Skip to comments.The American City Is Dying-And why the country will inevitable follow
Posted on 01/30/2013 4:54:05 AM PST by SJackson
- FrontPage Magazine - http://frontpagemag.com -
The American City Is Dying
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On January 30, 2013 @ 12:55 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 5 Comments
In an interview with the New Republic, Obama finally admitted that gun control was an urban problem. The reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas, he said. That admission might have been welcome if it had been packaged along with a serious conversation about what is wrong with cities like Chicago. Instead all the big problems are covered over with more claptrap about doing it for the children.
Speaking of the children, Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Bloomberg, Obamas favorite big city mayors who can be reliably counted on to push his agenda, found themselves kneecapped by education unions who arent there for the children, but are there for themselves.
The New York City bus driver strike is underway along with the usual tire slashings and union leaders insisting that theyre only slashing the tires for the children. These tactics usually work, they did in Chicago, as harried parents can be counted on to tell the city to shut up and give the nice teachers what they want so that the behemoth of the educational system can roll on. But what they want is quickly becoming impossible.
Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city, $75,000 a year, while administrators make $120,000, even though only 20 percent of their 8th grade students are grade-proficient in math. Chicago schools have an annual budget of $5.11 billion for a student body that is 87% low-income and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
In 1985, the budget for all of Chicago was $2.1 billion or less than half of the current school budget. But that doesnt work too well now when Chicago teacher pensions alone account for $1 billion a year. Arne Duncan tried and failed to reform the system, and as a reward got kicked upstairs to become Obamas Secretary of Education. Rahm Emanuel tried to buy off the teachers with a pay hike in exchange for evaluations and had his teeth handed to him.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg was too busy pushing big issues like gun control and global warming to be ready to cope with a strike by bus drivers. Transporting students to school now costs over 1 billion dollars a year or $7,000 per student. New York City has 1.1 million students of whom 165,000 are special education students. That percentage is similar to that of Chicago and Los Angeles, which speaks volumes about resident demographics.
Bloomberg came into office as the education mayor and during his time in office the citys debt doubled to $110 billion. In 1975, New York City almost went bankrupt over $14 billion of debt. The reasons for that crisis were the same bad habits that the city and most cities are still governed by today. Pensions are underfunded, budgets are based on imaginary revenues and accounting tricks are used to hide debt and inflate revenue until the bottom falls out.
In Chicago, in Daleys last ten years, its debt rose 96.9 percent and almost a quarter of the city budget goes to servicing that debt. The worst is yet to come with unfunded pensions in Chicago, in New York City and across the country spilling over and eventually consuming as much as 75% of tax revenues. Not that this is likely to happen, because by then most of the tax base will be gone, leaving behind schools full of low-income special education students waiting to be put through a unionized educational bridge to nowhere that no one can afford to pay for anymore.
Thats not some wild post-apocalyptic fantasy; its the near future.
The American city is dying. It used to serve as a center of transportation and industry. Today the city holds a few knowledge industries and some secondary industries catering to them, but is mostly full of low-income immigrants whose big dream is to get a government job with good benefits. Until then there are government benefits that dont require government jobs.
Chicagos population fell by 150,000 in the last 3 years. New York City lost 200,000 people around the same time. Most American cities have been facing population declines, and while they havent entered the population freefall zone of Detroit or New Orleans, which are permanently broken, even those that havent gone all the way down the hole have an uncertain future.
The social reformers who used to be the band aids on the citys growth have become its entire reason for being. Social welfare is the only thing that cities do anymore. Its broken school systems are forever trying to dig their students out of a hole while plunging their economy deeper into it. The alliance between community activists and public sector unions has created a runaway monster that no one from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Rahm Emanuel has been able to stop.
Politicians have usually found it easier to pay off the representatives of human dysfunction and their caretakers than put up a fight. With the coming of the recession even liberal politicians have discovered that they may need to fight, but its too late.
Its easier for cities like New York City and Chicago to shake down their remaining financial industries than to try and win the bloody fight against the unions and their affiliated parasites. Unlike unions, corporations are willing to pay out, but they will also move on. Financial industries are now less tied to cities than ever before. The city is a matter of image and convenience, and a collapsing city is good for neither.
