The Dying City

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The Dying City

Post  VicarJoe on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:21 am

There's something very unsettling about Detroit. From a news story:

Borders Inc. was founded 40 miles away, but the only one of the chain's bookstores here closed this month. And Starbucks Corp., famous for saturating U.S. cities with its storefronts, has only four left in this city of 900,000 after closures last summer.

You have to leave town to buy a Chrysler or a Jeep.

No national grocery chain operates a store here.

The city's 22.8% unemployment rate is among the highest in the U.S.; 30% of residents are on food stamps.

Hundreds of buildings were left vacant by the nearly one million residents who have left.

A 2007 study found that more than half of Detroit residents had to travel twice as far to reach a grocery store than a fast-food outlet or convenience store.

Joe's take: Wow! I wonder what role, if any, the churches have in rebuilding a city (or giving it its last rites).
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VicarJoe

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it will be interesting to follow how the News sources continue with this story

Post  AsADeerPants on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:34 am

I wonder why this stories come to life sometimes. After all the city had to be dying for some time.
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The balance between adapting and taking care of the poor....

Post  stihl on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:41 am

Watching Detroit is kind of like watching a tribe that has evolved to live in the desert, have to deal with a glaciation.

The culture, society, and attitudes are all adapted for heavy manufacturing. There seems to be this notion that all cultures have a right to exist. Either individuals must move to clines with which they are adapted or, they must change to survive.
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You may have seen in yestiddy's paper

Post  VicarJoe on Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:25 am

that our New Process Gear plant, which builds some kind of doo-hickey for GM trucks, and which has been scheduled to be closed down, with the loss of many, many jobs, is now being bandied about as a plant that can be converted to making wind turbines. That is, the new "green" economy will rejuvenate the "rust belt" economy.

There was a time when I would have been skeptical of a plan to keep a dying blue collar town blue collar, but I'm no longer sure about that. When the economy based on paper collapses, it's nice to think that you actually produce something more than spreadsheets. Then again, Detroit is a godawful mess. So maybe converting to the "information age" is the way to go.

All I know is that there is a lot of despair in Michigan these days, and I don't know what the role of the churches might be, other than to offer solace.
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