...


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RE: What's Happening in Detroit?

From the link cited by the Florida "brute":

"That old bugaboo known as “white flight,” which involved Caucasians fleeing a once-thriving city in the wake of vicious riots, escalating crime, and felonious black-nationalist mayors, was pinned on white bigotry rather than black behavior. The fact that the Detroit metropolitan area now resembles a whitebread donut with a solid-chocolate filling was blamed on the whites that left rather than the blacks that stayed. The uncomfortable fact that the white suburban areas began to prosper while the black urban core started to rot was blamed, oh, but of course, on white people."
======================
This is precisely the kind of pernicious racially motivated attitude that divides our country. Neither whites nor blacks should be blamed for the problems facing our cities now, t least not if we want to engage in a useful dialog and solve problems.

"White flight" in itself did not cause urban decay nor have white people caused increased gun crime in the cities, but it exists, and it exists alongside shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes, closed public schools that once thrived and educated those who now live in suburbia/exurbia.
Similarly one cannot sit and "blame" blacks for not exercising "personal responsibility" and lifting themselves out of the dangerous, dilapidated, depressing urban jungle overrun by drug dealing and crime. The people who live in that environment cannot survive on hope when they cannot even see it.

I would like to think that the majority of Americans would like to turn the page and try to solve the problems that now present thmselves - urban decay, increased gun violence, lack of education, safe housing. I fear that is not the case. For example, it is anathema to the Republican party to spend their money for the takers, those that Mitt Romney called the 47% and that Bill O'Reilly accused of "wanting things." They avoid the issue of investment in public schools, education, healthcare by utterly loathing the people who would benefit from it.

That attitude is something that is not going to get fixed in the next few decades, certainly not until those who maintain such deeply embedded views take those to the grave with them.

This post was edited by heri_cles on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 13:07


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