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Cullion
24th March 10, 04:51 PM
I've just read an interesting article about Detroit from an Austrian-school economist.

However, I would like to reality check it, preferably from people who live there, or nearby (IIRC, FFF does, for one).

I'm not posting a link to the article, because that might skew people's replies if they feel like they have to specifically refute what this guy says.

I'll post a link to the article after at least one person who lives there, or has done recently, or who visits regularly, has replied in depth.

Here are my questions:-

i) How do you feel about Detroit's local economy ? Do you think the employment opportunities are likely to improve or decline over the next 5 years ? Does local housing seem like a bargain, or is it cheap because that's all you'd say it's worth?

ii) What's your experience of crime and general social disorder in Detroit? Is it getting worse, better or no noticeable difference ?

iii) How corrupt do you think city govt. is in Detroit ?

iv) As iii), but this time rate them for competence rather than honesty.

Thanks.

HappyOldGuy
24th March 10, 04:55 PM
From someone in Oakland.

Detroit is a dangerous corrupt shithole.

That's all I got tho. I'm too scared to actually visit.

Cullion
24th March 10, 05:00 PM
Do you know through your personal network, or simply by closer reading of US news than I, whether or not it's getting better or worse ?

Spade: The Real Snake
24th March 10, 05:02 PM
3moose1, Dagon, FFF and McClaw all hail from the area.

Artful Dentures
24th March 10, 05:34 PM
Time Magazine did a great series on Detroit

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1925796,00.html

And I think you can google other articles from that issue to learn about the rise and fall of a Detroit

Both my parents are from there and I visit my Grandmother and other relatives 1-2 times a year and have done so for my entire 37 years of life

Cullion
24th March 10, 05:44 PM
Goju, I will read those articles, but to be honest, I'd trust your straightforwardly delivered perceptions more than a journalist I've never come across.

We all have political biases here, but people tend to be pretty straight forward about their own real-life experiences because when they post here there's no conflict with maintaining a career etc.. like a professional journalist might have.

Doesn't have to be long, and I'll appreciate whatever you can put in.

Artful Dentures
24th March 10, 06:12 PM
Goju, I will read those articles, but to be honest, I'd trust your straightforwardly delivered perceptions more than a journalist I've never come across.

We all have political biases here, but people tend to be pretty straight forward about their own real-life experiences because when they post here there's no conflict with maintaining a career etc.. like a professional journalist might have.

Doesn't have to be long, and I'll appreciate whatever you can put in.


Those articles are pretty great and spot on.

Detroit is a huge tragedy It's not as bad as the media makes it, nothing ever is.

It's biggest issue is that all the surrounding cities don't want any of their taxes to go to fixing the inner city.

I forget where I think there's one part out side of Detroit where heading North (on Southfield I think) where the right side of the street is one city and the left side is in another municipality and on side the road has been repaired and paved and the other it hasn't

Kein Haar
24th March 10, 06:38 PM
Q:

The point of "fixing it" would be what?

And what does that even mean?

Not rhetorical. I've never been there.

Cullion
24th March 10, 06:45 PM
This is from the Time Article Goju listed

http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2009/0909/c_detroit_specl_0923.jpg

These look like well built homes. It's sad.

Places like Detroit have always interested me. I've always had this weird irrational draw to selling up in a prosperous place and picking out a bargain somewhere that seems to be on it's knees economically, and then turning the place around.

Truculent Sheep
24th March 10, 07:24 PM
Detroit needs to survive so OCP can create Robocop, but in the meantime, the future looks distinctly leafy:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/09/detroit-looks-at-downsizing-to-save-city/

DETROIT | Detroit, the very symbol of American industrial might for most of the 20th century, is drawing up a radical renewal plan that calls for turning large swaths of this now-blighted, rusted-out city back into the fields and farmland that existed before the automobile.

Operating on a scale never before attempted in this country, the city would demolish houses in some of the most desolate sections of Detroit and move residents into stronger neighborhoods. Roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city could go from urban to semi-rural.

Near downtown, fruit trees and vegetable farms would replace neighborhoods that are an eerie landscape of empty buildings and vacant lots. Suburban commuters heading into the city center might pass through what looks like the countryside to get there. Surviving neighborhoods in the birthplace of the auto industry would become pockets in expanses of green...

