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by James Howard Kunstler

     I was in Detroit in 1990 — not my first time — poking around to get a deeper feel for the place so I could write a chapter about it in The Geography of Nowhere. At mid-day, I was driving on one of the great avenues that radiates out of the old Beaux Arts  fan of streets that emanates from the Grand Circus at the heart of downtown — Woodward or Cass or Gratiot, I forget. It was a six or eight laner, and everything along both sides was either some kind of social service installation or vacant. There was no traffic, by which I mean not merely a smooth flow of cars, but no other cars whatsoever. For at least a mile, my rent-a-car was the only vehicle on the street. Finally I saw another car up ahead, in my lane, coming straight at me. It continued bearing down on me, until the last 100 feet or so when it veered around me with an indignant blare of the horn. It was only about then that I noticed a sign indicating that I was on a one-way street. Downtown Detroit was so empty that I could drive a good mile the wrong way without knowing it.

      Detroit’s decline and fall was long and gruesome. Back then, just outside the downtown of 1920s skyscrapers, there were whole neighborhoods of formerly magnificent old mansions in the most amazing states of dilapidation, with sagging porches, chimneys tilting at impossible angles, and whole exterior walls missing to reveal eerie dollhouse-like vignettes of rooms painted different colors, formerly lived in. These were built by the wealthy magnates of the Great Lakes frontier — the timber and copper kings, manufacturers of paint, coal stoves,  etc — before the car industry was even a gleam in  Henry Ford’s flinty eye. Over the 1990s they were all torched in the annual Halloween ritual called Devil’s Night. The next time I came back to Detroit, there were wildflower meadows where those ruined mansions had been. In a mere century, all that grandeur had arisen and been erased.

     The grandest ruin of Detroit is the much-photographed main train station, with its attached office tower. The old neo-classical hulk had been neglected for so many decades that mature ailanthus trees were growing out of the parapets. I was back in downtown Detroit, around Cadillac Square, in the1990s shooting some “walk-and-talk” for a documentary at rush hour on a weekday evening and it was like the night of the living dead there. The old Hudson’s department store was dark and empty and the Statler Hotel had plywood sheets over every window. (It was demolished in 2005.) We were the only humans in the vicinity at 5:30 pm.

     It’s fitting that Detroit is the first great American city to officially bite the dust, because it produced the means of America’s suicidal destruction: the automobile. Of course you could argue that the motorcar was an inevitable product of the industrial era — and I would not bother to enlist a mob of post-doc philosophy professors to debate that — but the choices we made about what to do with the automobile is another matter. What we chose was to let our great cities go to hell and move outside them in a car-dependent utopia tricked out as a simulacrum of “country living.” The entire experiment of suburbia can, of course, be construed as historically inevitable, too, but is also destined to be abandoned — and sooner than most Americans realize.

     Finally, what we’ll be left with is a tremendous continental-sized vista of waste and desolation, the end product of this technological thrill ride called Modernity. It’s hard to find redemption in this story, unless it’s a world made by hand, with all its implications for a return to human-ness.

     What happened to Detroit will come to all the other great American metroplexes in time, but perhaps not in the same way. So-called urban experts like Ed Glaeser at Harvard (The Triumph of the City), and other exalted idiots just don’t get it. These cities attained a scale of operation that just can’t be sustained beyond the twilight of cheap fossil fuels. They will all contract massively — some of them, such as Phoenix and Las Vegas will disappear altogether. The lucky ones will reconstitute themselves at much smaller scale around their old harbors or riverfronts. The ones burdened with too many grandiose mega-structures (New York, Chicago) will choke to death on the liabilities they represent. The reason for this can be found in the basic equations around the cost and supply of energy resources and the consequent impairments of capital formation. In short, neither the affordable energy nor the money will be there to run things as we’re used to running them. The voodoo economists of the ivy League, the White House, the Federal Reserve, and The New York Times are utterly clueless about how this works.

     Other idiots want to dedicate the ruins of Detroit, and places like it, to “urban farming.” This represents yet another layer of misunderstanding of how the world works. Detroit and most other cities occupy important geographical sites (in this case a river between two Great lakes). Some kind of urban human settlement will continue to occupy that site in the future.  It will just be smaller, less complex, and almost certainly less hideous than the disgraceful tangle of freeways, casinos, 7-Eleven shops, and rotting bungalows that remains on-the-ground there now. Farming is what happens outside the urban settlement (though gardening is another matter). There’s plenty of room in the rest of Michigan for farming.

     By the way, the vast donut of prosperous suburbs around the ruins of Detroit are not long for this world either. Their wealth will prove to be just as transitory as the wealth embodied by those bygone inner mansion neighborhoods of the pre-1900 Detroit, and the detritus will be harder to clean up there because it is spread so far and wide. That particular lesson remains to be learned all over the rest of the USA, but with crude oil at $108-a-barrel this morning, a smack upside America’s thick-boned head is probably not far from landing.

    How the legal aspects of Detroit’s bankruptcy get worked out will just be a sideshow outside the main tent of greater industrial era collapse and the practical demographic alterations of everyday life we can look forward to.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

730 Responses to “Requiem for Detroit” Subscribe

  1. janet July 28, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    even though janet doesn’t appreciate you I do.

