Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Detroit

I've haven't spent nearly enough time in Detroit.

And I've never really, particularly felt a lot of love for the city, growing up here on the Western side of the state.

But something has changed for me lately. Especially in light of the recent fires that saw dozens of homes burned to the ground from a combination of a collapsing infrastructure and empty homes in Motown.

This is the city where the middle class in America was created, that pioneered how America would grow and what it would expect for the next century. And this is the city that will pioneer how we live after the middle class has been abandoned. It's a city already working to stand up...already working to re-invent itself, to re-create itself, to shake off the 50% population decline it's experienced and move forward, just like people who experience hardship do. What else is there to do?

Too many areas still feel impervious to such a fall

Too many large cities have yet to learn humility. Like teenagers, young men who feel they're immortal. The cities see their rise and assume it's going to be a constant upward trend from here. They haven't sensed their own mortality.

Many of the "rust-belt" cities have sensed their own mortality. They've experienced the period of massive growth, and the fame and the riches and the prosperity. And they've seen the contraction, as time and change rips the city apart.

I've not been to Detroit nearly enough. But I'm slowly starting to understand and appreciate the city's 300 year history...as a mature, storied and influential driver of American history

1 comment:

Don M said...

Fast decisive legislation for ballast water as the law of the land, not providing economic incentives for ships, from a foreign tax base, bringing foreign goods into our country, would send a message to American manufacturing and perhaps affect their investing policy, as it would level the playing field for industry to grow, providing long term jobs and economic security to our country and may even create stronger countries on our borders where poverty and a bad quality of life is breeding growing instability and violence. Soon, September this new military study created for “change” coinciding with the Coast Guard 20 year plan, and the EPA, — over two years after Senator Boxer killed the legislation created by the largest elected legislative voice of the American people,– they will meet to discuss their “new findings” and might have “new” recommendations. Will they continue on a slow course for change to protect foreign economic interest, or will they speed up mandatory requirements allowing faster protection of our waters and economic growth for our country?
The following report for Congress in DEC 2009 that explains that national ballast water legislation would do the same thing as tariffs, plus protect our environment from the carbon footprint and dirty water trail of foreign ships bringing foreign manufactured imports into our country, stealing jobs from Americans. “Although estimates of the costs of ballast treatment may be imprecise and vary from vessel to
vessel, there is some general agreement on average costs.14 For example, it may cost an estimated $400,000 per vessel for modification of container/bulk vessels to use onshore ballast water treatment facilities at California ports. More generally, the cost of retrofitting vessels to treat
ballast water has been estimated at between $200,000 and $310,000 per vessel for mechanical
treatment and around $300,000 for chemical treatment.15 Most of this expense will be borne by
foreign shipping companies, as the U.S. flag fleet is a small percentage of the global fleet,16 and