Posted on 25th May 2012 by AWD in Economy

Our head Shit Throwing Monkey is becoming quite famous, appearing on radio programs, and being quoted on websites all over the internet. His last article is used extensively here, and, being such a humble guy, he wouldn’t think of posting this, but I will. We are rapidly approaching third-world status here, in the U.S., once thought a great country. One man’s filth, decay, wretchedness, and squalor is another man’s standard of living.


Turn Out The Lights – The Largest U.S. Cities Are Becoming Cesspools Of Filth, Decay And Wretchedness

Once upon a time, the largest U.S. cities were the envy of the entire world. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Sure, there are areas of New York City, Boston, Washington and Los Angeles that are still absolutely beautiful but for the most part our major cities are rapidly rotting and decaying. Cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis and Oakland were all once places where middle class American workers thrived and raised their families. Today, all of those cities are rapidly being transformed into cesspools of filth, decay and wretchedness. Millions of good jobs have left our major cities in recent decades and poverty has absolutely exploded. Basically, you can turn out the lights because the party is over. In fact, some major U.S. cities are literally turning out the lights. In Detroit, about 40 percent of the streetlights are already broken and the city cannot afford to repair them. So Mayor Bing has come up with a plan to cut the number of operating streetlights almost in half and leave vast sections of the city totally in the dark at night. I wonder what that will do to the crime rate in the city. But don’t look down on Detroit too much, because what is happening in Detroit will be happening where you live soon enough.

A recent Bloomberg article described Mayor Bing’s plan to eliminate nearly half of Detroit’s streetlights….

Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year.

What this means is that there are going to be a lot of neighborhoods that will have the lights turned off permanently.

So which neighborhoods will those be?

According to one top Detroit official, “distressed areas” are going to be on the low end of the totem pole….

“You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas.”

City officials know that they cannot force people to move from “distressed areas”, so they are going to encourage them to leave by cutting off services.

But turning off the lights is not the only way that Detroit is trying to save money.

Recently, officials in Detroit announced that all police stations in the city will be closed to the public for 16 hours a day.

It is so sad to see what is happening to what was once such a great city.

Back in the old days, Detroit had a teeming middle class population.

Today, 53.6% of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

Back in the old days, Detroit was a shining example of what America was doing right.

Today, 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.

Back in the old days, middle class neighborhoods sprouted like mushrooms all over Detroit.

Today, the median price of a home in Detroit is just $6000.

Needless to say, crime is exploding in Detroit and many families live in constant fear.

Many have taken justice into their own hands. Justifiable homicide in Detroit rose by a staggering 79 percent during 2011.

But Detroit is only one example of a national trend.

For example, a recent article by Jim Quinn entitled “More Than 30 Blocks Of Grey And Decay” described the filth, decay and wretchedness in West Philadelphia. Quinn refers to the drive through this area as “the 30 Blocks of Squalor”….

The real unemployment rate exceeds 50%, murder is the number one industry, with drugs a close second.

As you drive down the 30 Blocks of Squalor you meet the ghost of Squalor future for West Chester Pike. The population along this corridor is ignorant, dependent, and represents the dregs of our society.

But this area was once home to middle class families. There were once many beautiful homes in West Philly, but most of them are now either gone or are crumbling badly. According to Quinn, the physical decay is matched by the social decay….

The once proud homes are in shambles. Bags of garbage dot the landscape. Most of the people who live here are parasites on society. Personal responsibility, work ethic, education and marriage are unknown concepts in this community. Even though more than 50% of the students in West Philly drop out of high school and the SAT scores of West Philly High students are lower than whale ****, the bankrupt school district spent $70 million to build a new high school/prison to babysit derelicts and future prison inmates. The windows do not have steel bars yet, as the architect was smart to put all windows at least eight feet above street level.

One of the great things about the article is that Quinn pointed out how the retail stores in the area reflect the things that the population of the community truly values….