    ==========

    Nice try to drive a wedge between us. Regardless of what carol says I do appreciate her posts. Most of the time we agree. On a few issues we have differences but that does not lessen my appreciation of carol.

    I agree with you, dot, that carol is one of the best posters here.

    Now let’s here from “dot dot dot”, since it is so easy for trolls to create accounts and post here.

    At least you are helping toward the goal of 1,000 posts. Though I doubt we will make it this week. I have not been posting much at all since I have my family to care for, and lots of house work and gardening to do.

    But it’s all good. Don’t worry be happy.

    • Neon Vincent July 28, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      “Now let’s here from “dot dot dot”, since it is so easy for trolls to create accounts and post here.”

      At least it isn’t as easy as it was the first few weeks of the new format, when posters found out how easy it was to impersonate each other by filling out the name box with another person’s nom de net. That made things too easy for everyone to post!

      Speaking of trolls and trolling, psychologists have been examining the behavior and motivations of trolls. Watch the video at the link and see if you recognize yourself or other posters here.

      http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/02/more-on-science-of-trolling.html

      • Karah August 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

        Wow…how desperate are you to get people redirected to YOUR site. You could have just embedded the video like the others…I get it…you’re so different and original. :o/

        Your shameless self promotion is more repellent than watching two commenters hit an unravelling ball of trivialities back and forth. -.-

    • Elmendorf August 1, 2013 at 2:51 am #

      Janet said about Carol:
      Regardless of what carol says I do appreciate her posts.
      **********************************************************************************

      REGARDLESS. This is truly a sentence that only a complete moron would make. How can you appreciate ANYTHING about a person REGARDLESS of their behavior? This is almost like “my country right or wrong” which used to be the calling card of jingoists who couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag but it’s IDENTICAL in logic to your statement.

      Liberals who think like toothless gomers. Figures.

      E.

  2. janet July 28, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    LIES ABOUT THE FED

    Have you been brainwashed about the Fed by “alternative” media?

    Check your brainwashing. See how many of these lies you have been brainwashed to believe:

    1) .. The Fed actually prints money

    2) .. The Federal Reserve is spending money wastefully

    3) .. The Fed is causing hyperinflation

    4) .. The amount of cash available has grown tremendously

    5) .. The gold standard would make prices more stable

    6) .. The Fed is causing food and gas prices to rise

    7) .. Quantitative easing has not helped job growth

    8) .. Tying the U.S. dollar to commodities would solve everything

    9) .. Ending the Fed would make the financial system more stable

    10 .. The Fed can’t do anything else to help job growth

    11) .. The Fed can’t easily unwind all of this stimulus

    So, how did you do? How brainwashed are you? How many of the above myths do you actually believe? If you are a member of the doom and gloom brigade of CFN, you should recognize your brainwashing. Don’t be so gullible? Don’t believe everything you see on the Web.

  3. janet July 28, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    TPTB want the Keystone pipeline. Obama said no in Jan. 2012. CFN wizards said: “Obama is just postponing because it is an election year. As soon as the year is up, Obama will approve the pipeline because that is what TPTB want.”

    Wrong. Jan. 2013 came and went with no approval from Obama. In fact, Obama seems to be raising even more objections now to Keystone.

    WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama called into question the number of jobs that would be created from the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in an interview with the New York Times released on Saturday.

    The “puppet” Obama seems to have the ability to tell TPTB to go fuck themselves.

  4. janet July 28, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    ^Now let’s hear from “dot dot dot”, since it is so easy for trolls to create accounts and post here.

  5. janet July 28, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    ^Don’t believe everything you see on the Web.

    Be a critical thinker. Learn to distinguish opinion from fact.

    Learn to look for evidence to support claims and critically evaluative sources.

  6. jim e July 28, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Speaking of Devil’s Night… Any one of you at Morrison in 82? 31 years ago…
    and BTW OIL is Rich… You are Spot On JHK…
    Enjoyed the CAST w/Mr. Hall…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_view_of_Red_Rocks_Amphitheatre,_January_2013.jpg

  7. jim e July 28, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    And from the HEART… Deep South…

    Buckets of rain, buckets of tears Got all them buckets comin’ out of my ears Buckets of moonbeams in my hand You got all the love, honey baby I can stand
    I been meek, and hard like an oak I seen pretty people disappear like smoke Friends will arrive, friends will disappear If you want me, honey baby I’ll be here
    Like your smile, and your fingertips Like the way that you move your hips I like the cool way you look at me [ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/buckets-of-rain-lyrics-bob-dylan.html ] Everything about you is bringing me Misery
    Little red wagon, little red bike I ain’t no monkey but I know what I like I like the way you love me strong and slow I’m takin’ you with me, honey baby When I go
    Life is sad, life is a bust All ya can do is do what you must You do what you must do and ya do it well I’ll do it for you, honey baby Can’t you tell?

    Read more: BOB DYLAN – BUCKETS OF RAIN LYRICS

  8. jim e July 28, 2013 at 4:01 am #

    We’ve been missing the heat but I’m counting on August…



  9. jim e July 28, 2013 at 4:28 am #



  10. jim e July 28, 2013 at 4:42 am #



    • jim e July 28, 2013 at 5:22 am #

      JAMES… IS YOUR FAVORED DEAD TUNE ALABAMA GETAWAY?

