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10 reasons for Detroit’s historic failures

By   /   July 19, 2013  /   142 Comments

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

The city of Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy on Thursday, making it the largest city in American history to go through the municipal bankruptcy process.

On Friday, a judge ruled that filing unconstitutional, but as the city sorts out its next move, here are 10 facts about the causes of Detroit’s financial mess and 10 photos that reflect just how badly the city is doing these days.

Wikimedia Commons

NOT SO GRANDE: The main dance floor at The Grande Ballroom in downtown Detroit has seen better days.

1.       The population has collapsed in the past six decades.

Detroit was America’s fourth largest city in 1950, when it had 1.8 million people.  In the 2010 census, the city had fewer than 702,000 residents — an astonishing decline of 60 percent in 60 years.

Yes, fewer people means a smaller tax base, but the real problem is the city’s government did not shrink along with the population — more on that in a bit.

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THEY USED TO MAKE CARS HERE: The Packard Automobile Factory, where thousands of auto workers once labored, is a ghostly reminder of the city’s past as a manufacturing center.

2.       Detroit has the highest unemployment rate of any major city in the nation.

This is both a cause and an effect of the population situation.  Detroit is caught in a vicious cycle.  There are few jobs, so people leave to find work elsewhere.  Meanwhile, the high cost of the city’s government (more on that in a second) drives employers away and makes other less willing to relocate there.  That means fewer jobs, which further erodes the tax base and causes more people to leave the city.

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BROKE INTO THE OLD APARTMENT: Built in 1924, the Cass Plaza Apartments are a boarded-up remnant of their former Italian Renaissance-style glory.

3.       Detroit has $18 billion – yes, billion —  in general-obligation debt.

That’s a lot more than some of the other high-profile municipal bankruptcy cases in recent years.  When Central Falls, R.I., declared bankruptcy in 2011, it had only about $80 million in debt.  Jefferson County, Ala., had about $4 billion in debt when it declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy that same year.

Detroit has been working its way to a level of insolvency for decades. We cannot continue to carry this level of debt,” Kevyn Orr, the city’s state-appointed emergency manager, tweeted on Thursday.

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NO MORE TRAINS: The Michigan Central Train Station used to be a buzz of activity, with people pouring into the city. Today, it’s a darkened, empty shell.

4.       A lot of that debt is the result of public pensions.

According to Moody’s, Detroit has about $3 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.  But Orr says those numbers are understated.  And it didn’t take long for the pension funds to sue the city in an attempt to stop the bankruptcy proceedings.

Wikimedia Commons

POPULATION LOSSES: With 60 percent of the city’s 1950 population now gone, there are plenty of abandoned homes in Detroit, like this stately place on Edmund Street.

5.       Why is the city buried in pension costs?  Because it has too many public workers.

Though Detroit’s population has caved in the past several decades, the public sector just keeps on growing.  In 2011, the city had more than 12,000 employees — more than any other comparably-sized city in the country, according to an analysis from The Detroit News.

That works out to one public employee for every 55 residents of the city.  By comparison, nearby (and financially much better-off) Indianapolis has one city worker for every 115 residents.

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EATEN OUT OF HOUSE AND HOME: The city government’s appetite for spending did not decline along with the city’s population.

6.       And the guys running the pension funds aren’t exactly helping.

In April, Reuters reported that four of the men charged with running the city’s broke pension funds were on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for a conference.  The final tab was $22,000.

The heads of the pension funds said the trip was for work, not play.  But Orr’s spokesman said they shouldn’t have gone, anyway.

“It especially doesn’t look good when you have city employees, police, firefighters having taken pay cuts,” said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Orr. “Middle-class, blue-collar workers, their dream vacation when they retire may be a two-week trip to Hawaii — they don’t associate Hawaii with a place you go to work.”

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THE MORE YOU CHEATED, THE BIGGER REWARD YOU GOT: Detroit has seen its fair share of morally bankrupt leaders. The abandoned Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church gives witness.

7.       But they are hardly the only corrupt public employees in town.

Former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a Democrat, was convicted in March on 24 federal felony offenses, including mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, racketeering and extortion. Prosecutors said he doled out jobs to friends and family, wasted city tax dollars on fraudulent contracts and pocketed more than $1 million in illegal kickbacks.

He previously had pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of justice in a criminal investigation in 2008.

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IN NEED OF A REVIVAL: Detroit’s Metropolitan Building was built in the Gothic revival style of 1925. It was closed in 1977 and remains shuttered.

8.       Basic city services are non-existent

In his letter authorizing the city to enter Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, pointed to some amazing statistics.

Only a third of the city’s ambulances were in service in the first quarter of 2013.  Similarly, approximately 40 percent of the city’s street lights were not functioning in that quarter, and the backlog of complaints is more than 3,300 long,” he wrote.

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WHO WANTS THIS HOUSE: Another of the empty, abandoned and blighted properties that dot the once-proud city of Detroit.

