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Old 07-22-2013, 07:03 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I think the author has probably mistaken an effect for a cause. And (unhelpfully) conflated "race" with "socioeconomic level." It wasn't whites who fled Detroit, it was the middle class--who happened to be disproportionately white. But middle class people of every ethnicity fled.
This is my last post in this thread because I'm sure Porky will close it down. I disagree with your assessment that discounts the significance of race in favor of class. Race and racial politics, as suggested by the Keith Richburg (a Detroit native) article I posted earlier in this thread, appears to have been a significant contributing factor to Detroit's downward spiral during the last half of the 20th Century. It is certainly true that the middle class appears to have abandoned Detroit, but it started with white flight perhaps influenced by the race riots of 1967, school busing, public housing -- all during a time of extreme racial strife and polarity in our Country.

Politicians, engaged in racial politics, also shoulder a lot of the blame too, so I'm not at all suggesting the toxicity that caused rampant crime, poor schools, substandard housing, inferior municipal services, and a culture of despair was all caused by white flight, but it began with that exodus and once a tipping point occurred that was absolutely nothing done to reverse it.

It's true that the Black middle class (and that perhaps of every other ethnic group) also abandoned Detroit but this was much later during the decline. Saying that this was simply a class exodus does not take fully account of the racial elements that triggered this decline. We're not color blind now and certainly weren't in the 1960's and 1970's when the decline went into full tilt.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Saying that this was simply a class exodus does not take fully account of the racial elements that triggered this decline.
Well, I would agree that the factors you highlight (race riots, public housing (disastrous policy in Detroit, IMO), busing, politicians engaged in racial politics, rampant crime, poor schools, substandard housing, inferior municipal services, and a culture of despair) didn't help Detroit.

In general, for the last 25 years those in power in Detroit (politicians, union leaders, those leading religious and civic organizations, heads of corporations, etc) continued to encourage policies that mortgaged the future for yet another "feel good fix" for the present. They did this whether they were black or white. And they got support from their constituents. Lots of people saw this coming and piped up, but never enough to have the needed impact.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #103
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Are there particular take-aways from the Detroit situation for retirees in general?

One obvious one: Once done with earning a paycheck, it may be human nature for a retiree to figure that he/she is relatively immune to the vagaries of the local economic situation where he/she lives ("My 'paycheck' is secure, and the stores I need are nearby. Why move?"). Obviously, not so--encroaching blight will affect an FI person as readily as anyone else. Instead, it may be useful to remember that FI allows one to scoot, unhindered by shackles to an employer, to a community where conditions are right for continued prosperity--and do it early, maybe salvaging some home equity. Voting with one's feet is simply common sense in a situation where the writing is on the wall--(literally, sometimes).

Again, an obvious point, but I excel at making those.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:47 PM   #104
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Voting with one's feet is simply common sense in a situation where the writing is on the wall--(literally, sometimes).

Again, an obvious point, but I excel at making those.
It should be, but sometimes people are stuck, especially the elderly. They don't have the means just to pickup and leave. Who's going to buy a house from you in an area like that. For myself, I'd just abandon the house before living in place like was in the previous youtube.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:59 PM   #105
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The assertion here is that the bankruptcy filing was made without standing. Government officials couldn't, for example, sell the state to another country, so any papers they prepared and submitted along those lines would be without force of law, just like if someone sold you property that they didn't own.

In this case, the claim is that the state doesn't have the authority to file for bankruptcy because of the pensions. My instinct is that the claim is bogus because the bankruptcy filing itself doesn't necessarily mean the pensions will be affected. They probably will, but the filing doesn't make that happen. The action of the federal bankruptcy court (later) would do that. Then we get into a federal law trumps state law situation. The way I read Section 24, it is the diminishing of the pensions that is proscribed, not the filing for bankruptcy protection. Since the diminishing of the pensions is an action that would be taken by the federal government, I don't think the state constitution will apply.

I will be amazed if this argument of standing flies. Seems like a lot of grasping at straws and smoke screens are thrown up to interfere with what needs to be done to fix the problem. Detroit really do not have a choice. I expect the judge will see through this nonsense and move the bankruptcy along. It will be interesting to see how this proceeds, especially if the judge would decide Detroit is not allowed to declare bankruptcy (unlikely I think).
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #106
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It's probably not material to Detroit's future, but I'm curious. How is Windsor, Ontario, Canada doing across the river?
Not great but not bad. The '18-20 year old US citizens looking to legally drink' market demographic remains strong

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Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Race and racial politics, as suggested by the Keith Richburg (a Detroit native) article I posted earlier in this thread, appears to have been a significant contributing factor to Detroit's downward spiral during the last half of the 20th Century. It is certainly true that the middle class appears to have abandoned Detroit, but it started with white flight perhaps influenced by the race riots of 1967, school busing, public housing -- all during a time of extreme racial strife and polarity in our Country.
Really both Keith and samclem are correct depending on the time frame looked at. Its unfortunate that everyone focuses so intently on the race riots while ignoring the large swing in population that had started well over a decade sooner. If you look at the employment figures Detroit had already lost over 150,000 jobs to relocation in the 1950s and city unemployment was ~10%. This was not (largely) race based but instead due to post war wind-down, taxation policies, land prices, availability of cheap cars and an excellent infrastructure. Most of the jobs that relocated were white collar, which were predominantly staffed by whites. It wasn't until the mid 60s that the flight was largely racially motivated
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