June 26, 2012

Camden...

... in ruins.

90 comments:

Dan in Philly said...

Yeah, right next to my neck of the woods, and yeah, it's worse than you see in pictures. I can't help but wonder if the city administration is a cause or a sympton, but we can certain see a strong correlation of liberal, handout government and urban decay.

wyo sis said...

Terrifying and sad.

David said...

Creative destruction absent the creativity. Sadly like Detroit where my immigrant ancestors began life in the USA.

Quayle said...

Just remember, when you look at those pictures, that there is a group of experts in Washington DC that are on top of the situation in Camden and have an excellent plan to turn it around very soon now.

Peter said...

I guess the Victor Talking Machine Company isn't doing so well?

(The RCA Victor label is owned by Sony Entertainment; do they still use it? And the RCA Camden label is dead.)

Pogo said...

Gee, I wonder if there's a connection between all these decrepit and derelict cities that have long been controlled by Democrats?

Orion said...

Pogo:
Let's see....
Detroit: Democrat - Ruins.
Chicago: Democrat - Ruins.
Camden: Democrat - Ruins.
Stockton: Democrat - Ruins.

Nope. I'm not seing any connection between liberal policies and politics and the state of these cities at all. Not a bit. Union! Union forever! Forward!

Orion

jacksonjay said...

Democrats and UNIONS!

Pogo said...

@Orion

Yes, it's a complete mystery!

viator said...

"Camden has historically been a stronghold of the Democratic Party. Voter turnout is very low; approximately 19% of Camden's voting age population participated in the 2005 gubernatorial election."

Wikipedia

SteveR said...

I had no idea. Shocking (eyes roll).

MisterBuddwing said...

I can't help wondering why a British newspaper cares about Camden, New Jersey - it's not as though there aren't a few British cities that have seen much better days.

Then again, I guess I wouldn't have a problem if The New York Times were to do a piece on the former glories of Sheffield or other industrial cities gone to seed.

Patrick said...

Pogo and Orion:

They just needed more money and more control. It would have been fine if everyone wasn't so selfish.

Roman said...

Almost as bad as Detroit, about 50 miles north of my home. Too bad, there are a couple of generations of people who are lost.

EMD said...

Dear England,

Clean up your own backyard first.

Sincerely,

Us.

edutcher said...

We used to drive through there back in the 50s on the way to see my grandmother.

It worked then.

And, yeah, what Dan said.

AJ Lynch said...

David said:
"Creative destruction absent the creativity"

Exactly.

Rhodamine said...

Camden is a port city. it's extremely well-located.

THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS

other than corruption. that's the reason. And Philly may not be that far behind.

Maddad said...

I worked in Camden for three years in section 8 and low-income housing. I can honestly say that it's worse than it looks. What's really interesting is that you can pinpoint the decline of Camden to the construction of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Campbell's Soup is still in Camden.

t-man said...

Right now, I am looking at the Camden waterfront from my office window in Philadelphia. It doesn't look so bad from here.

The race riots in 1971 killed Camden, but it has been a long, slow death.

AJ Lynch said...

Give every resident $50,000 or so to leave and never return and sell the real estate to developers to recoup the govts outlay. If the sale reaps more than the outlay, give the excess as a bonus to the exiting residents.

We could call it urban re-cycling.

Pogo said...

The Ben Franklin bridge must have created an escape route.

Richard Dolan said...

Camden is still waiting for its version of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. But no one seems interested in that sort of thing any more, and anyway talent on the order of an Agee/Evans combo is unfortunately in short supply. Instead, it's just photo-voyeurism of the drive-by sort, with equally vapid captions.

As someone mentioned up-thread, Camden doesn't have to be that way. But is is quite likely to stay that way until the locals think of themselves and their city in different terms and then find the gumption to act on that vision. Not likely that anyone on the outside will do it for them, but there would be lots of help if they ever got things started.

MarkW said...

