View Full Version : The Decline of Detroit - How To Prevent in OKC?



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OKCTalker
12-02-2012, 08:20 AM
The Packard Plant: Then and now -- interactive comparison photos | City of Detroit | Detroit Free Press | freep.com (http://www.freep.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/120823062/The-Packard-Plant-Then-now-interactive-comparison-photos?odyssey=mod|defcon|img|FRONTPAGE)

The above link is to several before and after pictures in the Detroit Free Press of the Packard Plant which produced automobiles from 1899 until 1958, and contained 3.5 million square feet (by comparison, our own GM plant had 4 million square feet). Unlike typical side-by-side images of then and now, Free Press photographers and editors made it possible to slide your mouse left & right across the images to dissove from current images to those from the past. The images are painful to see.

Could it happen here? Oklahoma City is undergoing a fabulous renaissance not unlike Detroit one century ago, and many would say we are as "energy-centric" as Detroit was "auto-centric." Could a sequence of mis-steps occur within industry and government where Oklahoma City comes to an end similar to Detroit's?
More importantly, are there things we should be doing now - during our explosion of commercial and residential development - to prevent this?

bchris02
12-02-2012, 09:08 AM
The Packard Plant: Then and now -- interactive comparison photos | City of Detroit | Detroit Free Press | freep.com (http://www.freep.com/article/20121202/NEWS01/120823062/The-Packard-Plant-Then-now-interactive-comparison-photos?odyssey=mod|defcon|img|FRONTPAGE)

The above link is to several before and after pictures in the Detroit Free Press of the Packard Plant which produced automobiles from 1899 until 1958, and contained 3.5 million square feet (by comparison, our own GM plant had 4 million square feet). Unlike typical side-by-side images of then and now, Free Press photographers and editors made it possible to slide your mouse left & right across the images to dissove from current images to those from the past. The images are painful to see.

Could it happen here? Oklahoma City is undergoing a fabulous renaissance not unlike Detroit one century ago, and many would say we are as "energy-centric" as Detroit was "auto-centric." Could a sequence of mis-steps occur within industry and government where Oklahoma City comes to an end similar to Detroit's?
More importantly, are there things we should be doing now - during our explosion of commercial and residential development - to prevent this?

I would say OKC is more similar to Charlotte and their dependence on banking than Detroit and their dependence on the auto industry. Energy is by far the dominant sector in OKC but the economy is diverse enough the city could go on even with problems in the energy sector, albeit with 10% or so unemployment like Charlotte is currently experiencing.

Greater Oklahoma City Economic Development - Major Employers (http://www.greateroklahomacity.com/index.php?src=directory&view=employers)

Chesapeake, the top energy employer in OKC, is actually only the 8th largest employer in the city. Devon, the second largest, isn't even in the top ten. Barring such a collapse that pushes Chesapeake or Devon into bankruptcy, I think the city, though would experience a rough patch, would ultimately be fine. OKC should continue what its doing as in increasing the quality of life here so other companies may be enticed to relocate here and that this would become a place people would WANT to live in even if the flow of the big oil and natural gas dollars flowed.

Pete
12-02-2012, 09:46 AM
We more or less experienced the worse case scenario in the mid-80's.

It was darn grim for a while but the City is much larger and thus more diversified than it was then.

Also, the oil business has changed dramatically in that the country is much more committed to domestic production, so it's not like OPEC can merely open their taps and drive prices way down.


But to be sure, things are near a peak right now which means the economy will come down at some point. It's always ALWAYS cyclical, it's just a matter of how deep the trough. I don't think we'll ever again see things as low as the 80's.

bluedogok
12-02-2012, 11:20 AM
Energy will always be in demand and some forms are hard to import, I too feel that the crash of the 80's will be hard to duplicate because worked demand for energy is exponentially greater than it was back then. Just the demand from newly emerged industrial countries like China and India and demand in those and other countries in the region will continue to grow. The world economy is a very different dynamic than it was in the 80's oil crash.

Spartan
12-02-2012, 07:37 PM
I think you guys overestimate how diversified OKC is.

bchris02
12-02-2012, 09:53 PM
I think you guys overestimate how diversified OKC is.

