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American Cities Drown in Debt
Spiegel.de ^ | 01/03/2013 | By Marc Hujer

Posted on 01/03/2013 5:46:58 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin

San Bernardino, California, has gone from being the birthplace of McDonald's to a mound of unpaid debts.

Here in San Bernardino, California, in the building that once housed the first McDonald's restaurant, Albert Okura has collected nearly everything the fast-food chain has ever produced. There are paper cups, paper napkins, Happy Meal toys -- all the consumer detritus of America's golden years -- but nothing is more important to him than this small metal machine. "It was a brilliant idea," he says. "This way, every hamburger is the same."

Okura believes in that idea to this day. It reminds him of San Bernardino's heyday, here in this city where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first fast-food restaurant.

On August 1, 2012, San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy. This city, an hour's drive east of Los Angeles, is one of the poorest, most violent cities in the United States. Once the setting for one of America's greatest success stories, the city can no longer afford to pay its police officers and rots in its own waste.

The situation is a catastrophe for everyone who hasn't packed up and moved away. Funds are short at all levels, from Washington to the states to the cities and towns.

Analyst Meredith Whitney, who predicted the fates of Citigroup and Lehman Brothers, warned in late 2010 of the collapse of America's cities. Up to 100 cities were at risk of going broke with potential losses totalling hundreds of billions of dollars. This city-level debt, which amounts to a total of $2 trillion (€1.5 trillion), is still less than the $16 trillion debt the federal government in Washington has amassed. But the crisis is leading to considerable reductions in services.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/03/2013 5:47:01 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin
America is going down because of Obama, democrats, the media, government growth and too many laws: in one word socialism.

The U.S.A. has unlimited land, oil, natural resources, and an exponential growth in technology in the private sector, and 200 years of accumulated wealth. So we should be doing much better instead of going bankrupt. the problem is too much government and the news media made worse by Obama and democrats.

2 posted on 01/03/2013 5:56:02 AM PST by Democrat_media (media makes mass shooters household names to create more & take our guns)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Don’t worry...Obama is going to require the red states to bail out the blue.

Red states have way too much money anyway.


3 posted on 01/03/2013 5:56:17 AM PST by kjo (+)
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To: Democrat_media

Yeah...the news media is a huge problem...led by NBC, the major networks openly campaign for Obama...and the GOP just takes it.

At least Gingrich was calling out the “reporters” last spring. Romney just rolled over.


4 posted on 01/03/2013 5:58:10 AM PST by kjo (+)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
From the article:
Albert Okura, the man who owns the museum at the site of the original McDonald's restaurant, founded Juan Pollo, his own fast-food chain specializing in grilled chicken, in 1984. Okura says his success is based on the same principle as the one behind the McDonald's serving machine in his museum: He grills each chicken the same way, down to the second.

Juan Pollo now has 32 locations, making Okura one of San Bernardino's few modern-day success stories. He would like to open a restaurant in Los Angeles, but doesn't have the necessary funds -- a restaurant in Los Angeles would cost much more than all his restaurants in this city where no one wants to live.

Okura calls himself the "Chicken Man" and says his life goal is to sell more chicken legs than anyone else in the world. He's also trying to get his name in the newspaper to help advertise his company. For example, for a festival celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the first McDonald's, Okura rented a sports car and parked it in the museum's parking lot.

He was trying to appear like a successful businessman, but the car was unfortunately stolen from the museum parking lot. The next morning, Okura's name was indeed in the newspaper -- under a headline reading "Car Stolen."

Bizzaro World indeed.
5 posted on 01/03/2013 5:58:17 AM PST by COBOL2Java (kak-is-toc-ra-cy: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. See: GOP-e)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Off to a poor start. If only we had taxed more!

It's a sad example of what a lack of infrastructure investment and an almost religious aversion to higher taxes have done to cities across the United States.

6 posted on 01/03/2013 6:04:08 AM PST by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

American cities are drowning in debt because it is impossible to provide all of the needs for a good part of their populations that won’t lift a finger to contribute to their own upkeep. Here in NJ it was good to see so many cops laid off in our cities; the residents don’t have the money for police protection, so they shouldn’t have any. The same goes for schools, fire protection, sanitation, etc.


7 posted on 01/03/2013 6:04:49 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Oh FU! Marc Hujer. You are a dumb ass.

It is also representative of the bankruptcy of a country that failed to use its prosperous decades to sustain a functioning government.

They spent like there would be ever increasing taxes, property taxes would go up forever. That's why the damned pensions for government workers are in 6 digits! That's why they have NO money for infrastructure!