"Creative destruction absent the creativity"

No, it's just that the creativity has been happening in other places with better opportunities and less endemic crime and corruption. People and businesses vote with their feet and dollars, and they've voted against Camden.

It certainly wouldn't be the first time in history that a city was abandoned and let to fall into ruins while other nearby communities were growing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostia_Antica

edutcher said...

Rhodamine said...

Camden is a port city. it's extremely well-located.

THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS

other than corruption. that's the reason. And Philly may not be that far behind.


Given the way it's been run the last decade or so, it's close behind, sad to say.

Frank Rizzo tried to save the city.

The Street brothers and Michael Nutter are doing to it what Commandante Zero's doing to the country.

bagoh20 said...

I would just ask that when I do finally stop getting up to see if the has shown up for work, that my good friends do not memorialize me with a pile of empty liquor bottles in the gutter. Rather, just pick up some trash, look at the clean street you have made, and think of me. Thanks.

bagoh20 said...

Right now a good number of entrepreneurs with good business plans are looking for a place to open business, hire a bunch of people, and start making money and paying taxes.

You would think that such a place would be inviting with so many unemployed people, cheap land and a government badly in need of business, but nobody comes.

But, we know that bringing such life to a place would be like like dropping a golden goose into a pack of hyenas. The problem is simply the mindset and values of the people, top to bottom. Nothing else essential has really changed.

ndspinelli said...

I have a lot of college friends in South Jersey. Camden and Newark are North and South Beirut.

"Campbell's Soup is mmm mmm good."

Chuck66 said...

AJ Lynch, exactly. Old houses. Waterfront land (please no casino). Near Philly but with lower taxes (make the city one huge TIF).

Get the current residents out and watch people flock there to renovate the city.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Isn't Camden where Tony Soprano got involved in that deal to build the New Jersey Museum of Science and Trucking?

Or did I dream that?

Pogo said...

This is known as "bad luck."

ndspinelli said...

Northofthe101, That was Newark, Tony grew up in Newark.

t-man said...

About 20 years ago I was proposing that the use Camden as a regional landfill, and when the fill reached about 20 feet over the tops of the rowhouses, they just started the whole city over fresh. Perfect hilly location to view the Delaware River and Philadelphia skyline.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Why don't the Democrats have their convention there? It would be a lot cheaper.

wild chicken said...

"Get the current residents out and watch people flock there to renovate the city."

Oh right, send the trash out to the rest of the country so the Realtors and developers can make buck.

Let's just keep the vibrant populations where they are now, eh?

EMD said...

Forget Camden.

Built new cities.

Nathan Alexander said...

Any moment now, Leslyn will be by to explain this desolation is 100% due to the GOP's War on Women; garage mahal will explain that this is the fault of one of WI Gov's former subordinates; Andy R. will insist it is because of conservative/Christian homophobia; Ritmo will expound at length how this is due to the essential racism of the United States; and Alley Oop will explain at length that this isn't the fault of Progressive policies because her daughter is serving in Afghanistan on the front lines.

But they'll all agree that it means we should all pay more in taxes.

Rabel said...

Looking for solutions to the Camden problem, it's worth noting that the battleship USS New Jersey is right there on the river.

Bert said...

Looks like the East side of my hometown of Buffalo! I'm sure you'd see similar scenes in Cleveland, Detroit, Gary Ind, etc. Sad but strangely fascinating to look at.

edutcher said...

Rabel, you read my nasty little mind.

Shanna said...

Near Philly but with lower taxes (make the city one huge TIF).

Everybody lives in cherry hill, or at least that was my impression.

Stoutcat said...

Pogo said... "This is known as 'bad luck.'"

Heh. Heinlein always has something approrpiate to say.

Shanna said...

I'm sure you'd see similar scenes in Cleveland, Detroit, Gary Ind, etc

I think you can find crappy neighborhoods in any city. Pictures do not tell the whole story, in and of themselves. The real question is how much of the city is infected with the blight.

ricpic said...