A crash in the energy sector would be devastating to OKC, but it wouldn't turn it into Detroit. Charlotte was devastated by the financial crisis and is currently suffering over 10% unemployment, but it is hardly Detroit. That could change if something happened to Bank of America. Their economy is less diversified than OKC and they don't have anything at all to fall back on in the event of further deterioration of the banking industry. The oil/gas industry is a huge part of OKC's economy but there is a lot more to it than that.

ljbab728
12-02-2012, 11:37 PM
OKC has always had a luxury having a huge number of government jobs to bolster the economy during down times. The only thing that might change that is if Tinker would be shut down for some reason. That would be much more devastating to our economy than a downtown in the oil and gas industry.

Spartan
12-02-2012, 11:48 PM
A crash in the energy sector would be devastating to OKC, but it wouldn't turn it into Detroit. Charlotte was devastated by the financial crisis and is currently suffering over 10% unemployment, but it is hardly Detroit. That could change if something happened to Bank of America. Their economy is less diversified than OKC and they don't have anything at all to fall back on in the event of further deterioration of the banking industry. The oil/gas industry is a huge part of OKC's economy but there is a lot more to it than that.

Idk about Charlotte but obviously Detroit has problems compounded over decades.. Side note: Must see Detropia

dcsooner
12-03-2012, 05:47 AM
I think you guys overestimate how diversified OKC is.

TOTALLY AGREE! OKC is a government dependent City

Dubya61
12-03-2012, 12:04 PM
Although the presence of government jobs in OKC is important, it's not the government jobs that make OKC rank high in The Business Journals' economic index for August and September -- it's the private sector entities that factor the most.
Oklahoma City leads heartland's sweep of Economic Index - The Business Journals (http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2012/09/oklahoma-city-leads-heartlands-sweep.html?appSession=547105773207307&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=&cpipage=2&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=)

Pete
12-03-2012, 06:43 PM
I think OKC actually has a pretty good balance for a city it's size...

Yes, we have a lot of energy jobs, but that's a good thing. A very profitable sector that pays extremely well -- other cities would kill for what we have.

And of course, lots of government jobs too but even in that respect we have a good mix: Tinker/Boeing and related industries, the state capitol and all that entails, the FAA, and all the typical stuff that comes with being a larger city. I agree with the comment above about Tinker; losing it would be far more devastating than another energy slump.

Also, keep in mind we've had a lot of growth in service sector jobs, like Hobby Lobby, Paycom, American Fidelity, MidFirst/Midland, etc. And even though the call centers aren't glamorous, they pump billions into our economy: Hertz, Dell, AAA, Farmers, etc., etc.


Things are much more diversified now than they were in the 80's.

PennyQuilts
12-03-2012, 09:05 PM
Yeah, Pete, for those of us who went through the 80's.. man that was tough. Diversification became the mantra as a result. It is still an energy town/state but it does seem to be much more diversified than those days.

Edgar
12-05-2012, 09:28 AM
TOTALLY AGREE! OKC is a government dependent City

True that- without federal spending in Ok and its capital city, we'd be a real 3rd world economy- energy and agriculture. Socialism! Wealth redistribution!
I Notice Mary and all her teabagn' ninnies are really sweating the fiscal cliff.

Plutonic Panda
05-30-2014, 04:42 PM
This is pretty crazy... Photos Show Home Decay In Detroit - Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/detroit-home-photos-2014-5)

mugofbeer
05-30-2014, 07:20 PM
WOW!! Thats pretty scary. Notice the arson.

bradh
05-30-2014, 07:31 PM
Maybe I'm wrong, but our industries aren't as union heavy as Detroit, so we won't have that problem.

Spartan
05-30-2014, 07:31 PM
Unions didn't kill Detroit. Sprawl did. Detroit's suburbs are as healthy as ever.


I think OKC actually has a pretty good balance for a city it's size...

Yes, we have a lot of energy jobs, but that's a good thing. A very profitable sector that pays extremely well -- other cities would kill for what we have.

And of course, lots of government jobs too but even in that respect we have a good mix: Tinker/Boeing and related industries, the state capitol and all that entails, the FAA, and all the typical stuff that comes with being a larger city. I agree with the comment above about Tinker; losing it would be far more devastating than another energy slump.

