Detroit files Chapter 9

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stanolshefski said:   depalma13 said:   Killjoy1991 said:    How do you get middle & upper income individuals to move into the city given these issues?

You give them tax incentives. You offer them no property tax on newly built homes for 10 years and make it transferable.


Philadelphia has done this very successfully for the last 20 years. They give a tax abatement (you pay taxes based upon the unimproved value) for 10 years.

It not only improved the long-term property tax situation, but it immediately improved the city wage and sales tax situation (primarily by attracting more high earners into staying in or moving into the city).


http://www.biaofphiladelphia.com/ufiles/abatement_report.pdf

Al3xK said:   So can I buy some property in Detroit and just not pay taxes on it now that they're in default lol?

Nah, it never works that way.

sell some land and allow development of a private city

Completely agree. I don't believe Detroit will ever recover, because there is no economic reason for Detroit to recover. All the major auto companies have operated out of the suburbs for years now. Detroit is just a future indicator for all of southeast Michigan in my opinion. The taxes are high, the weather is terrible 10 months of the year, the economy is sputtering statewide, and there really isn't any REASON for the area to prosper. It's not located near a major port, shipping route, natural resource, government headquarters (like DC), or any other economically attractive feature. Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?

FranksandBeans said:   Kanosh said:   I'm in for a vacant lot or two. I've heard some artists are moving there, buying up houses for a song to fix up as art houses. No idea how much of that is going on (no doubt not enough) but if true it points to a rebound. New York was a basket case in the 1970's - drugs, abandoned blocks, crime, bankrupt government -- and look at it today.

It could happen yet to Detroit, IF they get their act together and change enough policies to make it a pro-growth city. If they continue with the same whining and pleading results will not look much different than they always have.


You gotta get rid of the bad people that are there before that will work. Yes, I am ok with saying bad people. People who would be fine with stabbing you for a dollar. People who have been gaming welfare for generations or continuously game unemployment. Drug dealers, drug users, intentionally homeless. People with no job skills, and that are so devoid of work ethic that they wouldn't work even if they had job skills. People that have been scraping by on crime and gaming the system and feel they are entitled for the government to keep taking care of them. What do you do with those people? Nothing. There's nothing you can do, except change the systems that allow them to exist. Good luck with that.

What Detroit needs is a natural disaster during the winter that renders the entire area uninhabitable, wipes the entire area clean. Then some bleeding heart liberal movement from California or wherever offering funding relocating programs to all these "helpless" people to some other portion of the country. Then, maybe, just maybe, decent people could come in and rebuild it. Until then Detroit is just going to continue being a running joke and fiscal liability for everyone else trying to make a living in Michigan.

Detroit is what happens when everyone pulling the wagon decides it is easier to jump in the wagon. Plus some side joke about trying to rob each other once they are all in the wagon.

I'm 10 minutes away from Detroit and can tell you the stories and show you my ridiculously high property tax and insurance rates due being anywhere near that hole. If you think hard work and good feelings can save it then you are welcome to move to Detroit and do your part to save it the hard way. It's going to be a running joke for a long, long, time.

Unless said perfect storm of natural disaster plus relocation programs hit.

vxmike said:   Completely agree. I don't believe Detroit will ever recover, because there is no economic reason for Detroit to recover. All the major auto companies have operated out of the suburbs for years now. Detroit is just a future indicator for all of southeast Michigan in my opinion. The taxes are high, the weather is terrible 10 months of the year, the economy is sputtering statewide, and there really isn't any REASON for the area to prosper. It's not located near a major port, shipping route, natural resource, government headquarters (like DC), or any other economically attractive feature. Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?


I love opinion pieces like the above.
Michigan is around middle of the pack in tax burden.
Michigan winter weather can be long, around 4-5 months can be blah, the other 7 are very good.
GM is headquartered in Detroit, their design center is in the suburbs, 4 miles from the Detroit border.
Shipping routes: It is located on the Great Lakes shipping route. It is also the economically busiest border crossing in America. 25% of all US/Canada trade travels through Detroit.
Natural Resources: The largest fresh water supply in the world, Fish, Game, Farming, natural gas reserves.

chibimike said:   vxmike said:   Completely agree. I don't believe Detroit will ever recover, because there is no economic reason for Detroit to recover. All the major auto companies have operated out of the suburbs for years now. Detroit is just a future indicator for all of southeast Michigan in my opinion. The taxes are high, the weather is terrible 10 months of the year, the economy is sputtering statewide, and there really isn't any REASON for the area to prosper. It's not located near a major port, shipping route, natural resource, government headquarters (like DC), or any other economically attractive feature. Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?


