Thursday, December 12, 2013

It  is the season to hope.  The time of year when we reflect on the bad things in life and hope for the better.  The city of Detroit is a very bad place that we all have very fond memories of since it was the birthplace of the almighty very much loved American car we all grew up in.  When it filed for bankruptcy in July, it earned the distinction of being the largest American city to do that  and admit defeat.  Yes, we have poor people and poor cities in this country; places that was once vibrant prosperous  hubs of American manufacturing.
Detroit’s decline wasn’t sudden it took 50 years of neglect just like that house in your neighborhood that never gets painted or repairs that everyone notices but does nothing to care and AAK WHAT IS GOING ON THERE,  You need to care and give someone hope and we just don’t do that.  Now we  just wait on line for the new

X-Box and sit in front of the TV killing people for hours with our thumbs.  That is all American now.
There are many reasons for Detroit’s demise. Try the decline of the auto industry, race riots, the mass exodus of the tax paying middle class families, corruption, bad management and loss of hope. instead of Disney go to Detroit and see what dispair looks like. The place might as well has been in a war with large buildings gutted  out without windows no people anywhere.  War zones can be interesting too after a war. Ok, the wife and kids might not think so.

It might as well be a Will Smith movie set of his movie called After Earth. Factories, stores, schools left to rot. Homes gutted by fire and streets abandoned populated by trash. Can I convince them it is a Universal Studios tour?  Look if you don’t laugh you should just be crying at the whole situation and how our government can just ignore the situation like it doesn’t exist .The city turns dark after dusk because 40% of the street lights do not work.

The busses don’t arrive on time and the cops don’t come on time if they even respond at all to a 911 call. They are all understaffed.  If your house is on fire maybe the fire department will arrive but then they probably don’t have the hoses and the fire hydrants won’t have any water pressure to put anything out.  Because of budget cuts, the city has lost a third of its cops, a third of its firefighters and fire houses have been shut down.  Equipment doesn’t get fixed.

Detroit is a huge 139 square miles of all this mess.  That is enough space to contain Boston, San Franscisco and Manhattan. How can a country ignore  that many miles of a perfectly good place for millions of people to live if only people would care and do something. Our government has failed to protect our once great cities like Detroit once was.  There are about 80 thousand abandoned buildings there.
There is a glimmer of hope in downtown Detroit where this section is vibrant clean and populated all because of the efforts of one man.  He is Dan Gilbert who was born in Detroit and who is the founder and chairman of Quickin Loans which is the third largest mortgage providor in the country.  The company has made him millions.  He has bought up a lot of depressed properties in Detroit and has invested billions in the area renovating and populating the place with his employees.

Many people wonder if he is doing good for Detroit or if he is just doing good for himself.  Is every investor or profit making capitalist a greedy person or is he doing well by doing good?   Is he doing for Detroit what Carnegie did for Pittsburgh or what Rockefeller did for New York? Dan Gilbert is the second largest land owner in Detroit. He gave ten thousand people jobs and homes in Detroit and most of all he is trying to give hope to a fallen city.

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