Also, keep in mind we've had a lot of growth in service sector jobs, like Hobby Lobby, Paycom, American Fidelity, MidFirst/Midland, etc. And even though the call centers aren't glamorous, they pump billions into our economy: Hertz, Dell, AAA, Farmers, etc., etc.


Things are much more diversified now than they were in the 80's.

Those are names. Where's the growth? I mean the aggregate. Who is hiring?

OKC is all energy and always has been. Government isn't a growth industry - Tinker just missed what would have been a huge blow thanks to Tom Cole. Govt is always on the chopping block.

bombermwc
06-02-2014, 09:21 AM
Hang on Spartan, because Tinker has grown. One difference is in how its grown. A lot of the workforce there is becoming contract work rather than federal positions. So while the federal jobs numbers might look to have dropped, the number of warm bodies on base are not necessarily decreasing. Another side of that is the related workforce. There are the obvious ones like Boeing, but the lesser-known entities like Chromalloy (and countless others) make up a huge workforce as well. Just like the auto industry, there are a lot of side companies related to the main institution that are there because of the base and also offer a LOT of employment. That's not so much true in state government, but it does exist. Some companies heavily rely on state contracts for their business, and if that were to go away, those companies may not be able to survive. Of course those state jobs are going to be more reliable than federal in terms of the potential for Tinker to be closed one day...but the capital isn't going to close LOL.

The oil bust and savings and loan crash shows OKC how volatile our world was...and still is. Like Spartan said, if energy went bust again, OKC would have a hard time. As he also says, we've diversified a lot since then (with the crashes in mind), but we're still an energy dominated state. Just like I mentioned above, if Devon and Chesapeake went caput tomorrow, OKC (and the state) wouldn't just lose 10K office jobs, we'd lose 100K in all the drill companies, parts, transport, etc. that goes along with them. We would for sure crash to a significant extent. But without having a compounded banking crisis, I think OKC would stand a better chance of not falling into a 20 year slump like we did before.

In relation to Detroit, you also have to consider the White Flight to the suburbs, and the corruption in the city government. With a housing market so flooded, abandoning your home was more economically beneficial than anything else...how crazy is that!?! Even places like Wichita that saw a huge number of lost jobs over the last 15 years from aerospace hasn't seen that kind of craziness. Unfortunately, the city government spend decades operating in an us vs. them white/black world rather than focusing on setting up a city that would survive. Remember, this has been going on for decades...it's not a new problem for them and it's only recently become such national attention. Countless pop culture references can be found over the last 30 years on the fall (and attempted rebirth) of DTW. OKC managed to avoid a lot of the racial tension that DTW saw. Throw the UAW in the mix there, and you've got a big mess. Their "negotiating" simply forced automakers to build elsewhere and continue to downsize because it didn't make economic sense to produce vehicles in MI. Even in OKC where we were building the still-sold Trailblazer and Malibu, we lost a plant! That bankruptcy was the best thing that ever happened to GM to free them from the insanity the UAW created. I say all that simply to say that Detroit is a long and complex issue. There are so many factors in the mix there that lead to the current state. My heart tells me the citizens of OKC are smarter than that and wouldn't let things fall so badly.

Plutonic Panda
06-02-2014, 09:23 AM
Unions didn't kill Detroit. Sprawl did. Detroit's suburbs are as healthy as ever.Wrong.

Just the facts
06-02-2014, 09:52 AM
Unions didn't kill Detroit. Sprawl did. Detroit's suburbs are as healthy as ever.


This^. How ironic that the City which brought us the automobile has paid the highest price for doing so. Equally ironic is that to restore Detroit they are bring back their streetcar. Detroit has a chance to be the model American city.

M-1 RAIL | Woodward Avenue Streetcar Project in Detroit (http://m-1rail.com/)

Urbanized
06-02-2014, 10:42 AM
"Nowhere to go but up" actually creates a lot of opportunity and can inspire a lot of creativity. OKC has already had its Detroit moment. There was a time in the late eighties and early nineties when large numbers of houses were boarded up in most inner city neighborhoods, including places like Paseo, Jefferson Park, and even places like Mesta. You could buy a house in Paseo for $5K to $10K. Fortunately for us our fall was not nearly so devastating, but then again we didn't have as much to lose, either.