I love opinion pieces like the above.
Michigan is around middle of the pack in tax burden.
Michigan winter weather can be long, around 4-5 months can be blah, the other 7 are very good.
GM is headquartered in Detroit, their design center is in the suburbs, 4 miles from the Detroit border.
Shipping routes: It is located on the Great Lakes shipping route. It is also the economically busiest border crossing in America. 25% of all US/Canada trade travels through Detroit.
Natural Resources: The largest fresh water supply in the world, Fish, Game, Farming, natural gas reserves.

First, we're talking about Detroit -- so much of your response doesn't apply.

Second, with respect to the discussion of transportation, much of that traffic produces zero economic impact in Detriot.

JamesPolk said:   If you're handy with the steel, check out this incredible mansion in Indian Village: 1500 Seminole Street, Detroit, MI...Jeez, you'd think w/ the commission on that place the realtors could spring for a decent camera for the pics!

chibimike said:   vxmike said:   Completely agree. I don't believe Detroit will ever recover, because there is no economic reason for Detroit to recover. All the major auto companies have operated out of the suburbs for years now. Detroit is just a future indicator for all of southeast Michigan in my opinion. The taxes are high, the weather is terrible 10 months of the year, the economy is sputtering statewide, and there really isn't any REASON for the area to prosper. It's not located near a major port, shipping route, natural resource, government headquarters (like DC), or any other economically attractive feature. Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?


I love opinion pieces like the above.
Michigan is around middle of the pack in tax burden.
Michigan winter weather can be long, around 4-5 months can be blah, the other 7 are very good.
GM is headquartered in Detroit, their design center is in the suburbs, 4 miles from the Detroit border.
Shipping routes: It is located on the Great Lakes shipping route. It is also the economically busiest border crossing in America. 25% of all US/Canada trade travels through Detroit.
Natural Resources: The largest fresh water supply in the world, Fish, Game, Farming, natural gas reserves.


I welcome a respectful debate:

- Michigan property taxes as a state are among the highest in the nation. I pay 2.8% of annual value in Oakland County. I've done taxes for people in Wayne county paying almost twice that ratio. Michigan has a moderate sales tax, a moderate state income tax of over 4%, plus the city of Detroit itself levies 2.5% on residents and 1.25% on non-resident income. It's an absolute disincentive to live or work in Detroit.

http://taxes.about.com/od/statetaxes/a/property-taxes-best-and-w...

- The summers are just as miserable as winter. 90F+ and humid is only nice on the beach. It's pretty miserable in a concrete jungle especially considering most of our rain falls in summer. 80 degrees, overcast and rainy is far from ideal. At night in the summer temps often decline only 10F or less from the daytime high due to the humidity. Really there is only around a 4-6 week window in spring and fall I'd consider "nice".

- I'd be interested in learning what percentage of GM's workers operate in Detroit or how much in tax revenue they pay to the city.

- As stated below this doesn't offer the city of Detroit a lot other than increased wear and tear on our roads. Truckers don't even buy fuel in Michigan due to the taxes. They wait until Ohio.

- None of the nice natural resources you mention are substantially located in southeastern Michigan nor do they enrich the economies much where they are located. Deer hunters and leisure fishermen aren't an economic powerhouse. Unless the natural resources are exploited commercially on a large scale the economic benefits to most citizens not employed in tourism is minimal.

Here's how the feds can save Detroit (and any other city that is looking to go kaput): Make it a requirement for all those immigrants they intend to amnesty to maintain residence in Detroit.

vxmike said:    Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?



Canada is just across the river.

vxmike said:   chibimike said:   vxmike said:   Completely agree. I don't believe Detroit will ever recover, because there is no economic reason for Detroit to recover. All the major auto companies have operated out of the suburbs for years now. Detroit is just a future indicator for all of southeast Michigan in my opinion. The taxes are high, the weather is terrible 10 months of the year, the economy is sputtering statewide, and there really isn't any REASON for the area to prosper. It's not located near a major port, shipping route, natural resource, government headquarters (like DC), or any other economically attractive feature. Nothing attracts individuals to move into the area. Think about it...if you could pick an area of the USA to start a new city what possible attractive feature does the Detroit area have going for it?


