You Know That Your City Has Become A Hellhole When….

ilene's picture

Did Michael Snyder overlook any examples of Life in the Big Hellhole?  I get the feeling this list is only the beginning. ~ Ilene 

You Know That Your City Has Become A Hellhole When….

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse

All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes.  The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome.  The tax base in many areas of the nation has been absolutely devastated as millions of jobs have left this country.  Hundreds of cities are drowning in debt and are desperately trying to survive. 

Last year, city government revenues in the United States fell by another 2.3 percent.  That was the fifth year in a row that we have seen a decline.  Meanwhile, costs associated with health care, pensions and virtually everything else continue to explode.  So what are cities doing to make ends meet?  Well, one big trend that we are now witnessing is that many U.S. cities have been getting rid of huge numbers of employees.  If you can believe it, 72 percent of all U.S. cities are laying workers off this year.  Social services and essential infrastructure programs are also being savagely cut back in many areas of the country. The cold, hard truth is that most of our cities are flat broke and things are going to get even worse in the years ahead.

So how do you know if your own city has become a hellhole?

Well, a few potential "red flags" are posted below....

You know that your city has become a hellhole when most of the street lights get repossessed because of unpaid electric bills.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it announces that it will no longer prosecute domestic violence cases in order to save money.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it simply stops sending out pension checks to retired workers.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it rips up asphalt roads and replaces them with gravel because gravel is cheaper to maintain.

desperateYou know that your city has become a hellhole when it eliminates the entire public bus system.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when nearly half of all the people living there can't read.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when one out of every ten homes sells for under $10,000.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you can literally buy a house for one dollar.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you have hundreds of people living in the tunnels underneath your streets.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when three of your past five mayors have been sent to prison for corruption.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when nearly half of the public schools in the city get shut down because of a lack of money.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when you have dozens of young people rampaging in the streets that are thirsty for revenge and that are armed with bats, pipes and guns.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when it is considered to be one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world. [Note: Capetown came in first, Detroit came in third, and New Orleans came in ninth. - ed.]

You know that your city has become a hellhole when thieves defecate in the back seat after they have broken into your car and taken your things.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when prostitution and drug dealing are two of the only viable businesses that remain in the city.

You know that your city has become a hellhole when the police chief announces that the police department will no longer respond to calls about burglary and identity theft due to very deep budget cuts.

Many of the examples above may seem humorous at first glance, but the truth is that they reveal just how deeply tragic our economic decline really is.

This is one of the reasons why I write about our trade deficit over and over and over.  Every single month, tens of billions of dollars more wealth goes out of the United States than enters it.  Every single month, we are getting poorer as a nation.  Every single month, we lose more jobs and businesses.

Any politician that tells you that he or she can solve our economic problems without fundamentally addressing our horrific trade imbalance is lying to you.  That means that there are a whole lot of liars in both political parties.

If the number of good jobs continues to decline, the plight of the average American family is going to continue to get worse.  Home sales will continue to hover around record lows.  The American people will continue to become increasingly frustrated with the economy.

The signs of decline are all around us.

Quit listening to the politicians and just open up your eyes and look.

So do any of you have any additional signs that a city has become a hellhole to add to the list above?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below.... 

Second picture credit: Jak's View From Vancouver

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boiltherich's picture

I have been saying for years if you want to see your future under a GOP debt regime that feeds the bankers trillions while taxing the middle class out of existence take a few days in sunny downtown Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez, those should be nominated as the capital cities of the Neocon dream world.  Just don't drink the water, or step in the raw sewage in the gutters of every street, you will get hepititis if you do.  They got some real low taxes there brother, no pesky minimum wages to annoy the good people.   Actually they do have a minimum wage, $4 per day, but there is almost no threat of punishment should you be caught not paying it, just bribe the cop with a tenner if they hassle you. 

AchtungAffen's picture

Tell you a couple of things that happened in Buenos Aires during the 2001-2002 collapse:

All bronze plaques in buildings (mostly used by doctors) and parks are stolen. The 20 kilo brass tail of a horse statue in front of the congress gets sawed off. There are groups of people, organized and all, picking up shit from the trash that was valueless not long ago (paper, cardboard, etc... nothing was recycled here until the 2001-2002 crisis). Express kidnappings (real and simulated) rise to a daily basis. Hordes attack cow transporting trucks and slaughter them on the spot. Cats and dogs dissappear from the city streets (and you know where they went, right? yummy yummy). Damn, I guess I could write all day long about this shit, but I bet you'll soon find out in 1st person. Not gonna spoil your fun.

