Detroit

I think the Free State people have really gone in the wrong direction with New Hampshire. At the moment, it looks like they could scoop up Detroit at bargain prices (unless OCP outbids them and ‘takes Detroit private’) and start their libertarian utopia there. According to the news reports I read, theres around 78,000 abandoned homes so real estate should be cheap, cheap, cheap. Heck, buy a few square blocks and start gradually expanding. Heck, gun companies looking to move could buy the old auto plant buildings, move in their machinery, and probably get enormous concessions from the state.

The article I read said something like the average response time for 911 was about an  hour, 90% of crimes went unsolved, 1/3 of the ambulance service is gone, 40% of the streetlights dont work, etc, etc, etc. I’m tellin’ ya man, get that big Powerball Jackpot and you could probably buy yourself a few entire neighborhoods in that town.

The fingerpointing, naturally, is loud and frequent. Its the fault of the unions, the businesses, the economy, the federal government, the state, the local government, and pretty much everyone except whoever is speaking at the moment. What’s readily apparent, though, is that Detroit spent more money than it had coming in. Period. Pension obligations, contracts, declining tax base, etc, etc, all amounted to spending more than what was coming in. Without being able to either generate more income (from a tax base that was fleeing in droves) or cutting services (which no one wants to get their fingerprints on) what else could have happened?

Is Detroit an example of whats coming up next in America or is it an exception that will, by its example, prevent other municipalities from following suit? I’m betting somewhere in the middle. I think that once the dust clears and other municipalities see how it went for Detroit they’ll also file (several cities in California spring to mind) but I think that for the most part these will be exceptions.

From a preparedness standpoint, if you want to wargame the ‘upcoming decline of America’ and a dystopic post-TSHTF world you would do pretty well using Detroit as a venue. Minimal public services, high crime, a Third World / Soviet style population base of unemployed fatalistic masses, crumbling infrastructure and burned out buildings….it’s like Fallout 3-D. Seriously, they should drop Bear Grylls down there with nothing but a knife, an EBT, and a pack of Marlboros and give him 30 days until evac. It would be like a cross between Escape From NY and Bat 21.

Every now and then I come across photo essays about the decay of Detroit and it shows neat old architecture being left to rot. Old factories, theaters, housing, etc, etc, it looks like scenese from Chernobyl. Someone with a buttload of cash really needs to just go in there, buy it up, and repopulate it with successful people and businesses. Alternatively, some well-funded and well-populated social group could do the same thing…heck, they could practically carve out a ‘homeland’….much like the way the Mormons claimed Utah.

The folks in Detroit apparently never saw this video:

24 thoughts on “Detroit

  1. The problem with moving into Detroit, even with the rock-bottom prices, is that the same people and mindset that contributed to the societal downfall are (for the most part) still living there.

    The grand social utopian experiment failed miserably. It’s a shame that one of the cornerstones of American manufacturing has come to this. But manufacturing jobs, like prosperity and upward mobility, tend to flow where the freedom is highest.

    Witness the exodus of Magpul from CO.

    I’d wager that the social authors of Detroit’s demise are too stupid to learn from their mistakes, but then they probably don’t have any money to bet with.

  2. I know what you’re getting at, but we free staters chose New Hampshire because the bar was low. Low population, low taxes, and a fewer number of statutes than most states. Michigan does not match any of those three. The taxes are high, the laws are ridiculous, and Michael Moore probably has 10 votes in every election.

  3. There’s no way in a gun companies right mind they’d move INTO that gun hating progressive city; concessions or not.
    Decades of lavish retirement packages for union employees, ignorant mismanagement of tax payer revenue, and horribly out-in-the-open corruption have finally taken their toll and the chickens are home to roost.

    I see no valid way this city can survive to rise again if the same people will be in charge at the end of the filing.
    It will be interesting to see how the whole situation plays out and what ends up being the final solution. It’s embarrassing to see one of my countries cities go belly up.
    As for the wicked crime rate, personally, it would take an OCP or some Lonestar (http://shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Lone_Star_Security_Services) Security type corporation to take over the management and LE of the city for there to be any hope of ending the horrific violence in the inner cities.

  4. unfortunately, if anyone did happen to buy up large swaths of detroit, they would find that a lot of the abandoned buildings would need to be demolished and rebuilt.

    and of course, yes, the current remaining residents would not help matters at all.

  5. “Seriously, they should drop Bear Grylls down there with nothing but a knife, an EBT, and a pack of Marlboros and give him 30 days until evac.”

    The History Channel did just that a few years back with some other former special ops guy in a 2 hour special called Apocalypse Man. Not a bad show. I had a few quibbles, but which one do you not. Worth digging out and watching.

      • I’d agree that it was worth watching at least once; the steel wool fire starter and the bicycle pump siphon were neat tricks if one has never seen them before. But other than that I thought he was averaging a bit of foolishness every two minutes; didn’t know the difference between a prybar and a tire iron, put the prybar on a door’s lockplate like he was going to pry it and then proceeded to bust it down with his shoulder, travelling by sewer, climbing down elevator shafts, all kinds of parkour antics, etc.