9.       Crime is up and the police have no way to respond.

While much of the city’s financial trouble is due to the public pension it must pay to retired teachers, city employees, cops and firefighters, that leaves little money on the table to pay actual cops to keep actual people safe in Detroit.  The average response time for an emergency call was 58 minutes, according to Snyder’s letter, compared to a national average of 11 minutes.  And only 8.7 percent of crimes in the city are solved, compared to a statewide average of 30.5 percent in Michigan.

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CAN IT BOUNCE BACK? Gov. Rick Snyder says bankruptcy is a low point, but a turning point, for the city.

10.   There are 78,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.

This is a result of all of the above.  Fewer people, fewer jobs, less economic activity and tons of crime have created a city-sized collection of abandoned buildings.  We only had room for a few photographs here, but Snyder says there are 78,000 such structures in Detroit.

Snyder wrote this Thursday’s decision was a low point in the city’s long history of decline.

“I think it will also be a foundation of the city’s future,” he said. “With this decision, we begin to provide a foundation to rebuild and grow Detroit.”

They’ve got a long way to go.

Boehm is a reporter for Watchdog.org . Contact him at Eric@PAIndependent.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricBoehm87

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Eric is a reporter for Watchdog.org and former bureau chief for Pennsylvania Independent. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enjoys great weather and low taxes while writing about state governments, pensions, labor issues and economic/civil liberty. Previously, he worked for more than three years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, covering Pennsylvania state politics and occasionally sneaking across the border to Delaware to buy six-packs of beer. He has also lived (in order of desirability) in Brussels, Belgium, Pennsburg, Pa., Fairfield, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and elsewhere. He received a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in 2009, but he refuses to hang on his wall until his student loans are fully paid off sometime in the mid-2020s. When he steps away from the computer, he enjoys drinking craft beers in classy bars, cheering for an eclectic mix of favorite sports teams (mostly based in Philadelphia) and traveling to new places.

  • Kate

    I grew up in Detroit, my oldest child was born there, and it just saddens me to no end on the destruction and decay of such a once beautiful and prosperous City. How sad this is ….

  • Matt

    Plagerism – Legal Dictionary – The Free Dictionary
    legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Plagerism‎The
    act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or
    excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as
    one’s own creation.

    This was taken almost verbatim from the front page of USA Today weekend edition. Seriously sad day for so called journalism and who did the editing?????

  • Kelsonus

    Progressivism gone wild

  • The devil

    Burn Baby Burn

  • Obama

    Damn Liberals.

  • Eric Olson

    Hopefully OCP will swoop in to save the day and we will finally have RoboCop patrolling the streets.

  • Politically Incorrect

    Hmmm ? …. the article dances in a most politically-correct way around Rule #1 and its penultimate role in the collapse of Lotown …..
    AVOID. THE. GROID

  • Mr_Galt

    I did an environmental cleanup of the Metropolitan building. On the one section of the building, the roof was collapsing in – down about 3-4 floors. When we suggested demolition, the rocket scientists in City Hall said “oh no! that’s a historic structure!”

    Our structural engineer told me the building was finished – too much to repair, and not worth it. That was about 10 years ago. Now I see where they want to put “condos” in there? Haaaaa! I guess Dear Leader will use our money to pay for the fiasco as well? The neighborhood is extremely unsafe, with derelicts and thieves everywhere. This is a stones throw from the Financial District, and around the corner from the Opera House.

    This city of racist thieving thugs is well beyond hope.

  • craigzimmerman12

    You failed to mention our so-called “free trade” agreements which devastated manufacturing in Michigan and elsewhere.

  • Texas Jack

    Democrats + Unions = Socialism

    Welcome to Detroit.

    Is your city next?

  • Texas Jack

    Detroit:

    Poster child for failure courteous of the Democrat Party and their Union allies.

  • Texas Jack

    At the end of the day, Detroit belongs to the Democrats.

    This is a Frankenstein they created……

  • firegeorge

    Damn Shame. Detroit will never be restored to it’s former glory.

  • azgirl

    And the unions are probably hard at work trying to figure out how to extort more money out of the city because of the mess they helped create.

  • PopTheLid

    The Judge ruled the bankruptcy filing unconstitutional and said it was disrespectful to President Obama.

    Holy Liberal Insanity.

  • Charlie R.

    If Obama has his way, all of America will look like this.

  • Marine101

    Looks like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. What’s frightening is its real. Thank you liberals. You’ve done it again.

  • bobdog19006

    If the Democrats are successful in bailing out Detroit for a while, you can be absolutely certain that both Chicago and the State of Illinois won’t be far behind. We’re just too big to fail, it says here.

  • bobdog19006

    Please put down that weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.

  • victoryman

    The “Article” above neglected the REAL reasons Detroit ended up in the toilet. 50+ years of democrat “Leadership” and pandering to the “Minority”….the “Minority” then ran the city, from the Mayor through the city council, etc…….stole the city blind. QED.