Fuzzyduck's picture

Same thing happened in Harare, Zimbabwe at the height of the inflationary peak. Anything of any value from aluminum street signs, traffic lights, transformer fluid, electric gate motors, borehole pumps were constantly stolen to the point that the city now resembles the typical African tin point state.   

eatthebanksters's picture

This is happening in midsized and small towns as the smaller businesses disappear (people move to the big cities looking for work...does this sound like history repeating itself).  Big companies have access to capital that smaller companies do not...and even if smaller companies can get capital it is usually at a much higher cost than the big companies. I think Meredith Whitney will be proved right in time. Meanwhile we return to Banana Republic status. Nassim Taleb was right on several years back when he said that the only way out of this worldwide mess was to convert debt to it may be to late even for that solution! I find it amusing to listen to Obama's rousing speeches about the rich vs. the poor and class war. Pretty soon the millions of small enterpreneurs who had done well (and then lost most of it) will turn on the fat cat public employees milking the system with their fat salaries, benefit packages and pensions. It's all a matter of perspective President careful what you wish for as it may come true!

swamp's picture

So many underwater on their BAD real estate "investments". Lol. suck it up chump. You bought now you suck.

eatthebanksters's picture

Are you a small time loser that couldn't afford to by a home and now are you seeking pleasure in the misfortune of others?  My sister bought her home 12 years ago in Idaho.  It is now $20,000 underwater and she lost her job.  She is 52 years old and doing manual landscape work to keep form losing her small home.  You are and idiot and and asshole!!!

Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

"....when your city is more than 20% black people" would have made the same point.

earleflorida's picture


pass the 'tarp' - bail-out the 'tbtf's banksters' - all is right with the world (of course i'm talking about u.s.)

three years pass,... abandoning the rules of legends and we now have chaos

the plan is working comrade, soon america will be sterile^?

mess nonster's picture

OK, here is a REAL solution, viable just as soon as economic indicators prove we're in a defaltionary depression:

Cities issue time-stamped scrip. If you don't know what it is, google "Worgl Miracle" Silvio Gessel" "Stamp scrip" etc.

it is the only money that is not deflationary or inflationary. it is the only money that pays for itself as it goes. it is the only money that is not debt based or fractional-reserve based in any way. It works with, and never against, PM money, and barter. It is the enemy of debt in every form.

if muicipalities and local governments everywhere issued time-stmped scrip, they would be debt free and prosperous overnight. The Fed would either have to outlaw it (the only reason it has not worked is because everywhere it has been tried, Central Banks have outlawed it.), or be rendered obsolete and wither away.

Time-stamped scrip equals full employment, monetary freedom, and healthy economies free from the depredations (or is that debt-predations?) of jew-bankers everywhere.

paintman's picture

A sparrow can build its own home.  A squirrel can find and store its own food.  You know you live in a hell-hole when your neighbors are unable to do for themselves what the dumb animals can.

eatthebanksters's picture

This statement is about as simplistic and ignorant as the moron who wrote it.  I am a conservative and I believe in accountability and selfresponsibility, but I also enjoy the benfits of being part of a productive society.  I have no desire to live in a cabin and split wood to burn in my woodstove to keepfrom freezing in the winter.  I prefer a selction of foods at the supermarket over jerkey.  I enjoy riding a horsefr pleasure and not because there is no gas for my car.   I  could go on, but then I doubt the brainiac who wrote the original comment has a clue as to wha I am saying... 

Pay Day Today's picture

Only dumb comment here is the assumption that animals are "dumb", instead of being the smart survivors that they are.

And forgetting that people need something called a "society" to live and function within, because not everyone can be a builder or hunter-gatherer.

bigdumbnugly's picture

...when the nine teens that you see carrying baseball bats aren't on their way to a game they've never played.

Thunder Dome's picture

Take a look at Liberia.  That's all I have to say.

Logans_Run's picture

Absolutely! Once the crown jewel of West Africa. Been there a number of times. Also lived in Detroit for two years while working on the Government Motors "turn-around." The similarities are becoming striking and terrrifying!

real's picture

and what can you do about it ?   well tomorrow join your nearest occupy wall st protest and stand up.  At the minimum just occupy your personal space, at the maximum, take part in civil disobedience. Push the barriers and plant seeds.  The revolution is here if you want it 

Georgesblog's picture

Every night, while I'm going to sleep in a nice, warm and dry bed, I think of my friends who are still sleeping outdoors. Up until a few years ago, I could say that I had never been hunted like an animal. That ended, when I became homeless in 3008. I lived through the allegations on the street that Denver area police were using homeless people for Taser practice.  The world is becoming a very bad place.

