Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Jack Lessenberry's column Previous Next
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Woodward
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Username: Woodward

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 207.91.250.131
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A good one this week...

http://www.metrotimes.com/edit orial/story.asp?id=9072

Edward Glaeser is a man who lives on a six-and-a-half-acre estate in rural Massachusetts, and likes wearing tailored suits, a pocket watch on a gold chain and large silver cuff links. A man of the people, in other words.

He is also a brilliant economist who is regarded as a "genius" and the "most exciting" expert on cities. He was made a full professor at Harvard University when he was only 30; eight years later, he is also director of one of the nation's leading institutes on state and local government. And professor Edward Glaeser thinks the nation should allow the city of Detroit to slide right down the shit hole.

http://www.metrotimes.com/edit orial/story.asp?id=9072
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Machoken
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Username: Machoken

Post Number: 1188
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.85.155.145
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That was a good article? Boy, I'd hate to read a bad Lessenberry article. Maybe I'm a moran, but I really had a hard time understanding what he was trying to say. Maybe the print version is better.
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Metrodetguy
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Username: Metrodetguy

Post Number: 2459
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 71.144.84.243
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 7:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lessenberry might want to check his facts. Weston, Massachusetts is a suburb of Boston. It would be the equivalent (in both affluence and proximity) of the Birmingham-Bloomfield area. It is hardly rural.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 1959
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 4.229.150.33
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 8:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The guy's a moron, who has no street smarts (only book smarts). If it weren't for tenure, he'd probably be working along with other unemployable "book smart only" folks.... at a Borders Book Store. (I'm not saying all bookstore employees are this way, just some of them.)

And Machoken, you are correct, Lessenberry's article was poorly written.
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Ilovedetroit
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Username: Ilovedetroit

Post Number: 2211
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 68.42.170.20
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 9:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The guy is an idiot...and Jack Loosenberry is even a bigger asshat (thanks supersport) for printing it. Why do we read his shit?
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Ron
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Username: Ron

Post Number: 12
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 66.174.79.231
Posted on Wednesday, April 05, 2006 - 10:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know about anyone else, but it is truly a scary thought that there are "legitimate" people out there who actually advocate for things like this.

The logical conclusion of a "free market" in these type of policies would be the total waste of natural resources, intellectual resources, etc. by those who can make a buck off of something, and then abandon it when it becomes economically burdensome.

I am truly afraid of those who advocate such an approach, as the natural conclusion of such policies would be "cities" sprouting up further and further away from the core cities, and the total desolation of our once great cities. Brings visions of an Escape from New York/LA type of scenario.

SHUDDER
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 95
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here come the diparaging remarks to the river rat.

Lessenbery's article about Glaeser's economic views may not be what we want to hear, but, unfortunately, they are true. The main thing to consider is the fact that we live in a market economy. The market determines the price/value of Detroit property and properties and businesses will come and go based on the market. This is America.

His comment about the Detroit politicos is another jewel; they think of nothing but their self-interest in everything they do. Get re-elected, promise the stars and the moon, etc.

What is encouraging and not mentioned by Lessenberry/Glaeser is that nothing gets worse forever. The market assures that. The fact of the matter is, what was Detroit really doesn't need to or should exist any longer. River rat believes that the city should abandon it's charter, close shop and be replaced by an assemblage of small governmental units with responsible governments.

The truth hurts and reality is often hard to accept.

the river rat the realist
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1533
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 1:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

The main thing to consider is the fact that we live in a market economy. The market determines the price/value of Detroit property and properties and businesses will come and go based on the market. This is America.



The problem with this statement is that the "market" didn't subsidize oil, bring water to Vegas and LA, or build the interstate freeway system and the national airport system.

Without cheap energy and water, the NE and Great Lakes area (probably the NW too) is where most of the country would be.

Detroit lost its competitive edge largely because the competition was greatly subsidized.

