America The Fallen: 24 Signs That Our Once Proud Cities Are Turning Into Poverty-Stricken Hellholes

Hellholes - Photo by LyzadangerWhat is happening to you America?  Once upon a time, the United States was a place where free enterprise thrived and the greatest cities that the world had ever seen sprouted up from coast to coast.  Good jobs were plentiful and a manufacturing boom helped fuel the rise of the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet.  Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were all teeming with economic activity and the rest of the globe looked on our economic miracle with a mixture of wonder and envy.  But now look at us.  Our once proud cities are being transformed into poverty-stricken hellholes.  Did you know that the city of Detroit once actually had the highest per-capita income in the United States?  Looking at Detroit today, it is hard to imagine that it was once one of the most prosperous cities in the world.  In fact, as you will read about later in this article, tourists now travel to Detroit from all over the globe just to see the ruins of Detroit.  Sadly, the exact same thing that is happening to Detroit is happening to cities all over America.  Detroit is just ahead of the curve.  We are in the midst of a long-term economic collapse that is eating away at us like cancer, and things are going to get a lot worse than this.  So if you still live in a prosperous area of the country, don’t laugh at what is happening to others.  What is happening to them will be coming to your area soon enough.

The following are 24 signs that our once proud cities are turning into poverty-stricken hellholes…

#1 According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.

#2 At this point, approximately one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.

#3 Back during the housing bubble, an acre of land in downtown Phoenix, Arizona sold for about $90 a square foot.  Today, an acre in downtown Phoenix sells for about $9 a square foot.

#4 The city of Chicago is so strapped for cash that it is planning to close 54 public schools.  It is being estimated that Chicago schools will run a budget deficit of about a billion dollars in 2013.

#5 The city of Baltimore is already facing unfunded liabilities of more than 3.2 billion dollars, but the city government continues to pile up more debt as if it was going out of style.

#6 Today, the murder rate in East St. Louis is 17 times higher than the national average.

#7 According to USA Today, the “share of jobs located in or near a downtown declined in 91 of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas” between 2000 and 2010.

#8 Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in the state of Michigan were lost.

#9 There are more than 85,000 streetlights in Detroit, but thieves have stripped so much copper wiring out of the lights that more than half of them are not working.

#10 The unemployment rate in El Centro, California is 24.2 percent, and the unemployment rate in Yuma, Arizona is an astounding 25.6 percent.

#11 It has been estimated that there are more than 1,000 homeless people living in the massive network of flood tunnels under the city of Las Vegas.

#12 Violent crime in the city of Oakland increased by 23 percent during 2012.

#13 If you can believe it, more than 11,000 homes, cars and businesses were burglarized in Oakland during 2012.  That breaks down to approximately 33 burglaries a day.

#14 As I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.

#15 The number of murders in Chicago last year was roughly equivalent to the number of murders in the entire country of Japan during 2012.

#16 The murder rate in Flint, Michigan is higher than the murder rate in Baghdad.

#17 If New Orleans was considered to be a separate nation, it would have the 2nd highest murder rate on the entire planet.

#18 According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center,  Mexican drug cartels were actively operating in 50 different U.S. cities in 2006.  By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1,286.

#19 Back in 2007, the number of New York City residents on food stamps was about 1 million.  It is now being projected that the number of New York City residents on food stamps will pass the 2 million mark this summer.

#20 The number of homeless people sleeping in the homeless shelters of New York City has increased by a whopping 19 percent over the past year.

#21 As I noted yesterday, approximately one out of every three children in the United States currently lives in a home without a father.

#22 In Miami, 45 percent of the children are living in poverty.

#23 In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of the children are living in poverty.

#24 According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, the decline of the city of Detroit has become so famous that it has actually become a tourist attraction.  The following is a short excerpt from an article in the New York Times

But in Detroit, the tours go on, in an unofficial capacity. One afternoon at the ruins of the 3.5-million-square-foot Packard Plant, I ran into a family from Paris. The daughter said she read about the building in Lonely Planet; her father had a camcorder hanging around his neck. Another time, while conducting my own tour for a guest, a group of German college students drove up. When queried as to the appeal of Detroit, one of them gleefully exclaimed, “I came to see the end of the world!”

For much more on the shocking decline of one of America’s greatest cities, please see my previous article entitled “Bankrupt, Decaying And Nearly Dead: 24 Facts About The City Of Detroit That Will Shock You“.

So are there any areas of the country that are still thriving?

Well, yes, there are a few.  In particular, those areas that are sitting on top of energy resources tend to be doing quite well for now.

One example is Texas.  In recent years people have been absolutely flocking to the state.  There are lots of energy jobs, the cost of living is low and there is no state income tax.

But overall, things are really tough out there.  Over the past decade America has lost millions of good jobs to offshoring, advancements in technology and a declining economy.

Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than half a trillion dollars.  Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with the rest of the world of more than 8 trillion dollars since 1975.

All of that money could have gone to U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.  In turn, taxes would have been paid on all of that income which could have helped keep our cities great.

But instead, our politicians have stood idly by as we have lost tens of thousands of businesses and millions of jobs.  If you can believe it, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities have closed down permanently in the United States since 2001.