I love opinion pieces like the above.
Michigan is around middle of the pack in tax burden.
Michigan winter weather can be long, around 4-5 months can be blah, the other 7 are very good.
GM is headquartered in Detroit, their design center is in the suburbs, 4 miles from the Detroit border.
Shipping routes: It is located on the Great Lakes shipping route. It is also the economically busiest border crossing in America. 25% of all US/Canada trade travels through Detroit.
Natural Resources: The largest fresh water supply in the world, Fish, Game, Farming, natural gas reserves.


I welcome a respectful debate:

- Michigan property taxes as a state are among the highest in the nation. I pay 2.8% of annual value in Oakland County. I've done taxes for people in Wayne county paying almost twice that ratio. Michigan has a moderate sales tax, a moderate state income tax of over 4%, plus the city of Detroit itself levies 2.5% on residents and 1.25% on non-resident income. It's an absolute disincentive to live or work in Detroit.

http://taxes.about.com/od/statetaxes/a/property-taxes-best-and-w...

- The summers are just as miserable as winter. 90F+ and humid is only nice on the beach. It's pretty miserable in a concrete jungle especially considering most of our rain falls in summer. 80 degrees, overcast and rainy is far from ideal. At night in the summer temps often decline only 10F or less from the daytime high due to the humidity. Really there is only around a 4-6 week window in spring and fall I'd consider "nice".

- I'd be interested in learning what percentage of GM's workers operate in Detroit or how much in tax revenue they pay to the city.

- As stated below this doesn't offer the city of Detroit a lot other than increased wear and tear on our roads. Truckers don't even buy fuel in Michigan due to the taxes. They wait until Ohio.

- None of the nice natural resources you mention are substantially located in southeastern Michigan nor do they enrich the economies much where they are located. Deer hunters and leisure fishermen aren't an economic powerhouse. Unless the natural resources are exploited commercially on a large scale the economic benefits to most citizens not employed in tourism is minimal.


Not sure if we're just focusing on Detroit, or Michigan as a whole, but...
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10366-121641--,00.html

Hunting and Fishing does have a several billion dollar impact on the Michigan economy.

imxman said:   JamesPolk said:   If you're handy with the steel, check out this incredible mansion in Indian Village: 1500 Seminole Street, Detroit, MI...Jeez, you'd think w/ the commission on that place the realtors could spring for a decent camera for the pics!

Intentionally blurry so you can't see all the copper plumbing ripped out of the walls.

a783783 said:   Here's how the feds can save Detroit (and any other city that is looking to go kaput): Make it a requirement for all those immigrants they intend to amnesty to maintain residence in Detroit.

Not exactly useful for a city in desperate need of tax revenue...

There aren't a lot of good examples on how to break a municipality out of a downward spiral. I still remember the NYC one, but I suspect that there's not a lot of commonality between the cases.

Anyway, it's not rocket science. Encourage development. Get people with money to move in. Jobs. Encourage construction.

The downside is that politically, that can be tough. Democrats and the poor generally don't believe in trickle-down economics, and they tend to resist development at all costs...or try to do dumb things that actually de-incent development (see Washington DC and Wal-Mart).

Detroit could try some interesting things, governance-wise, to manage their huge footprint. What about homesteading? Or just ceding huge tracts of land tax-free to whomever wants it? The city doesn't provide services anyway, so there's no point in charging taxes.

It could also disincorporate part of the city. That doesn't happen in the East anymore, but occasionally happens in the West. Let the county take it.

But one way or another, the city has to focus on a set of core areas and leave the rest until its financially viable. I mean, just providing schools to 140 square miles is a huge undertaking...that's going to be even harder now, since any city employees won't have pensions etc.

mannyv said:   There aren't a lot of good examples on how to break a municipality out of a downward spiral. I still remember the NYC one, but I suspect that there's not a lot of commonality between the cases.

Anyway, it's not rocket science. Encourage development. Get people with money to move in. Jobs. Encourage construction.

