Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Crumbling Empires

This is something that I find extraordinarily depressing, and not just because I once lived in Detroit, and knew the area in better days. It hits me as a frightening specter of the decline of American industry, and the painful disintegration of entire industries, regions, and way of life for many millions of us. It's a stark reminder of a middle class that is sliding down the slope into lower standards of living, and low-paying jobs.

It isn't just Detroit, it's many formerly productive urban areas that are gradually collapsing under their own weight, with no framework of decent-paying jobs and tax base to support them. Detroit is just the most prominent and notable picture of decay at the moment. Detroit is a glaring portrait of what happens when government stops investing in people and jobs, and instead rewards corporate honchos for exporting entire industries and off-shoring as many jobs as can be sent away in the endless quest for maximum profit.

While this is obvious to many of us now, and certainly will be obvious to future historians, the corporate puppets in Congress - and yes, that's both parties - refuse to acknowledge the reasons for the steady, painfully predictable collapse of the American Empire. And corporate media tools, far from being a "fourth estate", now function only as symbiotes of the corrupt cadre that is all three branches of government. What passes for mainstream media now can only be counted on to parrot its assigned script, and to distract with nonsense like celebrity gossip and entertainment news. I have yet to see any truth-telling in msm accounts of the demise of Detroit.

What happened in Detroit is not confined to Detroit. It's only going to continue, and it would be great if we could have some widespread recognition of that fact.

America Is on a Path to Turn into Detroit....
From Thom Hartmann, on Alternet

 "....Detroit used to be the industrial capital of America, and really the world. But, starting with Reagan, our industrial and trade policies began to change. As a result, our nation moved from a manufacturing based economy to a banking and serviced based economy. Instead of making things, we now say “would you like fries with that,” “welcome to WalMart,” and “there’s a $5.00 fee for using your credit card that way.” We embraced free trade deals, and jumped head first into outsourcing policies that vastly increased corporate
profits while shipping hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas.

As a result, many of the jobs that were once done in factories in Detroit are now done in factories in China and other nations. And the same holds true for the rest of America....."

2 Comments:

Blogger Dredd said...

Western civilization is in the same boat in some ways because it does not understand why our fundamental environmental nature is nomadic.

The structure of cities must be conceived anew or Detroit is the model of the future for a very long time.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Father Tyme said...

This had its real take off in the late 70s and early 80s with the planned moving of the steel industry by greedy CEOs,Boards and investors.

First it was Pittburgh's Steel and Allentown and Scranton and companies moving to Gary, Indiana and other midwestern cities. Gary and the others promised big tax breaks to the companies if they moved there and the savings would even allow the companies to continue to pay the prevailing wages...for a while.

A few years after the move, the companies started complaining int heir new cities about losing money because of the unions. More tax breaks from those cities totally ignorant or totally stupid on what was really happening. But they had a business and had people working. So what if a few unions disappeared?

All the while Steel and other businesses were moving operations off shore and by the time those stupids in the new cities understood, it was too late. The companies were going and with the help of St. Ronnie and the Dixiecrats, easing laws allows the exodus. With Steel went those pie-in-the-sky midwestern jobs along with the pitiful taxes those cities collected.

Detroit was no better. So long as they got steel for the auto industry, no one working cared.
Then autos from Japan adn Korea and other countries started rolling in. Too late to stop. But then, when it affected those people, they cried foul wanting America to help them, forgetting their apathy when Steel moved from Pa.

Now it's just about every industry. Shoes that cost a few dollars to make sell in America for hundreds! Right! An Iphone costs Apple less than $20 but sells for $500! Businesses got more and more tax breaks but still complain they're losing money. And Americans complain and flip burgers and still vote for these asses.

Pardon me if I don't feel for those in Detroit or wherever jobs are lost when jobs were "stolen" by those cities from "the Rust Belt" now to the "Bust Belt."
Pardon me if I don't feel for those who lost their pensions recently like those who lost theirs in the 70s and 80s while the working people in the "new cities" didn't give one damn about the others.

Now you want us to help save your jobs and pensions where you didn't care about ours. And you know what's the saddest part? We probably will try to help. First, See if business and the government will save your asses. I won't hold my breath.

6:54 PM  

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