Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

Bio

February 23, 2013 - 6:09 am

No surprise, really. Detroit is worse than broke and will soon become a ward of the state of Michigan. It has an incredibly high crime rate (1052 violent crimes per 100,000) and an unemployment rate over 10%.

Housing values, net migration, other quality of life measurements like commute time — all have made Detroit the most miserable city in the US.

Forbes:

Forbes put Detroit Mayor Dave Bing on its cover in 2011 for a story with the optimistic headline: “City of Hope.” The premise was that the city had hit rock bottom and was poised for a turnaround.

“Right now, it’s all about survival,” Bing told Forbes.

Two years later, Detroit’s problems continue to multiply, sadly. It is still dealing with high levels of violent crime and unemployment. Home prices, already at historic lows, plummeted a further 35% during the past three years to a median of $40,000 as net migration out of the city continued.

The latest blow was Tuesday’s announcement that the city is on the verge of being taken over by the state. Detroit is in a financial emergency and cannot pay its bills. The city has been issuing debt to fund day-to-day operations. The continuing problems propelled Detroit to the top spot in our 2013 ranking of America’s Most Miserable Cities.

[...]

We tweaked the methodology in this year’s list in response to feedback from readers, dropping our rankings of both pro sports team success and political corruption, since both were based on regional, rather than city-specific data. We also added a new measure—net migration—which we see as a clear gauge of whether or not residents feel a community is worth living in. Detroit, which ranked No. 2 last year, also would have finished No. 1 under the previous methodology (click here for more details about the criteria for the list).

Detroit’s problems are hardly new. It has been in a four-decade decline, paralleling the slide of the U.S. auto industry. The city’s debt rating was cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service in 1992, but declining tax revenues from a shrinking city will soon make Detroit a ward of the state.

Is it a surprise that Chicago ranks 4th most miserable city in the survey and New York, the 10th?

Two cities on our list, Chicago (No. 4) and New York (No. 10) may surprise readers, though they’ve been here before. Both offer a myriad of opportunities and positives as the homes of financial centers, world-class culture, leading universities, sports teams galore and high-end restaurants. But it isn’t easy living in either city, particularly if you don’t earn a lot of money (even if you do it can be tough).

Chicago residents must endure long commutes (31 minutes on average), plummeting home prices (37% the past five years), brutal winters and high foreclosure rates (3.3% of homes in 2012 says RealtyTrac). Many residents are giving up on the Windy City with a net migration out of the city of 107,000 people the past five years, according to Moody’s Analytics.

The sky-high murder rate in Chicago rightly receives a lot of attention, but violent crime otherwise has declined. The tax base is declining as businesses flee the high taxes and intrusive regulatory ways of the city council. Like New York, you have to make a lot of money to live well in Chicago, unlike nearby suburbs that are cleaner, safer, and offer more economic opportunity.

But overall, there is a political fatalism among citizens that the corruption inherent in Chicago politics will never be dealt with, and that the Machine will always triumph. No one is surprised when another alderman, or a Congressman like Jesse Jackson, Jr., gets sent off to jail for robbing the taxpayer. This cynicism leads to a kind of depression that some deal with by withdrawing from city life, and others simply pick up and leave.

It’s why Chicago will remain a miserable city, no matter what their ranking by Forbes.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
In 2011, 47% of detroit's property owners simply did not pay their property taxes to the tune of $246.5 Million dollars.
Today's Detroit News reports that Detroit's 36th district court has outstanding uncollected debts of $279 Million Bucks with $199 Million 'not going' directly to the City of Detroit.
"...a dollar here and a dollar there and pretty soon we're talkin' about some real money....."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a sad state of affairs for what once was the 4th largest city ( 1950 census ) in the US. The real tragedy is that liberals will patently ignore the consequences of endless "progressive" remedies that were applied and failed as they always have and will fail. Some "tough love" approaches back in the late 60s and early 70s might have saved Detroit. Hope other American cities will take note in time, but it is very doubtful
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That article made a lot of people mad at Forbes. The comments section is full of people actually defending Detroit, Chicago and New York. The really amusing ones are those who admit the high cost of living and crime rates, but still insist they are great places to live.

Also noticed a link in that article to another article about where people are moving. Therein lies the rub with failing liberal cities: the liberals who designed and supported the fall are spreading their contagion to red states like Texas. Several of the top cities were indeed in Texas. A few liberal cities like Denver and one in California were no surprise. Unfortunately DC was on the list as well. Always a bad sign when too much wealth concentrates around the power. 5 of the wealthiest counties in the US are clustered around DC. Something is wrong with that picture.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find it difficult to believe that the bastions of the Blue Social Model aren't living up to the expectations of their progressive caretakers and their desire to deliver the People's Paradise.

I'm dumbfounded that these enlightened cities have so much violent and gun related crime, because did not the Progressive Wise outlaw the evil firearms in those places? That means thet there are scofflaws in Paradise! Who would have believed that?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is it a surprise that Chicago ranks 4th most miserable city in the survey and New York, the 10th?

Of course not, because when you elect crooks to public office(s), you get . . . crookedness. Rahm Emanuel, JJJ, Kilpatrick, Charlie Rangel are but a few examples.

Attention voters of Detroit, Chicago & New York: Perhaps you should try electing people other than . . . Democrats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mayor Rahm Emanuel & JJJ elected by voters in Chicago. The people there deserve all the regulations, taxes, corruption & misery foisted upon them by the crooks they elected.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A case of be careful of what you wish for. The voters wish to soak the rich. The thoroughly soaked rich caught pneumonia and moved to places with warmer climes.

They voted to re-elect a failed president for the same reasons. The black middle class didn't mind crashing as long as a man of the same color was on top; the youths didn't mind not getting jobs as long as young women could get free condoms; the old folks didn't care about the death panels as long as they got pay for staying alive.

Like it ot not, Chicago is our future.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The voters wish to soak the rich."

True, but incomplete. Because class warfare has been heaved upon them by this Administration (plus earlier ones & a complicit media) for so long, they not only want to soak the rich, they also want their cut. Problem is, there aren't enough cuts to go around.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All