mustang84

Failed American Cities

138 posts in this topic

This has always been of interest to me. Of course Detroit and Flint are the famous ones, but scattered throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes states are smaller cities that were once heavy on industry and now empty shells. Some places like the Quad Cities, St. Louis, and Cleveland are making a comeback, while others like the ones listed below continue to deteriorate.

Gary, Indiana - founded in 1906 by US Steel Corporation, it was Indiana's 2nd largest city until changing demographics, steel layoffs, and rising crime sent almost half of the population packing. Today it has just under 100,000 people.

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Gary in the early 60's

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East St. Louis, Illinois - In the shadow of the Gateway Arch, East SL is regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in America. It's population is now 28,000...1/3 of its 1950 peak.

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Harvey, Illinois - An inner-ring Chicago suburb. Famous for the Dixie Square Mall, where the mall chase scene in Blues Brothers was filmed. The mall closed in 1979, and the city has dwindled down to 30,000.

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Edited by mustang84
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Thank you globalization.

Folks, this is why crap is so much cheaper at Target/Walmart/Kohls.

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A mobile labor force is part of what makes the US such a great (and rich) country. Eventually these cities will be largely demolished like Detroit is planning to do in the near future.

And does anyone think the country is actually worse off for having these anachronisms fade into the sunset?

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^ Maybe not, specifically..., but a great quantity of people think the country is much worse off for these cities having BECOME anachronisms.

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A mobile labor force is part of what makes the US such a great (and rich) country. Eventually these cities will be largely demolished like Detroit is planning to do in the near future.

And does anyone think the country is actually worse off for having these anachronisms fade into the sunset?

Yes. 10% official unemployement, closer to 17% actual unemployment/underemployment.

1 job for every 6 job seekers.

Where did all the jobs go?

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The country is relatively rich, but getting poorer, and this is a big contributor.

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The country is relatively rich, but getting poorer, and this is a big contributor.

Are we? Or do we just feel relatively rich because we're in debt more than anyone else but choose to ignore it.

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As the Rust Belt cities have declined over the last 30+ years, there has been a great outmigration to growing places in the South, Southwest, and West. Witness the population booms in states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, Nevada etc.

It's all part of the deindustrialization of America...it is what it is.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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You guys are looking at time windows that are too short. The rust belt has been in steady decline since the 1950s, while unemployment is high at the moment while resources shift around. The reason for the industrial decline is that the labor intensive, educationless work became very cost ineffective in this country compared to emerging hellholes around the globe. We get those durable goods for much cheaper, and those new trading partners engage the US in the sorts of goods we export. And we're all much richer as a result.

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If you think the country was better off in the 50s, you're nuts.

I think some people have an idealised view of the '50s based on old black & white TV shows. Happy white people, picket fences, giant cars, men with hats and suits..

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You guys are looking at time windows that are too short. The rust belt has been in steady decline since the 1950s, while unemployment is high at the moment while resources shift around. The reason for the industrial decline is that the labor intensive, educationless work became very cost ineffective in this country compared to emerging hellholes around the globe. We get those durable goods for much cheaper, and those new trading partners engage the US in the sorts of goods we export. And we're all much richer as a result.

If you include all American's in that average... sure we're much richer.

Remove the top 400 wealthiest who's wealth has increase 1700% since 1970... and no, we're all actually poorer.

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Also, my favourite, Centralia, PA. That one's not the fault of de-industrialization or globalization though.

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If you include all American's in that average... sure we're much richer.

Remove the top 400 wealthiest who's wealth has increase 1700% since 1970... and no, we're all actually poorer.

OK, this is just disconnected from reality. How many people would actually rather live in the 70s with no Internet or cell phones or modern health technology?

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OK, this is just disconnected from reality. How many people would actually rather live in the 70s with no Internet or cell phones or modern health technology?

You just disconnected from the topic.

The topic is that real wages for average Americans (not those in the top 1%) have stagnated or declined in the past 30 years. This has nothing to do with cell phones or internet.

So... congrats, you now have more you can buy but less money to buy it with. For all of that... there's Mastercard.... so you can transfer even more of your diminishing wealth to the investor class.

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You know, I'm rarely speechless, but this is one of those times. Maybe you should buy a summer house in Pyongyang, Olds.

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Haha! Really?

Maybe I can pick up Henry Ford's old place. For all of his other baggage with minorities, one of the things Henry Ford understood was that his employees were also his customer.