The Chestnut Plaza truly represents what is important to this community. This Squalor Center, as opposed to Power Center, includes a video porn store, cash checking/payday loan outlet, smoke shop, donut shop, Laundromat, and liquor store. No need for a wedding ring store or resume writing service.

Sadly, there are communities like this all over the country. As I wrote about recently, the entire state of California is slowly being transformed into one gigantic cesspool.

Yes, there are still a few areas where the wealthy play that are absolutely beautiful. If you stay in the wealthy enclaves you might never even know that the rest of the state is badly decaying.

There are really good reasons why millions of people are moving out of California. For example, a reader named Peter left the following comment on one of my recent articles….

I am a native Californian ( Im 61) and have lived here all but two years of my life. I can tell you absolutely that this state is not what it was 30 years ago. Cities like San Francisco have gone from being world-class tourist attractions to national disgraces. Los Angeles is a third-world city. San Diego is bankrupt. Even Silicon Valley, despite the recent improvements, is no way what it was in the 90′s. The retail trade is all but dead in this state. Even high-end malls like Rodeo Drive and Ocean Ave in Carmel are full of vacancies.

Throughout the state, good businesses are shutting down and hard working families are selling their homes. The void that is being created is being filled by crime and gangs. The following is a comment that a reader named Roberta left on that same article….

Yep we lived in Oroville CA back in 2007 and it was just starting to get bad then. Montgomery Wards closed, then McMahan’s furniture closed and NOW McDonalds is closing this July along with a grand slam of well known businesses are all folding and pulling out of Oroville or folding lock-stock-n-barrell. It’s turning into a gang town with wide spread rampant drug use. I feel sorry for family and friends that are still their clinging onto the hope that thnigs “will” get better. But I don’t think so.

Perhaps things are still quite good where you live.

Perhaps you think that you will be immune from all this.

Sadly, the truth is that this is just the beginning.

The U.S. economy is actually performing much better than it should be thanks to the trillions of borrowed dollars that Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress have been spending into the economy.

When our debt-fueled prosperity ends, a lot more cities are going to end up looking just like Detroit.

America cannot prosper without middle class jobs, and those kinds of jobs are rapidly disappearing.

Just this week HP announced that it is going to lay off 27,000 workers.

We are losing middle class jobs at a time when we desperately need more of them.

Last year, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

Yet our politicians continue to pursue the same foolish policies over and over.

So things are going to continue to get worse and America is going to continue to descend into squalor.

You better get ready.




  1. sensetti says:

    Excellent Job Admin.


    25th May 2012 at 2:49 pm

  2. Chicago999444 says:

    Sad, true commentary. However, there is hope, and it lies in the very decrepitude of the cities you name.

    St. Louis and Los Angeles aren’t far enough gone yet economically, but Detroit and Cleveland are ripe for reversals, and so are about a dozen other smaller cities in the northeast and midwest that have been trashed in the era of suburban expansion. What I believe will happen in the next two decades, is in fact already beginning to happen, is that our auto suburbs will totally collapse and become the slums of the near future, as they become totally non-negotiable due to the expense and scarcity of their lifeblood, oil. The same thing will happen to the “sand cities” like Phoenix and Las Vegas, which are utterly dependent upon the massive water infrastructure that will be impossible to maintain in the age of fossil fuel decline.

    I’m worried about my beloved Chicago because it has been just successful enough in recent years to be blind to the financial and economic threats confronting it. We are not addressing some major financial and social problems that are containable now but that could snowball disastrously given another financial crisis and crippling shortage of money and fuel.

    The horrible decrepitude of formerly beautiful cities like Detroit and St. Louis is the result of the mentality that dominated the Post WW2 era in combination with government policies that funded auto transportation and suburban sprawl development while deliberately targeting cities, public transit, and railroads for destruction. These cities didn’t wreck themselves- they were deliberately murdered by the most insane government policies, those promoted by Rockefeller and Moses and the other auto-and-sprawl promoters of the 40s and 50s.

