A befuddling mystery of decline

Zerohedge republishes Michael Snyder’s recounting of the way in which the city of Detroit has changed in only 53 years:

1 – Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.
2 – Over the past 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.
3 – At this point, approximately 40 percent of all the streetlights in the city don’t work.
4 – Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 miles on them.
5 – 210 of the 317 public parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down.
6 – According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.
7 – Approximately one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.
8Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.
9 – If you can believe it, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.
10 – According to one very shocking report, 47 percent of the residents of Detroit are functionally illiterate.
11 – Today, police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.
12 – Ten years ago, there were approximately 5,000 police officers in the city of Detroit.  Today, there are only about 2,500 and another 100 are scheduled to be eliminated from the force soon.
13 – Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.
14 – The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.
15 – Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.
16 – Right now, the city of Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities.  That breaks down to more than $25,000 per resident.

It is, of course, a baffling mystery and no one has any idea what could possibly have accounted for the transformation of this once-great American city.  Perhaps one day, a future Gibbon will be able to decipher the great conundrum of Detroit’s decline and fall.  But in the meantime, we can at least take heart in the knowledge that the innocent and suffering denizens who live amidst the wreckage are, thanks to the effects of the housing crash on house prices, now finding it possible to move to suburbs such as Southfield that have thus far escaped the general decay of the city.

Thank St. Diversity that those poor, but totally civilized Detroit residents, who are without question absolutely capable of maintaining a self-sustaining and technologically advanced society as well as every other collection of humans on the planet, have been able to flee that inexplicably cursed geography.  I have no doubts at all that this change of location will also completely alter what can only be described as their coincidental misfortune of the last five decades.

Celebrate Diversity!