We have allowed our economic infrastructure to be absolutely gutted, and so we should not be surprised that our once proud cities are turning into poverty-stricken hellholes.

And this is just the beginning.  The next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching, and when it strikes unemployment in this country will eventually rise to a level that is more than double what it is now.

When that happens, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near our rotting, decaying cities.

Railroad In Milwaukee

The Economic Collapse Is Not A Single Event

Many people hype “the coming economic collapse” as if it is some kind of big summer Hollywood blockbuster.  Many people out there write about it as if it is something that will happen in a single day or over a few weeks and that it will suddenly change how the entire world functions.  But that is not how the financial world works.  The financial world is like a game of chess – very slow and methodical.  Yes, there are times when things happen very quickly (like back in 2008), but even that crisis played out over a number of months.  Sadly, most Americans are not used to thinking in terms of months or years.  These days, most Americans have the attention span of a goldfish and most Americans have been trained to expect instant gratification.  They are simply not accustomed to being patient and to wait for things.  Well, despite what you may have read, the economic collapse is not going to be a single event.  It is going to play out over quite a few years.  In some ways we are experiencing an economic collapse right now.  When the next major financial crisis occurs, many will be calling that “an economic collapse”.  But if you really want to grasp what is happening to us, you need to think long-term.  We are heading for a complete and total nightmare, but it is going to take some time to get to the end of the story.

Yes, there will certainly be times of great chaos.  The financial crisis of 2008 was one of those moments.

But the financial crisis of 2008 did not completely destroy us.

Neither will the next crisis.

I think it is helpful to think of what is happening to us as a series of waves.

When you build a beautiful sand castle on the beach, the first wave that comes in does not totally destroy it.

Rather, the first wave weakens the castle and it is destroyed by subsequent waves.

Well, that is what is happening to us.

The financial crisis of 2008 was a wave.

The epicenter of the next great financial crisis will be in Europe and that will be another wave.

For many, the next financial crisis will feel like “the end of the world” but it won’t be.

There will be waves after that one that will be even worse.

Yes, the waves are going to start coming more rapidly and will start becoming more intense.

In that way, they will kind of be like birth pains.

But these problems did not build up overnight and they are not going to disappear overnight either.

A lot of people that write about the coming economic collapse seem to suggest that we should just let it happen so that the “recovery” can begin.

Unfortunately, it is not going to be so simple.

It took decades to build up a national debt of almost 16 trillion dollars.

It took decades for American consumers to build up the greatest consumer debt bubble in the history of the world.

It took decades to gut the economic infrastructure of the United States and ship millions of our jobs overseas.

These problems are going to plague us for a very long time.

Sadly, a lot of people out there seem to wish for an economic apocalypse.  They seem to think that if the global financial system crashes that the government is going to disappear and we are going to start fighting with each other using sharp pointed sticks.

Well, it simply is not going to happen.

The U.S. government is not going to help you survive when things hit the fan, but it is not going to disappear either.

In fact, the federal government will probably try to grab more power than ever in an attempt to “restore order”.

The governments of Europe are not going to disappear either.  In fact, in the long run Europe is probably going to end up more “federalized” than ever even if the euro breaks up in the short run.

A lot of people out there seem to think that when the old system collapses that it will give them an opportunity to help put in a new system.

Sorry, but that is not going to happen either.

The powers that be are going to have their own ideas about what needs to happen.

They never like to let a good crisis go to waste, and they will certainly try to use every crisis to shape the world even more in their own image.

The coming economic collapse is going to play out over a number of years and it is going to be absolutely horrible.

Billions of people will deeply suffer because of it.

It will be unlike anything any of us have ever seen.

Personally, I believe that it will eventually be much worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The United States is going to get hit particularly hard.  The United States is going to lose its position as the leading economic power on the globe and the U.S. dollar is going to lose its position as the default reserve currency of the world.

If you thought that the unemployment crisis during the last recession was bad, just wait until you see what is coming.

We are heading for a complete and total unemployment nightmare in the United States.  Unemployment is eventually going to soar well up into the double digits.

The U.S. government will try a wide variety of measures to try to “fix” things, and some will likely have some limited success.

But the debt-fueled prosperity that we are all enjoying now is going to come to an end.

Many communities all over America will degenerate into rotting cesspools.

There are going to be riots in our major cities, crime and looting will be absolutely rampant and it will seem like society is coming apart at the seams.

The U.S. government will likely respond by becoming more authoritarian than ever, and that will truly be frightening.

But all of this is going to play out over time.

Right now, things are not as good as they were five years ago.

A couple of years from now, things will be even worse.  Many of us will look back and wish that we could return to the “good old days” of 2011 and 2012.

We are on a decline that is not going to stop.  There will be little false bubbles of hope like we are in now, but they won’t last long.

But just because the economy is falling apart does not mean that your life is over.  Many that are busy preparing right now will be greatly blessed even in the middle of all the chaos.

And it is when things are the darkest that the greatest lights are needed.

Make the decision right now to be a light during the times ahead.

You can choose to let the times that are coming destroy you, or you can choose to make them the greatest adventure of your life.

The choice is up to you.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!