Detroit Has Gone From Being The Greatest Manufacturing City In The World To A Global Joke

By Michael Snyder, the Economic Collapse Blog.

The Ruins Of Detroit - Photo by CsmcmIn 1960, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen.  Nearly two million people lived there, and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  That may be hard to believe, because today it actually has one of the lowest per capita incomes of all of our major cities.  Over the decades more than a million people have left the city, and thousands of abandoned homes have been torn down.  But there are still tens of thousands of abandoned dwellings that remain standing, and some have sold for as little as one dollar in recent years.  Once Detroit was the envy of the entire planet, but now it has become a global joke and in other countries they love to do news stories about “the ruins of Detroit” to show how rapidly America is rotting and decaying.  Sadly, Detroit is far from alone, because there are other formerly great manufacturing cities that have declined just as fast as Detroit has.

Earlier today, I came across a video that contains footage that someone recently captured as they drove through the city of Detroit at night.  To say that the footage is disturbing would be a tremendous understatement

It has become known as a mecca of violent crime and poverty, and now a viral video is giving an unpleasant view of Detroit after dark.

The clip, called Driving through Detroit at night, was filmed by a woman who was a passenger in a car going around the Motor City and was posted to Twitter at the weekend.

It shows terrifying scenes of gangs gathered on the sidewalk, prostitutes lifting up their skirts and dancing, and even a man being run over by a car on purpose.

I would have liked to share the video with you all, but it is just way too graphic.  There really are prostitutes lifting up their skirts in the video, and a man really is hit by a vehicle.  If you want to watch it for yourself, it is very easy to find on YouTube.  But please be warned that children should not be watching this.

If you live in a peaceful rural or suburban setting, the kind of behavior displayed in this video may seem very foreign to you.  In America today, it is way too easy to allow our televisions to define reality for us.  But the warped view of reality that we get through our televisions is nothing like the real world.  The real world is cold, cruel and very unforgiving.

If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the real world will eat you alive.

In the city of Detroit today, close to half the population is functionally illiterate, and one survey found that 60 percent of all children in the city are living in poverty.  It has been reported that 40 percent of the street lights do not work, and as you can see from the video it is a very frightening place to be after dark.

And don’t count on the police to help you.  The size of the police force in Detroit has been reduced by about 40 percent over the years, and it has been estimated that it takes the Detroit police an average of 58 minutes to respond to a call.

If it was just one major city where all of these things were happening, that would be bad enough.

Sadly, the truth is that what is happening in Detroit is happening all over the nation.  In fact, St. Louis and Memphis now have higher gun crime rates than Detroit does

The listing places St Louis above the notoriously dangerous Detroit which has topped the list in previous years thanks to the city’s high gun crime rate.

Detroit is now listed as third after Memphis, Tennessee which had 84.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

Birmingham, Alabama comes in fourth place with 82.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents while Rockford, Illinois was fifth with a rate of 76.3.

Earlier this month, we saw how a major city such as Milwaukee can erupt in flames in just a matter of hours.  And in Chicago, some of the major gangs have agreed to use automatic weapons and sniper fire in their battle against the police.

A spirit of chaos and violence has descended on America, and things are going to get much worse during the months and years to come.

Meanwhile, crime continues to rise in our smaller cities and in our suburbs as well.  For a moment, I want you to consider a short excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Walmart’s Out-of-Control Crime Problem Is Driving Police Crazy“…

The call log on the store stretches 126 pages, documenting more than 5,000 trips over the past five years. Last year police were called to the store and three other Tulsa Walmarts just under 2,000 times. By comparison, they were called to the city’s four Target stores about 300 times. Most of the calls to the northeast Supercenter were for shoplifting, but there’s no shortage of more serious crimes, including five armed robberies so far this year, a murder suspect who killed himself with a gunshot to the head in the parking lot last year, and, in 2014, a group of men who got into a parking lot shootout that killed one and seriously injured two others.

Police reports from dozens of stores suggest the number of petty crimes committed on Walmart properties nationwide this year will be in the hundreds of thousands.

Did you catch that?

This Bloomberg report says that there will be “hundreds of thousands” of crimes just committed at Wal-Mart stores alone this year.

If people are behaving like this while times are still relatively stable and relatively good, what would things look like during a real crisis?

Many people openly wonder what happened to Detroit, but it really isn’t much of a mystery at all.

Over the decades, our politicians have stood idly by as tens of thousands of businesses and millions of good paying jobs have left the country.  Our economic infrastructure has been absolutely gutted, and as a result formerly great manufacturing cities have become rotting, decaying hellholes.

And it certainly doesn’t help that voters in many of these cities have willingly chosen to put radical leftists into power time after time.

