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24 Signs That All Of America Is Becoming Just Like Detroit
The American Dream ^ | 12/06/2010 | Michael Snyder

Posted on 12/07/2010 10:33:41 AM PST by SeekAndFind

For years, people have been laughing at the horrific economic decline of Detroit. Well, guess what? The same thing that happened to Detroit is now happening to dozens of other communities across the United States. From coast to coast there are formerly great manufacturing cities that have turned into rotting, post-industrial war zones. In particular, in America's "rust belt" you can drive through town after town after town that resemble little more than post-apocalyptic wastelands. In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities.

Meanwhile, the economic downturn has been incredibly hard on the finances of state and local governments across the United States. Unlike the federal government, state and local governments cannot use the Federal Reserve to play games with their exploding debt burdens. Facing horrific budget deficits, many communities have begun adopting "austerity measures" in an attempt to slow the flow of red ink. All over the nation, deep budget cuts are slashing police departments, fire departments and other basic social services, but it seems like no matter what many of these communities try the debt just keeps growing.

So when you combine economic hopelessness with drastic budget cuts, what you get are hordes of communities from coast to coast that are becoming just like Detroit. In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 44 schools have been permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas. Many Americans thought that it was funny to make fun of Detroit, but little did they know that what happened there would soon start happening everywhere.

The following are 24 signs that all of America is becoming a rotting, post-industrial, post-apocalyptic wasteland just like Detroit....

#1 The second most dangerous city in the United States - Camden, New Jersey - is about to lay off about half its police.

#2 In the city of Camden, about the only "industries" that are truly thriving are drug-dealing and prostitution. It is estimated that there are literally dozens of open-air drug markets in Camden.

#3 The city of Newark, New Jersey laid off 13 percent of its police force just last week.

#4 Of 315 municipalities the New Jersey State Policemen's union recently surveyed, more than half indicated that they were planning to lay off police officers.

#5 At least 1000 people now live in the 200 miles of flood tunnels that exist under the city of Las Vegas.

#6 All over America, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel because it is cheaper to maintain. The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt road into gravel over the past year, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have transformed at least some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.

#7 The number of Americans on food stamps has hit yet another new all-time record. 42.9 million Americans are now enrolled and federal authorities fully expect that number to continue to skyrocket.

#8 The city of San Jose, California recently laid off 49 firefighters.

#9 Over the past year, approximately 100 of New York's state parks and historic sites have had to cut services and reduce hours.

#10 In 2009 alone, approximately 4 million more Americans joined the ranks of the poor.

#11 The state of Arizona recently decided to stop paying for many types of organ transplants for people enrolled in its Medicaid program.

#12 Many of the police in Arizona that patrol communities near the border with Mexico say that they are "outmanned" and "outgunned" and now live in fear of being taken out by drug cartel assassins.

#13 Gang violence in America is getting totally out of control. According to authorities, there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs operating inside the country, and those gangs are responsible for up to 80% of the violent crimes committed in the U.S. each year.

#14 Oakland, California Police Chief Anthony Batts has announced that due to severe budget cuts there are a number of crimes that his department will simply not be able to respond to any longer. The crimes that the Oakland police will no longer be responding to include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism.

#15 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

#16 The state of Illinois is so far behind on its bills that not even schools and essential social services are getting their money on time.

#17 The sheriff's department in Ashtabula County, Ohio has been slashed from 112 to 49 deputies, and there is now just one vehicle remaining to patrol all 720 square miles of the county.

#18 As our local communities degenerate economically, it appears that they are falling apart morally as well. There are approximately 400,00 registered sex offenders in the United States as you read this.

#19 In a desperate attempt to save money, the city of Colorado Springs turned off a third of its streetlights and put its police helicopters up for auction.

#20 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.

#21 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 25 percent of America's nearly 600,000 bridges need significant repairs or are burdened with more traffic than they were designed to carry.