The downside is that politically, that can be tough. Democrats and the poor generally don't believe in trickle-down economics, and they tend to resist development at all costs...or try to do dumb things that actually de-incent development (see Washington DC and Wal-Mart).

Detroit could try some interesting things, governance-wise, to manage their huge footprint. What about homesteading? Or just ceding huge tracts of land tax-free to whomever wants it? The city doesn't provide services anyway, so there's no point in charging taxes.
You have a point here:
Imagine you get a knock on your door and someone is offering you all the land next door - for just $25 (16). That's what has happened in Flint, Michigan, where the population is half what it was 50 years ago. In 2002, Flint-born Dan Kildee, now a congressman, set up a system there called land banks, which take ownership of derelict private properties.

Now, for those who took an offense for Chicago: After Detroit, Who's Next?

Finally what's really fascinating for me is how muni market is completely ignoring this - just business as usual, Detroit is an isolated case, don't-worry-be-happy

Problem is economy is unbalanced. Manufacturing needs to increase. Its fallen too low. That's part of what makes Germany a prosperous economy.

Paul Krugman explains Detroit's collapse as being totally random, without any real cause. But the fiscal irresponsibility and overpaid public employees are definitely NOT to blame.

Wow. I knew the guy was a diehard liberal ideologue, but he's trying to tell reality to go away by simply saying it does not exist.

In addition to all the other reasons given for Detroit's collapse, I heard one from an ex-Michigander Friday - the race riots from the 60s never healed. The bitterness was such that groups would torpedo projects to benefit Detroit if their enemies profited from them, regardless of the merits of a project.

StevenColorado said:   Paul Krugman explains Detroit's collapse as being totally random, without any real cause. But the fiscal irresponsibility and overpaid public employees are definitely NOT to blame.

It must have been the invisible hand at work!

StevenColorado said:   Paul Krugman explains Detroit's collapse as being totally random, without any real cause. But the fiscal irresponsibility and overpaid public employees are definitely NOT to blame.

Wow. I knew the guy was a diehard liberal ideologue, but he's trying to tell reality to go away by simply saying it does not exist.

In addition to all the other reasons given for Detroit's collapse, I heard one from an ex-Michigander Friday - the race riots from the 60s never healed. The bitterness was such that groups would torpedo projects to benefit Detroit if their enemies profited from them, regardless of the merits of a project.


You need to read the article again, as you are not even remotely close to what he wrote.

Krugman is just a mouthpiece for the democratic ticket masquerading as an economist. He should be a comedian with some of the stuff he writes up


beach bar
Disclaimer
brettdoyle said:   I wonder what happens if a wealthy person doesn't pay their property taxes in Detroit? Are they only allowing people living in poverty to get by without paying their taxes?They actually provide property tax exemptions for low-income property owners, which make up a large part of the city. For the most part, rich people don't live in Detroit. They live in the suburbs.

Anyone unfamiliar with Detroit should read up on what Dan Gilbert is trying to do with the city. He is working feverishly to improve the urban core of the city. He has relocated over 7,000 employees to several buildings in Downtown Detroit. We are working on a small part of the city now but since the city is so large, we have to start somewhere.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/business/dan-gilberts-quest-to...

They just recently started having a bar/restaurant in one of the parks, Campus Martius. It's actually pretty fun and I honestly see Detroit improving.

I can't imagine Detroit will ever recover jobs and population so long as it has a 2.5% income tax. No one is going to move there or relocate jobs with that high of a tax burden.

Many parts of the city need to just be bulldozed and reverted to forest.

Gilbert is one man bailing out water from a sinking boat. I applaud his effort, but you would need about 50 of him to make an impact in our lifetime. The environment is way too cynical, the politics are too racially charged, and the taxes are too stifling to ever support a large scale reform.

What Krugman is trying to explain to the general audience are the concepts of path dependency and agglomeration economies. He has published research in that area. Pittsburgh went through similar bad times.

Personally I think the specific story of Detroit has a much nastier origin. Desegregation and civil rights, leading to southern blacks pursuing economic opportunity in Detroit, which led to white flight to the suburbs. This would also explain why the suburbian populations are so opposed to financing a rebuilding as was available to NYC or Pittsburgh. The following quote and numbers are from Wikipedia's Demographic History of Detroit.