Plutonic Panda
06-02-2014, 02:06 PM
This^. How ironic that the City which brought us the automobile has paid the highest price for doing so. Equally ironic is that to restore Detroit they are bring back their streetcar. Detroit has a chance to be the model American city.

M-1 RAIL | Woodward Avenue Streetcar Project in Detroit (http://m-1rail.com/)The first car actually came from Europe.

bombermwc
06-03-2014, 08:30 AM
So far, the city council hasn't been able to get any momentum and has kept falling. You can always fall further, and so far the are proving it. There's still corruption in the government taking money. When you're city is so bad off, how is that even something that crosses their mind?!?!

There is a program going to help "motivate" owners to either do some upkeep on these properties, or the city will take them over. Unfortunately, the fund for this is pretty bad off. Detroit has a 5 year plan to help put 500 million into it, but it's still going to be tough. My numbers aren't exact, but I believe a story on NPR said that out of 75 homes, when served notice that if they didn't contact the city in 48 hours the home would be taken, 35 of them returned the call and actually brought the homes back up to code. There's a funny story of a resident calling the police on someone because she thought he was stealing guttering. Turns out it was one of these owners putting guttering ON the house. The lady said it was the first time in 20 years she had seen anyone do ANY sort of renovation on a home in her neighborhood and the possibility of that hadn't even crossed her mind. So there is something happening, but they have so many roadblocks and quite an uphill battle. Any time you're cutting utilizes off to neighborhoods to cut down on service expenses (they're vacant), it's worse than we've seen anywhere else.

ylouder
06-03-2014, 08:55 AM
Others have already said it but I've spent considerable time in the Michigan area. Detroit has some of the nicest suburbs I've ever seen. Hundreds of thousands of people with good paying jobs and an okc appetite for endless sprawl. They are just about 50 years ahead of us. We'll and nafta didn't help either with a lot of the assembly jobs being moved to Mexico

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ylouder
06-03-2014, 09:02 AM
I also wanted to add. Remember when okc lost its gm plant, well X that by 6 and don't add billions in federal spending (thanks obama) that brought our gm plant back to life. I remember dozens of once nice homes going up for sale in south okc, westmoore, Moore and Norman areas that were asking considerably less than a few years prior.

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OSUFan
06-03-2014, 09:19 AM
I also wanted to add. Remember when okc lost its gm plant, well X that by 6 and don't add billions in federal spending (thanks obama) that brought our gm plant back to life. I remember dozens of once nice homes going up for sale in south okc, westmoore, Moore and Norman areas that were asking considerably less than a few years prior.

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I might be misreading or misunderstanding what you mean. If so I apologize but I'm not sure I would describe federal spending as what brought our GM plant back to life.

bchris02
06-03-2014, 09:20 AM
I really don't think OKC can be compared to Detroit in any way. The closest it ever came was the 1980s and 90s as a result of the combined effect of the oil bust and the Pei Plan and as bad as that was, it still didn't come close to where Detroit is today. In fact, suburban areas of OKC such as NW Expressway in particular were very nice at that time. It's been said that Detroit has very nice suburbs. I think the fact that OKC has so much suburban development within its city limits helped it weather the 80s and 90s and come out in a far better position than it would have if the core was its own municipality.

ylouder
06-03-2014, 09:53 AM
Osu fan - what money do you think funds tinker? Department of defense? Their acquisition of the shuttered plant and now funds the aircraft repair that is now happening in that building. Whose money funds Boeing expansion across the street...who is their customer?

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ylouder
06-03-2014, 09:55 AM
Maybe it's this tap talk app. But if you don't know who funds an airforce base I can't help you anymore

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Jersey Boss
06-03-2014, 10:58 AM
Osu fan - what money do you think funds tinker? Department of defense? Their acquisition of the shuttered plant and now funds the aircraft repair that is now happening in that building. Whose money funds Boeing expansion across the street...who is their customer?