    That’s all over now. We can’t afford to do things that way anymore. People will have to move back to places with fresh water, important water transportation routes, and fertile hinterlands, and into neighborhoods with easy walks to transit, retail, and jobs. Too bad so much of the magnificent buildings of the 20s were destroyed in Detroit, but there will be a lot of cheap land and dirt-cheap houses worthy of rehab available.

    Major social and economic shifts are bitches, and the one that took place 75 years ago destroyed our cities and towns. But we’ve gone as far on that track as we can go. Now, the reversal will begin. I most likely won’t live long enough to see the end result, but I’m confident that these cities will be rebuilt in a manner more in keeping with new conditions- denser, more efficient, and more cohesive.


    25th May 2012 at 2:57 pm

  3. IndenturedServant says:

    Saying we are fucked is a gross understatement!


    25th May 2012 at 2:58 pm

  4. Maddie's Mom says:

    And in the rural area where we lived until recently, with many miles of “citified” asphalt-paved roads, those roads are ever so gradually turning back to gravel.

    After at least 3+ decades of improvements, rural folks will be eating dust again.

    It always was unsustainable, we just didn’t know it.


    25th May 2012 at 3:02 pm

  5. IndenturedServant says:


    Please expound on all of the jobs that will fund this reversal. No manufacturing jobs=no recovery. We cannot mow each others lawns and serve each other coffee as a means to begin a recovery.


    25th May 2012 at 3:07 pm

  6. IndenturedServant says:

    Maddies Mom said,
    “It always was unsustainable, we just didn’t know it.”

    I’m absolutely certain that the central planners and TPTB knew it.



    25th May 2012 at 3:10 pm

  7. sensetti says:

    Don’t forget to stock up on zombie repellent


    25th May 2012 at 3:20 pm

  8. underfire says:

    “People will have to move back to places with fresh water, important water transportation routes, and fertile hinterlands,”…………..Frankly this is MY nightmare.

    I scratch out a moderate living for my family on 70 hour work weeks and 3000 acres of ranch and farmland. And as long as my wife subsidizes the operation with her 100k job in healthcare I think I can continue to do so for awhile as I am a reasonably fit 60 year old.

    I can just about imagine a few million refugees from the inner city heading up the highway in my direction to assume the duties of providing food and fiber for the masses.


    25th May 2012 at 3:52 pm

  9. Chicago999444 says:

    There will be jobs and there will be opportunity, but not the same ones we’ve had, or even have right now.

    Our cratered, unsustainable economy will be forced to rebuild itself almost from the ground up. Small manufacturing will start up, and over a few decades, the networks of suppliers and jobbers and wholesalers and dealers and manufacturers, will have to be reforged. It will NOT be easy or pleasant, but it will be preferable to passively starving to death, and it will be easier in cities that are such obvious, flagrant failures, like Detroit, that the local PTBs will be so goddamn glad to see anything in the way of legitimate economic activity, that they will put aside their usual grafting and extortion.

    This will happen because we will not be able to buy crap from China and other slave labor havens, because the transportation costs will be too high. People will have to improvise, do without, and learn how to make useful things again. Doubtless, the men with old manufacturing skills, all the engineers and machinists a and patternmakers and mechanics, will be called upon to deliver instruction and advice… if they’re still alive. As in all beaten up, third-world economies, we will be starting with small enterprises making simple things that we need, and more complex industries will be built upon those.

    My fondest hope is that we wake the hell up now and start embracing new technologies and processes that India and China are developing, which means we need to stop obstructing the development of promising new energy technologies such as the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, and other advanced technologies that we’re ignoring because we can’t get our heads out of 1988. Or 1965.