Wikipedia said: The first and second Great Migrations of African Americans from the Southern United States between 1910 and 1980 increased Detroit's African American population by over 100 times. The White population of the city peaked in 1950 and then steadily declined due to white flight, net outmigration through 2010.

Year | Population | %White
1940 | 1,623,452 | 90.71
1950 | 1,849,568 | 83.58
1960 | 1,670,144 | 70.83
1970 | 1,511,482 | 55.50
1980 | 1,203,339 | 34.38
1990 | 1,027,974 | 21.63
2000 | 0,951,270 | 12.26
2010 | 0,713,777 | 10.61

enc0re said:   
Personally I think the specific story of Detroit has a much nastier origin. Desegregation and civil rights, leading to southern blacks pursuing economic opportunity in Detroit, which led to white flight to the suburbs. This would also explain why the suburbian populations are so opposed to financing a rebuilding as was available to NYC or Pittsburgh. The following quote and numbers are from Wikipedia's Demographic History of Detroit.


No one wants to rebuild a city they don't live in.

Some of the many reasons why the wealthy and middle class left Detroit:

1) Housing -- People wanted to live in large, newer houses with bigger yards that could only be found in the suburbs. The average house built in 1950 was only 1100 sq ft, today it is 2400... besides the Mansions that remain Detroit has a housing stock that no one wants to live in.
2) Crime -- no one to live in a war zone where they will be a victim. 90% of crimes in the city go unsolved, making it a great place to be a criminal. Vacant buildings are also nice for criminals
3) Pollution -- Back in the industrial days the water, ground, and air was highly polluted from all the industrial activity. Now those buildings are vacant eyesores
4) Schools -- Can't send your kids to Detroit schools, they'll get beat up, won't learn anything, and will be influenced by bad kids.
5) Taxes -- As people left Detroit they didn't want to cut government spending, so they raised taxes causing even more people to leave.
6) Highways -- Detroit being the motor city with a flat topography created tons of freeways that was very conducive to living in the suburbs without traffic
7) Jobs -- No opportunity left in Detroit. 90%+ of the manufacturing jobs are gone.

Anyone who had the means to leave is gone. So you have a situation where only the destitute remain, where 50% in the city are functionally illiterate and unemployable. They will never elect a competent government, and thus the city won't be able to recover.

I am sure some people left because they were racist but that was not the primary factor.


Weather forecast
Disclaimer
vxmike said:   
- The summers are just as miserable as winter. 90F+ and humid is only nice on the beach. It's pretty miserable in a concrete jungle especially considering most of our rain falls in summer. 80 degrees, overcast and rainy is far from ideal. At night in the summer temps often decline only 10F or less from the daytime high due to the humidity. Really there is only around a 4-6 week window in spring and fall I'd consider "nice".


I'm not sure which Michigan you're spending your summers in, but it VERY rarely gets above 90 in the summer, Detroit averages only 9 days of 90+, and 0 days of 100+ per year. (http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/number-hot-days-cities-...

Average nightly temperature decline is pretty much 21 degrees across the board from April to October:
Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (F) 31 33 44 58 70 79 83 81 74 62 48 35
Nightly lows (F) 16 18 27 37 48 57 62 60 53 41 32 22

And lastly, this next week is going to be miserable. Highest temperature during the day will be 82 and overnight lows will be in the low 60s/high 50s - HOW AWFUL IS THAT RIGHT?

I get it, winters here suck. No debate there. But don't come in here spouting that the summer is awful as well, because it just isn't.


Demographic Change
Disclaimer
brettdoyle said:   enc0re said:   
Personally I think the specific story of Detroit has a much nastier origin. Desegregation and civil rights, leading to southern blacks pursuing economic opportunity in Detroit, which led to white flight to the suburbs. This would also explain why the suburbian populations are so opposed to financing a rebuilding as was available to NYC or Pittsburgh. The following quote and numbers are from Wikipedia's Demographic History of Detroit.


No one wants to rebuild a city they don't live in.