#22 In Georgia, the county of Clayton recently eliminated its entire public bus system in order to save 8 million dollars.

#23 Things have gotten so bad in Stockton, California that the police union put up a billboard with the following message: "Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California. Stop laying off cops."

#24 Major cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and Sacramento have instituted "rolling brownouts" in which various city fire stations are shut down on a rotating basis. So if you live in one of those cities and you have a fire, you had better hope that your local fire station is not scheduled for a "brownout" that day.

As I have documented in article after article, the "American Dream" is rapidly becoming the American Nightmare. We were once a nation that was endlessly expanding, endlessly growing and endlessly becoming more powerful, but now just the opposite is happening.

All of this didn't happen overnight. Back in 1982, Billy Joel could see what was starting to happen and he released a song entitled "Allentown" which captured the depression that many residents of once great steel cities were experiencing. The song started out with these two lines....

Well we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down

Well, the United States has lost over 42,000 factories since 2001 and now all of America is turning into "Allentown".

Unfortunately, things are going to get even worse. Thousands more factories and millions more jobs will be sent overseas. The debt loads of our state and local governments will continue to skyrocket. The truth is that city after city after city is going to start looking like something out of a third world country.

But perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you believe that America's greatest days are just around the corner. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below....


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: america; detroit
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-76 next last

1 posted on 12/07/2010 10:33:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

South Dallas looks a lot like Detroit.


2 posted on 12/07/2010 10:34:59 AM PST by dfwgator (Congratulations to Josh Hamilton - AL MVP)
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To: SeekAndFind

Plantation Welfare Politics of the Dem Party has created this mess.


3 posted on 12/07/2010 10:37:45 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: SeekAndFind

Sounds about right.

Until government is held accountable to START doing the things it should and STOP doing the things it shouldn’t, this will keep getting worse. Problem is far too much of our nation thinks that “give me free stuff” is part of the things government should do. Another problem is politicians, esp. on the left, are far more interested in securing their own money and power than in the good of the nation.

The bitter fruits of tax-and-spend-spend-spend liberalism have blossomed across the land.

PS Think I’m politicizing something that isn’t political? Go through your list and see how democrat (lib) dominated cities, counties, and states dominate your list...


4 posted on 12/07/2010 10:42:27 AM PST by piytar (0's idea of power: the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering on another human being. 1984)
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To: Conservative Tsunami
Plantation Welfare Politics of the Dem Party has created this mess

Partially true. That being said you cannot outsource and offshore much of your manufacturing and technological base and not expect repercussions.

InB4 you come back telling me it was insane unions and EPA that did this.

That is partially true as well but no the entire reason.

A women was on Colbert whose company made marbles. China can make AND ship marbles to the US for 21 Cents per lb. The women said the electric cost ALONE to make a lb of marbles in the US was 20 cents.

This problem we have goes way beyond libs causing the offshoring of jobs.

It is about competing with developing countries whose cost is a 1/10 of your own. It can't be done.

5 posted on 12/07/2010 10:45:34 AM PST by hoyt-clagwell (5:00 AM Gym Crew)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yeah. I guess it’s all hopeless. Except in States that aren’t run by f***ing liberals. Ever noticed that? Every place in serious trouble is run by liberals. Even city by city in the same county.


6 posted on 12/07/2010 10:45:34 AM PST by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: hoyt-clagwell

Chinese competition seems to be the reason why our jobs have gone. Maybe we need to get rid of the ‘favored nation status’ for countries with a tenth our production costs and
who wish us ill into the bargain.


7 posted on 12/07/2010 10:49:29 AM PST by rahbert
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To: SeekAndFind

It would be more accurate to say that America is becoming a 3rd world country.

We’ve only just begun to degenerate. There’s a lot of humble pie that is going to need to be consumed before we can be great again.

Eliminate a welfare recipient’s cable television and see what happens...


