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Files for Chapter 9 protection. It’s the biggest city bankruptcy so far. Many more are on the way. And if you think the Detroit City Council is bad …


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  1. Detroit has been on the path to ruin ever since the race riots of the 1960s, and all the terrible things came from that.

    I drove down Michigan Avenue, Detroit in I think 1998 and it was some sight. Block after block of buildings with the windows all smashed.

    I’m almost surprised that anyone still lives there, or that they didn’t go bankrupt a long time ago.

    You know that a city has problems when there’s a website about its fabulous ruins

  2. This is Johannesburg and it should have served as a warning to the whites in every American city. There comes a tipping point at which the weight of African influence exceeds that of the European influence, and that’s when the city goes down the toilet in the African way:


  3. Also, can you explain Atlanta – Black majority city and one of the fastest growing and strongest economies in the USA.

  4. Colm – what should whites do? The answer is to get wise and realise that blacks will Africanise wherever they are just as whites Europeanise wherever they are. As for Atlanta, if it is fast-growing, crime will be the most striking characteristic.

  5. Colm

    I used to go to Atlanta all the time on business. All the action is in the huge suburbs, like Buckhead. Downtown Atlanta is not where you really want to be.

  6. Pete – Did that sheboon call the security guard a ‘nigger’? I’m shocked, SHOCKED!

  7. Allan@Aberdeen –

    Probably there’s a “nigga” in there somewhere. I turned the volume down so I can’t be sure.

    I’m just glad I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee at 3:49 when Little Miss Pink Pants walked out.

  8. There were hundreds of thousands of hands that wrecked Detroit.

    Including those who rioted and burned the city down in the 1960s

  9. There is a solution for Detroit. No European government would have let one of its country’s major cities get run down like that.

    No doubt there were many wrong decisions made by many different people, as Phantom says. The city was also victim to general economic circumstances and trends that have also challenged governments everywhere in the developed world. I mean, it’s not as if deprivation and industrial decay have not struck British cities like Hull or Liverpool or Leeds, where the majority of people are a whiter shade of pale. Fortunately, big government in those places was able to alleviate the worst effects.

    Our three resident racists have said their racist piece. Maybe now someone with a brain in his head and who knows what he’s talking about will be able to add something of use.

  10. I think that 99.9% of the problems came from the riots and the poisoned race relations, before and after that time, and from very high crime.

    Even if there were no auto imports, and even if the auto mfg industry didn’t change the way it did, Detroit would have these deep wounds.

    People die, and maybe some cities should be allowed to die too. It’s too far gone. The majority of the population moved elsewhere.

    BTW, there are other cities nearly as bad. See Cleveland. East St. Louis, IL. Camden NJ.

    Riots can cause damage that lasts forever. They can never be excused away.

  11. And, to paraphrase the great Jack Maple

    The cause of riots is rioters.

    Whether we speak of Detroit 1968, the endless, eternal Orange Order riots or other nationalist/unionist riots in Belfast, or any other riots.

    There are no excuses for them, ever.

  12. ” I think that 99.9% of the problems came from the riots and the poisoned race relations, before and after that time, and from very high crime.”

    As I dig over my back garden my spade occasionally disturbs ants’ nests.
    Oh My!
    Don’t they get angry with the shiny, stainless steel blade that has disturbed their world…

    I watch them sometimes.
    The black ants quickly regroup, organise supplies and rescue workers, declare martial law, bring in soup kitchens and call out the ant equivalent of the National Guard.

    Meanwhile their red comrades stand around in angry groups complaining that the black citizens are making them look bad…


  13. //I think that 99.9% of the problems came from the riots and the poisoned race Relations//

    If that were the case, Belfast would be a ghost town by now.

    There have been riots in many cities; the rioting in Detroit also wasn’t very prolonged. What distinguished Detroit was its reliance on the automotive sector. That industry was also wiped out in many other towns and countries. Far-sighted policies, however, usually cushioned them from the blow, and that is what Detroit lacked.