      Remember that your hate for me is rooted in your companion and friend, Hunter, who dismissed ME!

  11. Nastarana July 28, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Janet, for anti-Semitism, you had best check out that link Carol was crying about no one reading.

    Dr. Jones does not mince words about his beliefs, or theories, or whatever they are. He has some interesting things to say, but a little bit goes a looong way.

  12. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Nice try to drive a wedge between us. Regardless of what carol says I do appreciate her posts. Most of the time we agree. On a few issues we have differences but that does not lessen my appreciation of carol.

    I agree with you, dot, that carol is one of the best posters here.

    Aw shucks, janet, I could never hate you. I still love you despite our little spat, and I’m sorry for saying those terrible things to you. I didn’t mean any of it. I don’t want anyone, most of all you, to fuck themselves up the ass….not even these horrible right-wing creeps here. Love, not hate, will keep us together. I also appreciate your posts here and believe you to be one of the best posters here at CFN as well. Without your presence, this place wouldn’t be worth visiting.



  13. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Dr. Jones does not mince words about his beliefs, or theories, or whatever they are. He has some interesting things to say, but a little bit goes a looong way.

    True. That link was like a rich layer cake, and by no means do I want anyone to believe I subscribe to Jones’ ideology, because I don’t, but that doesn’t preclude me from reading him with a critical mind, and some of what he says has validity. These issues are amazingly complex and can’t always be boiled down to a simple, binary equation.

    For example, his handling of Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis of Sade and how his thinking and strategy is alive and well today was astute and accurate, imo. I believe this is precisely what is going on, so he nailed it in this case, but there other things I don’t agree with him about, namely who and what he attempts to blame this all on. That’s too easy. He seems to believe the Catholic Church is beyond reproach and was attacked and destroyed by outside forces. Apparently, he never listened to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, because Sheen, prescient as he was if not equally arrogant, asserted the Church would destroy itself from the inside out, meaning it would implode. And damn if he wasn’t correct.



    Whilst Sheen was waxing on about the evil and scourge of Communism, priests were raping little boys and girls. It doesn’t get anymore ironic than that. And of course, despite Sheen’s disparaging rhetoric about evil Communism, it’s exactly what America is now…..Corporate Communism, and the Catholics are as responsible as any other group for enabling it. I can’t tell you how many Catholics I know who worship the corporate model and all things corporate.

    • Nastarana July 28, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      I do know how to read critically, thank you very much.

      Jones has a number of blind spots. He skirts around the edges of holocaust denial, and refused, in an interview to which I listened, to denounce that outrageous forgery, the Protocol of the Elders of Zion. He also seems to be something of a monarchist. In a mostly excellent article about Newton, he described James II as the “legitimate monarch” of the UK. James was legitimate only if you accept that the Tudors were legitimate.

      In respect of his views on English history, he strikes me as yet another Catholic historian who will not or cannot face the fact that eclessiastical support for the Lancastrian party was always a grave error.

      • Janos Skorenzy July 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

        Forgery? Because the Jews say so? There is evidence both ways on that. But the main point: Even if it is a forgery, does that mean its wrong? Do you want the facts or do you want the Truth? Many novels contain much of the latter do they not? Jews are masters of conflation you see. As if fiction means falsity. In fact, the Protocols was written or spoken by a mind of genius, be it a Jew or a Gentile trying to expose them.

        Remember, the things you have said are enough to damn you for life in the mind of the Jews. They brook no opposition. So be careful about throwing people to the lions. Don’t help them do that in order to win favor with them in other words.

    • Janos Skorenzy July 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      A great mind no doubt, but dose he seem a little histrionic to you? Almost a queen? His contemporaries thought him to be “Hollywood” but the decades have revealed the inner side of what that means.

      The Third Secret of Fatima warned against corruption from within the highest levels of the Church – both the sins of impurity (homosexuality) and apostasty. So it was withheld. Why would the Popes reveal that which would condemn them to every eye?

      • Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

        They say he had a huge cock and liked to use it.

    • Elmendorf July 31, 2013 at 2:38 am #

      I’m beginning to wonder if you’re MIKA and not ASOKA. Mika was a Jew who thought the Vatican was responsible for most world evils. Well, you’re both crazier than a March hare because if you look at the CEOs of the vast majority of media and banking companies, you most certainly do NOT see “Catholics” running the show.

      Do you want the full list so I can embarrass you utterly?? Five of the six media conglomerates that essentially control all world media are headed by Jews. Banking is much the same, even in government banking. But it’s all about your Catholic observation, “Carol”, because we wouldn’t want facts to step in the way of your propaganda.

      E.

  14. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Read more: BOB DYLAN – BUCKETS OF RAIN LYRICS

    Dylan is a disgusting hypocrite like so many his age.



    And don’t give me that “starving artist” bullshit excuse for his making this commercial.

    • Elmendorf July 31, 2013 at 2:40 am #

      And what the fuck are you making of YOUR life, “Carol”? You and Janet sit behind your fucking keyboards here day in and day out proving that you are effete bitchez with absolutely not a scintilla of a life.

      E.