Street crime will keep Camden pinned down permanently. Urban pioneers, who are mainly white, could take Camden back street by street. But only if the Camden city government, backed by the New Jersey state government, went into no holds barred war mode vis-a-vis street thugs. Which will not happen courtesy the ACLU, the racisss charge and not least the Democratic Party's symbiotic relationship with the criminal class.

Craig said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uLDD6iyxys&feature=player_detailpage

Jeff with one 'f' said...

This is what most of Camden looks like- it's a small city.

Huge parts of Philly look just the same but worse. Formerly prosperous sections with square parks faced by brownstone mansions, huge churches and domed banks, all boarded up and covered in graffiti. Square mile after square mile.

PatCA said...

Orion, don't forget:

California - Democrat - Ruins

Teen unemployment in CA now 35%.

I would guess most of those Camden industrial jobs were union, as well as the desultory cop or librarian still working. Did they work themselves out of jobs again by "winning" high wages and benefits?

LordSomber said...

I remember being dragged by my parents to Van Sciver Furniture in Camden. A quite massive brick building, it was impressive to this three-year-old.

But even at that age, I remember the town being pretty dumpy. And this was early 70's.

AJ Lynch said...

Tony Soprano and the "New Jersey Museum of Science and Trucking".

Good one!

AJ Lynch said...

Lord Somber:
Yeah but do you remember how Dougherty's Furniture made the news? [I am sure Edutcher does].

machine said...

Ah yes...everything wrong in this world is the fault of President Obama and his fellow Democrats...



Must be nice to live in this bubble year 'round....

t-man said...

Some of you over 40's may remember that The Price is Right used to give away fur coats from "Zinman Furs in Camden, NJ."

Growing up in Camden County, I always wondered why, of all of the fur stores in the U.S., The Price is Right used Zinman.

Alex said...

Democrat policies turn once venerable American cities into Fallujah.

Alex said...

Which will not happen courtesy the ACLU, the racisss charge and not least the Democratic Party's symbiotic relationship with the criminal class.

Let me guess, those ACLU cretins don't live in Camden, but in plush Manhattan condos?

machine said...

...and republican policies drove us into the Great Bush Recession...

and the current President is a jerk because he didn't pull the country out of it fast enough!!!!!

EMD said...

and republican policies

Like growing the size of government, naturally.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In the game Sim City, where if you raise tax rates too high, plan poorly, anger your citizens, create hazards, crime rises, education falls, people move out, pollution rises and your city falls into anarchy and destruction, you can just reset the game and start again.

Unfortunately, when you have idiots, who haven't read the manual or don't understand the game, playing Sim City in real life, there is no restart button and you are playing with REAL not simulated people.

EMD said...

But even at that age, I remember the town being pretty dumpy. And this was early 70's.

Everything was pretty dumpy in the 70s.

Rusty said...

machine said...
Ah yes...everything wrong in this world is the fault of President Obama and his fellow Democrats...



Must be nice to live in this bubble year 'round....



Reading is fundamental, you know.

Rusty said...

machine said...
...and republican policies drove us into the Great Bush Recession...

and the current President is a jerk because he didn't pull the country out of it fast enough!!!!!



You know congress was mostly democrat under BushII, right?
No. The current resident turbocharged BushII's mistake.


Machine. We're not as stupid as you think we are. Up your game or get lost.

garage mahal said...

Gee, I wonder if there's a connection between all these decrepit and derelict cities that have long been controlled by Democrats?

Let's take a look!

"Best Place to Live" - Money Magazine. Madison, Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the top places in the country to live, work, go to school, and raise a family. Wisconsin's beautiful capital city, with a vibrant population of approximately 200,000, combines small-town charm with a range of leisure and cultural opportunities usually found only in much larger communities.