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In the interest of accuracy, the former GM plant was acquired by the citizens of Oklahoma County for better than $50m, and leased to the AF for $1.00 a year.

ylouder
06-03-2014, 11:44 AM
Sorry my responses on this app are seeming kind of curt. Yes, the Oklahoma tax payers (you and i) paid GM to buy the empty facility and are now leasing it to the Federal Government. The work that is completed at the facility is funded by the Department of Defense through Congress appropriations; paid by you and I the tax payer.

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Bellaboo
06-03-2014, 11:59 AM
Sorry my responses on this app are seeming kind of curt. Yes, the Oklahoma tax payers (you and i) paid GM to buy the empty facility and are now leasing it to the Federal Government. The work that is completed at the facility is funded by the Department of Defense through Congress appropriations; paid by you and I the tax payer.

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ylouder, You sound like you're paying for this entire facility by yourself ??? I know you are saying all of us, but would you rather have Tinker and all those jobs in some other state ?

ylouder
06-03-2014, 12:01 PM
How? by saying taxpayer and you and I?

All that I offered is that we are lucky to not be like Detroit and having the federal government step in and reopen a shuttered gm plant.

A lot of people like to forget that Detroit was once one of the most important and prosperous city's in the United States and was within the top 5 for size. It was like a modern day Houston in its importance as the center for corporate, engineering, manufacturing, and support industries in its field. It was also a one trick pony.

I think it's important for okc to remember that in a lot of ways we are like Cleveland to Detroit. (Okc to Houston) and that we need to stay diversified or that we could look like either of those cities.

Bellaboo
06-03-2014, 12:10 PM
How? by saying taxpayer and you and I?

All that I offered is that we are lucky to not be like Detroit and having the federal government step in and reopen a shuttered gm plant.

Sorry, Guess I didn't read it correctly.

bchris02
06-03-2014, 12:15 PM
Well to be fair Detroit did have the government step in and actually bail out GM. That still hasn't improved the situation there.

Even if the OKC GM plant would have been closed and bulldozed, this city still wouldn't be Detroit. OKC's economy is indeed too focused on just a few industries, but it isn't Detroit.

Just the facts
06-03-2014, 12:42 PM
Let's get something straight - no city in America compares to Detroit. That is why it is the poster child for sprawl gone bad. On a smaller scale some could argue Gary, IN is on that same level. Multiple documentaries were made for both cities to document their decay. OKC could never by Detroit today but we don't have enough urban core to do so. However, I could definitely see a time when suburban OKC will look like Prypiat.

SWEdjiEJg0U

bchris02
06-03-2014, 12:50 PM
You can't blame sprawl for the state of Detroit either. Think of the cities in the US with the absolute worst sprawl yet they don't compare to Detroit. The places that do compare to Detroit are places like Gary, IN, East St Louis, Cairo, IL, and other rustbelt towns/cities that were primarily manufacturing towns that saw their jobs leave. The cities/towns in danger of becoming a Detroit are ones that are primarily based on one industry or even one company (think NW Arkansas without Wal-Mart). If Bank of America were to ever fail, that would be it for Charlotte.

OKC isn't the most diversified economy but its in better shape than some places are.

ylouder
06-03-2014, 01:12 PM
Just the facts – that’s what I was alluding to earlier in saying ive been to Detroit and the surrounding areas. Taking out of account the war zone areas its density at times seemed about like okc. Everything is car based and every place is a 30+minute drive.

When times were good people played leap frog every few years and kept on building new houses a little bit further out and there was no investment in the city itself. Everyone commuted and everyone wanted at least an half acre, if not more to show off as a status symbol to show how much they made it.

New cars every few years, new bigger houses every few years and no investment in what was now considered old and the place starts falling down. Home builders loved this.

Then 1 side free trade agreements happened and it imploded.

Which is why okc always need to strive to be diversified, collect actual taxes during boom times from oil companies to reinvest in itself (not this 2 percent tax rate that was just passed), and address endless spawl seeing commutes from Guthrie is now considered North Edmond, Noble is South Norman, El Reno is West Yukon, and Shawnee is East Choctaw.

Because eventually, 1 industry towns are forced to move on.

bchris02
06-03-2014, 01:34 PM
A one-industry town could adhere to every new urbanist idea and theory out there and it could still end up largely abandoned if that industry dried up. That's what killed Detroit, not flight to suburbia.