  14. Alan it takes a lot to offend my sensibility, but always seem to manage.

    Phantom the riots of 60 years ago have nothing to do with Detroits problems. It’s problem is the Democrats both black and white along with the Unions drove every industry and business out of town. Yet just like our Federal Government instead of cutting back spending as the city faltered the continued to increase spending and Govt growth. Here is the list of why they are bankrupt take note of the first two lines.

    20 largest creditors

    Here are the city’s 20 largest unsecured creditors and type of claim:
    ■General Retirement System: (A) $2 billion
    ■Police and Fire Retirement System (A) $1.4 billion
    ■U.S. Bank (B) $801 million
    ■U.S. Bank (B) $516 million
    ■U.S. Bank (B) $153 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $79 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $61 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $59 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $45 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $40 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C/E) $38 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $38 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $35 million
    ■Downtown Development Authority (D) $34 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $30 million
    ■U.S. Bank (E) $25 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $19 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $19 million
    ■U.S. Bank (C) $13million
    ■U.S. Bank (C/E) $11 million
    (A) pension funds; (B) certificate of participation; (C) general obligation bond; (D) loan payable; and (E) capital improvement bond. Source: City of Detroit

  15. Our three resident racists have said their racist piece. Maybe now someone with a brain in his head and who knows what he’s talking about will be able to add something of use.

    Noel, you don’t take this forum seriously do you? Even David, then bloke who runs it trolls his own website. (I can’t believe a man with David’s supposed intelligence would post some of the stuff he does seriously.)
    I have to say though, it seem to be turning even more racist here of late, (if that’s possible).

  16. It has nothing to do with riots.

    Troll’s on the spot, though I don’t know how heavily weighted towards the Dems Detroit is. The city government is bankrupt for one reason: it borrowed and spent too much.

    Going bust is nature’s way of telling you not to waste any more capital. It’s the best thing that could have happened.

  17. Noel

    If it wasn’t for the PSNI, Belfast would turn into Detroit in a year. No question about it.


    The city has nearly no middle class. They all left in the 1960s and 1970s. There is no base.

    The politicians are a symptom, not a cause. You could have the best politicians in the world there and the city would still be a dead zone.

  18. I invite anyone to drive through Detroit as I have done and say that it has nothing to do with riots.

    The whites / black middle class have been afraid to set foot in most of the city for fifty years due to off the charts crime rates.

    You can buy a house in Detroit for $5000. But why would you?

  19. Phantom –

    Who is committing all this crime in Detroit? What are the profiles?

  20. Pete – What type of crime? The muggings of individuals tends to be done by one group, the corporate crime (which goes unpunished) by another.

    It is troubling, Detroit has been spinning out of control for a number of sad reasons for decades, and there really isn’t a clear path forward.

    What to do short of a solution along the lines of Carthage?

  21. Cleveland has the same issues of depopulation etc.

    There has been talk of allowing parts of it to be returned to agricultural uses, etc. – not a crazy idea.

    Some cities ( London, New York ) are growing and will continue to do so. Other cities will be stable, some will muddle by . And others should go out of their misery.

    The important thing is that the people have an opportunity. People should survive, not necessarily political entities.

    The people of Detroit destroyed their own city. They burned it down. I’m not sure that such a place needs to be rebuilt. There are lots of other living cities for people to go to.

  22. “There are lots of other living cities for people to go to.”

    Yeah, but what happens when they get there?

  23. It will take a great civic planner to figure out how to approach this, and that person would need a lot of support to try to get it done.

  24. Funded by who?

    If I burned my own house down, I wouldn’t expect anyone to help me.

    Detroit was burned down by its residents.

    Rezone if for agriculture, and let’s talk about solvable problems.

