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Turn Out The Lights - Largest U.S. Cities Becoming Cesspools Of Filth, Decay And Wretchedness
The Economic Collapse ^ | 05/24/2012 | Michael Snyder

Posted on 05/25/2012 9:05:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Once upon a time, the largest U.S. cities were the envy of the entire world. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Sure, there are areas of New York City, Boston, Washington and Los Angeles that are still absolutely beautiful but for the most part our major cities are rapidly rotting and decaying. Cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis and Oakland were all once places where middle class American workers thrived and raised their families. Today, all of those cities are rapidly being transformed into cesspools of filth, decay and wretchedness. Millions of good jobs have left our major cities in recent decades and poverty has absolutely exploded. Basically, you can turn out the lights because the party is over. In fact, some major U.S. cities are literally turning out the lights. In Detroit, about 40 percent of the streetlights are already broken and the city cannot afford to repair them. So Mayor Bing has come up with a plan to cut the number of operating streetlights almost in half and leave vast sections of the city totally in the dark at night. I wonder what that will do to the crime rate in the city. But don't look down on Detroit too much, because what is happening in Detroit will be happening where you live soon enough.

A recent Bloomberg article described Mayor Bing's plan to eliminate nearly half of Detroit's streetlights....

Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year.

What this means is that there are going to be a lot of neighborhoods that will have the lights turned off permanently.

So which neighborhoods will those be?

According to one top Detroit official, "distressed areas" are going to be on the low end of the totem pole....

“You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas.”

City officials know that they cannot force people to move from "distressed areas", so they are going to encourage them to leave by cutting off services.

But turning off the lights is not the only way that Detroit is trying to save money.

Recently, officials in Detroit announced that all police stations in the city will be closed to the public for 16 hours a day.

It is so sad to see what is happening to what was once such a great city.

Back in the old days, Detroit had a teeming middle class population.

Today, 53.6% of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

Back in the old days, Detroit was a shining example of what America was doing right.

Today, 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.

Back in the old days, middle class neighborhoods sprouted like mushrooms all over Detroit.

Today, the median price of a home in Detroit is just $6000.

Needless to say, crime is exploding in Detroit and many families live in constant fear.

Many have taken justice into their own hands. Justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by a staggering 79 percent during 2011.

But Detroit is only one example of a national trend.

For example, a recent article by Jim Quinn entitled "More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey And Decay" described the filth, decay and wretchedness in West Philadelphia. Quinn refers to the drive through this area as "the 30 Blocks of Squalor"....

The real unemployment rate exceeds 50%, murder is the number one industry, with drugs a close second.

As you drive down the 30 Blocks of Squalor you meet the ghost of Squalor future for West Chester Pike. The population along this corridor is ignorant, dependent, and represents the dregs of our society.

But this area was once home to middle class families. There were once many beautiful homes in West Philly, but most of them are now either gone or are crumbling badly. According to Quinn, the physical decay is matched by the social decay....

The once proud homes are in shambles. Bags of garbage dot the landscape. Most of the people who live here are parasites on society. Personal responsibility, work ethic, education and marriage are unknown concepts in this community. Even though more than 50% of the students in West Philly drop out of high school and the SAT scores of West Philly High students are lower than whale ****, the bankrupt school district spent $70 million to build a new high school/prison to babysit derelicts and future prison inmates. The windows do not have steel bars yet, as the architect was smart to put all windows at least eight feet above street level.

One of the great things about the article is that Quinn pointed out how the retail stores in the area reflect the things that the population of the community truly values....

The Chestnut Plaza truly represents what is important to this community. This Squalor Center, as opposed to Power Center, includes a video porn store, cash checking/payday loan outlet, smoke shop, donut shop, Laundromat, and liquor store. No need for a wedding ring store or resume writing service.

Sadly, there are communities like this all over the country. As I wrote about recently, the entire state of California is slowly being transformed into one gigantic cesspool.

Yes, there are still a few areas where the wealthy play that are absolutely beautiful. If you stay in the wealthy enclaves you might never even know that the rest of the state is badly decaying.

There are really good reasons why millions of people are moving out of California. For example, a reader named Peter left the following comment on one of my recent articles....

