(Associated Posers) - DETROIT, Michigan - Large portions of the city are abandoned, many large buildings are delapidated and not worth repairing according to a report from Coopers & Lie-brand Consulting. The city of Detroit faces a bleak future as its population dwindles, as does it's tax base.
"It's a death spiral" said Urban Planner Douglas Spikes "Nobody wants to admit or talk about it, not the Mayor, not the City Council".
Flashy television commercials and half-time concerts at Detroit Lions games don't change the fact that the city that has fallen so far from its heyday in the 1920's is not finished falling yet.
"General Motors and Chrysler got massive bailouts from the federal government, but both companies are cutting back production in this country, especially this city" said one financial analyst "It is not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, and the result is obvious"
Large parts of the city are almost completely vacant but instead of trying to repair and upgrade existing buildings, some want to build new condo's out of shipping containers.
Angela Morse, a nurse at Detroit Central Hospital says "It's like something out of a horror movie. Imagine living in shipping containers while one of the worlds great cities literally crumbles around you".
"The city is broke" said City Financial Analyst Ted Stephens "We might be able to save money by turning off street lights and cutting back police patrols and fire department protection but the fact is even those marginal things are tough to do with a unionized workforce"
While the school system considers paying parents to come and pick up report cards or paying kids to show up, they also want to have welfare benefits cut off from those families who are truant. "It's a real carrot and stick approach. It probably sounds extreme to most Americans, but in this city extreme is the only way to be noticed" said school counselor Meghan Williams.
Douglas Spikes answers calls for "urban renewal" by saying "In this city, urban renewal means razing entire blocks and leaving them vacant. In this city urban renewal means abandoning entire neighborhoods to lawless gangs and low-lifes. Anyone thinking we can repair these problems without making this city attractive to private investment again is delusional"
"The money just isn't there yet there is a very organized resistance to any kind of logical reforms.." by which Douglas Spikes refers to the Michign Welfare Rights Organization that is fighting tooth and nail to keep residents from paying the going rate for water service.
The MWRO acts as a clearinghouse for Detroit residents to keep recieving "all the welfare benefits they deserve". With it's own radio program on WHPR and a corps of activists the organization fights for every penny of welfare dollars from every source.
"Sooner or later the money is going to run out" Spikes says "and these people who are dependent on the system are going to be left to fend for themselves, yet will be the least able to do so. If you think supporting yourself and your family is filling out welfare forms, how are you going to find food when there is none"