Detroit River Fishing

The Great Detroit Flood of 2014 resulted from the second largest downpour in Detroit history. It closed several expressways and poured into thousands of Metro Detroit basements. The 4.72 inches of rain was the highest daily recorded rainfall since July 31, 1925, when 4.74 inches of rain fell. What went wrong? Could it have been prevented?

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  1. #51
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    I can't say for sure, but perhaps this is why we aren't seeing eye to eye. Detroit will never be a giant urban farm. There's no way we will ever have 140 square miles of urban farmland. And that's not the purpose of this project.
    I never imagined that. But look at most of the plans being floated around to rightsize Detroit - inevitably, at some point, it involves demolishing a bunch of poor neighborhoods and turning them into urban farms under the guise of consolidation. But my question is: where do all those poor people go? They'll quickly be priced out of the remaining "good"/gentrified neighborhoods outside the city core, and we know that core is already getting pricey.

    So basically, the poor will be evicted from the city, which I believe is the ultimate intent of rightsizing. I resent MSU's efforts because from my vantage it just looks like another PR move by urban planners. They want to make a case for larger farms in Detroit, and what better way to do it than to convince a large university to spend $100 million on a farm in the city? It's just too perfect, and coincidentally it arrives right on the heels of the consent agreement.

    I want solutions to Detroit's problems that fix poverty, not chase it out of town. The argument "well, it's better than nothing" shouldn't be an excuse for people with money to do whatever they want. I'm sure City Council feels the same way. MSU's plans, as they stand now, don't really benefit the people living in Detroit right now - it will exist as a sort of isolated community separate from the rest of Detroit. And also, this idea that MSU's research center could reinvent farming and the middle class as we know it is pure speculation, and the more likely reality is that the gains from MSU's research will be much more modest.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by nain rouge View Post
    I never imagined that. But look at most of the plans being floated around to rightsize Detroit - inevitably, at some point, it involves demolishing a bunch of poor neighborhoods and turning them into urban farms under the guise of consolidation. But my question is: where do all those poor people go? They'll quickly be priced out of the remaining "good"/gentrified neighborhoods outside the city core, and we know that core is already getting pricey.

    So basically, the poor will be evicted from the city, which I believe is the ultimate intent of rightsizing. I resent MSU's efforts because from my vantage it just looks like another PR move by urban planners. They want to make a case for larger farms in Detroit, and what better way to do it than to convince a large university to spend $100 million on a farm in the city? It's just too perfect, and coincidentally it arrives right on the heels of the consent agreement.

    I want solutions to Detroit's problems that fix poverty, not chase it out of town. The argument "well, it's better than nothing" shouldn't be an excuse for people with money to do whatever they want. I'm sure City Council feels the same way. MSU's plans, as they stand now, don't really benefit the people living in Detroit right now - it will exist as a sort of isolated community separate from the rest of Detroit. And also, this idea that MSU's research center could reinvent farming and the middle class as we know it is pure speculation, and the more likely reality is that the gains from MSU's research will be much more modest.
    I don't really have anything bad to say about MSU. In fact, their extension program has been a help for urban farmers, thanks to their connection to the Garden Resource Program. But I understand where you're coming from. In this region, we don't solve social problems; we move them around.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by nain rouge View Post
    I never imagined that. But look at most of the plans being floated around to rightsize Detroit - inevitably, at some point, it involves demolishing a bunch of poor neighborhoods and turning them into urban farms under the guise of consolidation. But my question is: where do all those poor people go? They'll quickly be priced out of the remaining "good"/gentrified neighborhoods outside the city core, and we know that core is already getting pricey.

    So basically, the poor will be evicted from the city, which I believe is the ultimate intent of rightsizing.


    The ultimate intent of rightsizing isn't to evict the poor. It's to reduce the per person cost structure of running the city. In other words, When 100 poor people are paying for 200 people's bills, no wonder they feel poor. They're already poor to begin with, and now they're shouldering the load of twice as many people.

    To fix this imbalance, you need to bring people in or reduce the cost structure so it's in line with the number of people here. There's no way you could possibly evict people from the city. There's too many poor, and there's way, way, way too much land.