Some of the many reasons why the wealthy and middle class left Detroit:

1) Housing -- People wanted to live in large, newer houses with bigger yards that could only be found in the suburbs. The average house built in 1950 was only 1100 sq ft, today it is 2400... besides the Mansions that remain Detroit has a housing stock that no one wants to live in.
2) Crime -- no one to live in a war zone where they will be a victim. 90% of crimes in the city go unsolved, making it a great place to be a criminal. Vacant buildings are also nice for criminals
3) Pollution -- Back in the industrial days the water, ground, and air was highly polluted from all the industrial activity. Now those buildings are vacant eyesores
4) Schools -- Can't send your kids to Detroit schools, they'll get beat up, won't learn anything, and will be influenced by bad kids.
5) Taxes -- As people left Detroit they didn't want to cut government spending, so they raised taxes causing even more people to leave.
6) Highways -- Detroit being the motor city with a flat topography created tons of freeways that was very conducive to living in the suburbs without traffic
7) Jobs -- No opportunity left in Detroit. 90%+ of the manufacturing jobs are gone.

Anyone who had the means to leave is gone. So you have a situation where only the destitute remain, where 50% in the city are functionally illiterate and unemployable. They will never elect a competent government, and thus the city won't be able to recover.

I am sure some people left because they were racist but that was not the primary factor.


Look at the timing of the white flight. I find it difficult to reconcile your hypothesis with the white population just collapsing starting in the 1950s and 60s. As for no one wants to pay for a city they don't live in, NYC and Pittsburgh both were reformed using state funds. It's by definition difficult (impossible?) to downsize a vastly shrunken city without outside financing. Something is different about why Michigan is so vociferously opposed to do the same for Detroit.

The 'second generation' label refers to an immigrant group in that graph. I got the graph from Detroit 1701 where it was used to make some different point about immigration.

Heck, in the 40s there was even a literal 6 foot concrete wall built to separate the blacks from the whites. The only place in America where that happened. Loans were typically only approved on the white side of the wall. That's where the term red-lining, a now illegal practice, comes from. Red was the map code banks used for the black areas on maps, as opposed to the white areas which were shaded green.

enc0re said:   brettdoyle said:   enc0re said:   
Personally I think the specific story of Detroit has a much nastier origin. Desegregation and civil rights, leading to southern blacks pursuing economic opportunity in Detroit, which led to white flight to the suburbs. This would also explain why the suburbian populations are so opposed to financing a rebuilding as was available to NYC or Pittsburgh. The following quote and numbers are from Wikipedia's Demographic History of Detroit.


No one wants to rebuild a city they don't live in.

Some of the many reasons why the wealthy and middle class left Detroit:

1) Housing -- People wanted to live in large, newer houses with bigger yards that could only be found in the suburbs. The average house built in 1950 was only 1100 sq ft, today it is 2400... besides the Mansions that remain Detroit has a housing stock that no one wants to live in.
2) Crime -- no one to live in a war zone where they will be a victim. 90% of crimes in the city go unsolved, making it a great place to be a criminal. Vacant buildings are also nice for criminals
3) Pollution -- Back in the industrial days the water, ground, and air was highly polluted from all the industrial activity. Now those buildings are vacant eyesores
4) Schools -- Can't send your kids to Detroit schools, they'll get beat up, won't learn anything, and will be influenced by bad kids.
5) Taxes -- As people left Detroit they didn't want to cut government spending, so they raised taxes causing even more people to leave.
6) Highways -- Detroit being the motor city with a flat topography created tons of freeways that was very conducive to living in the suburbs without traffic
7) Jobs -- No opportunity left in Detroit. 90%+ of the manufacturing jobs are gone.

Anyone who had the means to leave is gone. So you have a situation where only the destitute remain, where 50% in the city are functionally illiterate and unemployable. They will never elect a competent government, and thus the city won't be able to recover.

I am sure some people left because they were racist but that was not the primary factor.


Look at the timing of the white flight. I find it difficult to reconcile your hypothesis with the white population just collapsing starting in the 1950s and 60s. As for no one wants to pay for a city they don't live in, NYC and Pittsburgh both were reformed using state funds. It's by definition difficult (impossible?) to downsize a vastly shrunken city without outside financing. Something is different about why Michigan is so vociferously opposed to do the same for Detroit.
It's hard to drum up support when the city is full of corrupt politicians that put their friends on the payroll (and don't work) and get kickbacks for giving out city contracts.

FranksandBeans said:   Kanosh said:   I'm in for a vacant lot or two. I've heard some artists are moving there, buying up houses for a song to fix up as art houses. No idea how much of that is going on (no doubt not enough) but if true it points to a rebound. New York was a basket case in the 1970's - drugs, abandoned blocks, crime, bankrupt government -- and look at it today.