  15. Karah July 28, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Psalm 46:1,2

  16. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Psalm 46:1,2

    Psalm 144: 1-2

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6509824597_cb27b0bed5.jpg

  17. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Back to Detroit. It appears right-wingers, once again, have no respect for the law. The Michigan State Constitution explicitly states in no uncertain terms

    “The accrued financial benefits of each pension plan and retirement system of the state and its political subdivisions shall be a contractual obligation thereof which shall not be diminished or impaired thereby”

    Thankfully, Michigan’s AG, Bill Schuette, is willing to step in and uphold the state constitution much to the chagrin of the criminal right-wingers. The last time I checked, if you break the law, you are a criminal. It’s clear as clear can be that the Michigan law protects the pensions and healthcare benefits of the Detroit city retirees. If you support the impairment of these benefits, then you support criminality, and you are no better than those who called for the public lynching of Zimmerman, the law be damned. You don’t like the law, change it, but don’t advocate criminal behavior and act as though you’re above the law.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324564704578631891284173474.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    The Michigan attorney general said Saturday that he plans to represent city retirees in the Detroit bankruptcy case because their pensions are protected by the state constitution.

    The announcement from Attorney General Bill Schuette could set up a legal battle with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, whom the governor appointed. Messrs. Snyder and Orr have argued that cuts to the unfunded portion of city pensions are necessary to help restructure more than $18 billion in long-term liabilities in Detroit. The unfunded portion is estimated at $3.5 billion.

    Mr. Orr’s detailed plan for cuts has yet to be submitted to the bankruptcy court in Detroit that is handling the case. The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection on July 18, becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.

    After some preliminary motions, the court is expected to turn quickly to whether Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Unions and pension funds are expected to argue that Mr. Snyder, a Republican, improperly approved the bankruptcy filing because of the state constitutional protection for pensions, a position that could be bolstered by Mr. Schuette’s entry into the case.

    “The emergency manager respects the attorney general’s concern for Detroit’s pensioners,” said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Mr. Orr. “This is an important issue that will be decided, appropriately, by a federal bankruptcy judge.”

    The governor’s spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said, “This is an important issue, and we appreciate and support efforts to get clarity and help determine best path moving forward that respects and is fair to pensioners and all parties.”

    But in the past the governor and emergency manager have insisted that unfunded pension obligations should be treated as an unsecured debt, putting pensioners in the same category as some municipal bondholders. Under Mr. Orr’s plan, they would receive less than 10 cents on the dollar to repay their debt.

    Mr. Schuette said in a statement Saturday that the city’s retired workers who were promised benefits shouldn’t be caught in the middle of the city’s bid for financial restructuring.

    “Retirees may face a potential financial crisis not of their own making, possibly a result of pension-fund mismanagement,” he said.

    Michigan is almost alone in the nation with its explicit protection of public pension benefits in its state constitution. Because of that protection, the issue is sure to become contentious when U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes is expected to take up the matter in the coming weeks.

    Mr. Schuette, also a Republican, said he would join the Detroit federal bankruptcy case filed last week “on behalf of Southeast Michigan pensioners who may be at risk of losing their hard-earned benefits.”

    Mr. Schuette added that Michigan’s constitution is “crystal clear” in stating that pension obligations may not be diminished or impaired.

    • Neon Vincent July 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      I’m glad to see that Schuette is taking the side of Detroit in this fight. Earlier, he issued a ruling that the Detroit Institute of Art’s collections are off-limits to Detroit’s creditors. It looks like one can overestimate the hatred of Detroit in Michigan politics.

      That written, I’m cynical about this. First, this is going to be a fight between the state and the federal governments, and the feds will win on the basis of the Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution. Schuette’s rulings then become so much posturing. Second, Schuette is notorious for populist grandstanding. He has done it for the past two years over gas prices, pledging to fight price gouging. He’s up for re-election next year, and would like to keep his job, which would put him in position to be the next Republican nominee for Governor. It would be in character for him to run as a “maniac…who promises to allow suburbanites to keep their McMansions and their commutes.”

      http://crazyeddiethemotie.blogspot.com/2013/06/both-parties-upset-about-gas-prices-as.html

      • Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

        I agree. This could be a ruse by Schuette to grandstand and get reelected, but do you think the Federal government will get involved and bail-out Detroit, or will the Dems and the Obama admin abandon the Little People once again as they did in Wisconsin? I mean, I thought this was the Dems’ base. If it is, and officially they’ve proclaimed it is, then why are they not pandering to their base? Could it be it’s really not their base, but they feign as though it is? Could it be that their feigning is enough to lock this so-called “official” base even though in their actions they repeatedly abandon the Little People? I think so. When will the dummy Little People catch on, if ever?

    • Elmendorf July 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      You forget that there is a force majeure clause in almost every contractual agreement such that if there’s a complete breakdown of systems, all bets are off.

      You criticize “right-wingers” but, as anyone knows, it’s the ultra-liberal mayor and his predecessors who spent like drunken sailors but, gee, let’s not talk about that.

      I don’t give a damn what the Michigan Constitution says, you cannot get blood from a turnip and the entire state of Michigan couldn’t pay that amount if it were debt of the entire state. Detroit’s debts are larger than the current California debt … by a lot.

      I’m sure lots of left-wingers running for office in 2014 will posture for the people to save those pensions but unless the laws of arithmetic are repealed, no one but Uncle Sam can save those pensions.

      E.

  18. janet July 28, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Neon Vincent said: “Here is another entry with a video about the science of trolls and trolling…”

    =========

    Thanks.