8 posted on 12/07/2010 10:50:03 AM PST by TSgt (Colonel Allen West & Michele Bachman - 2012 POTUS Dream Team Ticket!)
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To: dfwgator

RE: South Dallas looks a lot like Detroit.


Not sure which place should be awarded the worst cesspool of America, Detroit or Camden, NJ.

Someone told me that Gary, Indiana is also bad, but I’ve never been there.


9 posted on 12/07/2010 10:50:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama’s plan is working perfectly. But notice that NONE of the states are proposing cutting social services or ANY of the non-essential services or agencies. It is all a smoke screen that they do every year; cut essential services first to create the illusion that they are down to bare bones. But as always, the government cuts the meat first and never, ever touches the fat.


10 posted on 12/07/2010 10:51:38 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I call BS.

For instance:

“The sheriff’s department in Ashtabula County, Ohio has been slashed from 112 to 49 deputies, and there is now just one vehicle remaining to patrol all 720 square miles of the county.”

Sounds to me like they oughta lay off 48 more deupties.


11 posted on 12/07/2010 10:52:08 AM PST by Pessimist
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To: SeekAndFind

Detroit still has some great suburbs to live in though.


12 posted on 12/07/2010 10:53:19 AM PST by dfwgator (Congratulations to Josh Hamilton - AL MVP)
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To: hoyt-clagwell
A women was on Colbert whose company made marbles. China can make AND ship marbles to the US for 21 Cents per lb. The women said the electric cost ALONE to make a lb of marbles in the US was 20 cents. This problem ...is about competing with developing countries whose cost is a 1/10 of your own. It can't be done.

Excellent point. But this is what happened when members of both parties steamrolled NAFTA and "free trade" though 20 years ago, then granted "Most Favored Nation" trade status to slave-labor giant, China.

American industry and factories and our very economy has been sold out by our own treasonous Elite politicians.

Combine the loss of millions of low-skill factory jobs near US cities along with urban Dem Welfare Plantations, and you have a recipe for disaster.

13 posted on 12/07/2010 10:54:24 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: SeekAndFind

>>#18 As our local communities degenerate economically, it appears that they are falling apart morally as well. There are approximately 400,00 registered sex offenders in the United States as you read this.<<

That is ignoring the fact that it takes very little to get put on that list. I’ve read plenty of articles on FR about things like a 17 year old girl sending a picture of herself nude to her 18 year old boyfriend, and when the picture is found on his phone, he becomes a registered sex offender. Or the guy that accidentally gets some kiddie prOn (it actually can happen. I’ve certainly gotten a lot of junk I didn’t want or ask for, from completely innocent searches) and when it is discovered, even a single picture, he becomes a registered sex offender.

And when everyone is a sex offender, no one is.


14 posted on 12/07/2010 10:54:49 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: SeekAndFind
I think my tagline says it all. .
15 posted on 12/07/2010 10:55:08 AM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: TSgt
It would be more accurate to say that America is becoming a 3rd world country. We’ve only just begun to degenerate.

Wait until China and India ramps up their hi tech white collar sector....

16 posted on 12/07/2010 10:56:17 AM PST by hoyt-clagwell (5:00 AM Gym Crew)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m reading Atlas Shrugged right now and it is prophetic. If you haven’t...READ IT.


17 posted on 12/07/2010 10:56:17 AM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: SeekAndFind

>>#20 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010.<<

Another bogus stat. The poverty line in the US means that your family only owns one car and living in a home with only one bathroom and only basic cable.


18 posted on 12/07/2010 10:56:34 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: rahbert; hoyt-clagwell
Chinese competition seems to be the reason why our jobs have gone. Maybe we need to get rid of the ‘favored nation status’ for countries with a tenth our production costs and who wish us ill into the bargain.

BINGO.

It's NO coincidence that since we've bestowed MFN status to China and allowed them to decimate our market and economy with slave-labor crap (to the tune of a $200b per year deficit) that our own economy and industrial base has been gutted. It took just TEN YEARS!