  • Marine101

    Who plagiarized who? My vote goes to the communist rag.

  • myforest40

    I think the amount of auto mfr. is about the same in the US. It just isn’t being done by all-US companies, and not for the most part in/around Detroit.

  • John Kerry

    Nothing but black democrat mayors since 1974.

  • Gork

    Free trade hurt Pittsburgh as much as Detroit. Yet Pittsburgh, made a transition from the industries they had, to other profitable industries. Detroit didn’t. It is dying. Yet it isn’t an issue of which party did this or that, they were both run by the same party politics.

    One had vision and made plans. The other didn’t.

  • Mc Robins

    I guess the funny thing to remember is that Detroit was once looked upon as the spot for thw american dream. To say liberals ruined the dream is laughable considering this city used to be the shining star of our economy. I blame stubbornness of people refusing to adapt to advancements in technology and change in general.

  • Glenn Geisler

    Yes, because the “Free Trade” agreements allowed for true capitalism, and didn’t force the automakers and other manufacturers to continue paying $60.00 an hour (between wages, employment taxes and benefits) for unskilled union labor – which would have only accelerated the auto industry’s collapse.
    That is, unless you and most other Americans don’t mind paying $100,000.00 for a Chevy Malibu (the only way GM could make a profit on it). Personally though, I DO mind paying an exorbitant sum like for an inferior vehicle that was DESIGNED to fail once it’s warranty expires. Capitalism requires maintaining competitive advantage – just like natural selection, When a company becomes bloated by overbearing costs (payroll, taxes, government regulation), it is SUPPOSED to fail, and make room for others that don’t make the same mistakes.
    The fact is that Detroit’s corrupt and overwhelming bureaucracy coupled with the bloated union fatcats brought this on, and nothing was going to stop it – because every individual involved was too busy trying to secure their own piece of the pie rather than working for the good of the whole.

  • Rich

    Now, that would be spreading the wealth. And fairness.

  • MAC

    I remember going to Detroit when I was young and it was advanced for the time and full of activity. Decades of Dem rule caused the demise of Detroit not refusal of the populace to adapt.Too many years of the fox guarding the hen house

  • chuck

    Looks like Chernobyl, well Pripiyt, the city where all the workers from the Chernobyl Nuclear plant lived. 60,000 People forced to evacuate in one day and no one has been there since except for a few Scientist to survey the radiation levels. These pictures show an amazing similarity to that city. Sad that an American city can fall like Detroit has.
    I drive an eighteen wheeler and I deliver there once in a while but a couple years ago was the last time I was there. These gang members were roaming around my truck and one of them stood in front of it and pointed his fingers at me in a shooting motion. I almost ran his ass over and I would have if he didn’t jump out of the way, it was like some scene from a movie.
    I told my broker I am never going into Detroit again, not worth my life for that dump.

  • Richard Clardy

    as with all the progressive Democrats messes they will expect the middle class to bail out the city, unfortunately their leader Obama is destroying our ability to pay taxes, I e the millions out of work and on welfare. They want a great big government to control every body, but they don’t realize that when you take all the incentive, with excessive taxes people will ether give up, or move to greener pastures

  • GuardAmerian

    This is just one of more than 3 dozen municipal bankruptcies in the last while.

    Things are not getting better; they are getting worse.

  • Drave

    We left Detroit in 1974… even back then the most popular bumper sticker was “Last one out please turn out the lights.”

  • Joel Fine

    Forward! Thanks democrats! We can see what your policies lead to.

  • SK Turner

    Those retired folks paid a considerable amount into those pension funds. To bad greedy Democrats cant keep thier hands out.

  • RT

    those retired folks did not pay nearly what they get back. In addition, they featherbed their last years pay to get a pension far beyond the private sector. You could retire at age 55 and get 60,000 grand a year and up. Tell me how any sane person runs a business that way?

  • FADUTA

    UAW, government unions, liberals in general – all classic “useful idiots”.

  • gil

    That wont stop Obama. He’ll just print more money.

  • GeorgeRomero

    What a waste of buildings and infrastrure.Those once magestic buildings with their beautiful masonry and brickwork can be saved , if only someone with brains and knowhow can step up to restore this great city can be found , it would give the US a great boost of revival.

  • Cyborg3K

    Only one reason. Unions.

  • http://www.itsaboutliberty.com/ Max Artifice

    Other cities have unions and they haven’t failed.

    Yet.

    Unions are most definitely a problem but it really comes down to over sixty years of exclusive Democrat control. This is where the entire country is headed. Not if but when. Democrats are a curse. A menace.

  • http://www.itsaboutliberty.com/ Max Artifice

    Bingo. We have a winner.

  • golfer18

    Detroit today….your town tomorrow…Put another American flag on you foreign car

  • http://www.itsaboutliberty.com/ Max Artifice

    A massive firestorm or a nuclear attack would be a mercy at this point.