I am a native Californian ( Im 61) and have lived here all but two years of my life. I can tell you absolutely that this state is not what it was 30 years ago. Cities like San Francisco have gone from being world-class tourist attractions to national disgraces. Los Angeles is a third-world city. San Diego is bankrupt. Even Silicon Valley, despite the recent improvements, is no way what it was in the 90′s. The retail trade is all but dead in this state. Even high-end malls like Rodeo Drive and Ocean Ave in Carmel are full of vacancies.

Throughout the state, good businesses are shutting down and hard working families are selling their homes. The void that is being created is being filled by crime and gangs. The following is a comment that a reader named Roberta left on that same article....

Yep we lived in Oroville CA back in 2007 and it was just starting to get bad then. Montgomery Wards closed, then McMahan’s furniture closed and NOW McDonalds is closing this July along with a grand slam of well known businesses are all folding and pulling out of Oroville or folding lock-stock-n-barrell. It’s turning into a gang town with wide spread rampant drug use. I feel sorry for family and friends that are still their clinging onto the hope that thnigs “will” get better. But I don’t think so.

Perhaps things are still quite good where you live.

Perhaps you think that you will be immune from all this.

Sadly, the truth is that this is just the beginning.

The U.S. economy is actually performing much better than it should be thanks to the trillions of borrowed dollars that Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress have been spending into the economy.

When our debt-fueled prosperity ends, a lot more cities are going to end up looking just like Detroit.

America cannot prosper without middle class jobs, and those kinds of jobs are rapidly disappearing.

Just this week HP announced that it is going to lay off 27,000 workers.

We are losing middle class jobs at a time when we desperately need more of them.

Last year, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor's degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

Yet our politicians continue to pursue the same foolish policies over and over.

So things are going to continue to get worse and America is going to continue to descend into squalor.

You better get ready.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cities; decay; decayingcities; detroit
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To: Phantom Phixer
Shhh you can't say anything about the viciousness of Amish society being a big contributor to the destruction of US cities large and small. Here in Dixie cities as small as Jackson Tn and Helena-West Helena Ak are drug slums. In Helena and Jackson Ms the mayors have effectively closed off highest crime areas by ordering police and public works to barricade all but a few arterial cross streets and then have police demand ID from everyone entering or leaving. The mayors and the police chiefs are Amish and over half of the cops are also, so there is no question of racial motivation at work.This has produced a lot of court cases and is constitutionally questionable but it reflects the out of control violence in these towns. The most violent overall metropolitan area in the US is Pine Bluff Ak. Large areas of Little Rock, Montgomery and Mobile that were white working class areas in 1970 are Amish ghetto slums today. To be very blunt something really, really bad has happened to a large part of the black working class in the last half century. New Orleans with a population of 600k in 1960 had about 2 to 3 homicides a week. Now there are about 200 plus a year in a city with maybe 350k population. No one will really talk about this problem which transcends class and poverty. Many Amish are truly depraved people in New Orleans with a really twisted sense of reality. How did this come about? One hint is the statistic that 70% of black births are out of wedlock. But that doesn't explain all of it, especially the incredible level of sheer viciousness present in many of these people. The Mexicans are much more peaceful than out native Amish and that says a lot that is very bad. (rant off)
61 posted on 05/25/2012 10:30:17 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: Iron Munro

I’ve been studying demographics and the generations and “The Fourth Turning” I’m skeptical that Generation-Y is the “Hero” generation of our emerging crisis stage. I haven’t time to write a narrative here but some thoughts from my strange lines of association that are incomplete thoughts:

1. Crisis, Recovery and Prosperity, Rebellion, Art Phase, Crisis again
2. Great Depression and WWII (Crisis of course), Post war years and the 50’s (recovery and prosperity), The 60’s and 70’s (rebellion) Johnson shaped this and growing liberalism (not of the Greatest Generation a New Dealer of Roosevelt’s gang), The 80’s and 90’s (Art phase), the 2000’s and 2010’s (crisis and more)
3. Greatest Generation 1905 - 1925, Silent Generation 1925-1945, Boomers 1945-1965, X 1965-1985, Y 1985-
4. Each generation comes of age, 20 something, in phase
5. Greatest, led us out of crisis and into prosperity
6. Silent, helped the Greatest but weren’t many of them, last gen to have defined retirement. Did the late Greatest and early Silents bring us the era of “rights” as in what the “Dirty Harry” series were commenting against? The age where there was law but it couldn’t be enforced b/c of increasingly liberal courts. Some have blamed this on the Boomers but they were too young. However, many of the rebellion generation (Boomers) fell right in line with carrying the torch of liberal society.
7. Boomers (80mm people), rebellious in the 60’s and 70’s, came of age and extended their rebellion in social change, no retirement 401K suckers, can’t retire and will have to harvest their inheritance and sell what they have acquired to survive but to whom will they sell all this stuff? Brutal competition in this rank b/c of numbers.
8. X (46mm), equivalent of the Silents, the Survivor Generation, latch key kids, often delayed in coming of age, will find some really good deals from Boomer sales if they have the ambition and money. Delayed opportunities b/c Boomers are going to retire in place and keep their jobs for as long as they can. B/c of small numbers have not had much peer on peer competition? Are these the emerging Tea Party Conservatives? Some suggest they are? I really wonder about that. This generation could be some of the most patriotic. A small number have been at war for the last 22 years, they and early Gen-Y. Less than 1% of our population are part of the volunteer military but each probably touches the lives of another 20 non-military.
9. Y (70mm), probably a charmed demographic (more so between 1975 and 1984 ish b/c of very low birth rates) but the generation that have been “taught the test”, not given to critical thought (have not been taught that way), all winners even getting a trophy for showing up, hover parents, teamers, work in groups. Are these the equivalent of the Greatest Generation? Some claim these are the determined generation.

What effect has 22 years of war had on the maturing Gen X and new Gen Y? Any at all in the way of national pride? Are the numbers of voluntary military too small to have an impact? Consider the new crop of 30 somethings coming up as political candidates at the local and entry national level.... are they significant?

62 posted on 05/25/2012 10:31:32 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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Comment #63 Removed by Moderator

To: OldPossum
why would a reflective, far-seeing couple of the middle class have children in these times, knowing the kind of world they likely would grow up in?

Because [cultural] suicide is not a valid solution to problems.

Because we are keepers of the peak of civilization, and the only way to preserve that treasure is procreation.

Because I'll give them life, learning, and liberty that they may choose what to make of their future (and not deny them that future before they even exist).

Because opposition cultures DO understand the power of procreation, and if they can't take over the world with persuasion or compulsion they will do so with population - and, ultimately, that's the only way ours will too.

I'm proud of my friend expecting her 15th. Good on her; may she be a shining example to the rest of us, doing her part filling the world with self-sufficient upstanding freedom-loving God-fearing good kids.

64 posted on 05/25/2012 10:36:37 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (Cloud storage? Dropbox rocks! Sign up at for 2GB free (and I get more too).)
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To: Lancey Howard
America’s concentrated Democrat parasite nests (”cities”) are now little more than wealth redistribution centers.

Very true, and it sort of skews the whole red/blue state argument to a point. For example, once you get away from Chicago and E St Louis, even the People's Republic of Illinois is fairly conservative.

Of course, in statewide elections we are typically overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the cesspool a/k/a Cook County.

65 posted on 05/25/2012 10:37:28 AM PDT by Marathoner (If the election was Obama vs. Satan I'd have to flip a coin.)
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To: robowombat

RE: One hint is the statistic that 70% of black births are out of wedlock

TYPO, let me correct that for you. One hint is the statistic that 70% of AMISH births are out of wedlock. :)

66 posted on 05/25/2012 10:41:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: EyeGuy

“The second......well, if I stated it here I’d probably be banned.”


We have to be able to speak the truth. The truth is that the problem is multi-faceted. Before Lyndon Johnson the black illegitimate birth rate stood at about 19% and white illegitimate birth rate was about 8%. Today black illegitimacy is over 70%.

It would be easy to blame black society for inner city problems but the truth is that it is entirely the fault of the Democrat party.

What, you say? If you pay people enough money to do something they will do it. For a couple of generations we gave women who had babies out of wedlock a free home to live in, free utilities and gave them a living allowence too. All they had to do to get a higher allowance was to have babies without a dad in the home. The Republican pary fought this tooth and nail for over 40 years but the Democrats saw this as a way to make people dependent on the government for life and even Johnson said that “Democrats would have the black vote for generations because of his war on poverty.