Why didn't US trade negotiators slap a fair tariff on ChiCom goods? SHORT, BEST ANSWER: Because they are whores who sold us out.

19 posted on 12/07/2010 11:00:20 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: hoyt-clagwell

I’m in backoffice business/IT for my large corporation. You can go into any of the lunchrooms here and almost ALL the people there are Indian or Pakistani ans speaking various non-english as they converse. It is becoming very difficult to carry on meetings with so many participants unable to speak clear English. It not only impacts productivity, but also reliability and accuracy of solutions we produce.


20 posted on 12/07/2010 11:01:58 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Seruzawa

I find it interesting that the governor of KY is trying to abolish the state income tax. It would save me over $600 a month. when I move there.


21 posted on 12/07/2010 11:03:09 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: hoyt-clagwell
We’ve only just begun to degenerate. Wait until China and India ramps up their hi tech white collar sector....

No problem. We own the printing presses and can produce as much "wealth" as we need.

*eyeball roll*

22 posted on 12/07/2010 11:03:47 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: Conservative Tsunami
Combine the loss of millions of low-skill factory jobs near US cities along with urban Dem Welfare Plantations, and you have a recipe for disaster.

UPMC Hospital( a world class facility) in Pittsburgh just inked a deal with China and gave them a ton of proprietary information...and then on another thread it talked about doctors in other countries will be able to do operations via robotics on a patient in another country within a decade...

I'm in the health insurance biz. Large carriers are already working on plans to send patients enmass to India for treatment..and it is already being done. Some Fortune 500 firms are already doing it. A hip transplant in the US is 28K while in India it 5K.

No sector of American society is safe unless you are a plumber or electrician...something that cannot be outsourced.

23 posted on 12/07/2010 11:03:47 AM PST by hoyt-clagwell (5:00 AM Gym Crew)
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To: SeekAndFind

Re: #1 and #23. Okay, they BOTH can’t be the 2nd most dangerous city in the US.


24 posted on 12/07/2010 11:05:36 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: SeekAndFind

...because it has the same class of people running it?


25 posted on 12/07/2010 11:06:06 AM PST by FrankR (Don't let the bastards wear you down!)
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To: Conservative Tsunami

Boho. For years I worked hard to maintain a income, all the while the value of the dollar went down. At the same time the dollar was being devalued you let a bunch of criminals ie. illegal aliens come into the country and compete against me with out the restrictions I had. Some how I am suppose to feel sorry that a bunch of government employees are losing their jobs.

The paper work alone made my income decrease buy a significant amount just to comply. Every time I worked with the government it seemed like they lost the documents and it cost me more. Screw these incompetent morons. Good riddance. This seems like the best way to clear out a bunch of dead weight in our government
.


26 posted on 12/07/2010 11:06:22 AM PST by jimpick
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To: SeekAndFind

Stop importing poverty. Completely change our immigration policy so that we are not importing half the third world and conditions will stabilize if not improve. Move back to a manufacturing economy instead of the madness of a service economy.


27 posted on 12/07/2010 11:06:29 AM PST by truthguy (Good intentions are not enough.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was headed east to Newark in a rental car and decided to get off the freeway to top off the ol’ tank before I turned the rental car in. It was the first time in my life I literally feared for my life to even get out of the car at a gas station. And I have ridden my bicycle through VERY seedy areas of Seattle.

I just drove through Gary a couple weeks ago. Yeah, it’s a pit. I’ve been to Detroit and marveled at the street people going through garbage cans on the street in front of a bunch of closed down businesses. I marveled because the only people on the street were the sparse street people. What exactly did they expect to find?


28 posted on 12/07/2010 11:07:36 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Re: #1 and #23. Okay, they BOTH can’t be the 2nd most dangerous city in the US.


Well, one of them is trying to get to #1 :)


29 posted on 12/07/2010 11:08:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Pessimist

Good catch. And in some places the residents take care of business well enough that you don’t need a lot of cops.