  • golfer18

    If you don’t have an American car in your driveway your the problem…don’t blame people who just what to work for a living wage..These jobs left Detroit when the “American” people started buying Hondas, Toyotas, BMWs, if your hungry eat your import!

  • golfer18

    Your numbers are way off.. try telling the truth…Autoworkers paid taxes that supported that city..Because you paid X amount of dollars for that foreign car you are the reason Detroit went under. The government was the problem also but the finger needs to be pointed at the mirror.

  • golfer18

    Where did you get your numbers from…I spent 30 years in the factory and only get 35,000…and by the way..It was hard work!
    You want to know how much tax I paid…And I didn’t make 60 dollars an hour..Those are the kind of jobs we need unless you want to live on minimum wage..P.S. YOUR NEXT

  • Joshua50

    What a shame.. A once great city reduced to ruins. The Mayor and the city government should be charged criminally for allowing this to happen. Decent people no longer wish to live there, and they happen to be the ones that pay the taxes.

  • Joshua50

    I wonder where being disrespectful to the President is cited in the bankruptcy laws.. I must have missed that.

  • Joshua50

    They’re 18 billion in debt, but askig for 20 Billion in bailouts.. can you say corruption? Lesson not learned yet.

  • Joshua50

    I have two American cars, and they’re both crappy. The unions demand higher wages for inferior quality workmanship. If you paid these people what they’re worth, they’d owe you money.

  • Joshua50

    Urban pacification for a new Detroit. The movie was prophetic! LOL

  • golfer18

    The unions don’t decided how to build the vehicle. You blaming the people that put together what they are given.
    As far as buying American products go ahead and buy whatever you want..Just remember, once that money leaves this country YOU will never see it again. Thanks for buying American.

  • MawrPidyn

    The unions and their apparatchik pillaged Detroit’s coffers for years, and this is the outcome. But they did it with compassion for the working man, so that makes it OK.

  • plynnie58

    Horse hockey……union wages and the outrageous benefits paid to workers to build sub par cars is what got the auto industry into trouble…and FYI, Hondas, Toyotas and Subarus are all manufactured in the USA.

  • spin43

    But what about justice for Trayvon?

  • dba_vagabond_trader

    “Though Detroit’s population has caved in the past several decades, the public sector just keeps on growing. In
    2011, the city had more than 12,000 employees — more than any other
    comparably-sized city in the country, according to an analysis from The Detroit”

    These vampires are going to siphon every last drop of life from the dwindling coffers of Detroit. Nice job librals!

  • Joshua

    It’s a shame to see Detroit this way!!

  • Richard Clardy

    It’s a shame the unions kept getting progressive democrats elected so the union bosses could retire rich someplace that isn’t Detroit

  • Richard Clardy

    About the time the prosecutors catch up to Obama, and Holder ,Illinois will be declaring bankruptcy, mass exit is of businesses because of taxes needed to keep Chicago afloat, Illinois has way more takers than makers

  • golfer18

    No one held a gun to the head of the corporations, the contract were agreed on..Sure a lot of foreign cars are made here for $15 dollars an hour but unless you living with your parents that not much of a living wage. Buy American and put your friends and family back to work. Stop thinking just about yourself..What is Horse hockey…Do they play in Canada

  • golfer18

    Maybe you prefer Socialism, that way the government could buy you a vehicle..If your kid get’s out of school and can find a job maybe your save his room for him, if he’s allowed to move back home!

  • Raging Goose

    You forget when and why America started buying foreign? Back in the 70′s due to Detroit dumping a shitt product on the market people went else where and it continues today. I mean GM should lead the pack with stellar products like the Volt heading up their stable of crap. Currently in my driveway 2 Infinity’s, 2 BMW’s and a Ford F-150….. Ford got this one right, best truck ever!

  • RPaul

    Actually accountants have a BIG say in how a car is designed and built. If expenses are high the product will suffer in order to remain competitive in the market.

  • golfer18

    And your proud that you sent all that money elsewhere never to be seen again…did you see the pictures? Your next..Unemployed people can’t buy what you have for sale

  • vlad

    I retired from GM after 40 years at 63, with a pension of $1880.00 per month. Not exactly the 60 grand a year you talk about.

  • Roadmaster

    I’m with you. Chuck. I delivered there ONE TIME! My dispatcher wanted me to “hang out” while she looked for a reload. Told her “No frickin’ way – I don’t have enough ammo with me!”

    Having been in some mighty sketchy neighborhoods in So. Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, etc., I can honestly say there is no place like Detroit – scary as hell! And depressing beyond words – it is a war zone.