#2 Best U.S. City to Raise a Family - Children's Health magazine, September 2009

Top Three Mid-sized Metro Area for Quality of Life - American City Business Journals, April 2009

#2 Best City for Employment Opportunities - Money Magazine, April 2009

Ranked #2 in Most Uniquely American Cities & Towns - Newsmax magazine, April 2009

#1 City For Job Growth in 2009 - Forbes magazine, January 2009

#4 Best City to Live During a Recession - BusinessWeek magazine, October 2008

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

From Wikipedia:

"Camden public schools spend $17,000 per student per year and two thirds of the students graduate....."

At $17,000 per student, Camden must have excellent schools!

bagoh20 said...

We should all know better by now, but when I googled Best Places To Live from Money Magazine - 2011, I found that Garage is right - Madison even appears 3 times in the top 100.

Unfortunately for him, none of them are in Wisconsin.

Best Places 2011

I don't know - maybe I Googled wrong, or misunderstood, but this has happened so many times with Garage's assertions and links that I'm starting to question if it's me or maybe him who is "special".

I didn't bother with any after that first one.

Unknown said...

Garage:
Madison is a major college town full of overpriced/borrowed college dollars. Apples to Oranges. Ann Arbor is nice too.

wdnelson93 said...

bagoh20 - I can't believe I'm correcting you for garage's benefit, but you gotta read the fine print. The link at that list is for best small towns. The largest "city" in the list has a pop. of 46K. I'm with you generally in your comments, but you gotta come up with better stuff for garage. He may be stupid, but he's not an idiot. Find us a list with cities with populations comparable to Madison.

All the best,
Deanna

garage mahal said...

We should all know better by now, but when I googled Best Places To Live from Money Magazine - 2011, I found that Garage is right - Madison even appears 3 times in the top 100.

Did you notice I didn't make the claim Madison was the best place to live according to Money Magazine for 2011? That should have been your first clue not to google that.

AllieOop said...

Middleton WI appears as number 8 in 2011, it's a suburb of Madison and is a beautiful town, with gorgeous neighbors.

Lem said...

I wonder if there's a connection between this post and the previous post..

I'll give you a hint.. many a conservatives preferred him over Romney.

LarsPorsena said...

Unknown said...

Garage:
Madison is a major college town full of overpriced/borrowed college dollars. Apples to Oranges. Ann Arbor is nice too.

Yes, and with the state capital.

The state university combined with the capital means hundreds of millions of dollars pumped in by the rest of the citizenry. Nice place to live? It better be. It's what the rest of the state is paying for.

bagoh20 said...

wdnelson93,

Your right!. That's why I said: "Maybe I googled wrong.." I did, but in my defense, it was very small print.

Garage didn't mislead me this time.

You're right, and I was wrong Mr. Garage.

I will reset my sensors for your links to "plausible", for now.

Nathan Alexander said...

There's something else about Wisconsin, too...I can't quite remember it.

Something about a Republican Governor and GOP-controlled legislature.

Something about reforms pulling the state out of the nationwide recessional trend.

It's starting to come back...liberals went into a tizzy and tried to get the Governor recalled in order to get them back on the same path as Detroit, California, Camden, but the Republican Governor beat the Recall attempt, mostly because his conservative policies reversed the liberal/Democrat bankruptcy trend.

So what was your point, again, garage? That states and cities run by liberals perform just as well as states and cities run by fiscal conservatives?

Cuz that point flopped, badly.

garage mahal said...

So what was your point, again, garage?

That your theories are crap.

Orion said...

Nathan:
Who are you going to believe? Your lying eyes and facts or the absolute TRUTH of Garage and his Socialist Truth! Whey the world is just FULL of Socialist policies and states working WONDERS! Look at the glory that is Greece! The Socialist beauty of Italy or Spain! The tremendous regulatory and taxation JOYS of California...


New Socialist Man wins out EVERY time! Foolish throw-back primitive!

Orion

Alex said...

That your theories are crap.

A real winner this garage mahal. A champion in the Socratic method!

Pogo said...

"Did you notice I didn't make the claim Madison was the best place to live according to Money Magazine for 2011?"

