To watch majestic cities decline is never fun. New Orleans took it’s hit with the natural devastation of Hurricane Katrina and can come back, but what will happen to great cities like Detroit that are crumbling under the mismanagement of auto executives and union representatives?
The rust belt cities have taken a huge hit during the last decade as industry leaves and people flee for better opportunities. The crashing of cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati have slid under the radar of Detroit’s epic fall. Even mighty Chicago has lost 200,000 residents.
What is even worse for these cities is they all have huge public works infrastructures that are driving taxes even higher as their populace flees. Most of the cities are highly unionized in both the public and private sector so there is very little flexibility to improvise and improve their lot.
Instead, they watch their mobile, productive citizens flee and are left trying to keep the cities moving forward.
What mayor will be the next Ozymandias? (Poem below)
Top 10 Cities Losing Population Since 2000 in the United States
City 2010 +/- Since 2000 % Change New Orleans 343,829 -140,845 -29.1 Detroit 713,777 -237,493 -25.0 Cleveland 396,815 -81,588 -17.1 Cincinnati 296,943 -34,342 -10.4 Pittsburgh 305,704 -28,859 -08.6 Toledo 287,208 -26,411 -08.4 St. Louis 319,294 -28,895 -08.3 Chicago 2,695,598 -200,418 -06.9 Baltimore 620,961 -30,193 -04.6 Santa Ana` 324,528 -13,449 -04.0
Via US Census bureau via the WJS
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.