  • Dave

    BS, the threat of striking is the gun. Just because no one threatened to kill someone doesn’t mean there were no threats. The majority of americans, and that means the majority of americans buying cars, makes under $20/hr and most are closer to $10, not $20. The avg pay for an auto worker starts at about $28/hr and advances to just under $40/hr, add to this the cost of benefits and you have quite the payroll to support. And then they have the costs of pensions for the retired workers. To make those cars affordable to the avg buyer making under $20/hr they cut costs on materials and parts (using foreign made parts in those ‘buy american’ cars!) making sub-par cars that didn’t last and needed expensive repair more often.
    The unions held the threat of strikes and killing the corporation’s profit to their heads, they didn’t need a gun.

  • Beentheredonethat

    I was a big Chrysler fan starting with buying the big block cars new in the mid 60″s. Quality got so bad I switched to GM for a while and then Ford. Now I refuse to even walk into a Goverment Motors Dealership in my lifetime! Replaced my Ford last year with a Nissan because Ford was having issues with the fancy electronics at the time. Hated leaving Ford the local dealership was great but I am very happy with Nissan.

  • Patriot

    Propping up a failing industry isn’t sustainable for the long run…case in point Detroit. If the American auto industry completes serious structural changes(unions) and starts pumping out competitive products again, I’ll buy them. I won’t buy an inferior product because its American….That’s not capitalist, its not American. These companies lost their way decades ago and I won’t be part of the problem.

  • Tim OBrien

    Amazing how Robocop (1987) nailed the city of Detroit….

  • A. DAILEY

    SAD……DETROIT IS A SIGN OF WHAT’S COMING FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY

  • hempstead 1944

    Can’t shake that picture of the Chrysler workers on lunch break passing around a doobie and swilling beer before going back to work making cars and trucks for America…..
    Who is living in la la land ?

  • Tom Servo

    I’ve worked on historic properties myself, and have a great affection for them. Still, I’ve seen what’s happening to the Met building happen many times over, although on not so great a scale. Wooly headed people in the city like the idea of the building staying there, but they don’t want to put any money into it. They don’t realize that derelict buildings don’t stay static, they steadily decay if a *lot* of money isn’t put into them. And once water starts to come through the roof, then the decay goes into hyperdrive.

    What will, happen, what *always* happens until someone with sense is in authority, is that the sentimental but broke people will hold out, hold out, hold out pretending things will get better while in reality they keep getting worse. Finally, one day, something in the structural supports will snap, or there will be a fire, or something that demolishes a large part of the structure and then everyone will say “oh why, why didn’t we do something in time?””

    Come to think of it, that’s the whole story of Detroit itself right there.

  • TexasRedbud

    You are using the word ‘manufactured’ very loosely. They may be assembled here. But the engineering design work is done there, the parts are cast and machined there, the sub-components are assembled there. Then the engines are shipped here, a US taxpayer spends 10 minutes installing the engine in the car. So of the 200 or so man hours it takes to build an engine, 10 minutes of that is in the US. That does not make the cars ‘manufactured’ in the US.

  • Madfoxx

    Most “foreign” cars are built in America providing jobs for Americans.

  • SoldiersMom

    Last American car I bought was a Chevy Malibu. It was a POS from the start. Spent thousands trying to fix an intermittent “missing” problem that was never fixed. I traded it in the day the sun visor fell off.

  • Madfoxx

    If Obama and his commiecrats are allowed to make this a one party nation this will be the fate of America. Like Russia in the 70′s.

  • Dave Bennett

    Yes I still haven’t got my 2012 tax return back for these bastards! Wonder if I’ll get interest. :(

  • skhpcola

    It’s impossible to take seriously the socialistic ramblings of filthy leftists that don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Uneducated, ignorant, and being a D-ooshbag is no way to go through life, son. You trashy unionist scum killed D-etroit, just like your bro Ozero is killing the United States of America.

  • strawdog

    Yeah, I used to deliver on 8 Mile Rd in Detroit…even the used car lots had 10-ft chain link with razor wire on top around them…(and that was 10 yrs ago)…I wouldn’t go back there now even if they gave the damned place to me…

  • Brian Bertha

    I cant follow the logic here. Manufacturing while complex has a fairly simple algorithm. You have to charge more for a product than the cost to manufacture it which includes overhead and taxes and labor. If the item is of lower quality and or higher cost even loyal customers will abandon the brand and go to cheaper or better brands and the manufacturer will go out of business. So there is a lot of blame to go around. Poor management greedy unions and everyone. Detroit politics is also to blame even when things were much better financially you often heard the term White Flight google it. So between the two the tax base went to hell and the cities death spiral assured

  • DrSamHerman

    And then comes the real bailout nightmare….California with its hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities thanks to decades of profligate Democrat promises to get union votes from state and municipality workers. That bailout will make Illinois and Detroit look like tip change.