Its no wonder that the cities voted for Obama and that their vote carried him over the top. Unlike the rest of the country, there is no answer to the problems of the cities except more government money. Their tottering educational systems depend on large infusions of federal cash. So does the rest of it.
When New York City hit the wall in 1975, it needed federal help. But most of the major cities are going to hit the wall sooner or later. Whether or not there will be enough federal money by then to bail them out is an open question, but for the moment federal money can delay the moment of collision. And the worst news is that the federal government is the city on a macroscopic scale run by a representative of the worst in urban politics.
The Obama administration has won a triumphant victory in imposing the irrational social and economic values of the city on the rest of the country. But while the liberal tycoons and college students who made it happen are celebrating, its a coup with no future. All that they have done is put the country on the same dead end track as the city.
Interesting read. Thanks. I might add that its a good analysis, but it isn’t “news”. The U.S. city scape has been in decline since the 1960’s.
This article clearly states the problem but fails to arrive at a solution to the problem, and that’s because there is no solution. Please allow me to explain:
Charles Darwins Theory of Evolution (often referred to as The Theory of Survival of the Fittest) describes the positive effects resulting from any pressure on an animal species that removes the least fit among the species and allows only the most fit of the species to reproduce. Most of us are well aware of this Survival of the Fittest theory, but few are aware that Darwin also makes mention of the negative effects resulting from unlimited reproduction of a species least fit when the weak, the lazy, and the stupid are left unchecked.
We like to think otherwise, but our species, Homo sapiens, isnt that long out of the trees and the same laws of nature that affect all of Gods creatures apply equally to us. If we were to observe any other species that had been allowed to reproduce without limitations, we would know immediately what the consequences will be.
Whenever the weak; lazy; and stupid of a species is allowed to reproduce unimpeded by predators that feed off the weak; lazy; and stupid, they soon outnumber the strong, productive, and intelligent. When the weak/lazy/stupid dominate the gene pool, the entire population becomes weak/ lazy/stupid, and then the population collapses.
In the past, when these collapses occurred within human populations, they have been referred to as a Malthusian Collapse. Thomas Malthus, a Nineteenth Century Economist, thought these collapses were caused simply because past civilizations had reached a point where human populations could no longer produce sufficient food supplies to feed themselves, but he never pinned down the exact reason for these food shortages.
It is now thought by some that these collapses of past human civilizations have occurred whenever the unproductive weak/lazy/stupid greatly outnumber the strong/productive/intelligent of the population. In other words, the majority of the population becomes too lazy to perform the work necessary to provide for themselves and whats left of the strong/productive/intelligent refuses to continue to do it for them.
These collapses have occurred at frequent intervals throughout human history, and Western Civilization is, in my humble opinion, currently on the cusp of one of these collapses.
Not true, the issue of urban vs. rural is not really the issue. Let's be honest, the reality of gun violence is primarily a racial divide.
So if Obama is going to suspend civil rights for the purpose of ensuring safety, why not address the statistical heart of the issue and suspend the civil rights of those "male urban youths" between the ages of 12 and 35?
Why would that violation of rights be more unpalatable than the suspension of a specific civil right for everyone, when Obama himself is conceding that its not really a problem outside of the identified demographic?
For any knuckle-headed opus writer who mistakenly reads this as a racist post, the point is to demonstrate the unacceptable restriction of any civil rights, and that cutting off every innocent citizen's right hand is not a fair alternative to cutting off just a few innocent right hands. Better that we observe the Constitution and personal liberties in ALL situations, and leave innocent free citizens alone altogether.
The perspective is not long enough. The view is still too close. The assumption is the cities, the great cities, are ongoing forever.
It can be argued the cities are obsolete. The reasons compelling businesses gathering in close proximity are gone. The need to have people very close to the jobs gathered in close proximity is gone. The skids greased over and over to make the system continue have become worn and rough.
The grease no longer reduces the friction like it did for so long. There is no new rational thought. There is only extrapolation of existing dogma.
There is an obvious biological component. The nature of the city residents has changed. The new residents lack the native ability to conduct business in a non corrupt manner. They lack the ability to innovate successfully. They can only stagnate. They are innately harmful to the collective freedom necessary for the city to function.
There is no solution but to let the coming conflagration occur.
“These collapses have occurred at frequent intervals throughout human history, and Western Civilization is, in my humble opinion, currently on the cusp of one of these collapses.”