    The more we can explain and illuminate the phenomenon of trolling, the more chance trolls will modify their own behavior.

    Your posts and videos are helpful.

  19. janet July 28, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    The governor of Detroit, the attorney general of Michigan, and the city manager of Detroit all have a duty to uphold and defend the state constitution.

    In that sense they could all be called Oath Keepers. The governor wanted bankruptcy, so he chose a bankruptcy lawyer to be city manager. But the governor has failed his oath by appointing a city manager he knew would want to file for bankruptcy and the city manager has failed his oath by accepting the position (probably was swayed by the $275,000 carrot).

    I’m glad to see the Michigan attorney general, whose job it is to uphold the law, is not ignoring the governor’s illegal behavior.

  20. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Sticking with the topic of Detroit, Orr, the fraudulent right-winger who is managing the coup in Detroit wants to keep the taxpayer -funded Red Wings arena construction to continue unimpeded and on pace despite the city not being able to meet its obligations. Geez, do you think one of the reasons they can’t meet their obligations is because they spend money on shit like this, rather than on people. These taxpayer-funded stadiums are nothing more than a subsidy to wealthy owners and players allowing for their exorbitant profits and salaries at the expense of many living on the margins. It’s disgusting and obscene.

    http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2013/07/26/Orr-says-Detroit-bankruptcy-wont-halt-400M-Red-Wings-arena-plans/UPI-85701374870350/?spt=hs&or=sn

    DETROIT, July 26 (UPI) — The emergency manager overseeing Detroit’s finances says the city’s bankruptcy filing won’t halt plans for a taxpayer-funded, $400 million hockey arena.

    Kevin Orr, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to oversee Detroit’s finances, said building a new arena for the NHL Detroit Red Wings will promote economic growth, CNNMoney reported Friday.

    “I know there’s a lot of emotional concern about should we be spending the money,” Orr said. “But frankly that’s part of the economic development. We need jobs. If it is as productive as it’s supposed to be, that’s going to be a boon to the city.”

    Michigan state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer said the arena will not benefit the city enough to justify the cost to taxpayers.

    “If you want people to live in the city, and not just visit to go to games, you have to invest in schools, in having the police to respond to calls,” she said. “There are so many investments that should trump a sports stadium.”

    The legislature approved funds for the stadium in December.

    Whitmer said she wants the matter revisited in light of the city’s deteriorating financial situation.

    “If the vote was held today, since the bankruptcy, I wouldn’t put my money on it passing,” she said.

    The stadium should not be funded by taxpayers, but rather by the owners and/or players. Also, retirees should be required to stay in the local area if they want their pensions so those funds can be recirculated in the local economy rather than the economies of Florida and/or Arizona. They don’t like that, they can forfeit their retirement benefits. So, all those retirees who have taken their small pot of gold South to Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, it’s time to pack up and head back to the city that gave you those benefits.

    • Karah July 29, 2013 at 12:03 am #

      “… retirees should be required to stay in the local area if they want their pensions so those funds can be recirculated in the local economy rather than the economies of Florida and/or Arizona.”

      Once the pension is paid, you can’t dictate how it’s spent. Only the fed can dictate how money is circulated. If states want more money invested in them then they should not allow any businesses that are governed out of state like Wal-mart. (Every dollar a Wal-mart makes goes immediately to a bank in Arkansas.) Some people like cold weather and snow. Maybe the state should target those people and what they like to do in the cold weather. Ski? Snow /ice sculpture? Nuclear fission?

  21. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    MLK would be proud, wouldn’t he, of Kevyn (make sure you use the y versus the i….it makes him unique, somehow, even though that couldn’t be further from the truth) Orr? The final result of the Civil Rights movement in just one generation. All that hard work to win a place at the tyrannical, fascist banquet table.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20130324/NEWS01/303240246/New-Detroit-emergency-financial-manager-Kevyn-Orr-takes-on-challenge-of-a-lifetime

    Right from the start, Dorothy Orr was determined that her second-born son would stand out from the crowd.

    She began with a single vowel.

    “You see, his mother was a teacher, and his mother wanted her Kevyn to look different, so she put a Y in it,” the 80-year-old Orr recalled during an interview in the sanctuary of her Presbyterian church here last week, a few days after her son was tapped to become Detroit’s first emergency financial manager.

    “The Y sounds the same as an I,” she says. “But when you see it, it’s distinctive.”

    He already has become a target for residents and civil rights activists who object to the state’s intervention in Detroit — an irony that would no doubt sadden Orr’s late father, an A.M.E. minister who marched to support the rights of south Florida’s African-American minority in the 1960s and ’70s.

    Let’s not forget that he was central in implementing the Obama Admin’s plan to salvage the Too Big To Fail Chrysler, so it helps explain why the Obama Admin has been so oddly absent in both rhetoric and deed on this issue of Detroit.

    In 2009, Orr took part in the historic six-week-long bankruptcy proceeding that saw Chrysler sold to Fiat with help from the U.S. Treasury, a move that saved the nation’s No. 3 automaker from almost certain liquidation.