  • obxpatriot

    its not people buying foreign cars that did this, its the corrupt, greedy, unions and politicans

  • obxpatriot

    and you couldn’t replace those buildings today….its so sad

  • pyowakit

    We’re quick to blame crazed power hungry Liberal Democrats, but we should focus on just where all of Americas problems originate and where they’re manufactured via the agenda driven Liberal television media and not just the news as they know how to adjust your brain by utilizing all of their tools, commercials ,programming all of it is done with conforming your brain in mind. It’s the mind-numbed voters that elect these politicians so the blame needs to be on them for falling for what TV shoves in their little brains, right now there’s a big push to accept and support interracial relationships and gay everything as the best thing since sliced bread. Pay attention they’re eating your brain if you let them.

  • Matt

    @ Marine. Do you seriously believe that USA today knew what was coming out on little Watchdog the day before it was printed? Look at when this article was posted and try to use your brain.

  • Timothy Ross

    I have a so called “American car” in my driveway but when you look under the hood you find that not much of it is “Made In USA” …. While I agree that we should be buying more products mad in the USA , I have to say that they are getting harder and harder to find …. Corporate greed is the problem , why make it here when you can make it in China for 1/10th the cost ?

  • Timothy Ross

    It’s realistically too late to just say “buy American” at $8.25 an hour it would take you a lifetime to pay for your new car while it would be junkyard worthy in about 5 years

  • Timothy Ross

    Where do you work ? Are they hiring ???

  • Timothy Ross

    What ever happened to the days when WE built the finest autos in the world ??? Look around and you will see them still on the road today some 50-60 years later. What happened to the days when the average middle class American ($15-20.000 yr) could afford a new car every 5 years give or take. Remember the days when that same middle class family could take their car on a trip to Disney world or Yosemite once a year and still afford the payments on their home and putting groceries in the cupboard ? Remember when if mom wanted a new stove or fridge her and dad would just go out and buy the one she liked ? Think about it …. I think it is time for a sit down strike and all out boycott of “The System” a system that is drowning in failure .

  • viper623

    its what happens when you have low intel black libs running your city , state and country, they rob, cheat, and steal and leave everything behind in shambles

  • Hughpop

    I have a Toyota built in San Antonio, Texas…

  • Jim Campbell

    Great article Eric, I’m going to cross blog it to two of my sites. Thanks for the good job. J.C.

  • golfer18

    Can’t compete with third world countries on wages..our cost of living is too high..all you can do is follow where the profits go and purchase from there..it’s a little work but if you care about your country it’s worth it..Remember it will come back to you in the long run

  • Melvin E. Holliday

    In Calif it isn’t just Democrats. Arnold Schwartznigger was a Republican with a Liberal Democrat wife. We know who wore the pants in his family. He only made California’s problems worse. Now Jerry Brown is finishing what Arnie started.

  • golfer18

    When is the last time the UAW had a strike. I worked there 30 years and was on the pick it line twice and not very long.
    As far as wages are concerned 30 dollars an hour is not a lot money…Not if you trying to raise a family and pay for $4 dollar a gallon for gas..If you want slave labor good to China

  • golfer18

    Learn how to spell asshole and I voted for Bush you don’t know me have another budwiser

  • golfer18

    No they are not…Some are built here to make more profit

  • golfer18

    Did you work there or here it from your sister…

  • golfer18

    Then you don’t deserve the name(it not American to support other Americans) It’s all about you!

  • skhpcola

    I see that punctuation isn’t one of the tools in your filthy leftist toolbox. Nor is the ability to capitalize proper nouns. Like the rest of you herd-mentality morons, grammar, logic, and knowledge are mysteries.

  • golfer18

    Yea but I still made more money in that factory than you made with your college education,,LOL

  • Thunder Lizard

    My gosh, those photos look like they should be in Chernobyl rather than an American city. So bankruptcy “… will also be a foundation of the city’s future,”??? If the people of Detroit keep electing liberal Democrats (odds are they will) then absolutely nothing will change and the spiral will continue. If you eat nothing but garbage for 40 years, you get used to it and then start believing that garbage tastes good.

  • golfer18

    $8.25 an hour won’t buy you a bus ticket..thanks for making my point

  • golfer18

    Was that in 1970

  • bobdog19006

    You might be right about that, Sam.

    One thing is for sure: it’s gonna get ugly. Worst economic case: national deflation.

  • dunesgirl1

    That’s a bunch of BS if I ever heard BS. The unions forced the greatest American car company in the world to operate as a small subsidiary car manufacturing operation that feeds the BEHEMOTH retirement Shang- Ri-La. Those same retirees are living off our backs, the taxpayers, because GM took a bail out, then LIED to the American people stating “they paid the money back”.Personally I could care less what any corporation wants to pay their retirees as long as THEY can fund the obligation. GM’s lucrative retirement packages were unsustainable and the government had no business getting involved.

  • flicker66

    Any thinking American knows why Detroit has disintegrated. Corrupt government officials and union benefit s

  • golfer18

    I’m a retiree and the pension fund was fully funded no tax payer money ever when into it..Please check your facts before commenting. As far as the government getting involved I agree they have no business in business Good luck with your Honda!

