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Old 12-03-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Seattle
458 posts, read 863,310 times
Reputation: 286

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A federal judge just ruled that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, becoming the largest public bankruptcy in United States history! It amazes me that a once storied city, the home of the American automobile industry could fall so far in a relatively short period of time. I find it incredibley tragic especially for its residents!

Juxtaposing Seattle with Detroit is like comparing two different species and yet both were cities built on blue collar industry, pride in a made in America product and workforce and just a plain good old American work ethic and values! Not to mention that one of the top three public universities in the country is less than an hour away from the Detroit city center!

We are one of the most prosperous cities in the nation while Detroit goes up in flames. My question is whether you think Detroit has a fighting chance for greatness again once given a fresh start and how, despite the obvious differences between the two cities a Seattle thrives while another city crashes and burns! It can't be all about mismanagement of one and on the other hand, the likes of an Amazon being based here, can it?
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
7,893 posts, read 7,012,591 times
Reputation: 11375
We moved here from Michigan in 2011. My husband was MSU faculty and we lived in East Lansing. However he had many close ties to researchers (formerly of MSU) at University of Michigan and for those two years he conducted research in downtown Detroit teaching at-risk youth the mechanics of game design. Ann Arbor is a great college town. But honestly, the only major city that seems to be doing it right in that state is Grand Rapids. (Mejier Gardens and Art Prize are truly wonderful cultural gems).

Detroit will not come back. I had never, ever, in all my life and experiences traveling in developed countries seen anything like the decay, rot and ruin of such majestic buildings on such as large scale before. It's something that words fail to convey, you cannot truly appreciate such downfall unless you see it with your own eyes and then you'll ask yourself, repeatedly, "How could this have happened in America?". Traveling by car for miles and miles seeing empty streets and lots, burned out and busted out houses, bricks and debris littering lawns mostly overwhelmed with nature's reclaim. It's simply too far gone and too expensive. Everything is literally going to have to be rebuilt from the bottom up. But for a city that encompasses nearly 150 miles, has only 700,000 of it's 2,000,000 residents and no real economic incentive, what's there left to do with it? Who's going to reinvest in it?

You want to know what happens to graduates of MSU and U of M?

They leave.... and as fast and furiously as they can. They worked hard (and in the case of U of M, paid a lot of money) and they will NOT see a return of their academic investment in Michigan. The state is a huge brain drain. The state is also very "old". They have some of the oldest populations I've seen in this country and these old people are not open to change and new ideas. My husband was a fresh, young, idealistic new kid on the block and he repeatedly had the old establishment slam the door in his face. It was unnerving, and eventually, he too decided to take his intellectual and social capital to a place where they are valued and encouraged. Seriously, the state is a huge mess...

When I found out he got the job I was kind of excited because we had lived in Austin and Madison, two cities that have a flagship university and holds the state government. I expected all the wonderful attributes of this arrangement in Lansing/East Lansing, but sadly, I was seriously disappointed. It's not pretty, it's not fun, it's not cohesive...they want so badly to be this great place (I had gotten involved with the city), but it's like they just couldn't figure it out and honestly, the university had WAY too much control in the local government affairs. Anyway.... I digress...

You really can't even connect Ann Arbor to Detroit, it's not like here where there is pretty much development from Olympia all the way up to Everett. You have to cross through 40 minutes of farmland and then another 15 minutes of increasing urbanization to get to downtown.

And the demographics are completely out of whack... all the white people live in northern and western suburbs (and doing really well) and downtown is just full of Blacks and some Hispanics... largely uneducated, disorganized and most of all, completely disenfranchised. It's NOT like Seattle at ALL. I really do believe it was mismanagement from both the government and corporations. I also believe that any city that is mostly of blue collar workers is going to fail. Unfortunately, we are becoming a two class society. Detroit is relic of an age when blue collar men and women were paid a decent wage that afford not just a company car and homeownership, but also enough resources to maintain them. That just can't be done on minimum wage.

Seattle will never be Detroit. Within the boundaries we have excellent higher education institutions, different industries (high tech, yes, but also don't forget all the ports) and we have incredible physical assets... the mountains, the sound, the weather... this area, like most coastal cities, attracts money, ideas, influence and intellect.

No, you don't understand, if Seattle goes down it's because the entire planet has collapsed.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 15,842,364 times
Reputation: 7968
Electing a self proclaimed Marxist to city council does not bode well. And she won over 60% in the CD, Capitol Hill, Int'l District, and Wallingford.
Mapping socialist Kshama Sawant’s City Council win | Politics Northwest | Seattle Times

She wants a $15 minimum wage (actually about $19 is her preference, but she doesn't think that is yet politically possible), rent control, and 'free' (no fare) transit.

