Thursday, December 31, 2009

Detroit: Socialist Lab

I watched the videos of you driving around Argentina and,

really, it doesn't look so bad compared to Detroit:

Then again, Detroit had a head start and far more
 devastating riots back in the 1960s. 
Hi Brian, thanks for the video. Hope it helps people make better decisions on next elections. Situations aren't similar. What happened in Detroit is terrible but what happens in the settlements here is extreme poverty. Not talking about abandoned towns and homes, but people building shacks with pieces of wood, many just with cardboard and plastic sheet on flooded junkyards full of rats. Some even make wooden platforms and live there, over the flooded filth. Check the video again and hear what I say when I head to Camino Negro. Sorry, didn't get out of the car and walk around filming. Few sane people would on their own.

                                    Villa Miseria Ingeniero Bunge, in Camino Negro.
The place I drove by wasn't empty,  but rather full of extremely poor people, many of which would steal everything I had on me so dont expect me to get out of the car and risk my neck filming around a Bs. As. "villa". :-) Who knows? I've done some stupid stuff in the past, so maybe I will one day, just don't hold your breath. Excellent video, hope everyone watches it and votes right next time! 



Yophat said...

Just caught that same video earlier this evening...great video.

Just want to thank you for all the advice this year....truly a gold mine.

Wish I could say next year would be better....but I can't!

Case in point:

US Average Daily Unemployment borrowing from Nov 3rd to Dec 2nd - $69,596,132.41
US Average Daily Unemployment borrowing from Dec 2nd to Dec 30th - $140,423,929.95
Percentage Increase - 102%

Happy New Year!

Sten said...

Wow, Detroit is bad but Argentina is worse. It amazes me how far people will let themselves go before they decide to take back power from the goverment. Why do you think that is. I would think total destitution and probably hungry as well would cause mass riots down there. Love reading your blog. Keep the faith.

Wyn Boniface said...


You take care down there in 2010, God Bless.

Ed from Europe said...

As if the decline of Detroit is to be blamed upon Obama?

Yes that must be the easy way out :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello FerFAL,
I've been enjoying your blog for some time now.
I saw this post at JFPO and thought of you.
What I've been telling my fellow Americans, IT CAN HAPPEN HERE!
Thanks for all you have done. I buy my first Glock tomarrow.
Jerry Jones

Anonymous said...

Detroit is on its back, but these "Ruin Porn" videos, as locals refer to them, don't really represent the city.

You'd think it was a war zone (and it does look like that in some areas,) but unlike other economically depressed cities Detroit is different in two ways...

1. It was built around the car, meaning the city is sprawling. It costs more to live there when you HAVE to own a car. Similarly, it costs the city a lot of money to provide services to people that are so spread out, more than if they lived in a denser walkable city. Also, some neighborhoods that get totally abandoned (and that visiting "journalists" love to film) are left to rot. but often, they are just that, rotting buildings. Which leads me o reason number two.

2. Detroit doesn't have shanty towns. There are some decrepit houses, some abandoned neighborhoods with rotting empty houses, but there are no shacks-filled trench towns.

I think its fair to say, that while Detroit may look tremendously destitute on film, people are better off there, than in a similarly large city in Argentina -- where large numbers of the truly poor live in scrap-built shacks.

Detroit experienced tremendous growth and a similarly fast exodus of its people, industry and tax base. If Detroit were entirely what these "ruin porn" hunters like to portray it as, you would see pictures of people suffering, and not just their buildings. These folks are looking for images of misery, and although murder and crime is bad there, if misery were that readily visible, they would gladly document and display it.

Detroit is on its back. However, if you were to compare the visible blight of Detroit with an Argentinean city, then look at the population density and low income vs cost of living, you'd probably find a greater abundance of poverty-born misery in Argentina (or "3rd world", to quote FerFAL, countries), than you would in Detroit.

Mr_Zlu said...


Why am I not surprised.

Leftism is the cancer killing the Western world.

gaga said...