  • rs1123

    Detroit is permanently dead, and I will tell you why. For obvious reasons, they will continue to elect nothing but Democrats to run the place. The Democrat approach to resolving the problems will be to blame other people for not giving them enough money and then to shift all responsibility for the problems to other administrations, to the rich, and anybody else. This is a complete recipe for continued failure. Detroit is dead.

  • rs1123

    Detroit is what you end up with when you put Democrats in charge of the city long enough.

  • rs1123

    If your boat is sinking, the Democrat solution to the problem is to drill holes in the bottom to let the water out.

  • jetty

    When do the Hunger Games start?

  • Ken in Camarillo

    You left out Governor Gray Davis.

  • dunesgirl1

    That is an absolute lie. The reason why GM couldn’t pay there bills and had to be bailed out is because they couldn’t make a profit due to the fact the were too top heavy in unsustainable pension obligations! Where do you think the money for that came from, Santa????? No, it was the TAXPAYERS! You’re damn right I’m going to enjoy my Honda, Toyota, Volkswagon, Ford or any other car manufacturer that didn’t use the federal government to reach into my pocket and force me to fund YOUR retirement.

  • dunesgirl1

    No…it’s all about YOU living off the backs of our children and grandchildren.They will pay the price for the bailout which funds your lucrative retirement that GM couldn’t have sustained without government intervention

  • craigzimmerman12

    It is absurd to think that an American can compete with Chinese wages.

  • craigzimmerman12

    Of course large multi-national companies love free trade because it enables them to make enormous profits while exploiting workers in poor countries. Do not believe the corporate propaganda that free trade benefits us.

  • Jack Sprat

    Just like his birthplace in Africa, Kenya, where his brother lives in a slum and the rest of his relatives live in mud huts.

  • Michigander62

    Golfer; I spent 4 years at Fisher Body I a long time ago and saw the union protect drunks and twits who made it their life mission to screw with hard working line foreman. i then spent 36 years in uniform for my country. Golfer i drive a VW made in Romania and it does not bother me a one bit.

  • m³shelly

    If you didn’t think that $28 was enough of a wage for you to live on and raise your family, why didn’t you get an education?
    Oh, and BTW, $28 is a relatively large wage for hourly workers – please give the overall wage including benefits.

  • m³shelly

    You just totally contradicted your previous reply that “$28/hour isn’t enough to support a family”. No, we don’t feel sorry for you.

  • Glenn Geisler

    My figures weren’t meant to accurate, that’s why they’re exaggerated, genius. But they nonetheless make a valid point. Your point, however, is fallacious for the simple reason that reality is obviously different from what you suggest. If autoworker’s taxes supported the city, WHY DID IT FAIL SO MISERABLY???
    You remind me of Larry Holmes (yes, the prizefighter). A number of years ago he made an appearance on ESPN as a guest commentator for a fight. While on the air, one of the other announcers asked how his restaurant was doing in his home town. He lamented that business was very slow, and he felt that the residents could do more to support and patronize his establishment.
    But here’s the problem: I had been to his restaurant. ONCE. IT SUCKED!!! Terrible service (blatant and excessive nepotism within the staff, who took their sweet time about doing anything), bad food, even COLD food!
    So you tell me I should look in the mirror to see why Detroit failed because when I go to buy a car I want to spend my money WISELY? I want a competitively built product designed to last, rather than a poorly built vehicle DESIGNED TO FAIL ONCE IT’S WARRANTY EXPIRES?
    Perhaps you should look in the mirror my friend… then know you’re seeing the dictionary definition of a FOOL. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Try the tea instead.,

  • golfer18

    sounds like I hit a nerve…Guilty conscience Glennie Boy

  • golfer18

    That’s for you service your a real patriot!

  • golfer18

    Told you before dunegirl you didn’t pay a dime for my pension…But believe whatever someone tells you..If your that stupid

  • dunesgirl1

    If that’s true, then why did the taxpayers have to bailout the company that funds your pension? It’s because they had the their liquidity tied up in these grandiose pensions and couldn’t pay their bills! You have an extremely low level of understanding as it applies to economics, and how business is conducted in a free society. The very fact that you are so utterly naive to even espouse that the taxpayers did not have a hand in the funding of your pension after the bail-out, is disgracefully and willfully ignorant!
    As an American healthcare worker with a post-graduate degree, I could never even begin to fathom the type of pension the UAW has fleeced the taxpayers on your behalf, unless I am able to stash away at last a couple of million dollars in the bank.

  • Mc Robins

    isn’t that refusal to adapt? If you’re stuck in your ways and the world around changes?

  • Rick

    The future of America is here. Pay attention to obama, he is leading us there.

  • Glenn Geisler

    LMAO!! You are nothing but a troll and a moron. No guilt here. Reality is what it is. Detroit is bankrupt, in complete ruins, and has been run exclusively by the dumbocraps for 40+ years. If that reality isn’t clear enough for you, you’re too damned ignorant for me to waste any further time discussing this, or anything else.