    Remember, Chrysler was owned by a hedge fund, Cerberus, that purchased it from Mercedes only a couple of years prior. Once again, the Obama Admin opted to bail-out the wealthy elite rather than the Little People and Kevin Orr, the son of a Civil Rights leader and activist, was the technical manager in charge for the Plutocracy. Like everything else, the Plutocracy, with the murders of MLK and Malcolm X, usurped the Civil Rights movement and navigated it to their means and end. Today, the Civil Rights movement is a Trojan Horse for a right-wing agenda with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton playing their parts as the stooges.

  22. alpha mail July 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    awwwwww!!! “Carol” took the stick out of her ass long enough to apologize to “janet”. Now these two bitchez can continue their on going, putrid, vapor filled “discussion” of what’s wrong with the world and the “everbody’s wrong ‘cept me.” charade. These two are the strongest argument for forced abortion I’ve ever seen. Too bad their moms didn’t have the sense to do it.

    • Janos Skorenzy July 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      Trust me, they are the same person. Like two hands jammed in the pockets fighting each other over the jewels.

  23. BackRowHeckler July 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Carol Newquist and Janet is same dude talking to himself. There are other names, too. He is on this site all the time; must be a shut in or some lonely soul with no life other than CFNation.

    –BRH

  24. janet July 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Hey, Marlin, you going to the Great Marlborough Gun and Knife Show this year?

    http://gunshowtrader.com/gun-shows/marlboro-gun-knife-show/

    Janet (who is not Carol and not Asoka and not Nicole)

  25. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Janet (who is not Carol and not Asoka and not Nicole)

    Even though it’s actually spelled Nichole.

  26. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Carol Newquist and Janet is same dude talking to himself.

    It should be “are”, not “is” and after it you should have the word “the” before the word “same”. We’re curious, who are the “other names, too?”

  27. Carol Newquist July 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Hey, Marlin, you going to the Great Marlborough Gun and Knife Show this year?

    Of course the creep will be there. He has to purchase yet another metal dick that goes boom to make up for the inadequacy of his biological one that does nothing but leak urine.

  28. BackRowHeckler July 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    For Krissake Asoka-Carol-Janet etc… let up on me! I’m the only friend you have here.

    –BRH

    • BackRowHeckler July 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Everybody else wants you banned. I say go ahead and use as many names as you want, post as many times as you want, say whatever the hell you want to say!

      I used to be a big fan of Voltaire.

      –BRH

      • progress4what July 28, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

        Nichole, janet, carol, karah (or whatever) – all female names with two syllables,and all are quite likely to be the work of the original poster known as asoka.

        All have in common a desire to prove JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER and anyone who agrees with him about anything of significance – wrong.

        I say JHK should ban all of these troll clones because they do him commercial harm.

        On what basis do you defend these trolls, Marlin/WSP/BRH?

        • anti dod July 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

          JHK has ignored all pleas from posters about banning ‘the entity’ so far.

        • Karah July 29, 2013 at 12:12 am #

          “commercial harm”

          How is anything about the comment section of this website a threat to JHK’s ability to sell and make a profit off his ideas?

          We should be paying for the privilege to comment?

      • Nastarana July 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

        What happened? Did you actually read something he wrote?

        First Camus, now Voltaire. The level of taste on this forum is abysmal.

  29. anti dod July 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Since year 2000, USA population has increased by 35? million.
    Am-nasty will increase it by another 30? 90? million.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

    Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

    The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality. ……………….etc

  30. ozone July 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    On bullshittery, bamboozlement, bullshitters and bamboozlers:

    “It really is just an obscene waste of people’s time and effort and energy to have to continually have to plow through all that reality distortion to get the word to people about where we are. It’s a seriously destructive distraction and diversion, and the consequences of all that are much worse than simply being an annoyance. It leaves people baffled and deluded about issues of the present, and completely unprepared for the near and long term future. It’s a grotesque disservice to everybody to be doing what many people are doing, which basically amounts to deceiving and confusing people, whether it’s deliberate, or just plain ignorance and even sheer stupidity.” -John Eagan

    Why thank you Mr.Eagan for that cleansing outburst!

    “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” -Robot

    And thank you as well, Robot!

    i post these snippets only as a way of saying that being misinformed (whether deliberately or casually) leaves us in very real danger.

    • ZrCrypDiK July 29, 2013 at 2:21 am #

      The socks (puppets of *imagination*) ate you – hahaha!!! (hate U?)

      Allz’y'allz need to realize – Q not the best *SPELLCHECKER*, and you gunna have to go to india/china, to compete for those slave labour jobs!!

      Don’t sweat the 400+PPM CO2 – the methane leaks from *THOSE* “frack” jobs and the ocean are going to *CRATER* us much “sooner” (haha any sooner fans?)…

  31. janet July 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    First Camus, now Voltaire. The level of taste on this forum is abysmal. –Nastarana

    I would like to know what you consider a higher level of reading taste.

    Donna Tartt?
    Walt Whitman?
    Yevtushenko?
    D.H. Lawrence?
    Neruda?
    Nietzsche?
    Tolstoy?

    • ZrCrypDiK July 29, 2013 at 2:27 am #

      Nice 1 sock (do you ever shut the F* up? – just *ASKIN’*). Spamming as you do, a list of authors, is hardly *WORTHWHILE*. You should just chug a 12-gauge(If’nz ya get my *drift*)/./

  32. janet July 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Republicans fear Obamacare so much because they fear it will work and therefore people will get more comfortable than they are with the idea of government being helpful to citizens.