It could happen yet to Detroit, IF they get their act together and change enough policies to make it a pro-growth city. If they continue with the same whining and pleading results will not look much different than they always have.


You gotta get rid of the bad people that are there before that will work. Yes, I am ok with saying bad people. People who would be fine with stabbing you for a dollar. People who have been gaming welfare for generations or continuously game unemployment. Drug dealers, drug users, intentionally homeless. People with no job skills, and that are so devoid of work ethic that they wouldn't work even if they had job skills. People that have been scraping by on crime and gaming the system and feel they are entitled for the government to keep taking care of them. What do you do with those people? Nothing. There's nothing you can do, except change the systems that allow them to exist. Good luck with that.

What Detroit needs is a natural disaster during the winter that renders the entire area uninhabitable, wipes the entire area clean. Then some bleeding heart liberal movement from California or wherever offering funding relocating programs to all these "helpless" people to some other portion of the country. Then, maybe, just maybe, decent people could come in and rebuild it. Until then Detroit is just going to continue being a running joke and fiscal liability for everyone else trying to make a living in Michigan.

Detroit is what happens when everyone pulling the wagon decides it is easier to jump in the wagon. Plus some side joke about trying to rob each other once they are all in the wagon.

I'm 10 minutes away from Detroit and can tell you the stories and show you my ridiculously high property tax and insurance rates due being anywhere near that hole. If you think hard work and good feelings can save it then you are welcome to move to Detroit and do your part to save it the hard way. It's going to be a running joke for a long, long, time.

Unless said perfect storm of natural disaster plus relocation programs hit.


NIMBY for a relocation - no well off municipality wants an influx of people who need social services. Look at Chicago. We've been pushing people out South, West and into suburbs so that the bigger core of Chicago is hospital to upper-middle class. Great for North of city, bad for everywhere else.

As of comparing Detroit to Greece or Chicago to Detroit, its a losing game. Each has their own issues, and we can't put a blanket solution on it. Detroit isn't Greece. US isn't the Euro. Austerity isn't really helping Greece, but who knows about Detroit.

For Chicago, it won't be the next Detroit but it has a set of its own problems, mostly all in its making. One thing is true, Chicago is way too large to manage/police/school effectively. You have a tale of 2 cities, with highways 290 and 90/94 as boundaries, with the North very well off, low violent crime, tight rental market, and stable housing prices. While there is still an influx of people coming in from surrounding states (really, what other large city with ample amenities are their in the Midwest?), it is still at a slower rate than number of people we lost over last few decades, which brings me to below...

For the West / South side, you have a policy that has failed. Even before Chicago started to displace people from the wealthier Lincoln Park (the high-rises known for gang warefare were knocked down and people were displaced mostly to the South or West), there was high crime, empty lots, lack of grocery options, lack of jobs, lack of opportunities, and a forgotten population. The gentrification of the remaining holdouts in the North continues to exaggerate the problem.

The downfall of Chicago won't be financial as it will be social. No amount of infrastructure sales (at deep discounts - cronyism?), accounting gimmicks and fluffy PR will solve this widening social segregation. Has any other city have police helicopters patrol from the sky every night? Feels like I'm in a movie. And yet, as I've traversed the city (and honestly at night, its always up within the North side), I've hardly ever felt that my life would be in danger.

And as disclosure, while I lived here most of my life, I don't have any financial interest in the City. Though I do pay insane number of sales taxes and whatever other fees they decide to levy for living within the city boundary. :/

IMO the wide-ranging implications into Muni bonds and pensions obligations are infinitely more important than Detroit itself and merit a separate discussions.

For now: Detroit Rattles Muni Market

In short they're trying to raid Detroit water and sewer bonds (way beyond GO bonds), district serves Detroit plus 127 municipalities and has a sustainable budget.

depalma13 said:   Killjoy1991 said:    How do you get middle & upper income individuals to move into the city given these issues?

You give them tax incentives. You offer them no property tax on newly built homes for 10 years and make it transferable.


Philly has a tax abatement program similar. I have a 5 year old rental where the taxes are $34/yr

EDIT: I just noticed someone else said this a bit ago.



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