    But we will probably be very late if even the capital can be found. IF it can be found. I believe there is a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines awaiting the right opportunity in the right climate, but it is not going to come out and play as long as our financial system is as corrupt and dishonest as it is now, and as long as productivity and honesty are punished while parasitism and criminality are rewarded. We need to work in earnest to dismantle the Welfare Nanny State, both the welfare system for parasitical, non-productive citizens, and the Corporate Welfare State for crony corporations.

    If we are late, we’ll suffer a great deal. But we will rebuild from the “forest floor” of small, simple enterprises, which will need access to rail and water transportation, arable land, and cheap old buildings.

    Look to some of our immigrant communities for assistance in this. I note that while my fellow middle-class Americans wallow in debt and entitlement, and moan about how they can’t get business loans and how can you start a business without a loan, my Chinese friends- I know dozens of Chinese entrepreneurs and small business owners here in Chicago- are quietly, but with great persistence, determination, and creativity- rebuilding Chicago’s battered industrial base from the ground up. And guess what? They mostly do it WITHOUT BORROWING MONEY! One man I know, who started with a tiny restaurant capitalized with nickels and dimes decades ago, slowly built it into a major enterprise, and is now building a plant to make a food product to be distributed to grocery stores. He just bought a piece of plant equipment (now no longer available in the U.S. but only from China) for $300K. He set up his plant in a post industrial brown-lot slum of the city. He did it all with cash, no debt whatsoever. I know of many Asian men and women just like him- cagey, frugal, creative, persistent people who start a business on $2000 saved up from working a crappy food service job, and pyramid it up into a prosperous, debt free business worth $5 M or more. I believe that people like this can turn those $5 M businesses into $500 M enterprises easily.

    We’ll have to learn new skills, and relearn old ones. We’ll have to salvage a lot- old factories, old buildings, old houses. We’ll most likely have to condense our cities, as Detroit is doing, but they are too physically large and low-density and auto-oriented anyway, so let the process begin. We will have to work longer hours, do with fewer “goodies”, live mostly without cars. We will have to make education and health care affordable by de-bureaucratizing them and reducing their operating costs. We’ll have to learn from other people instead of thinking we wrote the book. Most of all, we’ll have to revise our definition of “middle class” and downscale our lives.


    25th May 2012 at 4:00 pm

  10. underfire says:

    Chicago, I agree with your thesis. What hell we’re going to go through to get there is going to be the story of the day.


    25th May 2012 at 4:09 pm

  11. flash says:

    I pity those poor people in the first picture after the article, but at least they’re not totally destitute.they still have cigarettes and the means to make more babies.

    BTW, hats off to admin-
    And he’ll just love the this article…. need a job? …got a child molestation conviction ? …we’ll, then look no further than the TSA…a hands on, from the top down organization that needs people who love putting their hands where they really don’t belong.

    We’re from the government and we’re here to help…..

    destroy your dignity.

    Priest Defrocked After Sex Abuse Charges Now Works For TSA in Philly…

    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The CBS 3 I-Team has learned that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over sex abuse allegations now holds a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport.

    The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day. But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

    Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.

    The I-Team asked Harkins about the suit as he was leaving his shift at the airport.

    “I have nothing to say,” was Harkins’ reply.



    25th May 2012 at 4:23 pm

  12. underfire says:

    Yeah, hat’s off to Admin., maybe he’s just more of an ass…. than usual this week.

    but yeah, credit where credit is due.


    25th May 2012 at 4:42 pm

  13. Administrator says:


    That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said about me. I can be a much bigger ass. Watch.


    25th May 2012 at 5:17 pm

  14. SSS says:

    sensetti, underfire, and flash

    Admin didn’t post this article, AWD did.


    25th May 2012 at 5:01 pm

  15. SSS says:


    Thanks for the article. Double thanks for not squeezing in a repulsive fat foto.


    25th May 2012 at 5:03 pm

  16. underfire says:

    Admin…..I don’t need to watch, I’ve already seen it.


    25th May 2012 at 6:39 pm

  17. underfire says:

    sensetti, underfire, and flash

    Admin didn’t post this article, AWD did.