    The Republicans want to shred Medicare and social security for the same reason: not because they do not work, but because they function so very well and are very popular programs.

    Anything that increases cynicism and mistrust of government, the Republicans support because it helps the GOP. They want people to think they can only rely on themselves and should be armed and fearful of their fellow citizens and mistrustful of central government.

  33. Arn Varnold July 29, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    Re: Your pod-cast with Charlie Hall.
    What a delightful guy; and he’s an economist to boot.
    Great interview, thanks…

    • Arn Varnold July 29, 2013 at 3:14 am #

      I should have added that I also enjoyed his (Charlie Hall’s) straightforward view of economics. The toxic mix of what passes for economics today is not even good voodoo…

  34. Carol Newquist July 29, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Once the pension is paid, you can’t dictate how it’s spent.

    Sure, I can’t dictate it and wouldn’t, but “We The People” can. If a government employee wants their retirement benefits, they must prove they live locally. It’s pretty simple. This shouldn’t be an issue if people really love, and are loyal to, their city and local area. If people don’t love their city and local area and can’t wait to get the fuck out, then they don’t deserve to suck money out of the local economy……meaning, they’re no better than the corporations who come in, exploit, and then dump a locale for “better” climes.

    • Nastarana July 29, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      How about if you work for the city, any city, you must live within the city limits? Would you support that idea?

      • Carol Newquist July 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

        Yes, I like your ideas in relation to local economies, believe it or not. My suggestion(s) here are in keeping with that and I had you in mind when I mentioned it.

    • Karah August 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      “If a government employee wants their retirement benefits, they must prove they live locally.”

      In keeping with this line of thought…or lack of thought…retired military must live near a military base or only in the United States or only in a country which has an American military base. They must shop on base for 75% of their plastic stuff. That’s real simple because American bases have the best of everything at a discount!
      Most retired military get jobs in the city, county, state government anyway because they’re used to “serving”, following and enforcing orders without debate, dictating what people do with resources to maintain order and wearing the uniforms associated with all the jobs. They’re REAL Americans. America is this simple, one-minded place that sacrifices free enterprise for the good of the local communities and subsequently the Nation.

      Next on the list…

      Marywanna. LOCAL crop will not only keep money local, will keep everyone sitting on their ass at home trolling the internet needing more and more gov’t assistance to protect their way of life (keeping out the competition from Canada and Mexico) by taxing them just enough to pay for all the policing, health insurance and local road maintenance to carry Ford F150s guided by GPS robotics, filled with pizza and beer, smoothly to their home. Simple!

  35. ozone July 29, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    And so here we are in the stacks of the “Oh yeah? Whaddaya gonna DO about it?” files. (You know, pawing through these is like peering into a crystal ball… you can see the future!)

    Hey, here’s one:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/03/central-falls-rhode-island-bankruptcy_n_1852982.html

    …You say the bondholders were made whole and the pensioners got the shaft? Innnnteresting.

    We should not trust the central gum’mint or it’s courts, because it’s packed chock-full of Democrats and Republicans who do the will of sociopaths when enough do-re-mi is shoveled onto the scales. “Services” are going to get thinner and thinner, trumpeted bullshittery aside.
    We’re going to have to rely on each other (hard-won and easily-lost local trust networks) whether we like it or not.

  36. sprezzatura July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Bold
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    Col 1Col 2

  37. Elmendorf July 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Notice what Janet and Carol have done to CFN. My post today, my first post in 3 days, is the ONLY post today. This is why I wrote a private email to JHK and told him the blog is finished unless he limits posts to a max of 5 per day to any poster. He must also make identity faking be much harder.

    The technology of this blog has actually gotten much worse but the content has been wholly shanghaied by the two/one bitchez. CFN … R.I.P.

    E.

    • handyman July 31, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      A crybaby as well as a tattletail? Are you at least potty-trained? Damn, dude, if you can’t “dazzle with brilliance or baffle with bullshit” I reckon whining will just have to to suffice.

      • Elmendorf August 1, 2013 at 2:42 am #

        That all you got, genius? Just look above your post and mine. There have been ZERO posts today. Lively place!! Go back to school and learn the difference between calling it like it is and “whining”. Almost nobody likes your bitch buddies and they even went at each other in a cat fight higher up. Then again, maybe you’re just one of them because the technology of this blog lets anybody be anybody.

        When I say that CFN is finished, based on what you see above your post that is a FACT, not “whining”. I tell the truth. If you can’t handle it then go back to noninvolvement from whence you came.

        E.

    • ZrCrypDiK July 31, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      I think *they* forgot to tell you, it’s *NEXT WEEK* (bedazzled)…

  38. Karah August 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Joseph Schumpeter’s theory is that the success of capitalism will lead to a form of corporatism and a fostering of values hostile to capitalism, especially among intellectuals. The intellectual and social climate needed to allow entrepreneurship to thrive will not exist in advanced capitalism; it will be replaced by socialism in some form. There will not be a revolution, but merely a trend in parliaments to elect social democratic parties of one stripe or another. He argued that capitalism’s collapse from within will come about as democratic majorities vote for restrictions upon entrepreneurship that will burden and destroy the capitalist structure, but also emphasizes non-political, evolutionary processes in society where “liberal capitalism” was evolving into democratic socialism because of the growth of workers’ self-management, industrial democracy and regulatory institutions.[17]
    Schumpeter emphasizes throughout this book that he is analyzing trends, not engaging in political advocacy.