Dubya61
06-03-2014, 01:43 PM
... and Shawnee is East Choctaw. ...

I live on the east side, and somehow, Shawnee just isn't part of the metro. There's this odd no-man's land out there that seems to put Shawnee in OKC's blind-spot and vice versa. Maybe that'll change when I-40 gets widened to 3 lanes (OK County wide), but I don't think so. In another thread, someone commented on the fact that OKC and Tulsa are very much in tune with the rural nature of OK. I can't say for Tulsa, but I'll bet that's because a lot of OKC is rural in and of itself. I was talking with a woman the other day who is planning on moving out to the country on her dad's farm -- by the racetrack! OKC is an odd rural bird.

bchris02
06-03-2014, 01:48 PM
I agree that Shawnee isn't part of the OKC metro and I hope it stays that way. I am sure people do make the commute but I can't imagine doing so.

Plutonic Panda
06-03-2014, 01:56 PM
Detroit did not fall because of sprawl, and anyone suggesting that shows extreme bias or lack of knowledge on the issue.

Plutonic Panda
06-03-2014, 01:57 PM
I agree that Shawnee isn't part of the OKC metro and I hope it stays that way. I am sure people do make the commute but I can't imagine doing so.Isn't it part of the MSA?

Dubya61
06-03-2014, 01:58 PM
Isn't it part of the MSA?

Maybe according to Wikipedia, but not in the general sense.

bchris02
06-03-2014, 02:02 PM
Isn't it part of the MSA?

It's part of the CSA or combined statistical area. Shawnee has its own micropolitan area. It is not part of the traditional MSA.

OSUFan
06-03-2014, 02:04 PM
Osu fan - what money do you think funds tinker? Department of defense? Their acquisition of the shuttered plant and now funds the aircraft repair that is now happening in that building. Whose money funds Boeing expansion across the street...who is their customer?

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Of course I know who funds the work going on a Tinker. I'm just saying to label the reuse of the former GM facility nothing but federal spending is really misleading. The citizens of Oklahoma County made a huge, huge investment in that facility and their role shouldn't be trivialized. It wasn't simply "federal spending".

Dubya61
06-03-2014, 02:11 PM
I look quickly on Wikipedia re: OKC MSA/CSA, etc., and found a construct that is even bigger than the Texas Triangle: The I-35 Megalopolis! From KC down to Laredo, it's a huge entity. When the city states come around in 2020, I hope we're in THAT one.

ylouder
06-03-2014, 02:28 PM
Yes. We (Oklahoma county) made a huge investment to buy back a building that we paid gm to build.(through incentives and tax breaks) Now the work that is performed there is paid for by our tax dollars. So gm got paid twice by us and we get paid 1 dollar to pay the federal government to build airplanes for war. Pretty clever

venture
06-03-2014, 03:04 PM
Detroit did not fall because of sprawl, and anyone suggesting that shows extreme bias or lack of knowledge on the issue.

No one single thing led to the decline of Detroit. Ignoring that shows an extreme bias or lack of knowledge on the issue - to quote you. :) The downturn of the auto industry definitely was a leading driver but so was sprawl and white flight to the burbs. There was no reinvestment into the core of Detroit, it is all in the burbs on the west and Northwest side of town. I'm not sure how much time you have spent up there, but I grew up in the region and know it quite well. Royal Oak, Troy, Rochester, Bloomfield, etc are all pretty upscale and no where comparable to the city of Detroit. Many tend to forget that the city itself can't compare to the burbs in terms of wealth.

If that wealth had stayed in the city of Detroit and the reinvestment took place there, they would have done much better.

bluedogok
06-03-2014, 10:32 PM
No one single thing led to the decline of Detroit. Ignoring that shows an extreme bias or lack of knowledge on the issue - to quote you. :) The downturn of the auto industry definitely was a leading driver but so was sprawl and white flight to the burbs. There was no reinvestment into the core of Detroit, it is all in the burbs on the west and Northwest side of town. I'm not sure how much time you have spent up there, but I grew up in the region and know it quite well. Royal Oak, Troy, Rochester, Bloomfield, etc are all pretty upscale and no where comparable to the city of Detroit. Many tend to forget that the city itself can't compare to the burbs in terms of wealth.