    Some more fine sleuthing by SSS.


    25th May 2012 at 7:18 pm

  18. matt says:

    Ron Paul / Jim Quinn 2012


    25th May 2012 at 7:56 pm

  19. ron says:

    I can see Phoenix turning more into a version of a mexican city.But unless theres no snow in the rocky mountains theres no big problem with water.Giant ass canal,the CAP.
    Ive found the western citys while not really nice,are less shity because they just arent as old.


    25th May 2012 at 8:10 pm

  20. SSS says:


    You forgot the amazing Salt River project northeast of Phoenix, which feeds off the snowpack of the White Mountains and is a credit to the vision of men of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. 6 reservoirs and 4 hydroelectric power plants, highlighted by Lake Roosevelt and its dam, dedicated by Teddy in 1911. Yes, it pales in comparison to the importance of the Colorado River and its attendant snowpack in the Rockies, but it’s still an important partner in providing power and water to the Phoenix metro area and nearby rural communities.

    The Salt River project is the poster child for the ingenuity of man. Back then, government was a willing partner. Now, we have to kick government to the curb if we want to get anything meaningful accomplished. And that’s damned near impossible.


    25th May 2012 at 8:45 pm

  21. Mary Malone says:

    Thanks for posting AWD.

    Great article – Admin is becoming the go-to guy on “America is becoming a shithole” stories.

    And rightly so. Nobody describes the squalor like Admin. Nobody.

    I can picture editors around the country saying, “We need more colorful description of America’s decline. Call Quinn and see if he has the money quote.”



    25th May 2012 at 9:19 pm

  22. sensetti says:

    I was congratulating admin on all the press he’s getting.


    25th May 2012 at 9:29 pm

  23. AWD says:

    Jimmy is a true patriot. He’s not afraid of NDAA, FEMA camps, TSA searches, predator drones, Federal Reserve stock market manipulation, bailing out banks, JPM and Goldman Sachs, CDS’s, internet trolls, 9/11 conspiracy kooks, DaveL or Flash, gangs and drive-by’s during his commute, Asians, retards, half-wits, spammers, transvestites, SSDI/section 8 neighbors, fat cats, cheese steaks, or any type or make of alcohol. He is a true American with his mind on his money, and his money on his mind. Click some ads or buy some porn on Amazon you tightwads.



    25th May 2012 at 10:38 pm

  24. AWD says:


    Thank God summer is here!



    25th May 2012 at 10:43 pm

  25. DaveL says:

    Ok, I’ll say it for the shit cities. DEMOGRAPHICS.


    25th May 2012 at 11:19 pm

  26. Novista says:


    On your first post, I think 75 years back is a bit of a stretch, given the then recession within a depression. The suburban srpawl didn’t really get a foothold until the post-war benefits of the GI bill, FHA loans, the first Levittowns, affordable automobiles (and new from 1946!)

    And who could blame people who survived the Great Depression and World War Two when prosperity beckoned? A modest little Cape Cod home could be had for less cost than renting. Such is the nature of a paradigm shift. The experts mostly believed the decline of wartime spending would inexorably lead to another depression.

    Interesting real-life examples in your second. I think we’re going to have to Embrace the Door (© hzk) before climbing out of the ashes to build a better way. It will take people such as you mention.


    26th May 2012 at 1:45 am

  27. Chicago999444 says:


    Most of the policies that enabled the frantic suburban expansion and car dependence of the post WW2 years were promulgated in the 1930s, specifically by the Roosevelt administration, while the first wave of suburban development occurred in the 1920s, giving us the beautiful old “railroad” suburbs like Webster Groves, MO: Wilmette, IL; Riverside, IL; Crestwood,NY, and others on the model.