How do U.S. corporations expect to thrive if they outsource everything but the board of directors and some secretaries? If there are only boards of directors, a few service people, and all the factories are over seas, who is left to buy the products?

17% unemployed/underemployed. In a "consumer economy", how do you expect the economy to work when 17% can't ..well... consume?

We like to make fun of Ross Perot, but he had a point about that "Giant Sucking Sound" during the NAFTA debates.

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How many horse and buggy makers did Henry put out of business? Are we poorer as a result?

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O-boi is hitting lots of nails on the head here.

Stupid are the people that think we can exist only as a 'service economy', and just on intellectual properties, consulting, non profit agenda groups, paper pushing, marketing, communications, financing, insurance, investments.

Part of the economy needs to be a vibrant manufacturing sector, building things, making things as well.

I won't even get into the class warfare stuff, but yeah, 90% of the people in this country have less earnings and wealth and ability to prosper these days.

Free trade as a pure ideal is a nice idea but we are getting owned as a nation by whoring out our economy to all the other nations. Our top 1-2% of people who live her profit financially from it, the rest of us end up getting ass fked because of it.

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How many horse and buggy makers did Henry put out of business? Are we poorer as a result?

Don't care. Those buggie makers could have become Ford employees without relocating to Vietnam. Ford created a LOT more jobs than were destroyed at the buggie makers.... and those who were simple laborers for Ford probably made a LOT more (hey, whaddaya know, they can afford a Car now!) then they ever did as a buggie maker.

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Ford created many more jobs for people in the US, which is a big deal. When Wal Mart put smaller companies out of business you can bet your ass it didn't create jobs in the US to manufacture more of it's cheap crap.

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Guys, you're only looking at one side of the coin. You're falling into the propaganda trap of protectionists who profit from stifling trade, namely making a sob story out of people who lose their jobs directly to foreign competition. But the gains to everyone else are at least as much as the losses to that special interest group, but it's spread out across the whole country as incremental improvement for millions of people.

And you're also assuming that putting random Americans out of work through machines or other Americans in another part of the country is somehow superior to the same exact phenomenon taking those jobs overseas.

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I've been with a company going through the "Walmart transition" where everyone but front office staff and a few fork truck drivers are outsourced to foreign countries. Well over 50 factory workers were laid off even though the company was thriving..... those of us who remained got $250 bonuses and cost of living increases that barely broke 2 percent which was fun because the CPI was almost always up over 2%.

The owners (all one family) got a new house in Palm Beach, S-Class, SL-Class, 5-series, FX45..... and probably wrote all of that off as "business expenses".

So yes.. on average, all the employees were richer. Remove the top 1% earners from the pool, and there were a LOT of poorer people.... on average.

I was also there for the recall when half Chinese the product came back infested with beetles.

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Guys, you're only looking at one side of the coin. You're falling into the propaganda trap of protectionists who profit from stifling trade, namely making a sob story out of people who lose their jobs directly to foreign competition. But the gains to everyone else are at least as much as the losses to that special interest group, but it's spread out across the whole country as incremental improvement for millions of people.

And you're also assuming that putting random Americans out of work through machines or other Americans in another part of the country is somehow superior to the same exact phenomenon taking those jobs overseas.

The gains to everyone else are that they can now buy crap at Walmart for 75 cents on the dollar compared to what they used to pay..... which is good because unemployment checks don't go quite as far as full salary does. The removal of manufacturing jobs has removed the salary floor for office jobs and thereby depressed pay. You have to accept $30k to work in a gray cube because the only other alternative is flipping burgers.

Again on average we are wealthier than we were before. But remove the top 1% - 2% wealthiest people and on average our wealth has decreased. The wealth has been systematically transferred from the "have somes" to the "have it alls" and the Chinese economy.

We have 30 years of proof of this not working. The evidence is in the pictures at the beginning of this thread.

Replacing American workers with automation is fine as long as the automation is also built by American workers. There will always be job displacement. It's when there is a wholesale migration of jobs out of the country without regard for the economic consequences .

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Guys, you're only looking at one side of the coin. You're falling into the propaganda trap of protectionists who profit from stifling trade, namely making a sob story out of people who lose their jobs directly to foreign competition. But the gains to everyone else are at least as much as the losses to that special interest group, but it's spread out across the whole country as incremental improvement for millions of people.

And you're also assuming that putting random Americans out of work through machines or other Americans in another part of the country is somehow superior to the same exact phenomenon taking those jobs overseas.

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