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Old 10-30-2014, 03:52 PM
 
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Do you think if there wasn't a mass exodus from California from the early 1990s onwards Portland and Seattle would have had a similar fate to places like St. Louis and Detroit and would have become hollowed out, crime ridden and perpetually economically depressed? Especially considering that the timber industry also failed during this time period. The middle class in general is smaller and poorer on the West Coast in general and i wonder if the abundance of IT and med jobs as well as the relative wealth of transplants to the region has prevented Portland and Seattle from becoming poor and backwards like many of their Midwestern counterparts.

I would argue even as it is some Northwestern cities like Tacoma, Salem and Great Falls have a lot of Rust Belt features and would be thought of in that way if they had large numbers of poor urban blacks.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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The Pacific Northwest is pasty white. If the economy was less developed, then it would be more rural but still really small town white. Really doubt crime would be an issue, and certainly not as bad as bombed out neighborhoods in rust belt cities with huge social and racial strife.

Last edited by GatsbyGatz; 10-30-2014 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:22 PM
 
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I find it a pretty unlikely proposition. From 1970 to 1980 Portland's population dropped from 382k to 366k, but at the time Portland wasn't all that developed, relatively speaking.

By comparison, at its peak Detroit was 1.8 million but despite huge decline (60%) is still about 120k bigger than Portland is today. Until the post 1990 boom, Portland and its environs didn't really didn't have all that much to "hollow out."

I'd wager it's more likely you would have seen the city shift towards allowing larger residential lots and consolidation of property.
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