Detroit Blogpost

Starting in Detroit’s prime days, the population was 1.8 million, ranking it as America’s forth largest city in the 1950’s. The city had the highest median income and highest percent of home ownership. In less than 60 years the city has fallen to complete shambles. One example of Detroit’s decline is the city’s population. The population fell 60% to a current population of 702,000 residents between 1950 and 2010. There are many factors on why the majority of the people and businesses left the city, leaving a ghost town filled with thousands of vacant buildings and homes. There are five major key factors in Detroit’s decline: racial tension, pension, the fall of the auto industry, and poor leadership. Whites not seeing their relocation along with the other reasons for the decline, turned to the blame game. They concluded that it was the African Americans who caused the crumble, when they moved into the city and took political power. Enmity was spread throughout the suburban of Detroit. The African Americans story revolved around how the city was in shambled before their mass arrival, and the how it was difficult to rebuild it under white oppression. Kevin Orr believes sufficient cuts to the pension is the best option. However, his plan is getting fought hard by unions. They claim that pensions are protected by Michigan’s Constitution. Therefore, it would be breaking a government contract if the pensions were to be diminished or impaired. It is unfair to all the people who were lied to and are not receiving what they were promised. At the same time, if the city gave everyone their promised pension there isn’t enough money for all the current city employees. When most people think of Detroit, they think about the auto industry. The fall of the auto industry was the final nail in the coffin. Starting in 1956, the Big 3 (GM, Chrysler, and Ford) began to see minor slow down in sales, and the doubling of import sales. American markets were beginning to favor European compact cars. The truth finally came out when they announced they were moving eleven of their plants to Mexico to cut expenses. “It was their “own” profit seeking corporations that were putting them (the workers) out on the curb.” (Counts, Steve, Glenn) ​In conclusion, Detroit is mourned. This once great city has fallen, but there are hints of life approaching. While the racial issues are not yet fixed, they are not a concern with an 80% black population. The pensions are an ever growing problem. With not having enough workers paying enough into the system, it will be a while until the retirees are paid what they were promised. The auto industry boom won’t be back to Detroit anytime soon. However, Detroit will continue to host car shows and auctions, attracting people to the city. It is believed that Detroit has finally learned its lesson in voting for poor leadership. The current Mayor Mike Dugan has good things in store for the city. Detroit is going through a hard time but cities have turned around before. With strong leadership, and business interests the city can have a major upswing.

From the years 2009-2014 Detroit’s employment rate continued to plummet. This is a result of all the causes discussed in the paragraphs above. For example, after the crash of 2008, most America businesses were set on budget cuts. The less than 43% of people employed in 2009, were continued to be laid off. The rate steadily declined into 2013 where only 38% of people over the age of 16 were in employed in the city of Detroit. Referring back to the last chart, it makes since why so many people are impoverished. More than half of them are without jobs. Logically speaking, this is a direct result of why the city is crime invested and gang ridden. People are starving and in need of some sort of past time. One way to fix the problem is to continue to revitalize downtown and focus on getting businesses to come to small sections of Detroit at a time. With the success of one business, it will have a domino effect on others to come. When Detroit hosted the world series in 2012, it brought a lot of publicity to the city.


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