90% of juvenile crime is committed by kids with single mothers. Over 70% of adult prison population is men with single mothers. Yet, on television we glamorize single motherhood. We could almost entirely rid ourselves of the Trayvon Martins of the world and Juvenile crime by doing one thing, outlawing single motherhood. Think how our society would be with 3/4”s of our prison population “rehabilitated”, we could get rid of 3/4’s of our prisons. We could get rid of most of our “public housing”. We could reduce our courts and cops by 75%. Gee by simply outlawing single parenting you could pay off the national debt.

Of course there will always be some single parents because men die and leave their wives to take care of the children but most of those men leave their wives with insurance to take care of the children.

This is not just a black problem, whites do it too, it is just more accepted in black society but that is changing.

If it sounds like I am blaming all the ills of our country on Democrats it means that you are able to understand what it is that I’m saying. I would cut off my arms before ever voting for any Democrat!

67 posted on 05/25/2012 10:41:52 AM PDT by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: OldPossum

I too, am pessimistic and am convinced that we will balkanize. This may be be for the best though. Liberal and Conservative ideologies are incompatible, and I for one, do not wish to live with those who fervently believe that socialist-marxism is our future.

68 posted on 05/25/2012 10:44:25 AM PDT by Molon Labbie (Prep. Now. Live Healthy, take your Shooting Iron daily.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Any idea what happened to these businesses? Did they simply close down or did they move? If they moved, to where?

The car dealership across from me was family-owned and got started during the Great Depression, but according to an article in a local newspaper, the owner was simply kayoed by the economic downturn.

There used to be a number of new car dealerships in Whittier and La Habra, but now there are only a few used car lots. The Chevy dealer was so frustrated in his dealings with GM that he became a used car dealer.

Today, if you want to buy a new car, you have to go to one of the huge lots next to a freeway in places like the Cerritos Auto Square.

69 posted on 05/25/2012 10:45:17 AM PDT by Fiji Hill (Deo Vindice!)
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To: Marathoner

If you look at a map of the People’s Democratic Republic of California, you’ll find that the vast majority of counties outside of the urban areas are “Red” - conservative / Republican.
Problem is, the majority of PDRC’s population IS in the urban areas.

70 posted on 05/25/2012 10:48:48 AM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Political correctness KILLS.

71 posted on 05/25/2012 10:49:07 AM PDT by Yaelle
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Comment #72 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind
Funny, I have had that mental image and opinion of cities since I was a little kid. So, what is new now?

Just imagine if something causes the food to stop being delivered. I am sure the denizens of these wonderful democrat strongholds will act with dignity and care for the others there.

73 posted on 05/25/2012 10:52:00 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: robowombat
Black population for some of the cities you mentioned:

Jackson TN - 46%
Helena-West Helena AK - 75%
Pine Bluff - AK 76%
Montgomery AL - 57%
Mobile AL - 51%

74 posted on 05/25/2012 10:56:05 AM PDT by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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Comment #75 Removed by Moderator

Comment #76 Removed by Moderator

To: Wordkraft
I lived in San Francisco for 25 years and it has been in a headlong slide into a citywide slum for at least 20 years.

Have you been down to the center of the shopping district, Union Square, and seen the "citizens" sleeping next to the wall will urine trails running from their trousers down to the curb? Disgusting.

77 posted on 05/25/2012 11:12:54 AM PDT by Harley (Will Rogers never met Harry Reid.)
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To: ctdonath2
If it's bad where you are, MOVE.

Well said. I did not live in L.A. proper, but well out in the suburbs. The trend was obvious for years, and the cancer spreading. Watching a van load of Holder's people stop at a liquor store far away from their homes, stand and stare to see if anyone was looking crosseyed at them was lesson enough.

I believe the rule of thumb for preppers has been for many years: live more than a tank of gas away from the city. They gonna have to take a boat to reach me.

78 posted on 05/25/2012 11:16:12 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: freeangel

I was wondering how to say that.

You hit the nail on the head.

79 posted on 05/25/2012 11:17:49 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Harley

I moved out 10 years ago. I was living in the Upper Haight and just couldn’t tolerate the decay any longer.

I now live in western Indiana in a clean, friendly and sane environment.

80 posted on 05/25/2012 11:27:22 AM PDT by Wordkraft (Remember who the Collaborators are.)
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