30 posted on 12/07/2010 11:08:32 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: hoyt-clagwell
This problem we have goes way beyond libs causing the offshoring of jobs. It is about competing with developing countries whose cost is a 1/10 of your own. It can't be done.

Yep, and unions make certain it stays that way. Gov. will never "create" jobs except enlarging Gov. so they can say jobs increased. If people think their standard of living will remain...heads in sand...our once powerful nation is falling into ruin at all levels...crime will esculate more and more.

31 posted on 12/07/2010 11:09:37 AM PST by caww
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To: hoyt-clagwell
UPMC Hospital( a world class facility) in Pittsburgh just inked a deal with China and gave them a ton of proprietary information...I'm in the health insurance biz. Large carriers are already working on plans to send patients enmass to India for treatment..

This is madness.

No sector of American society is safe unless you are a plumber or electrician...something that cannot be outsourced.

You've heard of "bedroom communities"? The US is to be a "bedroom nation." Except that a country of electricians, plumbers, and government pencil-pushers can't support social services for 350 million people.

Btw - how long will it be before the US Mints are outsourced to China or Mexico?

32 posted on 12/07/2010 11:09:55 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: SeekAndFind

We need to let millions and millions of new immigrants into the country, and hand them welfare checks and voter registration cards as they cross the border.

That will fix the problem.


33 posted on 12/07/2010 11:10:13 AM PST by Fresh Wind
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To: SeekAndFind

WOW! I just went into Google maps and went to street view for Camden. Yikes!


34 posted on 12/07/2010 11:10:45 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: killermosquito

I read Atlas Shrugged recently as well. Its a must read.


35 posted on 12/07/2010 11:11:38 AM PST by FightThePower! (Fight the powers that be!)
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To: Conservative Tsunami

Apparently, North Korea is now doing a better job of printing our money than we are.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2638689/posts


36 posted on 12/07/2010 11:12:28 AM PST by Fresh Wind
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To: hoyt-clagwell

>>A hip transplant in the US is 28K while in India it 5K. <<

One may reasonably ask why it is $28k.


37 posted on 12/07/2010 11:12:44 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: jimpick
The [government] paper work alone made my income decrease buy a significant amount just to comply. Every time I worked with the government it seemed like they lost the documents and it cost me more. Screw these incompetent morons. Good riddance. This seems like the best way to clear out a bunch of dead weight in our government

You're preaching to the choir, brother.

Fedgov bureaucracy is one bloated RAT that needs exterminating. It actually destroys US business and commerce.

In the last 10 years under GW and Hussein it's exploded like the deadly virus it is.

38 posted on 12/07/2010 11:16:23 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: FightThePower!

For many years I’ve considered Detroit to be a microcosm of Atlas Shrugged. I do believe the nation will follow because the required changes will not be made - voluntarily.

The nation is like the gunner, on a disabled B-17 as it spirals to the ground, that is afraid to jump. He must be pushed. And if he has a tight grip on the plane, he must be pushed hard.

The necessary change will come in this country when the people and politicians are pushed hard enough to exit the plane, i.e. status quo. But that push could be something along the lines of what Fred talked of about 10 years ago:

Fred articles on race and potential future civil war:

http://www.fredoneverything.net/Blowup.shtml
http://www.fredoneverything.net/Stability.shtml
http://www.fredoneverything.net/Underclass.shtml
http://www.fredoneverything.net/Opportunity.shtml
http://www.fredoneverything.net/Assimilation.shtml


39 posted on 12/07/2010 11:18:48 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy
One may reasonably ask why it is $28k.

The usual reasons: corruption, fraud, graft, defraying the cost of free medical for illegals and deadbeats.

40 posted on 12/07/2010 11:19:46 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: Conservative Tsunami

I have an acquaintance that invented a medical device. It is staggering just how much money there is in medical supplies, treatments, etc. And that is even AFTER paying ludicrous malpractice insurance rates, etc.

