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Reply #17: Quick question [View All]

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-25-09 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Quick question
why do you suppose so many industries developed there?

Please note that I wrote it is -- in only my very most humble opinion -- a corporatist attitude to see things "only" through the lens of commerce.

I don't pretend to deny that jobs brought people to Detroit in the 20th century. Or that industrial production was made possible in the entire Midwest -- I'm a native Chicagoan, by the way -- due to abundance of resources (iron ore, coal, timber) and a sufficient workforce. Which is why so many industries have moved OUT of the Detroit area -- they're going where the cheap people are rather than the other way 'round.

The underlying point of "saving Detroit" or even "saving New Orleans" or for that matter "saving Texas" is that one needs to look at the reasons for the decline and what they say about our civilization. Ours is apparently a truly corporatist culture, where profits matter MUCH more than people, more than art, more than happiness, in some cases more than life. (Those who would and do kill themselves rather than give up their riches.)

If you see Detroit as only an assemblage of factories that are no longer operating and producing profit for the stockholders, then yeah, I guess you'd say Detroit ain't worth savin'.

If you see Detroit instead as the Detroit Symphony, Motown, the Pistons (formerly of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but who cares about Fort Wayne either?), the Tigers, the (hapless) Lions, Greenfield Village, Greektown, and its hundreds of other non-commercial aspects, then you're beginning to look at the people rather than the profits.

In this modern world, people need jobs. Part of "saving Detroit" is bringing back jobs. If that means cutting the dividends of the stockholders and/or cutting the salaries of the top-tier management, then I'm all for it.

Many many years ago, I bought a board game at Spencer's in Fort Wayne called "Beat Detroit." The object was to get your little game piece car around the board five times -- the equivalent of 50,000 miles -- without breaking down or going broke, you "won."

Maybe we need a new game, "Save Detroit."

(Photo above is from a website, but I still have mine, and it's in better condition than the one listed.)

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