    Let's say MSU/Hantz/Bill Gates buys up 10% of the city and turns it into million-dollar housing that none of us can afford. What does that accomplish? Well, first it puts millions of dollars in the city coffers via property tax or income tax...that helps improve services. They also spend money in the city. Lots of money. That creates jobs. Well what about the people already living in those neighborhoods? Well, they'll move to one of the other 90% of the city that is still not gentrified.

    And what happens if there are no other neighborhoods left for the poor? What happens if every square mile of land is either gentrified neighborhoods or farmland? Well, it means that the city is making money hand over fist, first of all. It also means that there are no more blighted areas, crime is decreased, the police force has more resources, more manpower, and less territory to cover. And it also means there's more money to help deal with the social problems of the poor.

    That's not the situation to be avoided...that's the solution to the problem.

    You will not solve poverty without rich people. You won't necessarily solve it with rich people. But you definitely aren't going to solve it without rich people. Detroit is the case study for what happens when you try to take care of the poor by chasing away all the people with money.

    Last edited by corktownyuppie; April-17-12 at 01:08 PM.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by corktownyuppie View Post
    And what happens if there are no other neighborhoods left for the poor? What happens if every square mile of land is either gentrified neighborhoods or farmland? Well, it means that the city is making money hand over fist, first of all. It also means that there are no more blighted areas, crime is decreased, the police force has more resources, more manpower, and less territory to cover. And it also means there's more money to help deal with the social problems of the poor.

    That's not the situation to be avoided...that's the solution to the problem.
    A few reactions:

    It's weird to see this framed in business-speak. Re: my first bold: The city making money hand over fist? It's a government, not a business. Cities collect revenue, and it's rarely framed in the usual profit-making terms; it's framed as operating at a surplus.

    You do realize that last sentiment (my second bold) about having some resources to help the poor is sort of meaningless if the whole city is gentrified or farmland?

  5. #55
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    I'm not one of these "operate government solely as a business" guys. I only use the words "hand over fist" in stark contrast to the situation we're in right now, which is the opposite of "hand over fist". I want to take care of the poor, too. But are we really taking care of the poor right now? It's arguable that we're not really taking care of anyone right now. You want to take care of the poor? You need money. You want money? You need to attract people who make money.

    As to the second point, yes, it is irrelevant if the whole city is gentrified. And when we get to the point where even 75% of the city is gentrified, I think it's important that we continue to explore how we can take care of our poorest residents.

    But man...we're talking about a city that is poorer than poor. With costs designed for twice as many average households. And the household that are here earn much less than average. It's a stretch to say that even 20% of our land is sustainable and functional. Maybe, what...3% of our land is gentrified?

    We need to be basing our policies on how to bring MORE money in to the city. And despite my general philosophical alignment with social and economic progressivism, Detroit is the case study for where pro-growth and pro-money policies are desperately needed.

  6. #56
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    I didn't mean to imply that you thought of government as business. It's just weird when you frame government in terms of a business. I think it also subtly affects one's vision of government when one uses such terms. That's why I wanted to bring in the usual terminology.

    I don't know, man. Policies to aid the well-to-do so that, at some unspecified point, when we have a city 3/4 full of well-to-do people, we can then help the poor that we've been discouraging to live here ... I kind of need to do some mental gymnastics to make that work for me.

    Also, pointing out how bad things are for people right now still doesn't mean that the medicine isn't worse than the disease ... I remain opposed to Detroit Works, but I am fully aware of the disease -- just think the proposed cure is more harmful.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that you thought of government as business. It's just weird when you frame government in terms of a business. I think it also subtly affects one's vision of government when one uses such terms. That's why I wanted to bring in the usual terminology.
    Fair point. Government is there to serve the political intent on its citizens. I didn't mean to imply the opposite.

    I don't know, man. Policies to aid the well-to-do so that, at some unspecified point, when we have a city 3/4 full of well-to-do people, we can then help the poor that we've been discouraging to live here ... I kind of need to do some mental gymnastics to make that work for me.
    75% is not a firm number for me. And the mental gymnastics are understandable. It's counterintuitive to look a wealthy person and directly understand how a poor person is benefiting. I get that.

    Let's look at the language you use, just as you have mine...