As I non-American I find it amusing when the 'Right' or 'Left' blame each other for all the worlds ills. Well, the fact is the USA has a shit political system, from the ground up. A laughable 'democratic system' that is in fact a corrupt system to keep powerful people in power .. and wealth. Maybe that's what the US shares with Argentina that will see it have the same SHTF future.
This presenter has the narrow mindset that seems common in declining empires. The American Empire is collapsing while it politicians and people play the violin.

Why is Detroit a dump? becuase there are no high paying jobs bashing metal into car that nobody wants to buy, Americans especially, because of short termism in decision making going back 40 years. Other countries plan for the long term - decades even. In the US its the next quarters results, give me my bonus and *** you and the company. Not surprisingly the Unions have the same attitude.

Don Williams said...


1) I had a question: Which areas in Argentina (and Buenos Aires) stayed reasonably safe after the crash and which ones became dangerous?

Was it pretty much in accord with the income/wealth of the neighborhoods --i.e, rich neighborhoods were protected and safe whereas all poor areas became dangerous?

2) Or did other factors have influence? For example, here in the USA law enforcement protection for most people is largely handled at the state and county level. Within some counties, especially in rural areas, there is another local government for defined towns and/or townships. Those small towns have their own police force.

3) Does Argentina have a similar government structure? Is so, did the compact, independent towns provide better protection to their people compared to the larger areas/political units policed by more remote officals?

Similar to the way fortified hill towns in the Middle Ages were more secure than farm houses and manors in the outlying countryside.

4) Also, did any local police departments authorize their local citizens to use violence -- as part time police deputies or as militia?

5) Were neighborhoods close to police headquarters and major infrastructure facilities (Hospitals, water treatment plants, electrical generation/transmission facilities,etc ) safer and more secure?

6) Was the differences fairly obvious or would one need to examine crime statistics to be sure of conclusions?

Anonymous said...

Believe me, there are socialist labs all over Michigan (and US)! If Detroit were ceceded(sp?) from Michigan I could work without feeling like there are HUNDREDS of hands in my pocket, taking a cut from my wages even before I see the $. It's not just Commissar O., it's both sides selling us out, Senate and House of Reps.

Anonymous said...

Characterizing Detroit's decline as a the result of a "socialist lab" experiment, is oversimplified and jsut not correct.

Detroit declined for a number of reasons, and the primary one is economy. It boomed when it had a corner on vehicle manufacturing. Laborers flooded the area, and when the jobs started leaving, the natural tensions of these labor groups came into conflict -- the result was basically a lot of white flight after the riots.

The rise of suburbanization made white flight easy. It also made it easy for people to not seethe economic decline, and not care when it sped up -- as a result of free market policies like NAFTA.

An economic boom made Detroit what it was, and free market policies and "I got mine" attitude brought it down.

When it was already in shambles, the people who wanted to hike taxes and promise hand outs really gained traction. So those types of people may be keeping Detroit on its back now, but the free marketers put it on its back -- they also help keep it on its back today by keeping NAFTA in place, regardless of its effects.

Keep this in mind, when a car is cheaper because it was built in Mexico, its still more expensive for someone in Detroit, because they're subsidizing the cleaning up of the mess that the auto companies left behind (with their tax dollars).

The auto companies gutted public transportation in Detroit and Michigan, so that people would be forced to buy cars. Without public transport and having to drive cars, people wont live densely. When people are spread out, they have to pay more in taxes to support that infrastructure. When that infrastructure begins to crumble, more people leave and it costs even for the people left behind to maintain it. Its a downward spiral.

"The socialists did it" "the socialists hate business" is a really ignorant and obnoxious oversimplification.

You have to look at Detroit's social history, economic history, and the way it was physically built -- it is a big white elephant that needs a big tax base to keep it running. When auto companies that provided all the jobs leaves, they and their employees leave.

Its the same reason big beautiful buildings turn to shit when they are only at 10% occupancy.

Anonymous said...

Free market capitalism is the greatest road to wealth ever devised. It fosters continual competition which forces a manufacturer to improve their product and practices, or go out of business. What causes failed economic models like the like Detroit, and the U.S. auto industry is government-dictated regulations and greedy, fat, stupid unions who don't care about long-term competitiveness, but in getting mostly uneducated laborers ridiculously high, unwarranted wages. Even last year when GM was on the verge of complete collapse, the UAW did not want to concede anything. Socialistic government programs and intervention always leads to corruption and complete failure.