8 posted on 01/03/2013 6:09:16 AM PST by listenhillary (Courts, law enforcement, roads and national defense should be the extent of government)
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To: kjo

“Don’t worry...Obama is going to require the red states to bail out the blue.”

The private sector producers (such as fraking shale gas & oil) bailing out the brimfull of ingratitude liberal Gov’t paper shufflers.

Oil drillers bailing out the choom gangsters


9 posted on 01/03/2013 6:14:16 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Wait until we start hearing a tax where a person has to pay “their fair share” of the municipal debt to move out of a city/county/state.

When we start hearing about that, we will have arrived at the doorstep of communism.


10 posted on 01/03/2013 6:17:07 AM PST by IamConservative (The soul of my lifes journey is Liberty!)
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To: kearnyirish2

As Mark Steyn Noted:

Americans has voted for a lifestyle they are unwilling to earn.


11 posted on 01/03/2013 6:25:06 AM PST by ALPAPilot
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To: IamConservative
Maryland ( THE Freak state) has had an "exit" tax for years. When you sell your house so as to move out of that LIB hellhole, you get charged 3.5% of the sale price (owner pays half...buyer pays half). While that sucks...it is worth any amount to leave that place.
12 posted on 01/03/2013 6:26:36 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Virtually every major city in the US is run by the Dems. Their policies have bankrupted the cities and left huge debts for their children. When you subsidize something, you get more of it.


13 posted on 01/03/2013 6:37:42 AM PST by kabar
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Ahhhhhh. The Germans. Always letting people know what they think. If not with magazine articles, then with tanks.


14 posted on 01/03/2013 6:41:45 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: DeaconBenjamin

I’m sure this is all Bushey’s fault!


15 posted on 01/03/2013 6:42:26 AM PST by EnglishOnly (Fight all out to win OR get out now.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
From the article:

This reliance on public infrastructure is surely what President Barack Obama meant when he declared during his election campaign that entrepreneurial success is not possible without a strong government, telling business owners: "You didn't build that."

Obama's comment was directed at the mistaken belief that each individual is completely and solely responsible for his or her own success or failure. Republican politicians stubbornly block most attempts to increase taxes in the US. Indeed, America is in crisis precisely because it has held this belief in an individual's complete and sole responsibility for far too long.

I guess we need more taxes and more government spending aka investments. This is a German perspective where taxes are among the highest in the world.

16 posted on 01/03/2013 6:45:15 AM PST by kabar
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To: listenhillary

“That’s why the damned pensions for government workers are in 6 digits! “

6? Try 7. For some of the higher echelon government types it may even be 8.

A modest fixed-income pension makes a government employee easily a defacto millionaire. Add things like health benefits, and it goes even higher.

They cannot be paid as expected. Not at the local, state, or federal levels, including military.

We are broke at every level. from federal, all the way down to the personal level.

If we try to extract the money for everything all productive effort will stop - for it will not pay to work, only to take.


17 posted on 01/03/2013 6:46:22 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: Clint N. Suhks

“Maryland ( THE Freak state) has had an “exit” tax for years. When you sell your house so as to move out of that LIB hellhole, you get charged 3.5% of the sale price (owner pays half...buyer pays half). While that sucks...it is worth any amount to leave that place.”

Did you know this?

This is NUTZ!


18 posted on 01/03/2013 7:22:16 AM PST by carriage_hill ("I meant to say maggot, but I have a lisp.")
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To: COBOL2Java
"He was trying to appear like a successful businessman..."

Trying? I'm sorry, but someone who built a business that now has 32 locations, is the real magilla.

19 posted on 01/03/2013 7:32:23 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: EnglishOnly

In a way YES, that clown had a majority in both the senate and the house, he did absolutely NOTHING, Odumba doesn’t even have a majority and he has gotten EVERYTHING he wants, we have been betrayed as Republicans, and we were betrayed by our OWN!


20 posted on 01/03/2013 7:40:38 AM PST by IslamE (epiphany)
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To: kjo

Yep, you are right. Massive bailout is on the way for these places.


21 posted on 01/03/2013 8:29:02 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: DeaconBenjamin

This is what happens when you steal from the producers to support the lazy. You get more lazy while the producers flee. Kind of a miniature version of what’s happening to the US in general.


22 posted on 01/03/2013 8:32:59 AM PST by meyer (Proud member of the 53%.)
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To: ALPAPilot

“As Mark Steyn Noted: Americans has voted for a lifestyle they are unwilling to earn.”

That is a great way to put it. I think a lot more Americans are leaning this way because it has become so difficult to make a living; while in the past hard work would give a decent standard of living, today it often doesn’t get much more than the gov’t. offers for free. The lack of good jobs is certainly fueling our leftward tilt...


