Detroit is known for building cars and the popular music of the sixties known as “the Motown sound”. It’s also known for powerful unions, murders, and urban decay.
Many Americans were disturbed … but probably not surprised … when the city declared bankruptcy last week. The murder rate is at an all-time high and Detroit has 80,000 abandoned buildings.
It’s been a long, 60-year slide. In 1950, Detroit was the fifth-largest city in the country with 1.8 million residents. Today its population is just under 700,000. That’s what is known as a shrinking tax base.
Where did the people go? Detroit is in Wayne County, with a population of nearly two million. Next door is Oakland County, with about a million, three. Looks to me like everyone moved to the suburbs.
That has happened to nearly every large city in this country, though not on the scale it has in Detroit … where you have a decaying geographic area with huge governing problems … at the center of two thriving counties.
Our thought for today is from Henry David Thoreau:
“City life – millions of people being lonesome together.”