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Thread: NY Times Sunday Magazine Article - Broke Town, U.S.A.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    NY Times Sunday Magazine Article - Broke Town, U.S.A.

    Is this America’s future ?
    275 Comments

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    (It would take defaults by 40 cities with as much debt as Detroit to reach even $100 billion.)

    cities undone by foolhardy projects, but these cases are particular, not systemic.
    Had anybody heard of Meredith Whitney before ?

    Interesting lessons - is everybody willing to share in the blame and the consequences too ?

    Hopefully your fair community is not next case study/poster child.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Never heard of MW, but welcome to my world!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    If I recollect correctly, Vallejo's fortunes are tied closely to shipbuilding in general and naval shipbuilding in particular. Mare Island (the main shipyard) was closed in 1998, I think, and turned into the usual mix of condos and wildlife habitats (SWA masterplan, Lennar was the developer). Commercial shipbuilding has ebbed slowly since then as well, as the associated industrial compelx went away. Without manufacturing, the City's struggled ever since.

    Sure, mismanagement and union issues complicated matters, but the context for those problems is still one of declining fortunes in the city's underlying economy.. which effectively comprised of a transition over a mere 10 years from a manufacturing economy into a (rather undesirable) bedroom community. If the city still had its economic raison d'etre, it's manufacturing base, it would be on much better footing to deal with it's fiscal management issues.. if it would have those issues at all.

    I guess that's one question: cities like Vallejo are founded for and grew due to specific reasons.. specific sources of comparative advantage. If those sources are removed, should the cities still remain behind? Is there a graceful way for cities whose economic function has gone away to be absorbed into other nearby entities? Should there be state trusts and other entities that can take responsibility for such obsolete cities (cities in receivorship as you will), and provide over their transition, including planning for new industry and the like? If the Federal government is a source of economic activity - as it was in Vallejo - does it have a special responsibility to help that community transition once or as it extricates itself?
    Last edited by Cismontane; 07 Mar 2011 at 11:14 AM.

  4. #4
    Vallejo was also one of those places on the fringe where some people thought would become popular because closer inlaces were unaffordable. Turned out to be not the case.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I do not think we will see a rash of bankruptcies. But take a good look at what is happening to budgets in many states. Local government revenues are being slashed and politicians are also simultaneously tying the hands of local communities to raise new funds. The result will be cuts in local government services. Say goodbye to the library, pools, senior centers, recreational programs, extracurricular activities in the schools, streel lighting, the Main Street program, and more. Of course, that will also result in a wave of unemployed government workers.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    America is not broke. We have given all of our money to the wealthy and large corporations. The GOP and now the democratic party as well are only catering to the wealthy political donors. Most state governments would have the cash to support needed services if they only closed tax loopholes and/or actually required the wealthy to pay actual tax rates set by law. My local community is still awash in new 100k vehicles, but we barely have money to repair potholes and our streets are falling apart. Then the 100k vehicle owners sue the city for damage from driving over a pothole. Disgusting

    There is no future until we revolt. And I hate to say it- but all republican and democratic politicians and almost all republican voters should be dragged out and frickin shot. That's what I would do. In fact I may run for higher office. My platform? Kill republicans (except Tex Okie - he can just be thrown in prison until he repents).

    Edit to add the

    Lest anyone think I actually want to kill people.
    Last edited by imaplanner; 09 Mar 2011 at 2:54 PM.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Hyperbole much?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Hyperbole much?

    I'm also planning on throwing Maister in prison.

    What are anonymous web forums for if not for hyperbole?
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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