I agree. It is somewhat analogs to “The Peter Principle”.
In the case of the US, it is being spurred on by the Marxist ideology of Obama, as well as a Marxist media and educational system.
Jefferson also said, “The Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
Murder rates, regardless of the availability and use of guns, are strikingly consistent by racial group worldwide.
That’s very much the same as educational test results. E.g., American whites are no more murderous than whites worldwide, and American Chinese/Korean/Japanese kids score on achievement tests in the range of their counterparts worldwide.
The difference between now and the past is that technology makes it increasingly possible to produce without people. In short, technology serves to insulate us from the reality of our practices. Sadly, I can foresee a world where an increasingly intelligent AI infrastructure takes care of an increasingly degenerate human population.
“The American City Is Dying-And why the country will inevitable follow”
To sum it up, Idiocracy.
We all know wht is wrong in America’s large cities. We all know who is killing each other robbing, selling and using dope.
We just cannot say it. It isn’t politically correct.
“Politicians have usually found it easier to pay off the representatives of human dysfunction and their caretakers than put up a fight.”
That sums it up pretty well.
“In the case of the US, it is being spurred on by the Marxist ideology of Obama, as well as a Marxist media and educational system.”
You are correct. Anyone who didn’t see this one comeing just wasn’t looking.
In our countrys recent history weve celebrated diversity in our population as if it were a good thing. However, one look at world history will show you that no country with a diverse population of different races, languages, and religion has long survived.
Countries dont naturally form with a diverse population, and when in the past theyve occurred its usually been as the result of armed conquest. These unnaturally formed countries have either melded together into a single population made up of one mixed race with one language and one religion or theyve come apart, and theyve usually come apart with extreme violence. The longer these diverse populations are forced to coexist with one another without mixing and becoming one, the more the hatred grows among them and the more violently they break apart, but break apart they will, or genocide will settle the issue once and for all.
Why is this and why cant we all just get along? The truth of the matter is that we (the human race) just aren’t as civilized as we would like to think we are. Genus Homo sapiens isnt that long out of the trees and the veneer of civilization is very thin, to non-existent, upon us all. We are all carrying the genes that got us here and some of those genes carry a very basic survival instinct that has allowed us to survive thus far.
This most basic of all survival instincts is the one that warns us to be very wary of those who are different than us, our family, and our tribe. Those who possessed this survival instinct survived and reproduced, and those who had no fear/distrust of strangers didnt survive. Over the years, this survival instinct has been referred to as tribalism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism, and various other isms, but its an inborn instinct carried in our genes whether we like it or not.
This celebration of diversity in the American population was introduced in the 1960s and 70s as a deliberate divisive revolutionary tool wielded by Marxists like Bill Ayers and other radicals. It became dogma taught by Marxists in our universities, then spread by our leftist controlled news media and leftist controlled Hollywood. The intent was, and is, to split American culture along race and class lines and set off a “proletarian” revolution to destroy capitalism. The Left has now managed to elect a half-Black radical as President and their revolution is proceeding along very predictable lines, with him using every opportunity to stir up more division and discontent. A reading of the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA at this link should make clear their goals and methods: http://revcom.us/Constitution/constitution.html
At the beginning of the 21st Century, the American people are about to learn the savage lesson of Communist Revolution that the Russian people learned at the beginning of the last century. Millions died in Russias Communist experiment before they learned that Communism doesnt work, as the concept of Communism (You didnt make that) is completely alien to basic human nature. Now its our turn to learn what Russia after a century of death and misery now knows.
However, the coming American Communist Revolution that Karl Marx and his acolyte Barack Hussein Obama is bringing upon us wont progress in the comparatively orderly fashion as it did with the Bolsheviks in Russia. The cursed diversity within the U.S. population will quickly turn this Communist Revolution into a no-holds-barred, and to-the-death, Race War. How our country with its Constitution intact could possibly survive such a blood-bath is a near impossibility.
I once believed our country would one day become a mixed race people of olive skinned, brown eyed, black haired, Spanish speaking Muslims, but Barack Hussein Obama has started a Communist Revolution that will undoubtedly destroy any possibility of that ever occurring.
