Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Cities--Big Problems

Four bedroom, two bath house with 1,249 sf of living space for $1. Nope. That is not a misprint. It was one of many that I found in a quick search of the website for Detroit, MI. Actually there were 199 on the site that were for sale in that city for under $1,000. The picture on the right is one of those I found for $1.

Detroit started to boom as a city in the 1910s when the auto industry began to consolidate there primarily because of the genius of Henry Ford and later the organizational skills of Alfred P. Sloan who took a loose collection of auto companies, started 100 years ago this year in Flint, MI, molding it into the colossus General Motors. It was GM’s CEO Charles Wilson in 1952 who uttered the famous words, “What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what is good for General Motors is good for the country.”

Detroit’s population peaked in 1950 at 1.8 million, when it was the fourth largest city in the USA. Today it is down to 834,116, a population it last passed somewhere between the 1910 and 1920 census. Detroit loses population each day and is why there are 199 houses for sale there for under $1,000.

A couple of weeks ago, I compared North Dakota with San Francisco. In my opinion, it was no contest for ND. Can you imagine what a comparison with Detroit would be like?

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