23 posted on 01/03/2013 8:33:22 AM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The sole reason my American cities are drowning in debt can be firmly placed on the people who live in those cities. Most lack the ability to speak the American language. Their schools turn out generation after generation of illiterates or dropouts. They do not have simple American values and principles. They look at government as the solution to every problem. It is their culture and I want nothing to do with it and I do not want to pay for it.


24 posted on 01/03/2013 8:39:37 AM PST by ConservativeInPA
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To: DeaconBenjamin

From the original article:
“The federal government no longer undertakes large-scale projects as it did with the Hoover Dam in the 1930s or the interstate highway system in the 1950s.”

Not so.

Today we have new large-scale government projects, such as:
- ObamaCare
- The perpetual unemployment benefit system
- A burgeoning “disability industry”
- And of course — the free Obamaphone program!


25 posted on 01/03/2013 10:55:59 AM PST by Road Glide
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To: carriage_hill

I had no idea.

I’m still selling...someday.


26 posted on 01/04/2013 7:57:44 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks
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To: kabar

Germany’s highest corporate tax rate is still lower than that of the USA (29.83% compared to 39.62%). (Germany lowered its average corporate tax rate back in 2006, too.) So lecturing on taxes is a bit hypocritical on der Spiegel’s part.


27 posted on 01/05/2013 5:05:12 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
Germany’s highest corporate tax rate is still lower than that of the USA (29.83% compared to 39.62%). (Germany lowered its average corporate tax rate back in 2006, too.) So lecturing on taxes is a bit hypocritical on der Spiegel’s part.

The highest federal corporate tax rate in the US is 35% not 39.62%. The Germans depend heavily on exports to fuel their economy. It only makes sense to lower the tax burden on their corporations to make them competitive globally. Germany is the world's second largest exporter.

But this isn't about corporate tax rates. It is about the level of taxation on individuals in Germany. They are among the most heavily taxed people in the world. Its average tax rate, including social security contributions, is 50.9 percent, as compared to 29.4 percent for America, which has one of the lowest rates in the world.

And then there is the VAT, fees on everything from the number of TVs and radios you have to garbage collection, etc. Every service seems to be taxed.

I have lived in Germany and my wife is German. I have been going to Germany almost every year for the past 40 years. The Germans are paying for their welfare state, but the US is not. Our people want the benefits of the welfare state but don't want to pay the bill.

28 posted on 01/05/2013 6:57:04 AM PST by kabar
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To: kabar

I hope you aren’t buying all of their propaganda. Germany with its manufacturing sector can maintain a degree of financial strength, but they need the European Union to be a captive export market as well as to regulate them through their proxies in Brussels. The only way they have been able to get this far is to have the USA act as world policeman. It’s impossible to pay for a welfare state indefinitely, no matter what, either way.

I cited the highest corporate tax rates, not the average, incidentally. The USA’s corporate tax rate is the highest in the world; that’s why jobs have been fleeing.


29 posted on 01/05/2013 7:02:24 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
I hope you aren’t buying all of their propaganda. Germany with its manufacturing sector can maintain a degree of financial strength, but they need the European Union to be a captive export market as well as to regulate them through their proxies in Brussels. The only way they have been able to get this far is to have the USA act as world policeman. It’s impossible to pay for a welfare state indefinitely, no matter what, either way.

There is no doubt that Germany benefits from being in the EU and using the Euro, which helps them be more competitive in the global market. The Germans have found a niche market for its high end products such as automobiles. There is also close cooperation between the German government and corporations to ecourage exports and push German products.

I cited the highest corporate tax rates, not the average, incidentally

35% is the highest federal corporate tax rate.

The USA’s corporate tax rate is the highest in the world; that’s why jobs have been fleeing.

Most corporations don't pay the highest rate. That aside, I think corporations (mostly multinationals) are fleeing the US due to cheaper labor, less government regulations, and a more welcoming business environment. I have been to China to see the factories built by multinational corporations. They are at the top of the line technologically and the corporations can recruit a workforce that is just as educated and capable as in the US at far less cost. They don't have to worry about unions, environmental regulations, and lawsuits. And yes taxation of their earnings is less. If I had to choose one factor above all others, it would be cheap, educated labor with a high work ethic.

The only way we can get many of these manufacturing jobs back is thru other factors such as cheap energy, an improved business climate, more certainity in terms political stability and property rights and less regulations. I don't see that happeing under Obama or Hillary when she is elected in 2016. It is not about jobs but ideology.

30 posted on 01/05/2013 7:34:05 AM PST by kabar
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