Anonymous said...

The decline of Detroit is the fault of blacks; any other reason is a lie.

Anonymous said...

Detroit is being run into the ground by its government.

I looked into moving there last year thinking that there must be a lot of unmet demand there for a lot of different products and services, and also that it might be possible to get some really good deals on real estate that could be put to creative uses.

Forget it.

It is true they have houses for sale for $100 there. But there are so many government imposed restrictions on what you MUST do with the property, and what you MUST NOT do, that is as if you did not even own your own property.

I estimated it would probably cost an additional $70K on top of the $100 sale price to convince the city government to let you keep a house once you had bought it. $70K is still cheap relative to national levels. But it is not spending that you are undertaking because you- the owner- think it is appropriate.

The business climate looked pretty unappealing as well.

I don't know if it is the same in Argentina. But Detriot is definitely contributing to its own problems.

Anonymous said...

I would not believe most of what that video clip about Detroit told you. I live here. The man kept showing the same four buildings over and over again but at different angles. Of course he failed to mention that Detroit is an international port that does billions in commerce each year. But the commerce angle does not make for such great sensationalism. Detroit does have some mega problems but the city is not dead, it has the advantage of being an international port and automobiles are not our only industry.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading for two hours and I've seen nothing about WHY Argentina and now Greece are going down the drain. Not a word about Capitalism and negative and false propaganda about left and socialism (which btw is the only sane solution).

Obviously you are just another crow turning profit from the misery of fellow people while helping them to stay blind as to who's to blame for their situation.

PS: Hint As to Detroit misery: (Big money took factories and jobs to China)

PS2: Oh, I'm Greek and for 2 years now I'm seeing clearly who's to blame for the mess and it's anything but the Leftists. Our difference is that I want a solution and that cannot come on the basis of lying around.

FerFAL said...

You sound like a very confused young man. I usually erase nonsense like yours but there may actually be some other people as confused as you are. This goes to prove that you can go through hard times, yet if the person is not ready they still learn nothing.
You see, what you believe to be the solution is exactly what caused the miserable state your county is in right now. Its sad that you are going through all this and obviously haven’t learned what should have been obvious. What you believe to be capitalism isn’t quite so, its rather the opposite.
In true capitalism, the capitalist comes with the capital, invests and either makes money or loses it. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you make a little profit, sometimes you hit the jackpot depending on how smart and lucky you are and that’s the beauty of the capitalist system.
What is destroying the world´s economy isn’t capitalism but white collar thieves both politicians and CEOs that are exploiting the huge flaws within the socialist system. Instead of a true capitalist system where the capitalist goes broke and loses everything if he does poorly when running business, here the government bails out and gives billions in return for poor corporate management, and that money comes straight out of the tax payers pocket. In most cases creating debt that sends these companies into bankruptcy is exactly what makes them filthy rich. Rob 1.000.000 USD at gunpoint and you go to jail, rob and you get bailed out because otherwise the system supposedly collapses.
These banks and corporations (and governments such as yours) that get bailed out, they only did so thanks to the socialist welfare state that allows it to exist and prosper. They make money if the corporation goes well, they make money if it doesn’t, because the government bails them out anyway. That’s not capitalism. In an true capitalist economy the CEO of Goldman Sacks would have gone bankrupt and would be cutting the lawn for pocket change.
But that’s not the case. The CEO of Goldman Sacks, this happy go lucky guy right here, Lloyd Blankfein :
He made 50 million in 2007 and almost 14 million in 2010 for doing exactly what I described above, and you know who these people fund? That’s right, socialist politicians. Goldman Sacks gave millions to Obama for his campaign. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Blankfein
You’d think they would vote Republican, but no. A nice welfare socialist state is what they like the most. Socialists capitalists. Capitalists when it comes to getting paid, communists when it comes to dropping the debt on the tax payers back. Go figure.What a weird and convenient creature that is.