There is no expiration date on any of our survival instincts, and white Liberal Democrats in their Gun Free zones will be the first among us to be reminded of this at the very beginning of our coming Communist Revolution turned Race War.
As we Americans continue to live out the old Chinese curse, May you live in interesting times.
The Jefferson quote that I like better is
“I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man.”
The title of this thread is not correct - the country will not follow. Rural, agrarian based communities will thrive.
Apparently DJ Taylor believes that he will be spared. :)
If you look at the physical design of modern cities, their arrangement and infrastructure are counterintuitive to the developments of modern warfare. Physical concentrations of capital present efficient high yield targets. In any kind of conflict, foreign or domestic, I don’t want to be in one. I better start packing!
I live in the suburbs of a medium size city in the Northeast. The new tact in the city to clean the downtown of the city is to park new social service recipients in motels at or near the city line, in effect to spread the problems all around. This puts vagrants, bums, druggies, and aggressive panhandlers in ever closer proximity to what where relatively nice neighborhoods. And now, the city wants to merge with the County, which will allow the City to push an ever increasing number of dirtbags out into motels on the suburbs.
I cant wait to retire and get out of the Northeast.
>>Charles Darwins Theory of Evolution (often referred to as The Theory of Survival of the Fittest) <<
Yep. I like an irony how commies made Darwinism their top agenda in attacks on religion yet they actively deny Darwinism function within a human society propping unfittest against worthy species.
A kind of cognitive dissonance isn’t it.
If Darwinism is actually a Lord’s way we now see the reason why every socialist paradise failed that miserably. Along with Detroit and now Chicago.
There are ways to return cities to vitality and efficiency, but it takes a lot of planning, and it varies somewhat, based on the city. Here are some highlights.
1) Of all places, Detroit had a good idea. A city in an advanced state of decay, with large areas of abandoned buildings, they got the simple notion of bulldozing huge tracts of decay, and planting forest-like parks in their place. Positively brilliant, if not for the best reasons.
Why? To start with, the curve for redevelopment strongly increases with available area. That is, you can only put so much on the lot of a single building, with existing infrastructure. But if you have an entire square block to develop, you can do a lot more, from below the ground up.
And, if you have several square blocks, you can have almost completely new everything. Good water and sewer, good electrical and communications, even better transportation and your own residential neighborhood and retailers. Together it is worth far more than its individual parts.
But while you are waiting, planting a forest there is the fastest and cheapest way to clean the ground of toxins and poisons. Just periodically cut everything down and haul it off for waste disposal, then plant anew.
2) “Rolling gentrification and maintenance”. Subdivide the city into districts, and intensively gentrify and maintain each district in turn. This means doing little work in quality areas, and most work in the areas that need it the most. It creates a cycle that prevents parts of the city from becoming run down and staying that way.
I'm not afraid to say it, it's true. And it's black who are doing the vast majority of the killing and ribbing and raping. That's just a plain fact. I wish we could build walls around their ghettoes and not let them out among the rest of us.
I'm not afraid to say it, it's true. And it's black who are doing the vast majority of the killing and robbing and raping. That's just a plain fact. I wish we could build walls around their ghettoes and not let them out among the rest of us.
Remember the old adage,
"As goes Detroit, so goes the nation."
The social reformers who used to be the band aids on the citys growth have become its entire reason for being.
For me the money quote and one of the main fallacies of socialism/communism/progressivism call it what you want.
What once “worked” when it was an insignificant fraction of the whole can no longer work when it starts to subsume the whole. In other words extrapolating to infinity is never a good idea in the real world.
And I don't mean just that stolen from taxpayers or borrowed on that backs of our children, but also private money extorted from businesses as "charity" and outreach;" capital that certainly could have been used to actually create more wealth.
Not to mention the destruction of the cities themselves and the loss of irreplaceable cultural memories.
Did the taxpayers who are their employers, treat them badly? Did the taxpayers not provide safe work environments, did the taxpayers deny them a good salary and benefits, so that they needed to organize against the taxpayers for equal rights in the workplace?
I am serious, why do the workers of the various government entities need a union for protection against a raging, mean corporation..ah taxpayer?
Previously, housing projects were clearly demarcated and easy for decent people to avoid.
But it's almost like ythey were used as incubators, because then they were ttorn down and the contagion was unleashed and spread out so that it may pop up anywhere.