  • Paul

    Bulldoze the entire city and start over from scratch….if anybody want to live in the American slum city……change we can believe in ? yea right.

  • Gyst53

    Not just Detroit….but also the imminent threat and economic disaster being created by the coming huge tax increases to service the national debt!
    Efforts to transform our country from land of the free to home of the dependent?
    Increasing
    government moves to ignore our constitution in favor of socialism and
    minority rights and majority rule and Federal courts over turning
    “legislated” voter decisions. (Marriage, Gay Rights, Abortion, Job and Class
    discrimination, Immigration Illegal Aliens)
    Maybe all of these issues have caused Americans to awaken to what is happening in Washington.
    It is time for us to take our country back from those who are destroying it.

    Poverty in Our Cities.

    City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level
    1. Detroit , MI 32.5%
    2. Buffalo , NY 29.9%
    3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8%
    4. Cleveland , OH 27.0%
    5.. Miami , FL 26.9%
    5. St. Louis , MO 26.8%
    7. El Paso , TX 26.4%
    8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2%
    9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1%
    10. Newark , NJ 24.2%
    U.S.. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007

    What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

    Detroit , MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;

    Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954;

    Cincinnati , OH (3rd)…since 1984;

    Cleveland , OH (4th)…since 1989;

    Miami , FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;

    St. Louis , MO (6th)….since 1949;

    El Paso , TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;

    Milwaukee , WI (8th)…since 1908;

    Philadelphia , PA (9th)…since 1952;

    Newark , NJ (10th)…since 1907.

    Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

    It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats—yet they are still POOR! The Middle Class is the next victim…..mark my words!

  • MK75Gunner

    The reality is it doesn’t matter that Schwarzenegger was a “republican” the legislature, you know the folks that write/make the laws, was and is completely controlled by the democrats and as such refused to work with him on any issue. To lay it on him and his liberal wife is intellectually lazy or dishonest. And I’m no fan of his.

  • RT

    If what you say is true, Why is GM broke?

  • RT

    If what you say is true, Why is GM broke? You guys get paid to not work. They can’t fire you. If what you say is true, then your Union screwed you. I get my numbers from reading about why GM went broke. I get the numbers from business journals that compare Union worker wages to the real world wages. I have a family member who gets what I described.

  • Travis Sartele

    Detroit is as close to Gotham City as any place can get and the Batman isn’t coming…….

  • Travis Sartele

    Kind of like how all of GM’s engines are built in Mexico and then sent here hu ? I will support any company that builds quality Autos, employes American workers and does not have a Union. This is why I buy Honda !!!

  • Travis Sartele

    $28= $1120 a week, = $58,240 a year. That is pretty good for
    uneducated, unskilled labor. If you can not survive on 58k a year u
    need to rethink your lifestyle. The average person in America only
    makes 42k a year. Tell me again how bad u have it ?

  • Travis Sartele

    I could not agree more. During the bankruptcy the companies had the opportunity to sever the head of the unions and become financially stable again but instead they gutted the company and gave it all to the unions. I could never support a product like that. When u hear the ” Buy American, stop sending our money overseas” rhetoric u know u are talking to someone who is a brainwashed mouth piece for the UAW. I grew up in Detroit and heard this crap my whole life. What these people fail to realize is that Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Subaru, exc all have plants in the Southern US that employ American workers, they all build exceptional cars, especially the Asian makers, and none of them have Unions. In Montgomery Al, the Hyundai plant employs 30k American workers. The average pay is $25 hour which is far above the local average. They are an example to what the domestic car companies should aspire to.

  • Travis Sartele

    NO, If he is smart he will get an education and LEAVE the city of Detroit and go somewhere else. As for me I joined the Air Force got my 4 year degree and moved to FL. I plan to move to Texas in the spring because Jobs are plentiful and the cost of living is low.

  • john chapman

    You are the most vile of tea baggers. You blame unions, then what about all of the other work that has been outsourced across the country ? Unions account for less than 10 percent of the labor market yet almost ALL of the manufacturing has left the country. Your points are moot and we the people are onto you and the rest of your vile political party. The country is in the shape its in because of capitalist greed. Nothing else. Want a quick fact schmuck ? The unions are the ONLY people who make as much as they did in 1970 when inflation is taken into account. NAFTA did this. Perot was right. And so was Karl Marx. This system will fail because it is based on greed and ripping people off.

  • skhpcola

    The irony of a filthy union apologist citing “greed and ripping people off” as the source of what ails the nation is rich, progtard. Union bosses are case studies in how unions are bad for the working man, bad for the economy, and bad for freedom. Your trashy ilk likes to mention capitalist CEOs as the problem. Your problem, and the problem of every other piece of excrement leftist, is that the free market swiftly corrects a CEO that can’t do his job. Union bosses? Not so much. They thieve and pillage forever, much to your delight. You and your type are no better than crap on a boot heel.