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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
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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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