    In his vision, the intellectual class will play an important role in capitalism’s demise.

    The term “intellectuals” denotes a class of persons in a position to develop critiques of societal matters for which they are not directly responsible and able to stand up for the interests of strata to which they themselves do not belong. One of the great advantages of capitalism, he argues, is that as compared with pre-capitalist periods, when education was a privilege of the few, more and more people acquire (higher) education. The availability of fulfilling work is, however, limited, and this lack, coupled with the experience of unemployment, produces discontent. The intellectual class is then able to organize protest and develop critical ideas.” -Wikipedia.org

    Or sell Iphones!

  39. Karah August 1, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Marshal Berman

    The pathos of all bourgeois monuments is that their material strength and solidity actually count for nothing and carry no weight at all, that they are blown away like frail reeds by the very forces of capitalist development that they celebrate. Even the most beautiful and impressive bourgeois buildings and public works are disposable, capitalized for fast depreciation and planned to be obsolete, closer in their social functions to tents and encampments than to “Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, Gothic cathedrals”. via Wikipedia.org

  40. Julian Curtis Lee August 3, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Jim’s personal accounts of Detroit are valuable. I wish I had been able to explore the town before all the burning, taking a lot of photographs. One thing I admire about Kunstler is that he is always consistent in his view and message. I pretty much agree with his analysis of American car hells, and speak of the problem as well

  41. Elmendorf August 3, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    The hideous truth, the truth that no one dare utter in Obama’s Orwellian society is that the White Flight of the 1960s to the suburbs has been FULLY vindicated. And it’s not just Detroit that is a disaster, it’s inner city Philadelphia and Baltimore and Cleveland and and and … .

    White people didn’t leave for the suburbs because they hated black people. They saw the RESULTS of urban occupation by black people and THAT is what they hated. Homes not properly kept up. Increases in property and violent crime. They were simply selling their homes while they could at least break even or avoid a loss.

    Posters on CFN would love to say that race is “off topic” on this forum and that is complete and utter bullshit. Much of the urban decay JHK cites is NOT just bad architecture and corrupt city governments. The main reason is that the black community does not rein in its violent, thieving males and they do not take pride in the cleanliness and state of good repair of their homes.

    Do you really think it’s an “accident” that black ghettos are full of boarded up houses, houses with iron bars on the windows, graffiti everywhere, and filthy yards and streets? This is a major reason why I despise modern liberalism i.e., it seeks to shut its eyes to the obvious because it wants to disguise its FEAR of blacks by posing as appeasers and lovers.

    Even the history of slavery is riddled with bullshit. Who do you think rounded up would-be slaves for sale to white people. Black Africans, of course!! You don’t think whitey went into the jungle to round ‘em up, do you? Until the virtuecrats in our government stop with all this denial, there is zero hope of recovering our urban centers EVER.

    These liberal virtuecrats would have you believe that “profiling” is unethical. In fact, it’s the ONLY sensible thing to do when an ethnic group is responsible for an order of magnitude more crime. The collateral damage, of course, is that decent black people get victimized not only by black-on-black violence but they also SILENTLY get a lower social status for being blacks and for them I feel truth sympathy.

    E.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DETROIT IS THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE – The News Doctors - July 22, 2013

    [...] Requiem for Detroit [...]

  2. What The Future Holds - July 22, 2013

    [...] Requiem for Detroit [...]

  3. James Howard Kunstler – Requiem for Detroit - July 22, 2013

    [...] by James Howard Kunstler [...]

  4. Detroit breakdown | Brain Noise - July 23, 2013

    [...] note provides some basic clues. Writer James Kunstler provides clues in his latest blog essay, Requiem for Detroit, what is simply another repetition of clues he’s been telling people for years, including his [...]

  5. Jim Kunstler on what Detroit was, is and will be | The Evening Paper - July 25, 2013

    [...] Detroit’s decline and fall was long and gruesome. Back then, just outside the downtown of 1920s skyscrapers, there were whole neighborhoods of formerly magnificent old mansions in the most amazing states of dilapidation, with sagging porches, chimneys tilting at impossible angles, and whole exterior walls missing to reveal eerie dollhouse-like vignettes of rooms painted different colors, formerly lived in. These were built by the wealthy magnates of the Great Lakes frontier — the timber and copper kings, manufacturers of paint, coal stoves,  etc — before the car industry was even a gleam in  Henry Ford’s flinty eye. Over the 1990s they were all torched in the annual Halloween ritual called Devil’s Night. The next time I came back to Detroit, there were wildflower meadows where those ruined mansions had been. In a mere century, all that grandeur had arisen and been erased. – From Jim Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation blog [...]

  6. The Truth Hurts | trueoutsider - July 28, 2013

    [...] http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/requiem-for-detroit/ [...]

  7. "Green Nazis in Space": James J. O'Meara reviews Green Lantern | Counter-Currents Publishing - October 21, 2013

    […] See, most recently, his July 22 “Requiem for Detroit” here and his KunstlerCast #65: Virtual Tour of […]

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