Cullion
24th March 10, 07:31 PM
That sounds like the sanest idea so far, actually. PS. Where the fuck have you been?

Kein Haar
24th March 10, 07:51 PM
From what I've seen, the abandoned shit looked like nothing but a pain in the ass for everyone. Between cover for rape/kill and crack dennery, I never understood why they made such a big deal about the arson. Good. Decrepit shit burning. Best idea I've heard until the thing sheep posted.

Artful Dentures
24th March 10, 08:02 PM
This is from the Time Article Goju listed

http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2009/0909/c_detroit_specl_0923.jpg

These look like well built homes. It's sad.

Places like Detroit have always interested me. I've always had this weird irrational draw to selling up in a prosperous place and picking out a bargain somewhere that seems to be on it's knees economically, and then turning the place around.


You're too pale to go live in inner city Detroit

I know that sounds terrible but it's also very true

Artful Dentures
24th March 10, 08:03 PM
BTW Detroit's downtown still has many nice spots.

Just that it empties out at knight

jkdbuck76
24th March 10, 08:48 PM
Cullion,

Here is a website I want you to see:
http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/spiritual/pictures/news.php?q=1254861706

But srsly: two of my biggest customers in Detroit went tits-up last year and stiffed us for tens of thousands of dollars.

After watching the city council fight like they did on Youtube, it is little wonder it is the festering shithole of despair that it is.

The new Detroit is the American South. Mercedez, KIA, Honda and a few others have set up shop in Alabama and Mississsippi. Why? Cheap ass, non-union labor. And the states down there offer major tax incentives for start ups. I've sent a lot of product down there over the last 5 years, but the amount of product going up to Da' Riot...I mean, DETROIT has dwindled to nothing.

So what to do? GM is now owned by the UAW and plans on selling cars out of China starting 2012. Now if 5 years ago, the Board said that they were going to move manufacturing over to China, then the cries against the evil capitalist big-wig fatcats would be shouted from the rooftops. But now, when the UAW owns GM and moves manufacturing over to China, it is ok.

Toyota's gas pedal fuckup has been to Ford's advantage, thought. I hear that their sales were up last month (40% over last year). Ford might make it. I think GM is done for and the guhment is prolonging their death. I mean, the worst fucking car I ever bought brand new in my life was a 03 Impala and it blows dog ballz.

So jobs going to China is not good for Detroit. I just don't see Detroit rising like a Phoenix out of its ashes......especially when you have city council members who would rather argue about "donchu' go disrespectin me, Shrek!" than "hey guys, how the FUCK are we going to survive."

Truculent Sheep
24th March 10, 08:50 PM
That sounds like the sanest idea so far, actually.

In a similar vein, Julien Temple's 'Requiem For Detroit' is well worth a watch. It's on Youtube (in about 7 parts):

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Requiem+for+Detroit+&search_type=&aq=f


PS. Where the fuck have you been?

Went off on a walkabout, so to speak.

TheMightyMcClaw
24th March 10, 09:50 PM
I can't tell you what it's like being from Detroit, but I can tell you what it's like being near Detroit.
Imagine a horror movie, centering around an old haunted castle, surrounded by frightened villagers who speak of it and stare at it, but none dare go in.
Detroit is the castle. The rest of Michigan is the village.
I've been there twice for to see concerts, and the sense of urban decay was overwhelming and terrifying; it felt like something out of [/i]The Omega Man[/i]. Even worse than Jackson, Pontiac, Flint, and Michigan's other hellholes.
In terms of corruption - and I'm getting this from the state news - it seems to be a bit better now that they've ousted Kwame Kilpatrick and hung him from the highest tree.
We were discussing Detroit earlier around dinner, and my old roommate - who's going into urban planning - was saying that Detroit has a lot of potential for urban experimentation, since the price of land there is so cheap. Apparently there are some places that are taken abandoned properties and turning them into farmland and the like.
I realize this doesn't really answer your questions straightforwardly, but this is really all I can add to the topic as a Michigander.