Unfortunately, it appears that the nation as a whole is about to hand the keys to the White House to a radical leftist that has a violent temper that is absolutely legendary.  If she gets into power, that might just be the final nail in our coffin.

What has already happened to Detroit is slowly happening to the entire country, but we never seem to learn from our past mistakes.

So now we will suffer the consequences for our very foolish decisions, and it will not be pretty.

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  • billylove

    “Radical left.” Anything but.

  • diogenes

    Who gutted Detroit? American car-making corporations that let their industry be taken over by foreign makers sooner than pay American wages to America workers. They pioneered off-shoring, and Detroit be damned. Businesses and jobs have left America by corporate design and with the bribed cooperation of Congress — with tax benefits!

    Anyone who calls Clinton a representative of the “radical left” is totally out of touch with reality. Washingtonsblog insults the intelligence of its readership by publishing this drivel. What gives?

    • wunsacon

      I can’t defend Snyder this time.

      WB, do you read Snyder’s work before deciding to publish it? It’s one thing for Snyder to offer decent facts and then offer non-falsifiable opinions that I can “understand” people holding (even if I disagree with them). But, “radical left [Hillary]” is nuts.

      • diogenes

        Nuts or contrived bullshit — hard to tell which. Calling Hillary Klinton a “progressive” is like calling Hitler a rabbi. How ’bout it Snyder, wanna go for two?

    • Charlie Primero

      It was the exact opposite. In the 1970’s American automakers paid union-mandated wages that were three times what their competitors elsewhere were paying.

      You are probably not old enough to have met people who bragged about the “no show” and “make work” automobile factory jobs the Detroit unions created.

      • diogenes

        Any business that can’t pay a wage sufficient to maintain a middle class lifestyle shouldn’t be doing business in America. America doesn’t need slaves and we don’t need peons and we don’t need third-class citizens and we especially don’t need oligarchs and malefactors of great wealth. Car-making corporations didn’t want to pay middle class wages to unionized workers because the did, and do, want ot pay dividends to maintain investors in the unearned wealth that this filthy system keeps in the hands of 1% of Americans.

      • wunsacon

        “Some of the companies that have union problems *deserve* them.”

        – Can’t recall the name of the CEO or big biz guy who said it, sometime in the 70’s.

        And you can see examples of this all the time, just by observing the obscene retirements and golden parachutes C-level scum pay themselves even when they drive their companies into the ground.

        • Charlie Primero

          That is true. Executives at the Big Three in the 1970’s were scumbags being paid far more than they deserved.

          We see the same thing today with government contracting corporations and banking. Monopolies always result in low quality products at high prices.

  • wunsacon

    “A RADICAL LEFTIST”??

    Referring to Killary as:

    >> a radical leftist

    reminds me to always review Snyder’s footnotes (supporting any facts) and to *certainly* question any opinions he offers.

    Keeping us on our toes, then?

    • tom

      As an educated and fairly experienced British citizen, it seems to me that Americans are forever tying themselves in knots over terms like “left”, “right”, “socialist”, “communist”, “liberal”, “progressive”, “conservative”, and so. As far as I can see, most of those terms are commonly used in contexts that are wholly inappropriate, and some of them have had their meaning almost completely changed or even inverted. It’s a pity, because while Americans are engaged in tearing at each other and pelting each other with those epithets – and even inexplicably arguing about the relative merits of Republicrats and Demoblicans – they cannot even begin to address their real problems.

      Fifty years ago, most intelligent people understood that communism and fascism “meet around the back”. Whatever the differences in their ideologies, their methods were usually very similar – and it was their methods that made them really obnoxious. As long ago as the 1920s the American writer Max Eastman made the point succinctly:

      “Instead of being better, Stalinism is worse than fascism, more ruthless, barbarous, unjust, immoral, anti-democratic, unredeemed by any hope or scruple… it is better described as superfascist”.

      That was before WW2, which would probably have redressed the balance and caused Eastman to see fascism and communism as more or less on a par. Today, the US government has adopted more and more of the methods that characterized fascism and communism; and a large proportion of the neocons are in fact reconstructed Trotskyites or the like.

      It would surely be more constructive to go back to first principles, look carefully at the US Constitution, and reflect on how far today’s practice has drifted from the intentions and prescriptions of the Founding Fathers. Recall, for instance, that Thomas Jefferson was unsure whether banks or standing armies were more deadly to freedom.

      • Charlie Primero

        It would be nice if we could again uphold the human rights principles underpinning the U.S. Constitution, but we passed the tipping point where recovery might be possible over 40 years ago.

        Now the system must run its predetermined course and collapse.

        The prostitutes and thugs who would kill you because of your skin color in this video are merely symptoms of our unnatural, diseased system. Symptoms correct when the disease is cured.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMWHJDr8fxE

  • wunsacon

    Detroit is what happens when capitalists wield enough power to corrupt unions and government in order to engineer the delivery of empty bags to laborers and taxpayers.

