Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Strongbow85 t1_j25lr5f wrote

> OK, so what is the alternative to gentrification? You let the neighborhood decline until it's so bad that everyone who can get out, leaves?

The solution is providing middle class jobs such as manufacturing, which some local politicians chased out. Detroit is a perfect example of what happens when there are no blue collar opportunities. Clinton sold out to the corporations and signed NAFTA, which was a Republican proposal, that offshored all of the blue collar, particularly autoworker jobs. Sure Detroit had other problems, but this was the nail in the coffin.

You can attract high tech and other white collar positions as well but there should be diversity in employment. Not everyone is going to work in tech or another white collar field. Sure some Braddock residents may pursue a career in these fields but at the end of the day the majority probably will not, it's not practical. So instead of having the opportunity of a decent job with US Steel or a similar position they have the option to work at some lousy paying service sector "career" where you'll probably have to work two jobs just to get by, collect welfare or get involved in crime. That's the case in all of these blighted neighborhoods. The "new money" who were against the proposed plant are often the same people that fly BLM banners etc in their front yard while the local community (both black and white) is priced out and sent down the road, it's hypocritical.

Union USW and building trades jobs provide good pay and benefits without having to pay school loans. You'll serve an apprenticeship but it's essentially free, financed with union dues. Sure, someone working for Google might have a nicer house and car, but the locals could still live in the same community with decent living standards. The middle class continues to struggle in America, it's like a third world country.

Once again, this plant could have secured thousands of jobs so the unions would have all been willing to take in local Braddock youth and even middle aged people looking to start a new career.


Willow-girl t1_j27jhp9 wrote

I agree it would have been great to get that plant and it's a shame that didn't come to pass. I don't know the backstory on the issue well enough to comment on it, sorry. It occurs to me it's a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg question, though -- which comes first, jobs or housing? Obviously, a community needs both, but getting one without the other is still better than getting neither, I think.

Also, Detroit's problems go back a lot further than Clinton. The oil embargo of '74 and the lines to buy gas sent people scrambling for economical foreign-made cars. The Big Three had become a dinosaur that simply couldn't turn on a dime and adequately meet customer demand; they bled market share. Quality was an issue as well. When I graduated from high school in 1984, there were virtually no jobs for young people and skilled tradesmen were washing dishes and running cash registers to put food on theirs families' tables. Tough times!