    Policies that "aid" the well-to-do...."
    The well-to-do don't need aid, and I'm not advocating for that. But they do need to be attracted. Or, at the very minimum, they need to be *not punished* for deciding to come to Detroit. The problem is that in an effort to continuously take care of the poor (which is an important component of any just society, IMHO), we make it almost impossible for anyone with money to justify living here. Hell, the only reason I live here is out of loyalty to the city and wanting to make change. From a dollars/cents/crime/liveablity point of view, there's no way in hell I should be in the city. In essence, I'm living here -- in part -- out of charitable intent. And that may sound arrogant or boastful, but it's reality...and it's a reality we are really bad at recognizing. We're not going to convince 150,000 people to move here through charitable intent.

    You are right. Government is not a business. But it does operate on money. And right now, we don't have enough. That's indisputable. So if you want to have enough, you need to create the environment that will make people who have money want to give to our government by paying taxes. We're not doing that right now. Actually, you can make the argument that we've been doing the opposite of that for decades.

    Whether it's 30%, 50%, or 75% gentrification before we focus on the poor is up for debate, and I think it's worthy of debate. What's not debatable is that if we want to take care of our poor, we need to have money to do it. If we want the money to do it, we need the people with that money be willing to give that money to our government, or we need to make better use of the money we have...or both.

    Rightsizing is not an intention to kick poor people out. It's to find better ways to use the money that we do have. If there are 10,000 street lights in the city, but there's only enough money to keep 3,333 lights on, we can do one of the following:

    (1) light up every 3rd light
    (2) move everyone to 1/3 of the city where all the lights work
    (3) have all the lights work, but on every 3rd day.

    Right sizing is about finding the best combination of the 3 to make the most people happy.

    Also, pointing out how bad things are for people right now still doesn't mean that the medicine isn't worse than the disease ... I remain opposed to Detroit Works, but I am fully aware of the disease -- just think the proposed cure is more harmful.
    The medicine may be worse than the disease in the short term...just as alcohol burns when you pour it on a cut. But sometimes you need to go through the hard part before you get the benefit. If this isn't one of those times, I don't know what is. Or at least I want to be shown an alternative to what we're doing now.
    Last edited by corktownyuppie; April-17-12 at 01:52 PM.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by corktownyuppie View Post
    75% is not a hard number for me. And the mental gymnastics are understandable. It's counterintuitive to look a wealthy person and directly understand how a poor person is benefiting. I get that.

    The well-to-do don't need aid, and I'm not advocating for that. But they do need to be attracted. Or, at the very minimum, they need to be *not punished* for deciding to come to Detroit.
    I don't see how you accomplish that without offering some form of aid. Aiding the professional class, as the payments to professionals to live in Midtown, are difficult to justify when there are malnourished kids in other parts of the city.

    Quote Originally Posted by corktownyuppie View Post
    Rightsizing is not an intention to kick poor people out. It's to find better ways to use the money that we do have.
    There has to be a better way than Detroit Works. I note with suspicion that the plan will reward the usual powerful players -- DTE, land speculators, professionals -- while the "benefits" for the poor will be that they get to move. The whole plan will likely be prohibitively expensive and involve forcing people to move. (Apparently, legal documents such as deeds will have to come into question.) Can't understand how we see our actual residents as "drains" when they're the ones who tough it out in depopulated areas, often cutting grass, unclogging sewers, using their own porchlights in lieu of streetlights, etc. No, they're a drain and must be dealt with.

    Meanwhile, the region's priorities are just as topsy-turvy as ever. Building huge roads out in places where we have housing styles in oversupply. Lavishing subsidies on places in the exurbs that are unfinished, and likely will never fill in. To say nothing of the expenses attendant on 100-odd redundant municipal governments, each with their own police forces, fire departments, school districts, etc. No, in one of the richest regions in the country, we have to sock it to the city, which, in the long run, has the best chance at fueling the local economy through redevelopment if we could have a functioning regional planning system that drove proper investment.

    Then there are so many other issues. What if we weren't fighting several expensive wars right now? That might free up a few trillion dollars for our cities. What if we repealed the War on Drugs? What if we instituted national single-payer health care? What if we had an actual urban policy in this country that involved funding infrastructure? None of that is up for debate, of course. Instead, it's just those darn poor people in the way with their insatiable desire for police, fire and lighting.