Phrost
24th March 10, 10:27 PM
This is the Detroit City Council:

qqOSNI7l0bQ

For the life of me, I can't imagine why the city is a shithole.

Spade: The Real Snake
24th March 10, 10:38 PM
Personally, I always enjoyed this:
XpzRuB-YMpg
go to 1:30

Ajamil
24th March 10, 11:37 PM
Holy shit! Oh I like her. She plays to win. Can she be an ambassador to, like, Israel or North Korea or somewhere else it'd be catastrophically funny?

nihilist
25th March 10, 02:13 AM
Holy shit! Oh I like her. She plays to win. Can she be an ambassador to, like, Israel or North Korea or somewhere else it'd be catastrophically funny?You are of course speaking of the school kid who took the councilwoman to task, yes?

billy sol hurok
25th March 10, 07:22 AM
You are of course speaking of the school kid who took the councilwoman to task, yes?

Presumably.

Cuz Ms. Conyers has other plans for the near future. (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100310/NEWS01/100310002/Monica-Conyers-gets-37-months-in-prison-in-Synagro-bribery-scandal&template=fullarticle)

Ajamil
25th March 10, 07:52 AM
U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said that Conyers’ conduct in office “fell woefully short” of the standard expected of public servants, and that she violated basic standards of conduct going back to the book of Exodus.She didn't have any magic prepared to defeat the court magicians.



Outside, her attorney Steve Fishman sidestepped questions of whether he was still her lawyer, saying, “The case is over,” adding “I might wind up a witness” in the matter of her trying to withdraw her plea.
Asked if she can withdraw her plea Fishman said, “That’s a good question.”Harsh, dude. The guy barely waited till he was out of the courtroom to drop her like she had swine flu.





Conyers pleaded guilty last summer to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery stemming from her November 2007 tie-breaking Detroit City Council vote in favor of the controversial Synagro Technologies sludge contract.
Before the sentencing was announced today, a strange series of events transpired, highlighted by Conyers' request to withdraw her guilty plea. She was screaming that she had her own tapes that would exonerate her before the sentence was announced. She also yelled, “What about my children? They did nothing to cause this!” before the sentence was announced.
“I would like to withdraw my plea. … I shouldn’t go to jail for something I didn’t do,” she said.
She told Judge Cohn that he should read the report from a doctor, where she was sent by the court, and how susceptible she was to badgering. She repeated that this was a doctor whom she saw at the direction of the court.
She then repeated: “I’m just not going to jail for something I did not do.”
Cohn said he was satisfied that the guilty plea was voluntary and knowingly given.How was she able to successfully campaign?

Madgrenade
25th March 10, 08:13 AM
Here's the interview LOLZ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGxiGdwngNY

billy sol hurok
25th March 10, 08:19 AM
Harsh, dude. The guy barely waited till he was out of the courtroom to drop her like she had swine flu.
A criminal lawyer has to know how to protect himself in the clinches. When you've hammered out a deal and the client flips on you in open court, there's a very real possibility of being pulled into the legal vortex and having to testify yourself. Which, given attorney-client privilege, is dicey territory. Especially when your client seems to be a bit of a psycho -- and a connected one at that.


How was she able to successfully campaign?
Jeez, tough to tell. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Conyers)

foxd
25th March 10, 11:01 AM
I'm front Flint but I get told it's like one of Detroit's little brothers. I can attest to decay, though it seems like we're getting better (Mostly do to U of M expansion). The time's I've been through Detroit it looks a lot more abandoned and rundown than here, but I might just be used to it here. That and I don't go on the north side often.

nihilist
25th March 10, 11:13 AM
Here's the interview LOLZ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGxiGdwngNY

I don't think I'm ready for that jelly.

foxd
25th March 10, 11:28 AM
Fun stuff: Flint is now burning itself down after they laid off a bunch of firefighters and police officers.

We don't fuck around with all that marching and protesting. We light shit on fire when we're pissed.

Commodore Pipes
25th March 10, 11:42 AM
This is the Detroit City Council:

qqOSNI7l0bQ

For the life of me, I can't imagine why the city is a shithole.

I know that it's a bad idea. I know that it will shake my faith in human decency, but I am still strongly tempted to read the comments for that video.