    The suburban disaster that Kunstler rightly referred to as “the biggest mis-allocation of resources in history” is an essay in unintended consequences. It was not the intention of the Roosevelt Brain Trust to destroy our middle class urban neighborhoods or create a nightmare of asphalt pavement where you literally can’t fill your most basic daily needs without getting into a car. You see, the New Deal people had the typical American bias against urban life and deeply believed that the tenement squalor and related social dysfunction of cities like New York and Chicago was best addressed by moving the residents out of these places into nice little houses in “country” (i.e. suburban) settings. Everyone was to have a little house and a car, and the FHA, and later the GSEs, were created to make financing possible, because banks became very risk-averse in the wake of the financial collapse of the 30s. Meanwhile, the railroads and urban transit operations were under attack as government policy increasingly punished railroads with punitive taxation and regulatory strangulation while providing lavish funding for new highway. Cities were increasingly built more with autos in mind than people; pedestrian convenience was sacrificed so that cars could be moved faster through the cities- thus the large sprawl belts that are the outer neighborhoods of cities like Chicago, while Detroit, which was built on car-worship, was completely sacrificed to the auto.

    Cars and cities are natural enemies, but we did not know that at that time, and since all production during WW2 was directed to the war effort- you couldn’t even get tires for your car , and no new houses or cars for civilians were being built during the war- we did not feel the effect of these policies until after the war. The depression and the complete shut down of home building during the war created a huge housing shortage in the years immediately afterwards, and that’s when the suburban expansion began in earnest.

    If you were a young couple like my parents were at that time, your choices were limited to a home in one of the city’s many intact and desirable, but rather expensive middle class neighborhoods where you needed at least 20% down to buy a house.. or you could buy a sweet little ranch house in increasingly distant suburbs for 5% down with a FHA loan, or NO down with a VA loan. My parents, in their 20s at the time, headed right out to one of these places. They were all over the place, marked with signs that screamed. FHA VA NO MONEY DOWN! $60 CLOSING COST!. Unlike the elite old “railroad” burbs of the 20s, these new moderate-income suburbs were completely auto dependent and often located at a considerable remove from the city, because the land was cheap in the more remote locations.


    26th May 2012 at 4:17 am

  28. Zarathustra says:

    AWD, I gave that pic a thumbs down for obviously fake tits.


    26th May 2012 at 4:35 am

  29. flash says:

    SSS says:-Admin didn’t post this article, AWD did

    No shit ,dick lick…

    I was merely congratulating admin. for all the press he’s receiving….now crawl back under your rock, before the sun comes up.


    26th May 2012 at 7:31 am

  30. sensetti says:

    U.S. Army General: The Whole Northern Hemisphere is at Risk of Becoming Largely Uninhabitable


    26th May 2012 at 8:17 am

  31. flash says:

    nothing beats the warm space cadet glow.


    26th May 2012 at 8:44 am

  32. Milw05 says:

    Chicago9999 – Very impressive work. I agree cities that stretch out 60 miles in each direction are not going to do well when peak everything occurs. Also I agree it was a crime what happened to many of our cities after WWII. Classic building made of superior materials and craftsmanship , beautiful public realm, pride in the community all trashed. It was almost if WWII occurred in the US and not Europe.

    Keep up the great work. I enjoyed your posts.


    26th May 2012 at 10:58 am

  33. IndenturedServant says:

    Very good assessment. The real shame is that it never really had to happen this way. I wonder how many years it will be before enough manufacturing jobs return to make a real difference?


    26th May 2012 at 12:42 pm

  34. Drowning in Parasitism says:

    Spectacular pictures of Detroit in it’s halcion days long (as the poster put it: see them and weep):


    Detroit today in ruins:


    Good, short e-book chronicling Detroit’s decline and the common denominators in every city with demographic sea changes with FSA:

    Escape from Detroit:The Collapse of America’s Black Metropolis by Paul Kersey (Apr 6, 2012)



    26th May 2012 at 6:38 pm

  35. pujcky online ihned na ucet Trebon says:

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