    As usual, I overstate things. But, you see, there are other medicines. It's just that the powers that be are pushing one that is politically positioned from their standpoint. It is the most vulnerable whose oxes will be gored by Detroit Works. And everybody else stands to gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by corktownyuppie View Post
    The medicine may be worse than the disease in the short term...just as alcohol burns when you pour it on a cut. But sometimes you need to go through the hard part before you get the benefit. If this isn't one of those times, I don't know what is. Or at least I want to be shown an alternative to what we're doing now.
    Well, that boils down to the old "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs" sort of thing.

    But, as Sinclair Lewis pointed out in "It Can't Happen Here": "If I ever hear that 'can't make an omelet' phrase again, I'll start doing a little murder myself! It's used to justify every atrocity under every despotism, Fascist or Nazi or Communist or American labor war. Omelet! Eggs! By God, sir, men's souls and blood are not eggshells for tyrants to break!"

    Anyway, I have no problem with the occasional streetlight being out. So far, I have no complaints about city services. My garbage gets picked up every week. I knew I was moving to Detroit and not, say, Dearborn under Hubbard. I am familiar with the disease, and very wary of that alcohol swab. Especially when it's people from outstate, who have no love for minorities or appreciation of cities, loading up the needle.

  9. #59
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    I see where you're coming from...and it points to an even more fundamental question than the viability of Detroit Works: Whose responsibility is it to take care of our poor, powerless, and disadvantaged.

    Unfortunately, society's answer at the current moment is: themselves.

    Now if you can convince the political needle to move in the opposite direction, then great. But under the current political realities -- which, admittedly, are created by the institutions and the powerful people who run those institutions -- there aren't lot of better answers.

    Is antiestablishmentarianism going to further our mutual aims? To better Detroit? To take care of the powerless? I personally don't believe so. But I'm still listening, and I'd like to hear your take on how that -- or any other real alternatives -- might work.

    In other words, it might be true that the longer term health of Oakland County depends on Detroit. But if they don't believe it's true, then we either need to convince them or find another avenue. But til then, they're happy as a clam with things the way they are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by corktownyuppie View Post
    I see where you're coming from...and it points to an even more fundamental question than the viability of Detroit Works: Whose responsibility is it to take care of our poor, powerless, and disadvantaged.

    Unfortunately, society's answer at the current moment is: themselves.

    Now if you can convince the political needle to move in the opposite direction, then great. But under the current political realities -- which, admittedly, are created by the institutions and the powerful people who run those institutions -- there aren't lot of better answers.

    Is antiestablishmentarianism going to further our mutual aims? To better Detroit? To take care of the powerless? I personally don't believe so. But I'm still listening, and I'd like to hear your take on how that -- or any other real alternatives -- might work.

    In other words, it might be true that the longer term health of Oakland County depends on Detroit. But if they don't believe it's true, then we either need to convince them or find another avenue. But til then, they're happy as a clam with things the way they are.
    Thanks for hearing me out, CY. I think there are a lot of decent people earnestly trying to make a difference, and that's a plus. I count you among them. And I think we have more of that energy than we did 10 years ago, and that's encouraging. It's not all bleak.

    There are other answers. For instance, if the banks would let Detroit restructure its bond debt, it could save the city a huge chunk of money. But that is never brought up -- because the banks are too powerful. (When New York City was about to go kaput, its terms were modified, after all.)

    I think we're at a turning point, actually. And I think that may be why there's this necessity of haste for ramming through Detroit Works right now. I'm not saying Detroit is all soap bubbles and glitter and that its leaders are solons, but some elements -- such as tax breaks for Michigan's wealthy at the expense of revenue-sharing for the cities -- had nothing to do with Detroit and everything to do with Lansing. Let's step back and look at what else we can do.

    Maybe that's the coolest thing about Detroit; there is no big Soviet-style five year plan or Cultural Revolution to follow. It's different people trying different things. That's where the best new ideas come from...

