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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Politics, Religion & other Controversies » Death of a Salesman, part 2.

Default Death of a Salesman, part 2.

October 23rd, 2013, 18:23
A truly well-written article about the tragedy befalling Detroit's citizens. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/24633916

Globalization, outsourcing, and inflation continue to steadily erase notions of a promising future.
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October 23rd, 2013, 19:17
and yet Detroit is going through a bit of a Renaissance in its downtown core. The bankruptcy is going to take of its debt problem at the absolute shame of the loss of pensions for thousands of former public servants. But what can you do? You can't get blood from a stone.

If you ask me, one thing they should do is sell off the art museum. They have hundreds of millions of dollars they could raise by auctioning off those works. I can't see the ROI in the tourist dollars it generates.

The next step would be converting the derelict neighborhoods and fctories into farmlands. Let Detroit become a center of a rural heartland.

But my mechanical engineering classmates came back from there eager to return back to their native Hawaii for some reason.

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Last edited by Lucky Day; October 24th, 2013 at 23:36.
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October 23rd, 2013, 19:35
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
The next step would be converting the derelict neighborhoods and fctories into farmlands. Let Detroit become a center of a rural heartland.
That's not quite as simple as you might think, thanks to the federal government and the enviro-nuts. Unfortunately, although they've gone overboard as they tend to do, the enviro-nuts have a point on this one.

Many/most of those abandoned factories were in operation prior to a lot of EPA laws. Chemical containment and disposal, in particular, just wasn't what it is today. It's extremely likely you've got contaminated soil under those buildings. Erin Brockovich kinda contamination? Maybe a few, but I expect most of them don't pose any threat. As long as the buildings stand as-is, they don't have to come up to current EPA code. If you bulldoze them down, now you're on the hook for the environmental mediation. That means boatloads of expensive soil testing, followed by removing maybe 10' worth of topsoil over the entire property (removing to a waste disposal site, mind you), followed by trucking in 10' worth of shiny new topsoil. You're looking at a major time investment and a huge financial investment. The city is already broke, so they can't step up even if they wanted to. The current owners of those factories (the few that haven't been formally abandoned back to the city, that is) have no incentive to turn over the first shovel since it's far cheaper to pay the property taxes and mow the grass once or twice a year over the next century than to invite the EPA for a single visit.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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October 23rd, 2013, 19:45
Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
If you ask me, one thing they should do is sell off the art museum. They have hundreds of millions of dollars they could raise by auctioning off those works. I can't see the ROI in the tourist dollars it generates.
It's tens of millions if the article is to be believed. A pitiful drop in the bucket compared to the 20 billion debt.

The city's fiscal crisis is part of the problems plaguing the entire country on a smaller scale. And no amount of museum liquidation will prove to be the answer.
Last edited by Drithius; October 23rd, 2013 at 20:09.
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October 24th, 2013, 20:07
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Globalization, outsourcing, and inflation continue to steadily erase notions of a promising future.
The cynic in me asks : "Where are the profits that were achieved by outsourcing the manufacturies gone to ?"

And regarding "enviro-nuts" - yes, things can go overboard - but we here in Germany are just used to that stuff. It's not nice, but we here have - at least to some degree - the opinion that this is just necessary in most cases.

And, to be honest : There are German towns who are or were at the brink of bancruptcy, too. Not everything's fine here.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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October 24th, 2013, 20:54
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The cynic in me asks : "Where are the profits that were achieved by outsourcing the manufacturies gone to ?"
In the case of automotive, it's reflected in companies actually operating in the black, rather than losing billions every year, in spite of ever-increasing pension expenses. So instead of a big pile of gold held by a wealthy few (as you imply), it's more a case of getting back to zero.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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October 24th, 2013, 21:36
Not to dismiss your personal take on Germany, Alrik, but it's probably a poor example in this context. While Germany routinely runs a trade surplus of nearly $200 billion USD (reflected in its strong manufacturing sector), the U.S. is on the extreme opposite end of the scale with a trade deficit of 800 billion (and growing).
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October 24th, 2013, 21:46
Yep, some of that is cultural, though. We USens like to buy stuff from other countries.
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October 24th, 2013, 22:16
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
It's tens of millions if the article is to be believed. A pitiful drop in the bucket compared to the 20 billion debt.

The city's fiscal crisis is part of the problems plaguing the entire country on a smaller scale. And no amount of museum liquidation will prove to be the answer.
The Van Gogh alone was estimated to be worth $28 million according to the people giving the tour to CBS Sunday Morning.

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October 24th, 2013, 22:18
That's just a short term partial solution. They need a long term strategy to bring business back to Detroit.
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October 24th, 2013, 22:40
Detroit = Worst big city in the US.

I worked in Detroit for 7 years. The biggest problem there is the residents. They're mostly very uneducated, and they don't give a crap about the city or the environment. They also keep electing a bunch of unqualified and crooked people to run the place.

It's a sad situation, and the mass exodus of people fleeing the city for the suburbs only made it worse.


@Drithius - I never noticed before that you live in Florida. What area if you don't mind me asking?
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October 24th, 2013, 23:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post

@Drithius - I never noticed before that you live in Florida. What area if you don't mind me asking?
I moved from NY a few months back; I'm in the Palm Coast/Daytona area. Not sure for how long though, this area doesn't rank very highly on the jobs front.
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October 24th, 2013, 23:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Detroit = Worst big city in the US.

I worked in Detroit for 7 years. The biggest problem there is the residents. They're mostly very uneducated, and they don't give a crap about the city or the environment. They also keep electing a bunch of unqualified and crooked people to run the place.

It's a sad situation, and the mass exodus of people fleeing the city for the suburbs only made it worse.


@Drithius - I never noticed before that you live in Florida. What area if you don't mind me asking?
Coleman Young, a black man trading in gold krugerands during Apartheid? Kwame Kilpatrick, sentenced 28 years for corruption and bribery? Only worse major office in the US I can think of for corruption is Illinois governor.

I was in Michigan a few years ago. I liked it TBH. I even liked Detroit, although I was shocked "The Joe" was so..quaint. Yes, I caught a Red Wings game. I sat by a "hockey mom" who was telling me stories about the kids she would billet once in awhile and the people who usually had the seats.

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October 25th, 2013, 07:53
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I moved from NY a few months back; I'm in the Palm Coast/Daytona area. Not sure for how long though, this area doesn't rank very highly on the jobs front.
Ah ok. You're on the other coast. I live on the Gulf side.

I feel you about the jobs. Pay rates and opportunities in general are pretty low here, although the cost of living is also fairly low in most parts.


Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
I was in Michigan a few years ago. I liked it TBH. I even liked Detroit, although I was shocked "The Joe" was so..quaint. Yes, I caught a Red Wings game. I sat by a "hockey mom" who was telling me stories about the kids she would billet once in awhile and the people who usually had the seats.
The majority of Michigan is really nice, epecially to the north and out west.

What's sad though is a lot of people who visit Michigan fly into Detroit Metro airport because that's the largest hub in the state, and they stay somewhere in that area. Then they leave with a bad impression of the state because they don't realize that the rest of Michigan is nothing like the Detroit Metro region.
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October 25th, 2013, 08:53
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What's sad though is a lot of people who visit Michigan fly into Detroit Metro airport because that's the largest hub in the state, and they stay somewhere in that area. Then they leave with a bad impression of the state because they don't realize that the rest of Michigan is nothing like the Detroit Metro region.
Heh, I've got that beat! My first experience with Michigan was a school I went to in Flint God, that place made anywhere else look upbeat.
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