If that wealth had stayed in the city of Detroit and the reinvestment took place there, they would have done much better.
Not having a completely corrupt government with many prominent officials getting indicted every few years might have helped Detroit as well. People fled a lot of things when leaving Detroit whether it was to the burbs or the Sun Belt. The government there ignored that fact for many, many decades.

Plutonic Panda
06-03-2014, 10:33 PM
No one single thing led to the decline of Detroit. Ignoring that shows an extreme bias or lack of knowledge on the issue - to quote you. :) The downturn of the auto industry definitely was a leading driver but so was sprawl and white flight to the burbs. There was no reinvestment into the core of Detroit, it is all in the burbs on the west and Northwest side of town. I'm not sure how much time you have spent up there, but I grew up in the region and know it quite well. Royal Oak, Troy, Rochester, Bloomfield, etc are all pretty upscale and no where comparable to the city of Detroit. Many tend to forget that the city itself can't compare to the burbs in terms of wealth.

If that wealth had stayed in the city of Detroit and the reinvestment took place there, they would have done much better.Never ignored that and I agree with you, but you can't deny the fact that the economic depression with the bail-out of the cars was the biggest factor.

Looked how sprawled out Houston is and it was nearly recession proof during this last depression.

Spartan
06-03-2014, 11:09 PM
Hang on Spartan, because Tinker has grown. One difference is in how its grown. A lot of the workforce there is becoming contract work rather than federal positions. So while the federal jobs numbers might look to have dropped, the number of warm bodies on base are not necessarily decreasing. Another side of that is the related workforce. There are the obvious ones like Boeing, but the lesser-known entities like Chromalloy (and countless others) make up a huge workforce as well. Just like the auto industry, there are a lot of side companies related to the main institution that are there because of the base and also offer a LOT of employment. That's not so much true in state government, but it does exist. Some companies heavily rely on state contracts for their business, and if that were to go away, those companies may not be able to survive. Of course those state jobs are going to be more reliable than federal in terms of the potential for Tinker to be closed one day...but the capital isn't going to close LOL.

The oil bust and savings and loan crash shows OKC how volatile our world was...and still is. Like Spartan said, if energy went bust again, OKC would have a hard time. As he also says, we've diversified a lot since then (with the crashes in mind), but we're still an energy dominated state. Just like I mentioned above, if Devon and Chesapeake went caput tomorrow, OKC (and the state) wouldn't just lose 10K office jobs, we'd lose 100K in all the drill companies, parts, transport, etc. that goes along with them. We would for sure crash to a significant extent. But without having a compounded banking crisis, I think OKC would stand a better chance of not falling into a 20 year slump like we did before.

In relation to Detroit, you also have to consider the White Flight to the suburbs, and the corruption in the city government. With a housing market so flooded, abandoning your home was more economically beneficial than anything else...how crazy is that!?! Even places like Wichita that saw a huge number of lost jobs over the last 15 years from aerospace hasn't seen that kind of craziness. Unfortunately, the city government spend decades operating in an us vs. them white/black world rather than focusing on setting up a city that would survive. Remember, this has been going on for decades...it's not a new problem for them and it's only recently become such national attention. Countless pop culture references can be found over the last 30 years on the fall (and attempted rebirth) of DTW. OKC managed to avoid a lot of the racial tension that DTW saw. Throw the UAW in the mix there, and you've got a big mess. Their "negotiating" simply forced automakers to build elsewhere and continue to downsize because it didn't make economic sense to produce vehicles in MI. Even in OKC where we were building the still-sold Trailblazer and Malibu, we lost a plant! That bankruptcy was the best thing that ever happened to GM to free them from the insanity the UAW created. I say all that simply to say that Detroit is a long and complex issue. There are so many factors in the mix there that lead to the current state. My heart tells me the citizens of OKC are smarter than that and wouldn't let things fall so badly.

I appreciate this post, but can I get the cliff notes version? It looks fairly agreeable.

Spartan
06-03-2014, 11:13 PM
Wrong.

Have you been to Detroit and disagree with my assessment that it's very sprawled, with wealth existing in the suburban reaches?

