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Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Narrative On The Rust Belt

 Congressman Dan Kildee

Yesterday I listened to WDET as I was returning from the city where my mother and brother live. My mother I took shopping. Then I installed a DVD/VCR player for my brother; he has many VCR tapes and has not been able to view them in a long time.

I was feeling good. I think it is important for people to be able to view movies. Film is possibly the densest and most complex art form - or at least it is potentially so. My brother has numerous problems, nerve damage being one, and it is very hard for him to do many tasks.
He is also dying, but he does not seem in a hurry. We talked about his latest episode last week - I think I had a post about it when a young girl thought I was a drug dealer on my brother's street. I don't like being around death and sickness... so I've discovered this year of 2013, but it is extremely cool to help and bring joy.

So, Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint, Saginaw, and environs was being interviewed. He provided me with a more robust perspective of the changes in the old cities of the US over the half century. A main focus of WDET was on Detroit's problems, which was one of many in Mr. Kildee's.

Succinctly, things such as Globalization were partly governmental policies, supported by taxes, that actively undermined the ability of the older cities to be competitive in manufactures. Similarly, even within one country, policies rewarded flows of people and jobs to new areas, while they punished the older urban areas.

So, the standard take on Detroit that it was a result of 20 years of City misgovernment and corruption is seriously lacking in detail, for we must add in the policies and plans which undermined the ability of cities to maintain businesses, and understand that local governments were sorely handicapped in their ability to plan long-term when they were up against Big Government and Big Business seeking their own profits and benefits.

We have tended to see the Rust Belt as a natural phenomenon as well as the just rewards of liberalism.

We close our eyes to those who actively planned to destroy a way of life, either directly or indirectly.


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