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detroitnerd View Post
    I don't see how you accomplish that without offering some form of aid. Aiding the professional class, as the payments to professionals to live in Midtown, are difficult to justify when there are malnourished kids in other parts of the city.



    There has to be a better way than Detroit Works. I note with suspicion that the plan will reward the usual powerful players -- DTE, land speculators, professionals -- while the "benefits" for the poor will be that they get to move. The whole plan will likely be prohibitively expensive and involve forcing people to move. (Apparently, legal documents such as deeds will have to come into question.) Can't understand how we see our actual residents as "drains" when they're the ones who tough it out in depopulated areas, often cutting grass, unclogging sewers, using their own porchlights in lieu of streetlights, etc. No, they're a drain and must be dealt with.

    Meanwhile, the region's priorities are just as topsy-turvy as ever. Building huge roads out in places where we have housing styles in oversupply. Lavishing subsidies on places in the exurbs that are unfinished, and likely will never fill in. To say nothing of the expenses attendant on 100-odd redundant municipal governments, each with their own police forces, fire departments, school districts, etc. No, in one of the richest regions in the country, we have to sock it to the city, which, in the long run, has the best chance at fueling the local economy through redevelopment if we could have a functioning regional planning system that drove proper investment.

    Then there are so many other issues. What if we weren't fighting several expensive wars right now? That might free up a few trillion dollars for our cities. What if we repealed the War on Drugs? What if we instituted national single-payer health care? What if we had an actual urban policy in this country that involved funding infrastructure? None of that is up for debate, of course. Instead, it's just those darn poor people in the way with their insatiable desire for police, fire and lighting.

    As usual, I overstate things. But, you see, there are other medicines. It's just that the powers that be are pushing one that is politically positioned from their standpoint. It is the most vulnerable whose oxes will be gored by Detroit Works. And everybody else stands to gain.



    Well, that boils down to the old "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs" sort of thing.

    But, as Sinclair Lewis pointed out in "It Can't Happen Here": "If I ever hear that 'can't make an omelet' phrase again, I'll start doing a little murder myself! It's used to justify every atrocity under every despotism, Fascist or Nazi or Communist or American labor war. Omelet! Eggs! By God, sir, men's souls and blood are not eggshells for tyrants to break!"

    Anyway, I have no problem with the occasional streetlight being out. So far, I have no complaints about city services. My garbage gets picked up every week. I knew I was moving to Detroit and not, say, Dearborn under Hubbard. I am familiar with the disease, and very wary of that alcohol swab. Especially when it's people from outstate, who have no love for minorities or appreciation of cities, loading up the needle.
    Care to elaborate on that a bit more? It seems to me that considering 28% in city are carrying a majority, those from out state are also doing a big part to help minorities in the form of fed funds ,out state in the form of fed funds are also financing the currant purging of corruption.Out state did not invite it in. People from outstate could find it very easy to say you made your bed now lay in it but seems to me that it is pretty clear that is not the case.

    Generalizations can be a two way street .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Care to elaborate on that a bit more? It seems to me that considering 28% in city are carrying a majority, those from out state are also doing a big part to help minorities in the form of fed funds ,out state in the form of fed funds are also financing the currant purging of corruption.Out state did not invite it in. People from outstate could find it very easy to say you made your bed now lay in it but seems to me that it is pretty clear that is not the case.

    Generalizations can be a two way street .
    I'm sorry, I don't really understand that post. I don't understand the 28 percent figure. Not sure what you mean about federal funds financing a purge of corruption. You mean the consent decree for the police department? Not sure how the state is helping purge any corruption.

    Maybe I could be more clear.

    When Lansing came in to reform the school district, the district was operating at a surplus. After the state takover, it was operating at a deficit.

    When Robert Bobb took over the system, he went on a spending spree and left the district more impoverished and in debt than before.

    Given this kind of behavior, I think Detroiters have every right to be wary about Lansing.

    And I do believe that outstate representatives don't understand cities very well (so many are from small towns) and are hostile to minorities (Wayne is the only country where the main heritage claimed is African).

    Does that make sense?

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    No sorry it does not make sense because you used the word OUTSTATE and now you are referring to happenings that occurred INSTATE unless of course if Detroit is a state in its own then yes, you make perfect sense.