RadicalModerate
06-03-2014, 11:31 PM
Never ignored that and I agree with you, but you can't deny the fact that the economic depression with the bail-out of the cars was the biggest factor.

Looked how sprawled out Houston is and it was nearly recession proof during this last depression.

No disrespect, intended, young Voyager . . .
Yet . . . Have you ever actually been to Detroit?
(other than in better dreams of finer cars?)

And Houston is hot, humid and unwelcoming,
No matter how you slice it.
Yet it is The Gateway to Galveston . . .
Via Automobile . . .
And so it goes . . . =)

venture
06-04-2014, 12:19 AM
Not having a completely corrupt government with many prominent officials getting indicted every few years might have helped Detroit as well. People fled a lot of things when leaving Detroit whether it was to the burbs or the Sun Belt. The government there ignored that fact for many, many decades.

Totally agree...there were multiple things that brought that city to its knees, not just one thing. Like you also said - this happened over a long period of time.


Never ignored that and I agree with you, but you can't deny the fact that the economic depression with the bail-out of the cars was the biggest factor.

Looked how sprawled out Houston is and it was nearly recession proof during this last depression.

You are thinking way to short term as the decline has been in the making for decades, but you are still a child so I'll give you a pass on that.

You are still too focused on just sprawl. Comparing Detroit to Houston in the last recession - is what I believe you meant to say - can't really be a serious comment. You are talking about the oil mecca of the US to the auto capital. When oil prices go up...that doesn't exactly help Detroit. You can't compare the two.

Jeepnokc
06-04-2014, 08:46 AM
Yes. We (Oklahoma county) made a huge investment to buy back a building that we paid gm to build.(through incentives and tax breaks) Now the work that is performed there is paid for by our tax dollars. So gm got paid twice by us and we get paid 1 dollar to pay the federal government to build airplanes for war. Pretty clever

And then the gov't pays millions back in salaries to our local citizens that would have gone elsewhere. Additionally, it has attracted further private expansion and salaries. Seems pretty darn clever to me!

ylouder
06-04-2014, 08:52 AM
So the federal government says you and I as citizens owe 17 trillion dollars in debt but they will pay us salary out of that debt that you and I will have to pay back? Clever.

why don't we write each other checks for 1 million dollars and we will both be able to spend it and pay each other back.

better idea. I'm going to get a credit card and buy 50k worth of stuff. When the bill comes due I'm going to get another credit card and pay the old one off and ask for a higher limit. This time they give me 100k limit so I pay off first one and go out and spend the other 50k on stuff. Bill is due, I'm going to get my limit raised to 150k this time so I can pay this debt off and have 50k walking around money...17 trillion. But look at the jobs?

Jeepnokc
06-04-2014, 09:01 AM
So the federal government says you and I as citizens owe 17 trillion dollars in debt but they will pay us salary out of that debt that you and I will have to pay back? Clever.

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Would you rather it go to some other community. The strength and diversity of the work that Tinker does is one of the reasons it has avoided closure. What say ye about the private development? Would all the retail and shops be along 29th if Tinker closed? The new apartments ion I240 near the plant? The Boeing jobs? None of this is government money. Seems kind of clever to invest in our future and growth and to ensure the stability of our air base. I think Detroit would be jumping on any chance to get a federal agency into one of their empty plants.

ylouder
06-04-2014, 09:08 AM
Your confusing debt for progress. Just because you buy 17 trillion dollars on a credit card doesn't make me rich. It makes me Detroit when the bills come due.

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Just the facts
06-04-2014, 09:10 AM
So the federal government says you and I as citizens owe 17 trillion dollars in debt but they will pay us salary out of that debt that you and I will have to pay back? Clever.

why don't we write each other checks for 1 million dollars and we will both be able to spend it and pay each other back.

better idea. I'm going to get a credit card and buy 50k worth of stuff. When the bill comes due I'm going to get another credit card and pay the old one off and ask for a higher limit. This time they give me 100k limit so I pay off first one and go out and spend the other 50k on stuff. Bill is due, I'm going to get my limit raised to 150k this time so I can pay this debt off and have 50k walking around money...17 trillion. But look at the jobs?

You just described the Federal Reserve System and fractional reserve banking.