So it used to be a great place to live, now it ain't.
Oh, well. Easy come, easy go.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Most blue cities can make that claim.

Hey, we used to be a great place to live!

That don't draw too many takers over time.

Didja know that Chicago lost 200,000 people from 2000 to 2009?

"The only one of the nation’s 15 largest cities to lose people. Of all cities, it fell between Detroit, reigning champion of progressive urban decay, and hurricane ravaged New Orleans, in the number of people fleeing to greener pastures."

Way ta go, Blue state model!!

Peter Hoh said...

Pictures do not tell the whole story, in and of themselves. The real question is how much of the city is infected with the blight.

I used to commute through Camden in the 1980s. Similar photos could have been taken back then.

How much of the city is blighted? More than the collection of photos in The Mail suggests, seeing as a good number of those shots are different angles of the same few buildings.

Cedarford said...

I think Orion is missing the obvious. The undiscussable thing. And blaming Democrats instead.

Orion said...
Pogo:
Let's see....
Detroit: Democrat - Ruins.
Chicago: Democrat - Ruins.
Camden: Democrat - Ruins.
Stockton: Democrat - Ruins.

Nope. I'm not seing any connection between liberal policies and politics and the state of these cities at all. Not a bit. Union! Union forever! Forward!


The obvious problem with his theory is that we have long-standing Democrat cities, some full of minorities other than blacks - that have good schools, low crime, and generally improving neighborhoods as the socioeconomic status of immigrants improves. Asian Democrat Honolulu is not in ruins, neither is heavily hispanic Tucson. Nor "mostly white cities" in democrat saturated Vermont. Nor most Indian reservations - (Pine Ridge was an exception).

While there are "problem areas" affecting other minorities and even whites (South Boston, Florida meth head trailer enclaves) - they do not match the pattern of heavily black areas of once safe and prosperous locales devolving them into squalor and barbarism. A pattern not just in the US, but post-colonial black nations with few exceptions, and in nations like the UK now with significant black populations and black dysfunctions.

Trochilus said...

If Garage lived in New Jersey, he'd be trying to create another diversion by chatting about Princeton, a heavily Democrat small town.

But he would also be completely ignoring nearly all of the major urban areas of New Jersey, all of them Democrat-controlled and abused for decades, including the city that started out as the topic of conversation of this thread . . . the City of Camden, NJ.

Camden is the worst among several examples of horrific urban decay in New Jersey.

Among the NJ urban areas, only Newark currently seems to have a real chance for any long term success.

The single most significant factor precipitating the rapid decline and decay of Camden (and the other urban centers in NJ) was the riots back in 1968, following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Those riots drove large populations of middle class whites, ethnic and otherwise, out of the cities, and into the surrounding towns, suburbs and exurban areas of the state, along with many of the key businesses that had hitherto been urban-based.

Decades of huge, ill-conceived and costly efforts to "save Camden" have completely failed, other than to create small enclaves of activity. Many of the efforts in other urban areas have failed as well, with only a few mixed results.

And throughout the course of those efforts, those cities began electing a generation of ONLY Democrat politicians whose primary mantra was, and continues to be, to demand more and more and more state funding for an endless string of "educational" and "social" programs, which in turn have become the employment agencies of first resort for a several generations of political hacks and operatives to run, none of which have helped turn any of those areas around in any appreciable way.

In the case of Camden, they took the cake by electing one of the most corrupt and unethical New Jersey politicians of all time, former State Senator Wayne Bryant, who represented the City of Camden and a few other jurisdictions as their Senator for 18 years (until 2008), and prior to that spent 13 years as one of two Assemblymen from that Camden district, and then before that spent a few years as a County Freeholder. During the course of his "career," he distinguished himself in the early 90s by attempting to load his pockets by steering a state agency sweetheart lease rental into the building that he and his law partners owned, and only backed off when he was caught, formerly charged with, and found guilty of an ethics violation.

