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July 15, 2014

Yesterday I linked to some potentially good news about Detroit . . .

. . . but the bad news keeps on coming. See "Thousands go without water as Detroit cuts service for nonpayment" or "Going Without Water in Detroit".

And this is moving eulogy for the Detroit that was

To live in Detroit is like having religion—it requires faith in unprovable and sometimes irrational things. To live in Detroit is to live in hope, and when people live in hope they have to ignore some things that they know are true. That’s just how hope works.

Comments

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JorgXMckie

I don't have the time right now to read all this, but I have a former student, a CPA who got an MPA, who is in charge of figuring out a lot about the finances of the Detroit water system. She assures me that most [she estimates over 80%] of delayed or non-payment for water in Detroit proper is not from lack of ability but due to the mindset. She supports this by telling me that about 50% of all water shutoffs for non-payment get paid within 24 hours, another 25% within 48 hours, and around 20% within a week. And the big corporate type customers spend a lot of time and money protesting the bills.

Since this 'problem' doesn't exist in other, equally distressed communities served by DWSS it would seem logical that it is indeed a mindset ["we don't have to pay, they won't do anything"] problem rather than an ability to pay problem.

JorgXMckie

Okay. I read the eulogy. This guy typifies in some ways what's wrong. He seems to believe that a) criminal activity can be ignored if you try hard enough, b) such criminal activity "just happens" like snow storms and all you can do is suffer and live with it, and c) "villages"/communities don't need any more defense than a belief that you can ignore the destroyers around you.

It would see that the place was worth defending, but not at the cost of giving up one's idealism. Too bad.

Larry

In the 1950s Detroit was one of the richest cities in the US and had been so for just about the entire 20th century. In only a few decades nearly all that wealth was gone and the city was a basket case. People have expressed optimism that the city will come back, but I can't imagine it will.

I had an office in the city for several years. It was eye-opening seeing all the abandoned buildings on my drive in. In the 1920s Detroit built a huge beautiful train station. Now it is in ruins.

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