    The next time you read about misallocated resources in bygone socialist or communist countries, remember Detroit, Camden, Youngstown, and many other dead manufacturing ghost towns dot this nation.

    • diogenes

      Exactly. And don’t forget that up until the late 1930s government troops were shooting strikers on command of the Wall Street usurpers of democratic government.

  • Charlie Primero

    Detroit is a classic case of how Socialism destroys societies.

    Industrial entrepreneurs create a base of wealth for socialist parasites to exploit with taxes. Tax-funded welfare programs pay stupid and immoral people to reproduce at abnormally high levels. In time, the population becomes majority stupid and immoral. The results are entirely predictable.

    Anyone who owned Chevy/Ford/Dodge manufactured in the late 1970’s experienced first-hand the effects of union corruption and lack of competition. When we all switched to Honda/Toyota/Datsun in the early 1980’s. By then, the rot was already too systemic for Detroit to survive.

    Anyone remember the “Chicken Tax” Ronald Reagan put on the competitors of Harley Davidson motorcycles? That was a hoot. Those 1980’s Harleys were pathetic compared to a Honda.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1983/04/02/business/us-raises-tariff-for-motorcycles.html

    • Carl_Herman

      Yes, Charlie, and I question the motives for US auto to suicide itself through intentionally bad engineering. Because all we receive from our .01% “masters” is destruction, debt, and death, I suggest this was/is by design. America had to be broken for our masters to rule us. The only way was to buy .01% oligarchs into the plan to inflict maximum allowable pain.

      US auto suffered from “bad intelligence” just as US wars did: both were planned.

      • Charlie Primero

        I agree. The Alchemical process of creating a Perfected Man requires destruction of the original Man. The Western Liberal Tradition has been working on this for more than 300 years. Marx and Trotsky both understood this.

        The Marxist-led union organizers of the 1930’s and the off-shoring Capitalists of the 1970’s were even *more* effective precisely because they were ignorant of the Great Work.

      • diogenes

        The auto corporations, and American corporate finance in general, destroyed Detroit, they way they destroyed many towns in America — in order to “off-shore” industry to where there’s cheap labor and minimal environmental and other regulations, to countries with governments they can push around even easier than they push around the American government, such as it is. It’s not just Detroit by any means. Detroit is just one of the biggest wreckage cites. I know someone from a town in Alabama that was, for a hundred years, famous for its rug factory. But some schmuck (I use the term advisedly) on Wall Street decided to rig himself some credit by means of junk bonds or some other form of funny money, buy the rug factory, and move it out of the country. One more dead town. A little research could tell hundreds of versions of this story. Wall Street has decided to turn the American economy into a service plantation. And we see it happening all around us, fellow peons.

  • General Motors is becoming China Motors

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lvl5Gan69Wo

    Detroit Ghetto, CAUTION! Photos may be disturbing to some.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwGHZ8lFO8

  • Carl_Herman

    I liked the title and facts until this point:

    “And it certainly doesn’t help that voters in many of these cities have willingly chosen to put radical leftists into power time after time.

    Unfortunately, it appears that the nation as a whole is about to hand the keys to the White House to a radical leftist that has a violent temper that is absolutely legendary. If she gets into power, that might just be the final nail in our coffin.

    What has already happened to Detroit is slowly happening to the entire country, but we never seem to learn from our past mistakes.”

    Michael: do you see the irony that YOU haven’t learned from your own mistake that we don’t have a Left/Right difference, but a Left and Right arm of one rogue state? This is OBVIOUS because if we had competitive parties, for one example, Obama would have put the Republicans out of power for the next 50 years over lie-started and illegal Wars of Aggression, torture, and bailouts.

    Right, Michael?

    • Charlie Primero

      Georgetown University Professor Caroll Quigley summed it up best in his 1966 master-work ‘Tragedy & Hope’:

      “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers.

      Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy”.

      As we see today, it works great.

      http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Author/60

      • Carl_Herman

        Well quoted; thank you, Charlie. Yes, “Tragedy & Hope” is a thick text, and full of admissions from an insider.

        • diogenes

          It’s not clear what Quigley means by “should be”. Is that “should be” according to the oligarchs who operate the two-choice-no-choice political hoax to maintain their own power and predatory system, or is that “should be” according to Quigley? Because the only way American can “throw the rascals out” today is to throw out the entire Two Party Hoax.

          • Jason Calley

            Hey diogenes! “Is that “should be” according to the oligarchs who operate the
            two-choice-no-choice political hoax to maintain their own power and
            predatory system, or is that “should be” according to Quigley?”

