Flint is finished


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Maybe all the Ayn Rand/‘Christians’ types can take it over and show us how well their philosophies work in the real world! I would make vast amounts of popcorn and buy kegs for that show!


#3

Nobody wants to admit that Martin Luther King Jr. was right.

You don’t reduce violence by taking away people’s weapons, or by increasing the killing power and legal immunity of cops and soldiers. You can’t do it just by marching in the streets for a day or by writing angry letters to the editor from the comfort of your couch.

You build a functioning community by finding jobs for people. Jobs that provide opportunity to gain social status, and enough income to feed, clothe, house and educate a family. People need work, love, and play to be psychologically stable members of a community worth living in.

Take away the jobs and crime increases. Find work for people - real work, not Soviet-style make-work, work that needs doing - and crime and violence decrease, impact of public education improves, and then a generation later the birthrate drops, too.


#4

Someone help me out with this part of the story:

When industry pulled out of the city, it left behind huge swaths of contaminated land. Aging and decrepit infrastructure, including a deteriorating water system, has meant dangerously high levels of toxins in the city’s water supply.

How is this lack of stewardship not illegal? This is an earnest question. I was under the impression that this sort of thing was punishable, or at least frowned upon, under law of some sort.


#5

And this will be be the problem of our children and grandchildren because a hell of a lot of work will be automated. There will need to be a different solution to that problem than just jobs/work.


#6

Wasn’t this one of the reasons for the mandates for some kind of cleanup/oversight?

Even if it was before those laws (there are laws, right? I know there was that thing with Hinkli with chemical runoff used to hose down roadways that basically made a town unlivable. Probably a lot more that went on than that movie showed and people a lot less nice about everything because that’s how the world works and hollywood needs a sympathetic protagonist.)

I dunno, and i wish I did because I’m tired of feeling like i’m fumbling around in the dark on these kind of issues.

What would it take? Not just jobs, some kind of industry, but just the cost of physically fixing things so all the rest can happen? How much would it cost to demolish what can’t be saved and save what can be?


#7

This story makes the Flint as shown in “Roger and Me” look positively hopeful.


#8

If only there was a millionaire socialist from there that could help lift Flint back up…


#9

I know this is blasphemy against the great altar of petty, half-assed American tribalism, but cities (and more importantly, towns) do not need to exist.

That there are major costs (both financial and social) associated with moving from one place to another for people who earn their money through work is not lost on me, but that is the issue that matters with the dissolution of a municipality, that is the issue to be solved. If there are better ways to do that than to dump money and care into a place that no longer has a reason for being, and I am convinced that there are, then those are the ones that should be discussed.


#10

The whole series on poverty there is pretty fascinating.

Sounds like Flint needs to find something that can’t be taken away, some hope for the future that stays there. No idea what that might be.


#11

Whenever someone talks about “job killing regulations” I think of this, or at least this kind of thing. There is a political movement (the conservative one) that puts its whole weight behind NOT having to clean up what has been destroyed in the name of profit. Every candidate who talks about getting rid of the EPA must think that this kind of environmental destruction is just the cost of doing business.


#12

One gets the impression from “Roger and Me” that Flint was finished twenty-six years ago, so it’s not clear why the decay hasn’t been going any faster.

Wasn’t there a strike in Flint that at some point since then that still managed to do a pretty good job of crippling GM at the time? Looks like it was 1998:


#13

Dismaland USA?


#14

Block by block, neighborhoods … were marked by the detritus of abandonment, crumbling homes and overgrown lots.

This reads a bit like Lovecraft.


#15

The problem is deciding when a place is beyond repair. In the 1970s, people thought Pittsburgh and even NYC were just going to spiral downward and downward. And yet both places bounced back – in the case of NYC maybe even too much so.


#16

There’s something more to the story than given here- most of the old GM sites are being remediated; the two biggest, ‘Buick City’ and ‘Chevy in The Hole’ are being remade into a new industrial site and a preserve/park respectively. However there are many, many small industrial sites from long defunct companies and businesses that are now standing vacant in the city. Hell, I can go Monday evening and take pictures if you like.

Flint used to source its drinking water from the Detroit Water Department, but rising costs resulted in a decision to create it’s own system. In the near future the city will have clean water piped from Lake Huron, but until that is completed the city is using water from the Flint River. While much cleaner than it used to be, the water quality is still not that great and the infrastructure for the city is very old by and large.

Flint’s real problem now is that it’s too big for its population to support, and while it’s the regional medical hub there are not nearly enough jobs to sustain the population. It’s too near Detroit, Ann Arbor and Lansing to attract or sustain new business and residents, and like Detroit there’s a pretty big racial divide between the city and the outlying communities.


#17

Why decide?

The idea that NYC was ever going anywhere was always just a rabid red state fantasy of sticking it to liberals and browns, but Pittsburgh is actually illustrative of abandoning the necessity of existence, if only partially. Pittsburgh accepted that their primary raison d’etre was gone, and that they would not be able to be the same size of city, and adopted policies that allowed the city to gracefully shrink

I don’t know anything about Flint really, maybe there is some other reason to have a town there besides the auto industry. If there is maybe they should focus on that. Or maybe they should (and perhaps more importantly the state and federal government) should look at how best to support the natural outflow of people and winding down and let people vote with their feet as soon as they have the resources to use their feet.


#18

Not scientific, of course, but I have dropped 10, 15, 20 places in google Street View in Flint, MI (especially in places where it’s predominantly African-American… this as my source: Cooper Center, Racial Dot Map), and really googled around… and… well… you click the tinyurls yourself if curious. ( I guess I only get to post 2 links… but really… )


#19

Related, this just popped up in my twitter feed.


#20

Charity, social and community work. A job doesn’t have to be for a corporation, on the contrary, many people would find this kind of work even more rewarding - the challenge is the funding source.