Over the past few years America has been dealing with an economy that is eroding. The truth is everyone in some way has been affected by it. Not only citizens themselves but whole cities have actually gone under water recently. Although Obama has promising outlooks for the future, some cities have had to take action because their towns took a turn for the worse.
Let us look at Flint, Michigan, a city that breathed on the automobile industry for most of the 20th century. The population peaked in the 1960’s near 200,000, which is double the population in Flint today. Once the deindustrialization of our countries’ rust belt cities occurred, many people were left without jobs. In Flint’s case GM, which was headquartered there, downsized from 80,000 employees to 8,000. This was simply because all the unskilled labor was outsourced to places like China and Mexico, where land and labor are cheap. Unemployment in Flint is at a record high. No industry in the near future will revitalize Flint to be the way it used to when the automobile industry was here. This is what many folks in local government want to change.
What should America’s Rust Belt cities do with abandoned neighborhoods?
The way Flint is currently dealing with the issue of people leaving is simply by accepting it and trying to make the best of it. Government officials like Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genesee County, are supporting the demolition of over 3,000 Flint homes. This is necessary because many homes are being abandoned all over Flint due to the population decrease. The best way to grow in a situation like this is to downsize the city as a whole. These neighborhoods cannot be kept up and fixed without the money of tax payers that used to live here.
Over 1,500 houses have been destroyed in certain areas of the city where most of the houses were abandoned. Government officials want more of these bad areas destroyed just so Flint can get a fresh start. This is what is going to happen even more in the future thanks to a new law the State of Michigan passed, allowing local municipalities to buy abandoned land and foreclosures for cheap. Once the wrecking ball takes down enough houses in one area of the city, nature takes it place and it looks like nothing was ever built there.
Even though it sounds a little crazy to just bulldoze whole neighborhoods, the plan is actually very smart and will revitalize Flint in the long run. Moving the concentration of population to nice areas and beautification of the Downtown area will also make Flint look more attractive. Hopefully someday soon, not only Flint, but Detroit and many other cities that have this problem will capitalize on an industry that is here to stay.
Going into Flint, Michigan, you will find scary looking areas like these
The skyline of Flint shows signs of economic recession
A campaign has been started in order to demolish as many abandoned buildings as possible.
Flint, Michigan is located just northwest of Detroit.
A family sits outside of their Flint home
Do you think it is good for the government to come in like a wrecking ball like our favorite pop star Miley Cyrus?