July 30, 2015

Detroit, 1889.



(Wikipedia's featured picture of the day. Click picture to enlarge.)

31 comments:

Scott said...

This is so cool. You can see Woodward Ave, and Grand River, and Gratiot radiating out from the center city.

I lived in Detroit during the '80s. It is a spectacularly designed city with a tragic history of corruption. I would live there again if the right opportunity presented itself.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

They should have included Boblo island.

Scott said...

I never went to Boblo Island amusement park while I was there; and now it's closed. In any case, it's much farther south on the Detroit River than the perspective of the print would allow.

Gahrie said...

The saddest thing about Detroit?

We have failed to learn a single thing from its tragic downfall.

Quaestor said...

Detroit, 2019

mikee said...

Well, we've learned from the downfall of Detroit. Detroit hasn't.

Bill R said...

Notice the columns of smoke. Some things never change.

Hagar said...

Man! That's some flat country!

Robert Cook said...

"We have failed to learn a single thing from its tragic downfall."

What is it that we should have learned from Detroit's fate?

Kyzernick said...

Don't put Democrats in charge. Same thing we oughta learn from Baltimore.

tim in vermont said...

The smoke trails show more wind than the lake surface does. I would say that there should be a very light chop, not a mirror surface. That's why painting is better than photography, you can cheat like that.

tim in vermont said...

What is it that we should have learned from Detroit's fate? - Robert Cook


LO FUCKING L. Shows up right on time!

Scott said...

Tim, you tool. Of course Detroit is not a failure of progressivism. They just had a fifty year run of "bad luck."

Scott said...

The cool thing about the Detroit River is that it's a very deep channel. You can sit in a riverside park in Windsor Ontario and see MASSIVE ore boats slowly traveling up or down the river.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Detroit always rises from the ash heap, it's the city motto. Of course that means there is always an ash heap that needs rising from. My mother is a former West Sider whose point of reference is the 1940s and early 1950s. There's a point of discontinuity. It's not the same people. Has Detroit gotten worse from the point of view of the new Detroiters? The trajectory for the last 40 years is generally up.

great Unknown said...

If this was today, it wouldn't be smoke from smokestacks. It would be smoke from burning houses.

Kyzernick said...

. . . or crack pipes.

Gahrie said...

What is it that we should have learned from Detroit's fate?

1) That eventually you run out of other people's money.

2) Given the chance, people will run like hell from corrupt, confiscatory government.

Robert Cook said...

"What is it that we should have learned from Detroit's fate?

"1) That eventually you run out of other people's money.

"2) Given the chance, people will run like hell from corrupt, confiscatory government."


Put more correctly:

A. The rich are parasites, and once they've exhausted the money available to steal from one body of hosts, they will relocate to another body of hosts. They will always find new hosts on which to feed....until none are left.

B. A restatement of A: once one body of hosts' resources are exhausted, the parasites will depart the empty husk to find new blood.

The larger lesson to take from Detroit is that our present model of capitalism will eat itself and is a terminal case if changes are not effected.

Gahrie said...

The larger lesson to take from Detroit is that our present model of capitalism will eat itself and is a terminal case if changes are not effected.

...and once again Comrade Cookie completely misses the point, launches an attack on either capitalism or the United States, and bleats Communist propaganda.

Seriously Squealor, your handlers didn't make you read Das Kapital?

Maybe you listened to the audiobook?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The larger lesson to take from Detroit is that our present model of capitalism will eat itself and is a terminal case if changes are not effected.

Yeah, too much free market capitalism was Detroit's problem...


Wow.

MarkW said...

Has Detroit gotten worse from the point of view of the new Detroiters? The trajectory for the last 40 years is generally up.

Hmmm -- I'm not sure you could be more wrong if you tried. In the last 40 years, Detroit's population shrunk by about half (from ~1.35 million to ~680K). And in percentage terms, the worst decade for population loss was the 2000s (Detroit shrunk by a full 25% between 2000 and 2010). About the best you could say is that things seem to have been getting a bit better in the last few years. The population loss has slowed somewhat (only 4.7% between 2000 and 2010) and downtown/midtown do seem on the upswing.

Kyzernick said...

And of course, the lessons to be learned from Detroit are lost on Cookie. Raving lunacy is, as always, abundant.

tim in vermont said...

Cookie reminds me of a time I was in Australia and there was a mine strike. The owners said they could not pay what was demanded and were closing the mines. The miners said that they very well could afford to pay the demanded wages because they were actually making a profit on *overseas* mines in Africa.

So basically the Australian miners wanted African miners to pay their wages because... capitalism is evil!

tim in vermont said...