There are some incredibly lame reasons why it costs $50-$100 per hour for things like a plumber, mechanic, etc. But an hour in an operating room can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. I suspect the whole thing will need to collapse in a way, and be rebuilt.

Just as it used to seem reasonable to pay $1200 for a CD player in a world where the average person made $25,000 a year, and then $35 was too much, I suspect we are coming to a day where paying more than a few hundred for a hip replacement will seem ridiculous. But first, the existing paradigm will have to collapse. And it will not do it voluntarily. It will have no choice if it wishes to survive.


41 posted on 12/07/2010 11:26:07 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy

RE: I’ve been to Detroit and marveled at the street people going through garbage cans on the street in front of a bunch of closed down businesses.


The article states that you can buy a house in Detroit’s worst area for dollar ( that’s less than a standard MacDonald meal ).

If you’re an optimist and believe that something might rise out of the ashes ( like Hiroshima did ), you might want to consider investing a dollar ....


42 posted on 12/07/2010 11:26:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: Fresh Wind
That is Insane. NoRKs' counterfeiting is NOT an accident; NONE of the destruction of this Republic is an accident. The ChiComs decimating the US economy and industrial base in not an accident.

Our own treasonous government has been betraying us for years. How much more evidence do we need? Beck can't do and say it all.

B. Hussein is just the punctuation mark.

43 posted on 12/07/2010 11:26:15 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: SeekAndFind
The article states that you can buy a house in Detroit’s worst area for dollar

"I'll buy that for a dollar."

44 posted on 12/07/2010 11:27:27 AM PST by dfwgator (Congratulations to Josh Hamilton - AL MVP)
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To: Fresh Wind

All the professionals who have come to our country for education and jobs....are leaving as other countries are advancing and in better shape than we are. The ones staying are the undesirables...you can imagine if the International community determines America as a dumpingground for all their undesirables.....that is not hard to imagine with the Global Governance moving right along....the only Country where you can walk over the border without fear is the USA.


45 posted on 12/07/2010 11:28:40 AM PST by caww
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To: SeekAndFind

>>If you’re an optimist and believe that something might rise out of the ashes ( like Hiroshima did ), you might want to consider investing a dollar<<

Not there. Not yet. They would LITERALLY have to pay me to take over one of those properties. $20k MIGHT do it, but I’d have to do more research.

I would no more buy property in Detroit than I would buy property in Sudan. And for similar reasons.


46 posted on 12/07/2010 11:29:27 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: dfwgator

Here is the source for that piece of information (the UK GUARDIAN) :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/02/detroit-homes-mortgage-foreclosures-80

Detroit homes sell for $1 amid mortgage and car industry crisis

One in five houses left empty as foreclosures mount and property prices drop by 80%

by: Chris McGreal, in Detroit

Some might say Jon Brumit overpaid when he stumped up $100 (£65) for a whole house. Drive through Detroit neighbourhoods once clogged with the cars that made the city the envy of America and there are homes to be had for a single dollar.

You find these houses among boarded-up, burnt-out and rotting buildings lining deserted streets, places where the population is shrinking so fast entire blocks are being demolished to make way for urban farms.

“I was living in Chicago and a friend told me that houses in Detroit could be had for $500,” said Brumit, a financially strapped artist who thought he had little prospect of owning his own property. “I said if you hear of anything just a little cheaper let me know. Within a week he emails me a photo of a house for $100. I thought that’s just crazy. Why not? It’s a way to cut our expenses way down and kind of open up a lot of time for creative projects because we’re not working to pay the rent.”

Houses on sale for a few dollars are something of an urban legend in the US on the back of the mortgage crisis that drove millions of people from their homes. But in Detroit it is no myth.

One in five houses now stand empty in the city that launched the automobile age, forged America’s middle-class and blessed the world with Motown.

Detroit has been in decline for decades; its falling population is now well below a million – half of its 1950 peak. But the recent mortgage crisis and the fall of the big car makers into bankruptcy has pushed the town into a realm unique among big cities in America.