I think that Lessenberry would agree with this, even if he didn't effectivly bring it up in his column. I also bet that Glaeser would agree with it. The difference is that Glaeser probably doesn't care.
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Track75
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Username: Track75

Post Number: 2280
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 12.75.22.28
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 2:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Original Glaeser discussion here:

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/5/68689.html?1143388519
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River_rat
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Username: River_rat

Post Number: 96
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 68.166.44.44
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 4:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jsmeyers, maybe you forgot that the entire interstate highway system that was from the 50's through present was a subsidy to Detroit. We built the cars to travel on it.

Maybe the St. Lawernce Seaway shouldn't have been built because it subsidized the Great Lakes.

The market is the market.

the river rat
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1549
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 68.255.164.65
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 5:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

The problem with this statement is that the "market" didn't subsidize oil, bring water to Vegas and LA, or build the interstate freeway system and the national airport system.

Without cheap energy and water, the NE and Great Lakes area (probably the NW too) is where most of the country would be.

Detroit lost its competitive edge largely because the competition was greatly subsidized.



*Fnemecek stands and applauds*

River_rat:
The interstate highway system came about as a result of the National Defense and Transportation Act of 1947 (along with some pent up demand for G.I. Bill mortgages in the post-WWII era). However, calling it a subsidy for Detroit is reaching.

Auto factories existed elsewhere. The bulk of the money got spent elsewhere.

More importantly, the automotive industry was doing just fine pre-1947, thank you very much.
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Fnemecek
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Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 1550
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 68.255.164.65
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

That was a good article? Boy, I'd hate to read a bad Lessenberry article. Maybe I'm a moran, but I really had a hard time understanding what he was trying to say.



Lessenberry's columns are written in a traditional magazine format. That means that he puts fluffy stuff towards the top and the substance comes later. (A "pyramid of details" if you will).

I believe his main point was to contrast Prof. Glaesser with Sen. Kennedy. In that sense, I felt it was an interesting piece that was worth reading.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1535
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 6:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I didn't say that Michigan or Detroit didn't benefit from subsidy.

Canals and Railroads help make the Chicagos and Detroits of this country what they were (and are).

I'm simply saying that it isn't the "market." It was politics and policy.

The market is the market, but neither you nor Glaeser (based on the Lessenberry column) are discussing the market.

Now turning the question about whether this is a good idea, I'd tend to say that recent (post 1950) subsidies were generally not good ideas because they are not sustainable. Many of the previous subsidies were. (There are exceptions to both.) A couple of examples:

Subsidizing water use in arid locations through long distance piping increases the demand for the water, requiring additional water, which is in finite supply.

The vast majority of highways do not pay for themselves with user fees (tolls and taxes). They are also extremely energy intensive when the energy source is finite.

For the most part, the railroad system did pay for itself (and it endured strict regulation) in the short time between its build out and subsidized competition from planes and cars.

In the past, hot and humid locations in the southeast required creative architecture and living in order to deal with the heat. Air conditioning changed that. Air conditioning is extrememly energy intensive, but that doesn't really matter right now to Georgia because energy is heavily subsidized. Our current energy sources are finite .

I would also add that when society makes and fixed investment in one location (Detroit for example) it is foolhearty to adbandon that investment in order to put resources into another similar investment elsewhere (Troy, or Las Vegas, for example). There is little or no utility to society in that action, only to the individual actors that profited from the switch.

And that is really where politics gets into the mix.
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2085
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 69.14.135.95
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 7:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As usual, lessenberry had it wrong (again), and this guy hit the nail on the head.

Just how long can those people supporting lennenberry's side in this think that a city that is so dependant upon outside support as much as Detroit is can realistically survive?

Detroit was able to stand on its own for quite a long time. It can do so again, but only after the current crop of "leaders" are broomed out for running the city into the ground.
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Jjw
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Username: Jjw

Post Number: 71
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 68.33.56.156
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 8:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

hasn't the metro area and the state of Michigan along with the citizens of Detroit already been following his philosophy for the past 40 years????
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1536
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 68.40.42.197
Posted on Thursday, April 06, 2006 - 9:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes

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