Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 26, 2009
POLITICS: Dust to Dust

Via Jim Pethokoukis' Twitter feed, Urbanophile has a fascinating look at the depopulation, de facto deregulation, and in some places re-ruralization of Detroit. The pictures tell thousands of words.

I don't buy the idea that cities in general should be broken up in this fashion, but there's a pretty strong case that Detroit is a completely failed polity, a sort of laboratory of modern liberalism run to its natural and logical conclusions, and the fewer people who are held captive to its malignancies, the better.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:28 PM | Politics 2009 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

After reading this article, I am quite shocked. The author is detailing people growing their own food as the only way to get something to eat, eating racoons, etc. Now if this was a more rural location, the above would seem more "normal". But in a city, it seems to mean the that the city structure has completely broken down.

The images showing how many areas have gone back to grass plots is amazing.

Wow!

Posted by: Lee at October 26, 2009 7:15 PM

We went to Detroit in March of 2008 for the NCAA regional. There were areas that looked like the aftermath of a war -- on the losing side.

Posted by: stan at October 26, 2009 7:47 PM

"80 percent of the residents of Detroit buy their food at the one thousand convenience stores, party stores, liquor stores, and gas stations in the city. There is such a dire shortage of protein in the city that Glemie Dean Beasley, a seventy-year-old retired truck driver, is able to augment his Social Security by selling raccoon carcasses (twelve dollars a piece, serves a family of four) from animals he has treed and shot at undisclosed hunting grounds around the city."

whoa.

Posted by: stan at October 26, 2009 7:57 PM

I see very little there to be optimistic about, Crank. Agriculture generates very few dollars/sq ft. In fact in many cases it can be measured in cents/sq ft. That hardly sounds like the best use for urban real estate. Then their is the racial divisiveness, but no mention made of the relative safety of the neighborhoods in question. The fact that there isn't a grocery store in Detroit speaks volumes about the safety issue. The author's 'blank canvas' analogy implies that top down urban planning is ultimately the way to go. Until the political structure that killed Detroit is changed, it will never recover and there is no mention made of changing the political philosophy of Detroit in the article.

Posted by: feeblemind at October 26, 2009 9:22 PM

Thanks for the link, Dr. Crank -- one of the more interesting articles I've read as of late. I'd buy a few of those $100 houses, except that I'd have to go to Detroit at least once to do so, which kinds of circles back to the problem.

Go Phils? I guess. Oh boy.

(A BoSox fan in the throes of World Series Fever!)

Posted by: chrisa798 at October 26, 2009 9:44 PM

The problem with Detroit and the Metro area is for years they were beholden to the Auto Industry and the Unions. If you wanted to get elected you had better please both masters. This went for whatever political stripe you carried. This lack of political spine has killed manufacturing in the State of Michigan.
Detroit at one time had close to two million residents, now they are under one million. So, common sense dictates you have to shrink the city population center. You can not maintain a city built for two million on a tax base of less than a million. The population decrease is mainly due to the massive number lost manufacturing jobs (we don't make anything anymore). First jobs were outsourced to the union free deep south (just in time shipping) for cheap labor then a combination of globalization and the American auto makers banking on SUV's and cheap gas. Just think if the Big three had maintain a fuel efficient mid-sized product line when gas prices skyrocketed????
Funny thing is two suburbs of Detroit that are heavily Republican and conservative have higher foreclosure rates than Detroit.
The problem with Detroit is a symptom of the old Rust Belt and how as a nation we address this problem that has impacted more than just Detroit.

Posted by: javaman at October 26, 2009 10:12 PM

Thanks for the link, Dr. Crank -- one of the more interesting articles I've read as of late. I'd buy a few of those $100 houses

I would assume that Detroit City Schools spend about the same $10K+/student/yr that most large cities do...

Can you imagine the property taxes on those $100 homes?

Posted by: Fletch at October 26, 2009 11:28 PM

Of course the 'burbs have a higher foreclosure rate. Banks don't foreclose on property that's has no value.

Posted by: spongeworthy at October 27, 2009 10:05 AM

Spongy,
Actually, the suburban houses have plummeted in value as well. It is not a Detroit problem but a regional problem (Metro Detroit). Simply put the Detroit Metro area has lost an entire class of working people, they are not leaving Detroit for the suburbans they are leaving the State of Michigan entirely.

Posted by: javaman at October 27, 2009 10:47 AM

Crank

Thanks for this site.

Enjoyed the discussion tho I see nothing positive for Detroit in the short run.

Enjoyed exploying the entires site. A treasure. You are a great find also for leading me to sites like this.

Posted by: From Inwood at October 31, 2009 4:15 AM

Crank

Should read over what I write before posting.

Try again:

Thanks for this site.

Enjoyed the discussion tho I see nothing positive for Detroit in the short run.

Enjoyed exploring the entire site. A treasure. You are a great find also for leading me to sites like this.

Posted by: From Inwood at October 31, 2009 4:18 AM
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