            Yes, to both. Quigley not only documented the system set up by the oligarchs, he also approved of it. Like so many people in academia, he thought that the average person is not fit to be free to control his own life. Society, so says Quigley, should be controlled by wealthier and more intelligent people — you, know… people more like HIM!

            Never forget that Bill Clinton gave a special thanks to his old professor, Carroll Quigley, when Bill accepted the 1992 Democratic nomination. Clinton was giving a public (though not noted by many people at the time) acknowledgment to that he was loyal to the will of the oligarchs and The Powers That Be.

  • October 8, 2014 It’s Official: China Dethrones America As Largest Economy

    Under One Test We reported in April 2012 that leading Chinese economic analyst (and American ex-pat) professor Michael Pettis argued in 2011 that China’s GDP might already higher than America’s in terms of purchasing power parity. And we noted that Arvind Subramanian – former assistant director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, and now senior fellow jointly at the Peterson Institute for International Economics – says that China passed up the USA in 2010.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/10/official-china-dethrones-america-largest-economy.html

  • dayanmao

    There are no radical leftists running for the Presidency. There are no leftists running for the Presidency. How someone can write an otherwise fine article about the dangers of deindustrialization and conclude with that is beyond me.

    That’s so embarrassing I can’t even link to the story.

    • diogenes

      It’s called ideological blinders — that’s how. If the full range of what you can see or conceive extends from right to right, right is left. Just as Snyder.

      • dayanmao

        Not even close. Words have meanings, there are No radical leftists or any leftists of any sort running for the Presidency.

        • diogenes

          IN the context of American politics and political history, “left” and “right” do not carry clear meaning; they carry confusion. By the late 30s the Democrats, and FDR, were calling everyone who didn’t toe their essentially fascist line “right-wingers” etc. Now people like Snyder are calling equally fascist characters like Clinton, posing as a “Democrat,” “left-wingers.” It’s all bullshit, and dust in the air and in our eyes. The same goes for “Democrat” and “Republican.” If we want to effect positive change in American, we need to focus on issues and policies, and truth and consequences, not namecalling and labels.

  • BDUB

    Can Detroit even be considered a “Major City” anymore? The pop was 700K and falling in 2012.

  • madrino

    The last radical leftist I have read about in America was Eugene Debs. The FBI was created to put people like him in prison.

    • diogenes

      “Left” and “right” are terms developed to describe political configurations in Europe. Debs was a progressive American who advocated socialization of industries and utilities that are “natural monopolies” — a program he shared with most progressives, ranging from Robert La Follette to William Randolph Hearst. In the context of American history and politics, “left” and “right” are just name-calling. To think clearly and coherently, and act intelligently, we need to focus on issues and policies, not name-calling and divisiveness.

  • Silverado

    What?? This is just another left wing DemocRATic monument to abject failure. Just like (almost) every other large city in this country the crooked D’s have both ran politically and destroyed. It’s what they do…

    • diogenes

      How cute to blame the destructive results of predatory corporate finance on “the Democrats” and “the unions”. People get paid for it. Does Silverado? Does Snyder” Or are they or they volunteers? Or interns? Or just foold?

      • Silverado

        You fail to impress me…again genie. So you don’t think 6 or 7 decades of DemocRATic rule in Detroit isn’t responsible for any of it’s…decline, huh? You need to pull your head out of your rearend so you can open your eyes and see. And you’re babbling about “predatory corporate finances”?? Wake up. Change is coming even in Detroit…and his name is Donald Trump.

        • Carl_Herman

          Silverado, with all respect: if the Republicans were any different they would have prosecuted the Dems for looting and lying because fundamental to being an American representative in government is FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY. That is, an elected official is sworn to honestly and transparently represent and communicate status of public money.

          If Trump is your vision of leadership, by all means go for it. Learn from his history and what will follow. You may wish to consider, however, that Trump is just more of the same: bullshit rhetoric from a narcissist parasite. “Compassionate conservative,” “Hope for change,” “Make America great again” are all void of factual consideration and public policy that those educated offer again and again.

          You’re being played to blame the Left arm of the one US fascist body in order to go to its Right arm. “Predatory corporate finances” have looted every American family by ~$1,000,000 each. You really are looted and lied to by both parties, citizen.

          Documentation: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/08/learned-1-million-per-us-household-benefits-monetary-reform-public-banking-yet-2-interviews-help-catherine-austin-fitts-ellen-brown-yes-will-happen.html

          • Silverado

            That’s just it Carl, Trump is NOT my vision of leadership. But in this election cycle it’s a battle between 2 and he’s the only one that’s even close, so he’ll get my vote. I’m willing to take that chance and give him the benefit of the doubt that NOT being a career politician nor a warmonger that he is indeed better than crooked Hillary this time around. What’s the alternative? Vote for more…crooked-ness?? No thanks…