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The Washington Independent

The Abandonment of America’s Cities

The tent cities in Sacramento, Calif., which we described recently, and the increasing number of shanty towns detailed in The New York Times today, are only

Dexter Cooke
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Mar 26, 2009

The tent cities in Sacramento, Calif., which we described recently, and the increasing number of shanty towns detailed in The New York Times today, are only part of the crisis in America’s cities. As we’ve written, vacant and abandoned foreclosed homes in some communities have become a bigger problem than new foreclosures themselves. The vacant homes piling up are undermining all the urban development progress of recent years, and cities don’t have enough resources to deal with them.

At Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, blogger Michael Shedlock passes along a chilling consequence of the emptying of American cities. In Flint, Mich., city officials are considering simply cordoning off mostly abandoned portions of the city, and no longer providing city services there, or asking the few people still remaining to leave.  It’s like something out of one of those futuristic horror movies.

From MLive, the blog of the Flint Journal, via Shedlock:

Temporary Mayor Michael Brown made the off-the-cuff suggestion Friday in response to a question at a Rotary Club of Flint luncheon about the thousands of empty houses in Flint.

City Council President Jim Ananich said the idea has been on his radar for years.

The city is getting smaller and should downsize its services accordingly by asking people to leave sparsely populated areas, he said.

I haven’t heard of anything like this before.

People get outraged by AIG bonuses, and taken aback by bank failures. To me, the abandonment of America’s cities — and the complete and utter failure of Washington to recognize it for the crisis it has become — is the shocking part of foreclosures and the financial meltdown.

Dexter Cooke | He is an orthopedic surgeon who insists that a physician's first priority should be patient care. He specializes in minimally invasive complete knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures that reduce pain and recovery time. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a medical degree and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine.


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