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Detroit may spend $800 million to tear down homes

This goes to the essence of mainstream economic theory: Spend money to build houses, spend money to tear them down, spend money to build them, spend money to tear them down…and let it all be counted in the GDP numbers as “growth” and “jobs”:

One of the question haunting Detroit, as it works to extricate itself from bankruptcy, is how to address the reality of the city’s shrinking population…Today, a much-anticipated report from the city’s Blight Removal Task Force says that more than one in five structures is in some state of disrepair—and that about half of these should be torn down immediately…

It can take as little as three hours to demolish a house, but the process can be more consuming if properties contain asbestos or lead, thereby requiring extra care. Tearing down homes by the tens of thousands, which hasn’t been done before, could cost about $800 million, the report says. While the city has already obtained some blight-reduction funding from federal and state sources, it still needs at least a further $400 million. (That doesn’t include the additional $1 billion or so Detroit will need to address commercial and industrial eyesores.)

It’s astounding that, in a nation where homes are unaffordable for many people and the home ownership rate is declining, Detroit is still so unlivable and badly-run a place that they have vast numbers of homes to tear down.



  1. Oh come on, it isn’t that unbelievable. It has been run by Democrats and Progressives for decades. All that “we will take care of you no matter what” BS coupled with a side order of corruption, and you have a city where nearly half the people are functionally illiterate, the ones with real jobs have resorted to hiring private police forces (excuse me “security”) because the regular police are completely overwhelmed.

    In short, Detroit has become a 3rd world outpost in the USA.

    Comment by Zendo Deb — May 28, 2014 @ 12:23 pm - May 28, 2014

  2. It’s amazing to look at Detroit City in Google-Earth, block after block of empty lots and obviously-ruined homes and storefronts. Blocks with only two or three houses still standing. A sea of green and decaying streets. The vacant and collapsing industrial sites.

    If Pittsburgh was the Hearth, Detroit was the Nation’s Forge.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 28, 2014 @ 12:34 pm - May 28, 2014

  3. If they reduced the territory included in their municipality, unincorporating, selling off the rest or returning the property to the state, the actual city of Detroit might be able to survive. But doing this would require a business decision & commonsense.

    Comment by Marc Winger — May 28, 2014 @ 12:36 pm - May 28, 2014

  4. Why spend the money on tearing them down? Just erect fences and baracades around them and let them fall on their own. As cited previously, they are being ‘consumed’ by the environment anyway.

    Make a deal with urban carnivores. Want the brick? Timber? Go get it. It’s yours. Tell concrete companies to get their rock crushers here and take the brick, concrete and stone and use it to enhance or build product to use/sell. In Chicago, they remove the brick and reuse it.

    So, it costs this much money and there are “homeless” in the city? What’s wrong with this picture? Empty the roles of the people waiting for their “Obamaphones” and get em out there lot by lot. If you take ANY assistance you must go through a waiver process to NOT be on a dismantle crew. Block by block.

    Comment by Roger — May 28, 2014 @ 1:03 pm - May 28, 2014

  5. I think it’s time to bring in Omni Consumer Products.

    Comment by V the K — May 28, 2014 @ 1:10 pm - May 28, 2014

  6. Demography is destiny.

    Comment by EssEm — May 28, 2014 @ 3:26 pm - May 28, 2014

  7. Detroit used to be called the Paris of the west and had the best public schools in the nation. It has been in leftist control since the 1967 riots drove all the white people away. Detroit should be a liberal Utopia.

    The top Detroit Public Educator Otis Mathis is a poster boy for affirmative action he had to sue the historically black college he went to because it required an English proficiency test to get his degree after he failed 3times. He even kept his job after his video of a sex act on school grounds came out.

    Comment by Steve — May 28, 2014 @ 4:54 pm - May 28, 2014

  8. 1.) In Obama dollars, $800 million is just bit over an hour of government spending every single day of the year.

    2.) Since this is a shovel ready job, it would seem that it could be handled from some of the $800 BILLION Obambi and Joe picked up for “gassing go” in 2009 in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111–5).

    3.) Certainly, a beginning accountant should be able to find a lousy 4/5ths of a billion dollars in the cushions of the he American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111–5) sofa. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Stimulus program was run with anything approaching even 80% efficiency.

    4.) Since most of the slop in the he American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111–5) went to unions and passed back to the Democrat Party, it would seem that they could find a lousy $800 million to attend to the mess they created in totally mismanaging Detroit and in attempting to throttle the US automobile industry.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 28, 2014 @ 5:36 pm - May 28, 2014

  9. Demography is destiny.

    It has nothing to do with demography. Detroit is a hellhole because of socialism, nothing more.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 28, 2014 @ 8:56 pm - May 28, 2014

  10. @ Rattlesnake: I hate to play devil’s advocate, but are there any black-majority or black-led cities that are not hellholes? If there are, they are probably black conservatives, and the media wants to keep that hush-hush, which is why you don’t hear about those towns.

    Comment by Sean L — May 28, 2014 @ 11:41 pm - May 28, 2014

  11. I’m not denying that Black people are generally far worse off, more likely to commit crimes, live in corrupt cities, etc (by the way, there are a few affluent Black areas, such as Prince George’s County, Maryland and some Atlanta suburbs). Sure, there is a correlation between demographics and hellholishness, but I dispute a causation (the implication of such being that Black people are somehow genetically inferior to White people, which in addition to being a rather chilling thought is fundamentally flawed by how it arbitrarily classifies people based on their skin colour).

    Most of these cities were historically dominated by heavy industry, and most were major cities in the 1950’s when suburbanization started to explode and White people left the inner city (which Black people were usually prevented from doing because they weren’t allowed to own property in those places). I’m guessing the poverty of Black people originates from racist policies/de facto segregation up to the 1960’s, then the expansion of the welfare state in the 1960’s (and programs such as the “Model Cities Program,” which included cities such wonderful places as Detroit, Camden, Newark, and Oakland) made fathers obsolete in certain areas. But the free stuff would be tempting to anyone (and maybe the feeling of having been wronged so consinsently in the past contributed to that), which is presumably why voting Democrat became such a significant aspect of Black culture (just like LBJ intended). And then the narrative that conservatives are racist and the horrid state of inner city public schools are good ways to keep Black people in line.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 29, 2014 @ 5:33 pm - May 29, 2014


    “Prince George’s County, Maryland and some Atlanta suburbs”
    Govt affirmative action jobs. In DC an engineer with a PHD lost a promotion to an illiterate black man. The worst parts of Africa are those that didn’t experience Colonialism. Apartied South Africa’s biggest problem was immigration from worse nations. There is no black nation in the world, even those that export oil, where more than 1% of the natives live better than being on welfare in the US.

    Comment by Steve — May 29, 2014 @ 10:55 pm - May 29, 2014

  13. […] to Jeff’s Post, the website GooBing Detroit provides a fascinating document of the decay of America’s most […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Watching Detroit Succumb to Entropy — May 30, 2014 @ 1:58 pm - May 30, 2014

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