Friday, May 25, 2012

Turn Out The Lights - The Largest U.S. Cities Are Becoming Cesspools Of Filth, Decay And Wretchedness

Once upon a time, the largest U.S. cities were the envy of the entire world.  Sadly, that is no longer the case.  Sure, there are areas of New York City, Boston, Washington and Los Angeles that are still absolutely beautiful but for the most part our major cities are rapidly rotting and decaying.  Cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis and Oakland were all once places where middle class American workers thrived and raised their families.  Today, all of those cities are rapidly being transformed into cesspools of filth, decay and wretchedness.  Millions of good jobs have left our major cities in recent decades and poverty has absolutely exploded.    Basically, you can turn out the lights because the party is over.  In fact, some major U.S. cities are literally turning out the lights.  In Detroit, about 40 percent of the streetlights are already broken and the city cannot afford to repair them.  So Mayor Bing has come up with a plan to cut the number of operating streetlights almost in half and leave vast sections of the city totally in the dark at night.  I wonder what that will do to the crime rate in the city.  But don't look down on Detroit too much, because what is happening in Detroit will be happening where you live soon enough.
A recent Bloomberg article described Mayor Bing's plan to eliminate nearly half of Detroit's streetlights....

Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.
As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year.
What this means is that there are going to be a lot of neighborhoods that will have the lights turned off permanently.
So which neighborhoods will those be?
According to one top Detroit official, "distressed areas" are going to be on the low end of the totem pole....
“You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas.”
City officials know that they cannot force people to move from "distressed areas", so they are going to encourage them to leave by cutting off services.
But turning off the lights is not the only way that Detroit is trying to save money.
Recently, officials in Detroit announced that all police stations in the city will be closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
It is so sad to see what is happening to what was once such a great city.
Back in the old days, Detroit had a teeming middle class population.
Today, 53.6% of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
Back in the old days, Detroit was a shining example of what America was doing right.
Today, 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
Back in the old days, middle class neighborhoods sprouted like mushrooms all over Detroit.
Today, the median price of a home in Detroit is just $6000.
Needless to say, crime is exploding in Detroit and many families live in constant fear.
Many have taken justice into their own hands.  Justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by a staggering 79 percent during 2011.
But Detroit is only one example of a national trend.
For example, a recent article by Jim Quinn entitled "More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey And Decay" described the filth, decay and wretchedness in West Philadelphia.  Quinn refers to the drive through this area as "the 30 Blocks of Squalor"....
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