A third of the population are unemployed. Property prices have fallen 80% or more in large parts of Detroit over the last three years. The average price of a home sold in the city last year has been put at $7,500 (£4,900).

The recent financial crash forced wholesale foreclosures among people unable to pay their mortgages or who walked away from houses that fell to a fraction of the value of the loans they had taken out on them.

Banks are selling off properties in the worst neighbourhoods, which are usually surrounded by empty and wrecked housing, for a few dollars each. But even better houses can be had at a fraction of their former value.

Technically, Brumit paid $95 for the land and $5 for the house on Lawley Street – which fitted what estate agents euphemistically call an opportunity.

Brumit said: “It had a big hole in the roof from the fire department putting out the last of two arson attempts. Both previous owners tried to set it on fire to get out of the mortgages. So there’s a big hole about 24ft long and the plumbing had almost entirely been ripped out and most of the electrics too. It was basically a smoke damaged, structurally intact shell with a snowdrift in the attic.”

Setting fire to houses to claim the insurance and kill off the mortgage is not uncommon in Detroit; a blackened, wooden corpse of a house sits at the bottom of Brumit’s street. But it is more common for owners to just walk away from their homes and mortgages.

On the opposite side of Lawley Street Jim Feltner and his workers were clearing out a property seized by a bank. “I used to be a building contractor. I was buying up places and doing them up. Now I empty out foreclosures. I do one or two of these a day all over the city,” he said. “I’ve been in Detroit 40 years and I’ve watched the peak up to $100,000 for houses that right now aren’t worth more than $20,000 tops. I own a bunch of properties. I have 10 rentals and I can’t get nothing for them, and they’re beautiful homes.”

Feltner’s workers are dragging clothes, boots and furniture out of the bedrooms and living room, and dumping them in the front yard until a skip arrives. Kicked to one side is a box of 1970s Motown records. A teddy bear lies spreadeagled on the floor.

“You could get about five grand for this place,” said Feltner. “Nice house once you clean it out. All the plumbing and electricals are in it. Roof don’t leak.”

Brumit said a man called Jesse lived there. “Jesse had mentioned that he was probably going to get out of there because he knew he could buy a place for so much less than he owed. That’s a drag. You don’t want to see people leaving,” he said.

The house next door is abandoned. On the next street, one third of the properties are boarded up.

It’s a story replicated across Detroit.

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE REST...


47 posted on 12/07/2010 11:29:39 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: RobRoy
I suspect we are coming to a day where paying more than a few hundred for a hip replacement will seem ridiculous. But first, the existing paradigm will have to collapse. And it will not do it voluntarily. It will have no choice if it wishes to survive.

Inevitably, our new socialism will "re-calibrate" costs; So will the New World currency. The dollar is getting trashed and trashed purposely.

Welcome to The Thunder Dome, World Citizen!

48 posted on 12/07/2010 11:30:02 AM PST by Conservative Tsunami
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To: caww

RE: All the professionals who have come to our country for education and jobs....are leaving as other countries are advancing and in better shape than we are


Looks like our immigration system is the pits. What we want is to receive immigrants who are bright, educated, moral and talented.

We’re getting the opposite and the people we want are leaving. Go Figure...


49 posted on 12/07/2010 11:32:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: RobRoy

I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. Detroit is the Canary in the coal mine. Our nations problems are partly due to liberal policy for sure. But I believe that both parties are socialist, the Republicans hardly offer much of an alternative. Neither party is for small government. Both parties have the bankers best interest at heart.

Loss of value added manufacturing, the rise of a consumer and finance based economy will make America unrecognizable in 20 more years. The whole country will be like Detroit. Consumerism uses wealth and doesn’t create it. Finance shuffles money around, but doesn’t create wealth either.


50 posted on 12/07/2010 11:34:15 AM PST by FightThePower! (Fight the powers that be!)
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