Spade: The Real Snake
25th March 10, 12:05 PM
I know that it's a bad idea. I know that it will shake my faith in human decency, but I am still strongly tempted to read the comments for that video.
Michelle "Bombshell" McGee approves of the comments.

HappyOldGuy
25th March 10, 12:12 PM
You are of course speaking of the school kid who took the councilwoman to task, yes?

That kid actually has potential btw. I hope the councilwoman didn't have her dropped in a hole somewhere.

KO'd N DOA
25th March 10, 01:43 PM
Detroit,

Visited the docks a few times as a kid, I think the neon Canadian Club Whiskey billboard is still visable to all Americans.

Very different country from Canada. Years later we would go to the Windsor waterfront, listen to the ambulance and police sirens. Many Canadian nurses live across the boarder, one I met worked in a trauma unti - she said it was like a war zone.

Windsor was also like a war zone,every weekend, with thousands of Americans coming over for the driking age (19)


Windsor and Detroit were joined by NAFTA and the car parts industry. Windsor is slowely dying - except for retires and the cottage industries. I heard that even the bars are not doing as well as they once did.

I think Pot needs to be legalized in Canada, to give the old bootlegging tunnels a good cleaning out, and bring an infusion of cash.

jkdbuck76
25th March 10, 04:26 PM
I'm front Flint but I get told it's like one of Detroit's little brothers. I can attest to decay, though it seems like we're getting better (Mostly do to U of M expansion). The time's I've been through Detroit it looks a lot more abandoned and rundown than here, but I might just be used to it here. That and I don't go on the north side often.

So is it more like Cyborg or Road Warrior?

Zendetta
25th March 10, 04:28 PM
Cyborg

I love the Misery... I LOVE DETROIT!!!

Cullion
25th March 10, 04:31 PM
So far what you're saying backs up what this Austrian-school economist was describing (he was mostly talking about crashing real estate prices in Detroit which he was saying were unprecedented in the post-War US to show how fucked the city was whilst pinning the blame on various govt. failures).

He then went on to use this as a parallel for a critique of the Obama healthcare plan, which I actually thought was a little bit of a stretch.

HappyOldGuy
25th March 10, 04:46 PM
The counter to blaming it mostly on the cities fubar local government is that the problem was regional and happened pretty much everywhere in the US that had it's economy based on heavy industry. Look at Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc, and you would see essentially the same pattern, just maybe not quite as bad.

The counter to the counter is that alot of those cities developed the same dysfunctional city governments after the collapse of their industrial base.

Cullion
25th March 10, 05:00 PM
I can believe the original counter. I didn't mean this thread to be all about the usual libertarian vs social democrat argument, I just wanted a more 'from the horse's mouth' view of how things are in Detroit.

The article's view was that an unprecedented recent collapse of Detroit's real estate prices was a signal that the city itself was on the verge of economic collapse, i.e. where the city government no longer has sufficient 'per capita' tax base to provide the services which even the poorest and most disenfranchised North American would consider an acceptable norm and the population would accelerate their flight.

He was essentially saying that he thought Detroit was at substantial risk of becoming the US' biggest ever 'ghost town' based on economic trends.

I think maybe the plan posted earlier to just clean up the rubble and turn it back into farmland, coupled with a few tax incentives could turn it around though. Super cheap real estate, low taxes and a remnant population of skilled technicians has a value.

But like I say, I've got weird romantic ideas about the value of crumbling bargains that might just be turned around. It's the basis on which I bought the house I live in now.

Spade: The Real Snake
25th March 10, 05:12 PM
The larger the city, the greater the sense of entitlement within that cities government, the larger the potential for graft and corruption.

Cities that weren't dependent upon goods manufacturing that would be effected by the economic collapse had a built-in margin of error to offset this. Detroit was likely a perfect storm scenario where it was a large city, populated by either lower socioeconomic minorities or workers within the US automaker industry, who were directly hit by the economic slow-down both directly and indirectly.

Cullion
25th March 10, 05:20 PM
Detroits auto-industry problems looked like a long-time coming to be honest. Nobody should be surprised by them or think they are even 'mostly' the result of recent credit troubles.

