The Global Auto: A “Good Deal”
By Ricardo Ballón
Translated By Laura L. Messer
1 January 2013
Edited by Molly Rusk
Bolivia - Bolpress - Original Article (Spanish)
While the “patriots” and “tea party” intoxicate themselves with racism and entertain themselves with anti-immigration laws, their affluent patrons, mostly well-off white supremacists, have withdrawn their capital from the U.S. in order to invest in places where labor is cheap and taxes and other such regulatory obligations are next to nothing.
Their employees, senators, representatives and other dependents have designed laws which allow them to continue taking advantage of the leaky internal market, and to position their new Asian brands — Toyota, Nissan, Kia and others — as best-sellers while they demolish the little that remains of what was the great national industry in yesteryear.
The result is that large industrial cities like Detroit are left without sources of work. American automobiles are nearly gone from a market faced with the immigration of such foreign automobiles. The city’s inhabitants, mostly white, are forced to migrate to other states, leaving the city with an uncontrolled crime rate which no one speaks about, not even the celebrated sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, Joe Arpaio; nor does anyone design anti-immigration measures for this society destroyed by the commercial interests of large investors. The draconian Jan Brewer, who claims to protect citizens with her controversial measures, maintains complicit silence in this respect.
And not to mention the mass media, both English and Spanish, which is more occupied with distracting public opinion with news and scandals of celebrity divas and other miscellany than reporting the devastating consequences of this phenomenon that is generating unemployment and criminality.
Well into the 21st century, while the mass media buries with its silence the devastating silence that Detroit is enduring, the news circulates in Europe and the rest of the world.
Thereby one can learn that the flagship city of the automotive industry is left as a phantasmagoric scrap heap. As of today, 63 percent of its population has fled, leaving in ruins 800,000 now-empty structures. History continues to repeat itself; cities that had once been attractive for their economic vigor are deteriorating due to the closure of large factories, accompanied by the closure of monumental stores and commercial chains. The equation is simple. Less sources of work equals more unemployment, more poverty, more delinquency.
The 2010 census shows, with all the technical details, that Detroit has lost another 25 percent of its population in the last 10 years. According to the census results, Detroit had 1.89 million inhabitants in 1950. In 2010 the figure had been reduced to 706,585 people. A population reduction of these dimensions dangerously lessens government revenues, weakening the ability of the local government to render basic services.
In Detroit, according to the local authorities, unemployment is in the neighborhood of 50 percent, with 36.2 percent of the population living below the poverty line — a percentage dependent on services the government now cannot provide.
In the most impoverished areas, homes have been sold for the absurdly low price of $1. According to Realcomp, a real estate firm, the current average price of a dwelling is approximately $9,000. To abandonment, add arsons averaging 30 per day, the increase in crime and the presence of local drug cartels; and further, all the evils that circulate below the ruins, today photographed by morbid tourism which amuses itself with the collapse of formerly monumental structures like the Michigan Central Station, the Packard automotive plant or the emblematic Metropolitan Building.
The collapse of Detroit is a symptom that can spread far and wide through the great North American nation. The affluent and influential patriots, the patronage of whom democracy is dependent upon, are playing with fire, as before, as those who earn over $1 million per year avoid taxes and charge them to the working classes. Thus a new year begins on the verge of the “fiscal cliff,” with the country about to be hit by a great recession of unpredictable consequences.
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