        Definitely another made-for-TV survival show. It was useful for ideas if nothing else, though, and the setting was very interesting.

  6. I live in the metro Detroit area, an area that is still pretty nice. Don’t venture into the city much, seems like every time I do I come back to a broken window or a bum with his hands out on my hood. It wasn’t the Mayans or y2k that got me to start prepping, it was the dark cloud over a once great city about 25 miles from my doorstep. Yes real estate isn’t a bad racket if you got the money, however I’m more concerned with the immediate future in my neck of the woods. Any advice for someone in my predicament would be appreciated. Crime is moving out into the suburbs at an alarming rate and I feel that the time to be ready for riots and marshal law could in fact be closer than many think. Thanks , by the way zero, love the blog keep up the good work.

    • My friend, here is the best advice you are going to get: Move the hell out of that place and come out west to Idaho or Montana.

      • I did, and I did. Moved out of MI as soon as I could retire. I fear for my friends who still live near Detroit, but most of them have battered child syndrome – it’s the only love they know, so they stay there.

  7. Detroit, as a city, needs to disappear. What should happen, is to divide the area into 4 separate cities-each with their own laws, reps, etc. It would starve the beasts (unions) and strip the progressives of any support from the low information voter. I’d also encourage Mormans and Catholics and Baptists to flood the 4 cities with ideas, people, and morality. In less than 10 years, those 4 cities would be the jewels of Michigan. But then, I have always been a dreamer.

    • The city is already heavily religious. In fact, the primary spokespeople for people who live in Detroit are pastors. Detroit politicians do not get elected unless they do most of their campaigning in churches (many of them Baptist churches). Religion hasn’t made one bit of difference in Detroit and I would argue it has made things worse.

    • As a Detroiter, I can tell you that buying up large amounts of property and doing something “better” (whatever that means) has been tried. It doesn’t work for a number of reasons. For example, currently there is an investor (John Hantz) who has been trying for years to bring urban farming on a large scale (hundreds/thousands of acres) to the area. He is even willing to foot the bill himself ($30 million). He is blocked at every turn, the chief reason being race. He is white. Detroit is black. Residents of Detroit say working on his farms would be going back to the plantation system of years past (white owner, black workers) and they refuse to let it happen.

      Further, even when you do buy property, you must deal with the regulations that govern it. You can’t buy an old factory and just start using it…you have to clean it, first. Many of the old factory sites are toxic. So sure, you can get the property for cheap, but then you pay through the nose to clean it and bring it up to spec for your needs. Simpler to just buy clean ready-to-go property somewhere else. In addition, even if you sucked it up and built in Detroit anyway you’d still be stuck with zero city services and major government corruption. Most of the public lighting in Detroit doesn’t work. There are no major grocery stores or shopping areas. No Wal-Marts (in the actual city). Employees would have to commute because the residents of Detroit are mostly illiterate (estimates vary but figure 50% and up). Many of them are also felons. You would need 24/7 security for your complex because the police can’t and won’t provide it. Also, it isn’t just the city government that is corrupt…it is also the county government. So, even if you fixed Detroit you still have the county to deal with.

      The problems in Detroit are systemic. The thing to remember is that Detroit is a city of firsts…throughout history Detroit was first for many positive things as well as negative. People should be looking at Detroit as an indicator of what is going to happen to the rest of the country because it will happen to varying degrees. It remains to be seen what happens after.

      • The notion that introducing a large religious population into an area will ‘cure’ it of it’s ails seems a little….far-fetched. The only reasons the Mormons (who might be related to the ‘Mormans’) and the Jews made it work with Utah and Israel is because there was nothing there but desert when they started..No existing infrastructure and entrenched government to deal with.

  8. It wasn’t that long ago you could buy whole city blocks in the big D for $1…. Plus all the back taxes that were owed causing the city to sieze the property in the first place.

  9. “…the social authors of Detroit’s demise are too stupid to learn from their mistakes…”

    Or they’re not stupid, and they did learn, from the Soviets, and the downfall of Detroit was intentional.

    Either way you look at it, it was intentional. It only comes down to which operators understood what they were doing and which ones were useful idiots, but then the answer to that question isn’t so important as how and why everyone else let it happen in a country that was designed to prevent sugh things.

  10. Buy Detroit?!?

    The fly-spackle in that sugarbowl is that the property includes all the sharecroppers lovingly tended to on Uncle Stalin’s Poverty Plantation, and cheerfully sheared every four years at election time, when the votes are harvested.

    Let it burn first, or make accepting so much as $1 in public assistance an absolute bar on the franchise of voting.

    The time to move there is when the only living things thereabouts have four or more legs. Otherwise you’re just taking over the payments on an Edsel with no wheels or engine.

  11. Look for the current Denizens of Dearbornistan to move into a portion of Detroit and declare themselves a separate and autonomous municipality.

  12. I look for good in the USA and there is still lots of it. However with close to 50% of the people on food stamps, and quite a few states with more people on welfare than are working. I am pretty concerned about it all.
    A culture of lazy, no morals society has emerged. Not only one generation, but multi-generations.
    The ship seems to be taking on water faster than the pumps can pump it out.
    Oh yeah, now it seems that everything can be blamed on racism.

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