    If you take that into context then my post would at least make a we bit of sense.

    But all that aside has not the ability to grow product in multi story abandoned buildings already been proven? $100 mil to achieve this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    No sorry it does not make sense because you used the word OUTSTATE and now you are referring to happenings that occurred INSTATE unless of course if Detroit is a state in its own then yes, you make perfect sense.

    If you take that into context then my post would at least make a we bit of sense.

    But all that aside has not the ability to grow product in multi story abandoned buildings already been proven? $100 mil to achieve this?
    Oh, maybe that's the crux. When I say outstate, I mean within the state of Michigan but outside metro Detroit. Does that make things clearer?

    Unfortunately, I'm still not clear on what you mean. Growing product in multistory abandoned buildings? What $100 million are you talking about?

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    O I get it you are just playing : )

    Michigan State proposes 100-acre, $100-million urban-farming research center in Detroit.


    I think that says $100 million but then again my eyesight is not what it used to be ,it is included in the link provided by the OP.

    The link also mentions growing in multi story buildings as a research test ,I believe previous news stories mention pot busts that have occurred in multi story abandoned buildings. hence the reference and it probably did not take 100 mil to achieve that. Now if they used the 100 mil to enact what you guys were actually discussing then I would probably be impressed but being solar has crashed and this is the new flavor of the month what the heck go for it.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    O I get it you are just playing : )

    Michigan State proposes 100-acre, $100-million urban-farming research center in Detroit.
    Oh, sorry. I'm trying to run a few threads while doing my day job. Nobody's perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    The link also mentions growing in multi story buildings as a research test ,I believe previous news stories mention pot busts that have occurred in multi story abandoned buildings. hence the reference and it probably did not take 100 mil to achieve that. Now if they used the 100 mil to enact what you guys were actually discussing then I would probably be impressed but being solar has crashed and this is the new flavor of the month what the heck go for it.
    Yeah, there are a few different visions for the city, and a host of other people throwing stuff at the wall to see what will stick. A marijuana-growing operations is different from general agriculture -- unless you can sell tomatoes for $50 an ounce. So maybe some experimenting is in order there.

    Anyway, I don't think they're ill-intentioned. But I do expect that when programs achieve artificial land scarcity, they end up benefiting speculators more than the people who've toughed it out for decades in Detroit's neighborhoods...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    No sorry it does not make sense because you used the word OUTSTATE and now you are referring to happenings that occurred INSTATE unless of course if Detroit is a state in its own then yes, you make perfect sense.
    Nerd's usage is what I've always understood the word "outstate" to mean.

    Adjective

    outstate

    1. Of the part of a state of the United States that is away from major metropolitan areas.
    Last edited by downtownguy; April-17-12 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy View Post
    Nerd's usage is what I've always understood the word "outstate" to mean.

    Adjective

    outstate

    1. Of the part of a state of the United States that is away from major metropolitan areas.

    Okay, thanks for the clarification I just never heard it termed like that before ,scratch the welcome to the union as the 51st state party.

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    Then there are so many other issues. What if we weren't fighting several expensive wars right now? That might free up a few trillion dollars for our cities. What if we repealed the War on Drugs? What if we instituted national single-payer health care? What if we had an actual urban policy in this country that involved funding infrastructure? None of that is up for debate, of course. Instead, it's just those darn poor people in the way with their insatiable desire for police, fire and lighting.

    It does seem almost like they're manufacturing fear, doesn't it? They call in the loans to create an atmosphere of panic, which they then exploit to push through emergency managers/financial advisory boards and to privatize as much as they can politically get away with. And then we have all these businessmen either in office or running for office with pro-corporate agenda, whether it's Bing, Snyder, or Romney.


    You start to wonder... what happens if Romney gets elected? Will the federal government's loans finally get called in, too, leading to massive privatization at the federal level? We're $15 trillion in debt and some rating agencies have already begun dropping America's credit rating. Maybe they're just waiting for the right pro-corporate president so they can maximize the political gains from calling the loands.


    It's a worrying trend, and it feels undemocratic to me. How come we never seriously explore any of the options Detroitnerd just listed? It seems to make more sense than fighting another war in the Middle East, right?

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