Math is hard, wanting to take stuff from other people is easy. That is why communism is so popular among a certain set of people.

Here is another story that Detroit reminds me of. The European Court of Justice ruled that a Czec power company was discriminating because they were making electricity harder to steal in gypsy areas but not in other areas, where, you know, theft of electricity is not completely rampant. It seems that if the power company wanted to protect themselves from theft by the Roma, they had to install pointless anti-theft measures in areas where theft was not a problem.

tim in vermont said...

We will know that the re-education camps are just around the corner if there is ever an "American Court of Justice"

Just the name means that it will not be "justice for all."

Quaestor said...

One lesson that can taken here: Robert Cook is still a hopeless cretin armed with a keyboard and web access. He attitudes and ill-informed opinions are so unchanging that I've taken them as facts of existence. If Cookie ever departs from his one-trick-script I believe a re-evaluation of Planck's constant is in order.

Static Ping said...

Kyzernick said...
Don't put Democrats in charge. Same thing we oughta learn from Baltimore.


I semi-disagree. It is bad for any city to become a one party city. It is important to have two viable parties so they root out each others' corruption and give the voters a choice of changing direction without feeling they are betraying all that they believe in. I would rather live in a city with Democrats and Greens rather than just Democrats.

Of course, there are not many Republican only cities, or at least not big ones. So in practice it is "don't put Democrats in charge unless you are willing to vote them out."

Jim S. said...

That's interesting: it looks like a fairly big city -- I just looked it up and it was the 15th biggest city in the US in 1890. The reason I think that's interesting is because there's an apocryphal book supposedly written by Nietzsche around 1890 after he went insane called My Sister and I where he claims a) to have had an incestuous relationship with his sister, b) to have become a Christian, and c) to want to visit several American cities including Detroit. One of the main reasons it's rejected as apocryphal is that Detroit wasn't that big of a city at the time, so it must have been written much later when Detroit had become one of the biggest cities in the country. After looking at that picture I'm not sure that reason is as strong as it is usually taken to be. If Detroit was known as the up-and-coming city in America, someone in Europe in the 1890s could very well have listed it as one of the American cities they'd like to visit.

Kyzernick said...

@ SP

That's the kind of thoughtful response my statement warranted. I tend to agree with you. However, if given the choice, I'd rather live in a one party city controlled by Conservatives than a one party city run by the Left.

Chuck said...

I was born in Detroit; went as an undergrad to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor but returned to Detroit for law school and as a young lawyer I both lived and worked in downtown Detroit. Detroit has a lot going for it; a riverfront with lots of development potential; the amenities befitting a place that was once one of the top ten cities in the nation (world class symphony, art museum, franchises in all major sports) and as a metropolitan region, Detroit is still one of the biggest in the nation.

As a city-proper, it has fallen from almost 2 million people to less than a million. It is now barely stabilized, post-bankruptcy. Post-bankruptcy, the city is balancing its budget (with the aid of bankruptcy court shedding several billion in bond debt) and they have elected a slightly technocratic white mayor; the first white mayor in forty years.

The truest thing said so far in these comments is that Detroit is the living embodiment of sixty years of one-party rule; the Democratic Party. The county in which Detroit lies -- Wayne County -- is also wholly-owned by Democrats. Wayne County, like Detroit, has just been declared to be in a state-declared financial emergency. You can't blame this pattern on racism (Wayne County has a large white population) and you can't blame it on any slump in the auto business (just north of Wayne County is Oakland County -- run by Republicans -- with a AAA bond rating and balanced budgets throughout its history).

A remarkable piece by Jarrett Skorup of the Mackinac Center, which was featured in the Notable and Quotable section of the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages:

"Imagine a city where all the major economic planks of the statist or "progressive" platform have been enacted:

"A 'living wage' ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors. A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average. A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members. Other government employee unions that do the same for their members. A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.

"Would this be a shining city on a hill, exciting the admiration of all? We don't have to guess, because there is such a city right here in our state: Detroit.

"Detroit has been dubbed 'the most liberal city in America' and each of these 'progressive' policies is alive and well there. How have they worked out?

"In 1950, Detroit was the wealthiest city in America on a per capita income basis. Today, the Census Bureau reports that it is the nation's 2nd poorest major city, just edging out Cleveland.

"Could it be pure coincidence that the decline occurred over the same period in which union power, the city government bureaucracy, taxes and business regulations all multiplied? While correlation is not causation, it is striking that the decline in per capita income is exactly what classical economists predict would occur when wage controls are imposed and taxes are increased."

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/12832