But the Democrats in the Assembly kept him in leadership and, once he was elected to the State Senate, he likewise obtained a leadership position that he could really abuse! He figured that he deserved to personally become the recipient of his own largess. As the leadership-selected Chairman of the powerful Joint Appropriations Committee, and the Chair of the Senate Oversight Committee too, former Senator Bryant, managed to twist the arms of several state and regional institutions and agencies, including the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, into personally giving him several no-show jobs, which he used to both line his pockets, and to form the cumulative "basis for a huge state pension, once he retired!

It was all working great for him (and to the detriment of all others in NJ) until Chris Christie, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey under George Bush, figured out the details of the "no-show" job scheme, indicted and successfully prosecuted the crook. Bryant got 4 years in the slammer.

He is now also awaiting the results of a new criminal trial on separate charges of bribery related to large development projects in which he allegedly accepted bribes in the form of consultant legal fees, for "work" that no one ever actually performed -- $8,000 a month for nothing!

That in a nutshell, is Camden and its long-time Democrat leader for you!

Cedarford said...

Let us just say that the main part if this willful blindness to elements of the black community slowly ruining cities they have gained power in...is Democrat willful blindness.

Public Schools in NYC, Chicago and elsewhere that once produced Nobel Laureates on modest resources and standard curriculum delivered by smaller numbers of standard teachers....have been turned into wrecks.

The blame is not with not enough "meagerly compensated" hero teachers needing more staff and more salary. It is not with "janitors" ruining the facilities. It is not with "white people not being progressive enough. " It is not due to "white racism". It is not due to "whites not caring enough". It is not due to business leaders not "leading on this". It is not even with elected Democrat leaders...beyond what they do to excuse and enable those that have made once magnificent public schools shitholes.

The blame is almost all with the students, and the culture and attitude they get from their parents and inner-city culture.

virgil xenophon said...

Garage shouldn't be so sanguine about Madisons' future prospects. Things can change dramatically over time in any city, e.g., East St. Louis Ill. In 1960 it was 90% white and voted an "All-American City" for quality of life and good government. Look at it now...neck & neck w. Camden & Detroit..

virgil xenophon said...

PS: Oh, and add New Orleans to the list of unending control of City Hall and the School Board by the Donkey Party over the last 60 yrs--the first 30 by white Dems and the last 30 by Black ones. It wasn't the skin color that caused cultural/economic decay in the Crescent City, but the ideological outlook and governing practices of the ruling political party.

Blue@9 said...

No, it's just that the creativity has been happening in other places with better opportunities and less endemic crime and corruption. People and businesses vote with their feet and dollars, and they've voted against Camden.

Yep. If you think about it, this is a city that surely should not exist anymore. Its industry and shipyards are gone. In times past, people would move on to find better opportunities when there was nothing left. But these people stay. It's amazing how government dependence has shackled these people. They don't even have the natural common sense to get the f**k out, because they get just enough assistance and freebies to keep them in place. It's like an opium den. ("No, you're not dead yet, just keep smoking.")

Methadras said...

Detroit, Camden, Philly all share the same leftard reality distortion field error. Reality.

EMD said...

Garage is partially correct in pointing out that Madison would fall under the Democrat-controlled but largely livable community.

But it's also a smaller, college town with no significant industrial base. Like Ann Arbor as someone else said.

The main cause for the decay you see is that the economic engine of these communities (Detroit, Camden, Cleveland, Youngstown, Chicago etc.) doesn't exist as it once did.

Political corruption and policy only expedited the declines. Liberal philosophy also severly compounded the problems, but aren't the sole reason for the decay evident in these photos.

caseym54 said...

Hmmm, what about a new Homestead Act?

Gary Rosen said...

"Public Schools in NYC, Chicago and elsewhere that once produced Nobel Laureates on modest resources"

A large percentage of whom were Jewish you antisemitic douchebag.

AprilApple said...

Well, unions did ruin the American steel industry.