  25. //The people of Detroit destroyed their own city. They burned it down. I’m not sure that such a place needs to be rebuilt.//

    I think you’re exaggerating here, Phantom. There were – according to Wiki – just over 400 buildings or houses destroyed. Far too many of course, but still far less than in Belfast, a much smaller city, or in the UK or practically every other city in Europe during WWII.
    Every city, including Detroit, would be able to sustain such losses.

    The causes are, as usual, economic and relating to planning policy.

  26. The causes are, as usual, economic and relating to planning policy.

    Disagree. Strongly.

    Take a drive in Detroit sometime. You see block after endless block of ruined buildings. Even if they didn’t burn down, they are ruined.

    The economy sucks because the productive people moved out, terrified.

  27. Noel – I think Phantom probably refers to the history of the City which includes the Detroit riots in 1967 when thousands of buildings were burned to the ground. The Governor at the time had to send in troops (Governor George Romney – Mitt’s Daddy).

  28. These riots were particularly vicious.

    It is noted that the cities that did not have riots like that are not dead zones now as Detroit is

  29. //Phantom probably refers to the history of the City which includes the Detroit riots in 1967 //

    I was aware of that; it’s what I was also referring to in my last comment.
    Just over 400 buildings were destroyed, surely a small fraction of the housing stock of a city of almost 2 million. As a comparison: around 200 houses were burned down in the August 1969 riots in Belfast, a city of around 400,000 people at the time.

    Obviously such riots do little good for civic relations. But infinitely more damage was done to other cities that survived and went on to prosper.
    After such events, people generally dust themselves off and pick up the pieces. It is only when there is some underlying reason why the city can’t continue, such as its economic basis, that a permanent downturn starts.

    I am sure there are scores of books written about the decline of Detroit. But rows of ruined houses in themselves prove nothing.

  30. you can’t have a city without industry, and industry can not cost more than it produces. Detroit is the example of what happens when a socialist agenda wins out over a capitalist agenda.

  31. The usual socialist / capitalist blather doesn’t apply to Detroit.

    Even if the automakers were all still there, they use a lot fewer people now.

    The modern manufacturing or mining economy uses fewer workers.

    The fact that Detroit was ruined by riots and vast white flight only accelerated a ” less jobs ” trend that would have already been in place.

    There is no socialist agenda. The city services there are a disgrace.

  32. Noel – I think that 400 figure is buildings demolished as opposed to buildings damaged which must have run into the thousands. There were loads of people killed as well and people and businesses that never returned. Unlike Belfast which rebuilt itself, there were other places for businesses and people to go once Detroit seemed saw lawless and poorly run. I suppose if whatever constituted the upper and middle class of Belfast had abandoned it then it would have had a harder time to grow back. Interesting comparison.

  33. I’ve never been to Detroit myself. It has given us a lot over the years. One of the great things is the portraits of the City even in its decline by the great Elmore Leonard.

  34. mahons

    I actually drove to Detroit ( by way of Buffalo and Toronto ) in order to see the classic old baseball park Tiger Stadium in 1999, its last year of operation.

    We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in the nearby suburb of Dearborn. The contrast between the glorious hotel in the nice suburbs and the horrendous inner city could not have been greater.

    Detroit metro area has long been hollowed out. An empty core, surrounded by the nicest suburbs you can find anywhere.

  35. good god are you really that thick? The white flight, the loss of the manufacturing, the majority of the populace living off of welfare, is all part of the socialist agenda and how it is applied in the US.

    You want to cite Germany? Big difference German people both like to and want to work. Their socialist structure is supported by both business and the worker. Not the worker in place of business.

    To have socialist programs work you need a SUCCESSFUL, PROFITABLE, BUSINESS BASE.

    What you have in a majority of American Major cities is a socialist structure with NO business foundation to support it.

  36. The socialists wanted to burn Detroit so that everyone could live on welfare.

    Got it.

  37. your trying to blame detroits problems on the raid of an illegal bar, and you have the guts to call that a considered deduction?

    Detroits problem stem from it’s political choices, not riots 50yrs ago.