The apartment my wife and I moved into after the birth of our first child had been, in my youth, one of many in an area that had been filled with young single professionals.
By the mid-90's, Atlanta's infamous housing projects had been razed, and I found myself living among roving bands of demi-feral children, and shirtless, scowling, working-age men of color roaming the parking lots in midday.
They did this in the South Bronx. The Bronx had blocks of burned out and abandoned buildings. Almost all are gone now. Single family homes have replaced most of the old brownstones.
They are starting to clean up Harlem. The problem is what to do with the current residents.
It used to be that "getting a job with a large, city-based factory" would set someone up for life. They could raise a family, and enjoy a middle-class lifestyle. If they worked hard, maybe got a little more education than their peers, they could be promoted to manager, or shift foreman. Unions saw the potential to raise money by "protecting the workers," and they inserted themselves into those cities as well.
Soon, the unholy alliance of government AND unions merged, and they've been feeding off this smorgasbord ever since. Cities are now struggling to keep their tax base, because many companies moved outside the city, along with those taxpayers. All that's left in many cities now, is a hollow shell...un-educated, and under-educated people working in minimum wage jobs. The "successful" ones might have government jobs, paying a little more, but bleeding what little tax base that's left. Just parasites, feeding of the remnants of the carcass.
You raise an interesting point. Does a people that can not or will not abide by the social contract even deserve so-called civil rights?
I don't think you even have to go that far, though. Just apply the law as it is already written because as it currently stands the law is not applied, like it is not applied to the tens of millions of illegal aliens that are allowed to roam the country at will. The fact is these male urban youths are coddled and treated with kid gloves.
But, then again, if the law was fairly applied to them our prisons would burst at the seams. Not to mention the apoplectic howls of "RACISM!". I think these cretins who have proven themselves incorrigible should be stripped of their citizenship, deported, and then decent people can wipe their hands clean of the responsibility for them.
As more and more city inmates find they are living in prison, they stop caring about either jobs or preserving a common culture. Obama and his minions are simply accelerating the collapse into an angry mob that wants revenge on those of us outside the limits of their hellholes. Even cities like Boston, which have vibrant high-tech businesses, colleges, and lots of private money, are failing. Scam artists like Menino have been able to hide the collapse with the help of a drooling lap-dog press and lots of money from billionaire Leftists, but the truth is there for any visitor to see.
The culture shift from Boston Leftist to country conservative is like a brick wall just 40 miles outside of Boston.
Derbyshire was thrown-out of The National Review recently for suggesting that there is a big difference in the innate abilities among the different racial groups in the U.S. Even discussing urban problems results in being punished or branded a racist.
I was just looking at an old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Dec 2011 in which the last article was THE CITY SOLUTION TO EARTH’S PROBLEMS.
It is about how modernized cities are the wave of the future.
No thanks. I’ll keep my hovel and my 15 acres. I like room to move around in.
“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go...downtown.
When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurries seem to help I know...downtown.”
Petula Clark, Futurist
Dang it, you just gave me a flashback. As a young Marine Corporal, I crossed the Pacific in July (Typhoon Season) 1961 on the Troopship USS General J. C. Breckinridge and I still have unpleasant memories of the experience.
That ship was infested with body lice from bow to stern, and when I finally got off in Okinawa I had crabs on me from head to toe. The memory of thirty days of being locked up below deck in a troop compartment with a company unbathed Marines while a Typhoon tossed the ship around and I scratched my crab bites is still with me.
There was a Twilight Zone episode called "The Little Black Bag" wherein Chill Wills, a drunkard. discovers a doctors bag, full of special tools, from the future. It seems that the population had been dumbed down to such a degree that the tools had to have intelligence built into them. He started out making big bucks with the tools but then . . .
At the time, 1970s, I thought it was pretty far out. About a year or so later I was at a MacDonalds and saw a cash register with nothing but pictures of their wares on it. I asked the young girl what that was all about and she said that she no longer had to know the prices of the burgers, etc. - all she had to do was press the picture.
Soon after I quit reading Sci-Fi because all the things they were predicting were coming true within a year or so - and some of the things weren't pretty.
Cities nowadays are less for production and more for consumption. That may not be sustainable, but a lot of people have moved back to the cities over the last 20 years or so.