Death city 8

Detroit is a dying city. How many more American cities will fall into decay and despair as Obama and the Democrats bankrupt the nation?

From the Times Online:

The abandoned corpses, in white body bags with number tags tied to each toe, lie one above the other on steel racks inside a giant freezer in Detroit’s central mortuary, like discarded shoes in the back of a wardrobe.

Some have lain here for years, but in recent months the number of unclaimed bodies has reached a record high. For in this city that once symbolised the American Dream many cannot even afford to bury their dead.

“I have not seen this many unclaimed bodies in 13 years on the job,” said Albert Samuels, chief investigator at the mortuary. “It started happening when the economy went south last year. I have never seen this many people struggling to give people their last resting place.”

Unburied bodies piling up in the city mortuary — it reached 70 earlier this year — is the latest and perhaps most appalling indignity to be heaped on the people of Detroit. The motor city that once boasted the highest median income and home ownership rate in the US is today in the midst of a long and agonising death spiral.

After years of gross mismanagement by the city’s leaders and the big three car manufacturers of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, who continued to make vehicles that Americans no longer wanted to buy, Detroit today has an unemployment rate of 28 per cent, higher even than the worst years of the Great Depression.

The murder rate is soaring. The school system is in receivership. The city treasury is $300 million (£182m) short of the funds needed to provide the most basic services such as rubbish collection. In its postwar heyday, when Detroit helped the US to dominate the world’s car market, it had 1.85 million people. Today, just over 900,000 remain. It was once America’s fourth-largest city. Today, it ranks eleventh, and will continue to fall.

Thousands of houses are abandoned, roofs ripped off, windows smashed. Block after block of shopping districts lie boarded up. Former manufacturing plants, such as the giant Fisher body plant that made Buicks and Cadillacs, but which was abandoned in 1991, are rotting. …

Read more of this depressing stuff, if you want to, here.

Posted under Economics, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 21, 2009

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This post has 8 comments.

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  • rogerinflorida

    tc,
    You are right to pick up on the implication that Obama and the democrats are to blame for the woes of Detroit, clearly they are not. This situation has been developing for at least half a century. America got away from the ideals of freedom and became more and more collectivist, the “golden goose” of free enterprise business has been plucked to the point of extinction. Do you agree that Obama and his cohorts believe that Govt. should be the arbiter of economic activity and are strangling the private sector and deliberately destroying the (largely white) middle class to achieve their aims.
    Do you agree with them that collectivism is what we should be striving for and that govt. can better organise the economy than private enterprise?
    If you do, you are going to be very disappointed, there is not a single socialist economy anywhere that has been able to serve it's people. They all result in hopelessness, despair and poverty.

  • tc

    Two quotes from “Death City”:

    1: “Detroit is a dying city. How many more American cities will fall into decay and despair as Obama and the Democrats bankrupt the nation?”

    2: “Thousands of houses are abandoned, roofs ripped off, windows smashed. Block after block of shopping districts lie boarded up. Former manufacturing plants, such as the giant Fisher body plant that made Buicks and Cadillacs, but which was abandoned in 1991, are rotting. …”

    In the 1st quote you connect the “decay and despair” of Detroit with Democrats and Obama.

    In the 2nd quote the abandonment of a car plant in 1991, near the end of the Regan/Bush 1 era, is cited as an example of Detroit's woes.

    Please explain…did Detroit really “fall into decay and despair” in the last 10 months?

    • No, tc, Detroit took longer to fall into decay and despair. But the policies of Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are placing an enormous burden of debt on the tax-payers of the present and the future, and this will hasten and spread decay and despair.

      • tc

        Jillian,

        Since the closing date of the plant cited in the article (1991) the Republicans have controlled Congress 14 out of 18 years, I believe.

        The debt grew very significantly during the years when the Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress.

        The answer obviously isn't Republican rule. I expected a more thoughtful response.

        • You are right, tc, both about the answer not being Republican rule, and about my answer not being good enough. I didn't give it enough thought because I didn't investigate it seriously. I may look into it a bit more thoroughly. If you can help with information, or theories of your own, please do.

          And thank you for your comments.

  • rogerinflorida

    In another post some months ago I mentioned that many societies have declined to the point where the current population resides in squalor amongst the ruins of their former glory, Greek hovels aoround the Parthenon illustrate the point. Detroit is a living (dying?) example of this; the Packard factory where motor cars were engineered, designed and built lies derelict, has been for 80 years. Detroit is not alone, Gary IN, Flint MI are just two others. The reality is that American society has declined to the point where we make only two things; instruments of death and instruments of debt. Our needs for the products we use day to day are met by workers of other nations while we trade them paper. actually we are now at the point where the USA is the begging bum on the off ramp of the international trade freeway:
    “Can't work, won't work, don't know to work, please help”.
    This has happened because govt. has encroached on individual liberty to the point where almost any innovative activity is regulated to death. I know this through my own efforts to bring a new electrical product to market. Neither is this a really a political party thing although the unbelievable stupidity of the Republicans has helped. The Democratic party, at least of the last twenty five years, has now achieved it's objective; it has a committed hard left marxist in the white house. It is clear from the economic policy that is now being implemented that the private sector is to be destroyed and all economic activity is to be closely controlled by the govt. If you wish to see where this leads read a history of Argentina 1950 to today.
    It is going to take generations to throw this off.

  • Who is in charge of the city? I mean which party has been in charge of that city for the past 8-10 years?

    • Winston – All the mayors of Detroit have been Democrats for the last 48 years.