  38. In 1960, Detroit had the highest per capita income in the US; today it is the poorest city by a long way.

    The city government has gone bust, owing $11 billion in unsecured debt. Of that, $9 billion is down to pensions and health insurance plans. This is where you go when government spends and spends and spends, and unions price industry out of town.

    Detroit rose by capitalism and was sunk by socialism.

  39. The race riots had not happened in 1960, Pete.

    They happened seven years later.

  40. None of the cities which had really bad race riots in the sixties ever fully recovered

    Detroit is only the worst example.

    To this list you add


    ( north ) Philadelphia

    Watts ( LA )

    Newark NJ

    Once all bonds of social trust are destroyed by riots, the city doesn’t recover. How could it?

  41. actually race riots took place in 1943 in Detroit, the 12th street riots in 1967 weren’t triggered by race, but became race riots.

  42. Troll

    OK, two sets of race riots in less than 25 years.

    And your point is?

    You -do not- recover from such things.

    That is my point exactly.

  43. Riots don’t explain anything. It’s just a word without explanation.

    Liabilities of $11B, most of which is owed to government special interests and the parasite class; spending on a demented scale; mega-corruption and unions which priced industry out do explain things.

    London had riots in 1981 and 2011, yet the person who ascribes Detroit’s descent to riots says, in this thread also, that London is growing.

    The US had a mega-riot in the 1860s. It recovered. Europe and the Far East had the riot to end all riots in the mid-20th Century. Many places recovered.

    I’m sorry, the verdict of history is quite clear; socialism is always damaging but for some places it is terminal.

  44. The decline of Detroit is due to a variety of factors, and not just one thing. Certainly reckless borrowing and spending are among the factors.

  45. Even if they had no debt and millions in the bank it would still be a dead city.

    Anyone who lent a penny to that city deserves to lose it all.

  46. my point is cities are not destroyed by riots. Riots are a result and symptom of problems not actual problems.

    Cities are collapsing because they are collapsing from under debt of their own making, just as the nation is on track to do.

    The difference is you can flee a city, where are you going to flee to when this course results in the same on a national scale?

    This is a self induced destruction.

    What kind of riots are going to happen when the Federal Government finally has to declare bankruptcy?

    You refuse to acknowledge the disease while crying about a symptom.

  47. what about those that negotiated with politicians for pensions. With your logic they deserve to lose every penny also. Those pensions are the largest debt holders.

    Are you actually seeing the light?

  48. The root cause of riots is rioters.

    rationalist bull

    As far as bailout hell, let it die the death it brought on themselves. Shame we can’t build a wall around it so the people can’t spread their disease, but then the disease of somthin for nuthin is everywhere isn’t it.

  49. Under what circumstances will you excuse rioters or say that there is a reason for it?

  50. Building a wall around a group of people viewed as a disease and based upon a blanket condemnation of everyone in the group regardless of fault is of course called a ghetto, originally a term used for doing the same thing to Jews in Europe. I doubt that is your intention, but you’ve phrased your frustration poorly.

  51. In the same thread, Troll first seems to take the lib position that there are root causes ( excuses for ) riots, realizes the huge error, and then changes his mind.

  52. PM Monica doesn’t blog anymore.

    Mahons it was sarcasm… read the last line

    Colm because riots are NOT caused by JUST the rioters. Yes those that commit the violence are those that are to blame. No one but a rioter is responsible for his actions.

    Riots however don’t just start spontaneously. There is always an event or a cause that triggers it. None however justify or excuse the behavior

  53. no Phantom you just lack comprehension. Root causes of riots are NOT a lib position. Accepting those root causes as justification for the behavior IS a Lib position.

  54. Troll

    Then I think you are splitting hairs. There is virtually no difference between you and Phantom on this, though it may pain you to admit it 😉

    PS – I was intrigued by Pete’s reference to Monica. I wondered what made him think she was commenting. I hope she is doing well though and enjoying life and her family.