Fortunately for the corporate elite, they've managed to trick the UAW into putting it's own retirement fund into a company the elite has essentially abandoned. I feel genuinely sorry for the UAW members.

Spade: The Real Snake
25th March 10, 05:24 PM
Detroits auto-industry problems looked like a long-time coming to be honest. Nobody should be surprised by them or think they are even 'mostly' the result of recent credit troubles.


Fortunately for the corporate elite, they've managed to trick the UAW into putting it's own retirement fund into a company the elite has essentially abandoned. I feel genuinely sorry for the UAW members.
The US government won't let US auto manufacturers fail.
The Democratic Party is deeply entrenched with the Unions and won't let their pensions fail.

Cullion
25th March 10, 05:33 PM
The Democratic Party won't be interested in a union that can't fund it. President Barack is America's Blair. He works for Wall Street, not people like FFF.

HappyOldGuy
25th March 10, 05:35 PM
a remnant population of skilled technicians

An ever shrinking remnant that includes pretty much none of their children. The number of Michigan expats I know is mind boggling.

If I was a resident of Michigan, that's what would terrify me.

Kein Haar
25th March 10, 06:27 PM
But like I say, I've got weird romantic ideas about the value of crumbling bargains that might just be turned around. It's the basis on which I bought the house I live in now.

Will Cullion ever be able to silence the spring lambs?

Cullion
25th March 10, 06:31 PM
You can shut the fuck up.

Kein Haar
25th March 10, 06:38 PM
Are you really thinking about moving here? You've mentioned Detroit a long time ago too.

Zendetta
25th March 10, 06:42 PM
No, Cullion can't leave Limeyland because of his Chav-tastic past.

Cullion
25th March 10, 06:44 PM
It's more to do with being an only child with aging parents to be honest. I could get into the US via Canada or by applying for an Irish passport if needs be.

Zendetta
25th March 10, 06:51 PM
I'm staying with "Chav-tastic past".

Also, there are no limes in Detroit, so you'd get scurvy.

Cullion
25th March 10, 06:55 PM
If everybody else there has scurvy, then I could probably still pick up chicks as long as the lighting was dim, couldn't I ?

Kein Haar
25th March 10, 06:59 PM
What kinda chix you expect to find in motown?

Zendetta
25th March 10, 07:03 PM
Funky Black Chix like Pam Grier in Coffy, you Honky Pig Racist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffy

Cullion
25th March 10, 07:07 PM
What kinda chix you expect to find in motown?

I have no idea, but that's part of the adventure.

Adam Alexander
26th March 10, 12:01 AM
i) How do you feel about Detroit's local economy ?

It's a cemetery, I'm told by friends and family that haven't left.


Do you think the employment opportunities are likely to improve or decline over the next 5 years ?

Is there any reason you'd risk money there? I don't know the answer, but I assume a well thought out position would give you the best answer available.


Does local housing seem like a bargain, or is it cheap because that's all you'd say it's worth?

Value is a measure of demand. Detroit has a great road and freeway system, well built houses and access to really great cultural attractions. However, it's Detroit.


ii) What's your experience of crime and general social disorder in Detroit? Is it getting worse, better or no noticeable difference ?

I've been gone five years. When I did live there, the hype was always bigger than reality. However, family visiting recently reported that the current biggest industry is theft. But they're from the suburbs and that's how all suburbanites talk about the city.

I used to hang out in southwest night and day and never had a problem. Gunshots were routine and there were people to avoid, but it wasn't the gladiator arena people make it out to be.


iii) How corrupt do you think city govt. is in Detroit ?

Let's put it this way: the last mayoral election I recall had a convicted felon as one of the two top contendors. If the citizenry supports the chief being a crook, I assume they'll tolerate it at all levels.


iv) As iii), but this time rate them for competence rather than honesty.

Now you're just goofing. Google "Detroit school email". It's sad.


About your article, the thing is that we live in a representative republic. There is no such thing as a failure of the government. There is only failure of the citizenry. In fact, to my knowledge, there can be no other rational explanation for any government failure, especially a government that doesn't infringe on speech and assembly.

nihilist
26th March 10, 12:17 AM
Ny4a-oxOndo

Zendetta
26th March 10, 11:35 AM
lol, nice one