Of course many politicians will pay lip service to such ideas, but the difference is that this one actually believes it. She has an econ PhD from NC State, and never learn about the workings of price controls.

You look at all the petty crime, the stabbings, the tuba man cases, the dysfunctional school system, and Seattle is listing in the same direction as Detroit. Just a more leisurely pace, and smaller scale.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
7,893 posts, read 7,012,591 times
Reputation: 11375
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
You look at all the petty crime, the stabbings, the tuba man cases, the dysfunctional school system, and Seattle is listing in the same direction as Detroit. Just a more leisurely pace, and smaller scale.
Have you lived in Michigan? Have you been to Detroit?

If you did, it was just a flyover..
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 15,842,364 times
Reputation: 7968
Actually I am from Michigan, and have been to Detroit, but not for over 20 years.

Have you been to 2nd & Pike? If you were, it was just a drive-thru.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
7,893 posts, read 7,012,591 times
Reputation: 11375
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Actually I am from Michigan, and have been to Detroit, but not for over 20 years.

Have you been to 2nd & Pike? If you were, it was just a drive-thru.
touche
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
1,488 posts, read 4,105,308 times
Reputation: 594
Let's be honest here...the only reason that Sawant was voted in was because:
A. People are still pissed about the Sonics and needed someone to blame
B. People with nothing to lose wanted to vote themselves into prosperity
C. People wanted to send a message to career politicians (but didn't actually think she would win)

Unfortunately Seattle will now have a 4 year hangover to deal with now. Good luck with that. People may be liberal but they aren't stupid and know how well Marxism turned out (well, except for those that went to NC State.)

She's a whack job, has already proposed the workers taking over Boeing, and will accomplish zero in her term since she has publicly said she has no intention of working with the council.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:42 PM
 
644 posts, read 1,082,234 times
Reputation: 531
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
Electing a self proclaimed Marxist to city council does not bode well. And she won over 60% in the CD, Capitol Hill, Int'l District, and Wallingford.
Mapping socialist Kshama Sawant’s City Council win | Politics Northwest | Seattle Times

She wants a $15 minimum wage (actually about $19 is her preference, but she doesn't think that is yet politically possible), rent control, and 'free' (no fare) transit.

Of course many politicians will pay lip service to such ideas, but the difference is that this one actually believes it. She has an econ PhD from NC State, and never learn about the workings of price controls.

You look at all the petty crime, the stabbings, the tuba man cases, the dysfunctional school system, and Seattle is listing in the same direction as Detroit. Just a more leisurely pace, and smaller scale.
These issues you talk about are problems in all major cities in the US. The source of Detroit's financial trouble is that it was a one-industry town, and when that one industry left, so did all the taxpayers. If Amazon figures out how to move its HQ to India, then we might be in trouble. But a few stabbings and a mediocre (yet far from bad) school system are not going to convince people to start packing their bags.

Is there a city with more than 500,000 people that doesn't have issues with crime and public schools?
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 15,842,364 times
Reputation: 7968
Detroit for whatever reasons had a bad problem with violent crime for a long time. I remember reading about 'devils night' back in the 1980's--hundreds of arsons all over the city on the night before Halloween. Then they have had execrable leadership with guys like Kilpatrick, and I think Coleman Young was almost as bad. A couple years ago I read that Detroit public high schools had around an 80% drop out rate. You can't blame that on the auto industry.

Seattle has different problems and nowhere near as severe, but the complaints about crime downtown seem to have escalated over the past year. I see the election of Kshama Sawant as a bad sign, but then I have been wrong before. BTW, from listening to Sawant, I'd say she would be the last person to support another public sports palace. That would be anathema to her. If people voted for her to get the Sonics back, they're in for a surprise.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
7,893 posts, read 7,012,591 times
Reputation: 11375
Quote:
Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
A couple years ago I read that Detroit public high schools had around an 80% drop out rate. You can't blame that on the auto industry.
Well, you can sorta. The auto industry is gone as are all the supportive business associated to it. Those kids have nothing to strive for, nothing to become... no future. They have been abandoned by progress and change and left to deal with the degeneration that fills their streets, their schools, their homes and families. All that some have managed to do is to literally start tilling the ground that they stand over and see if they can forge a future out of "urban farming".

Watch: Urbanized: A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit

I watched it a couple nights ago and there is a whole segment talking (and showing) about Detroit. It is certainly more optimistic than I am.
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