  55. You are bleeding heart liberal at heart.

    What is the true ” cause ” of the Orange Order riots that I posted the other day?

  56. Phantom

    The cause of the Orange Order riots ? It’s Obama and the Democrats of course 😉

  57. She says hi and is doing fine thanks for asking.

    I am splitting hairs, but they are very important hairs to split.

    Phantom All real conservatives would by categorized as Liberals. Equality, and Freedom are the keystones of conservatism. Liberals only use them as banners for false fronts to seduce the sheep to slaughter.

  58. The citys population has been in decline since the fifties. It was particularly susceptible to suburbanisation and the flight was class based not race based. it was well under way long before the riots, which i dont think even made much impact on the overall trend.

    Its been a dead city (in the conventional sense) for decades now and has never managed its decline well. Its biggest saving grace is that it has been one of the USAs biggest global cultural exporters, rivalling any of the major cities. Electronic music has been and still is influenced by detroits hugely progressive musical output for many decades. And if you dont think even an everyman hasnt been touched by its talent then go remind your self of the classic techno hit Inner City Good Life. See!

    Detroit forever.

  59. Colm –

    Because both comments had good points and they were spelled correctly.

    Well come on, there has to be some explanation!

  60. I knew that sooner or later an intelligent comment was bound to come. Take a bow, DT.

    //I wondered what made him think she was commenting//

    Actually I also thought it. You see, there were no spellling mistakes 🙂

  61. dt

    The astonishing population moves were made by fear.

    You don’t walk away from a fine building or sell it at a huge loss because nothing’s wrong.

  62. thanks Pete….lol

    Not fear economics Phantom, fear can be controlled and eliminated. NY is a good example. Economics however is a train that when steered by the wrong conductor is dangerous and very hard to stop.

  63. If you’re afraid to walk down the street, and afraid to have your family walk down the street, that trumps any and all economic arguments.

    This is why the cities I mentioned are all hollowed out. Living suburbs, dead cities. A lot of these guys loved what their city once was, but if there is an alternative to living in fear, they will take it.

  64. “thanks Pete” ??

    Mmmmm… there does seem to be a very Monicaesque style to some of ‘Trolls’ comment here this evening, like this last one. It would be great if the Grizzy Mama did return to the fray. A real boon to ATW that would be.

  65. Colm, I think she does ghost write some of the comments – the result is a kind of good-cop, bad-cop routine.

  66. I’m in touch with my feminine side…. no she refuses to return. She is one of ATWs lost sheep.

    Phantom Giuliani proved it, Rizzo proved it, the people can be made to feel safe with a good police force. In any city.

  67. Bad cop, worse cop routine.

    With Colm suggesting the return of Felix on another thread can Adrian, Alan Frost MacDonald and Ruad be far behind?

  68. fear can be controlled and eliminated.

    But only if there is good leadership, the essential ingredient to any organization

    NYC had much better leadership than it deserved. That era may change.

  69. I miss Felix….

    Mahons that era has changed in NY the question is which of it’s mayoral candidates will pick up Rudy’s policies?

  70. Troll – The Mayoral candidates are frightening. There has been a crop this truly awful since forever. Ed Koch’s corpse would be a better Mayor than any of the clowns running.

  71. Why thank you Noel. The only downside is that it for another decade. Roll on the jibbebrish.

    The astonishing population moves were made by fear

    No they werent. Thats the racist myth. Too many people, black and white, moved. The main factor being they were mobile and relatively affluent. It was social engineering on a collossul scale, y’all were too busy with your freedom to notice.

  72. dt

    I’ve spoken to people from Detroit who say differently. Why would the majority of the city move from nice houses ( in many cases ) in order to be in the suburbs, often in less nice houses with higher property tax?

    I’ve spoken to people who moved out of the south Bronx, East New York ( Brooklyn ) too. They left for the same reason.

    OK, its a ” racist myth “. The whites and middle income blacks didn’t want their kids head kicked in at the public schools and didn’t otherwise want to live in very dangerous areas where huge riots just happened.

  73. Troll

    Why did you leave Philadelphia? Did the high crime rate have anything at all to do with it?

  74. Daytripper – Yes all the white people left who left inner-City Detroit sought to relocate in fully integrated neighborhoods in the suburbs…

  75. C’mon.

    For $100,000 you can buy 20 houses in Detroit.

    Take the next plane over. Its the new gold rush.

    People should retire there, since its so wonderful an economic opportunity.

  76. This paper argues-convincingly in my view- that Detroit’s decline was the direct result of racist policies pursued by the long term mayor Coleman Young who intentionally drove out white voters, by incendiary rhetoric and withdrawing city services, in order to shape the electorate so that it was more likely to reelect him.

    Sort of a Robert Mugabe of the Mid West.

  77. Black racism exists.

    It exists in Philly too, big time as I think someone commented on a while back.

    And like it’s white variant, it does a lot of damage.

    Its not an economic thing and the ” everything comes down to money ” guys can miss the point on race based things entirely.

    Mugabe has impoverished black Zimbabweans, and has ruined the country, but he is fine with that since he has stuck it to whitey.

  78. Lol at that paper ross. Its thesis can be trashed in one sentence. More white people left Detroit in the two decades prior Mayor Youngs arrival in city hall than did so under the two decades of his tenure.

    And wtf, he’s black so its robert mugabe. Why not compare with any or all white mayors of the US, if the argument is about racially favorable policies. Infact why not compare it to the previous two decades of the very same city.

    Scientific racism at its best.

  79. Well said, Daytripper. It’s old-fashioned bigotry hidden behind all that

    1 −G (−v0 −v1 (τπ(q)q) −k)

  80. Why not compare with any or all white mayors of the US, if the argument is about racially favorable policies.

    He does, the papers called the “Curley Effect” after a very white mayor of Boston.

    Its thesis can be trashed in one sentence. More white people left Detroit in the two decades prior Mayor Youngs arrival in city hall than did so under the two decades of his tenure.

    That’s misleading.

    From 1950 to 1970 the white population fell by about 700 000 and between 1970 by about 600 000, but between from 1950 to 70 it lost 45% of it’s white population. But during Young’s tenure almost three quarters of white residents fled the city.

  81. Curley is the model. Laughably they go on to look at mayors who used the curley effect. They chose curley and young. Jokers.

    They could have applied their model to any or all mayors to see how the values bore out.

    From 1950 to 1970 the white population fell by about 700 000 and between 1970 by about 600 000, but between from 1950 to 70 it lost 45% of it’s white population. But during Young’s tenure almost three quarters of white residents fled the city.

    Ok so we will use your numbers and reapproach the claim. More white people left Detroit in the two decades prior Mayor Youngs arrival in detroit city hall than did so under the two decades of his tenure.

  82. ” Black racism exists.”

    It depends what is meant by racism.


    The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as…
    Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.


    I would think the vast majority of people would agree with the first part of that definition and the vast majority would deplore the second part.
    But recognising difference is universal, and (I think) is an integral part of being human.
    Discrimination is an every day occurrence in human affairs. It manifests in all kinds of ways, but only a few people translate “difference” into grounds for anger, resentment or hatred.
    The problem I have with multiculturalism as seen in Western Europe (America is somewhat different) is that by allowing people from culturally/religiously/poorer/ more conservative or violent countries to come and live in settled liberal and complex countries destabilisation is bound to occur.
    It does not follow that the stable and more liberal “host” society will be able to assimilate or educate disparate communities into joining the host society. Indeed there are many worthy and earnest people who would say we have no right to “discriminate” against those communities by trying to integrate them. They should be left to develop in their own way.
    But in the meantime native populations most affected by this approach will probably leave..
    Whether you call it white flight/black flight/Islamaphobia or Xenophobia the result is the same.

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