Goldenfoxx's picture

This is what socialism gives you.  More people taking than are giving.  No doubt the hell holes were  ran by Democrats.  Look what the Wall baggers are screaming for - socialism and they are living in a hell hole with city leaders too afraid to make them go home or back to whatever hole they came from.  They haven't produced one single thing for society and never will.

bill1102inf's picture

WRONG. Socialism has given the 1% a way to gaurantee they stay 1%.  Banks make bets and win, big profit. Banks make bets and lose, bailout by taxpayers.  This is like allowing your electric company to buy netflix at 300 and when it falls to 150 allowing them to double your electric bill.  The rich and some corps ENJOY socialization on the BACKS of everyone.

IAmNotMark's picture

"Look what the Wall baggers are screaming for - socialism"

That may be what you are hearing with your close-minded, bigoted ears. Don't think you're a bigot?  You are.  Anyone who uses the term 'bagger' the way you do is a bigot. 



GhostfaceCracka's picture



It's the Lyceum here at ZH, I tell ya.

The Fonz...before shark jump's picture

Take it easy on Detroit, they are living in mad max times

Moe sizlak

Lednbrass's picture

You know its a hellhole when murders in your city are far beyond combat deaths in Afghanistan.

I grew up in lovely (lol) West Baltimore, I got the heck out and went south to join family but still have some relatives there. I added up the numbers recently and found:

Murders in Baltimore 2002- Sept, 2011: 2484

Total US combat deaths in Afghanistan through September 2011: 1698

Very nice place indeed. If there were a way to saw off the city, tow it out to sea and sink it the state would be improved.

Are you kidding's picture

Remove ALL the minorities...I'll move there.  There IS a reason these places are like they are...the people who live there!  We should have sent the blacks back whan we had the chance.  If we had, we wouldn't have the mexican problem either.  It's funny how the BEST places are the places that are still the's NOT a coincidence people.

Pay Day Today's picture

Overwhelmingly white corporate boards of directors stripped their own cities of factories and blue collar industrial work places in the 1980's and 1990's and shipped the work off to China.

Now you're blaming minorities for the economic and social devastation resulting from the millions of jobs which have been offshored?

Are you kidding's picture

And a BIG part of the reason they shipped the jobs overseas are all the "equal rights" laws we have.  They got tired of all the bullshit that goes with employing Americans.  Why keep jobs in America when you don't have control over your employees?  It's also why our kids are all fucked can't DO anything to them!  We're a nation of pussy girls.  If I had my way...there wouldn't be any minorities, I'd send them packing.

AnAnonymous's picture

It's funny how the BEST places are the places that are still the's NOT a coincidence people.


No. Absolutely not a coincidence but the result of intent.

trav7777's picture

let's see...Pittsburgh...rust belt.  Rated one of the best cities to live in.  White population, 90%

Detroit...rust belt.  Most Dangerous City in the US contender every year.  Black population, 90%

You can check down the list of hellholes and you'll see some demographics trends just jump right out at you.  It has nothing to do with "jobs" or anything else and everything to do with demographics.

Saxxon's picture

Just wow Trav; you simply can't say things like that.  I see your agenda through your words.  You may not even think that way. 

And even if it's true, it's still your fault.


I have thought for years that what we will see is a decline simply slowed as much as possible, not remedied; and that communities will naturally subdivide along racial lines.  Yes, racial.  Oh, and I know how bad that is.  I should not think that way...

We are tribal, in essence.

AnAnonymous's picture

We are tribal, in essence.

Tribal in essence? And?

Racism has been a key element in the development of the US society. US citizens as for many things would like to pretend the US society could live without racism when racism has been a structuring factor for the US and US citizens can not do with it.

It has nothing to do with tribalism. It has all to do with US citizenism.

Human beings tribal or not, in a US citizenish context, US citizens will organize along the racial lines. It is how US citizenism works.

trav7777's picture

Funny how everyone else does the same fucking thing.

Racism is a canard and a fiction; a con.  If the races were equal, there'd have been no racism.

trav7777's picture

I dunno why you would think that is bad.

EVERY study of societies shows that integrated and diverse ones are LESS pleasant, livable, etc., than the opposite.

Diversity is a BURDEN, not a benefit.  Breaking down along racial lines would give the people who want to live in peace and civilization somewhere to go.

I don't have any idea why you even THINK the thought that it is bad to avoid are you gonna buy the world a fucking Coke next?  All genomes are not the same.  I shudder at the thought that the race that invented EVERYTHING should be thinking it should mix with failed races that accomplished next to nothing.  That is effing absurd.

Go let your pedigree bitch mate with all the stray mutts in the neighborhood?  Yes, yes, I know that after reading that, white people are salivating at a bell and revulsing with the notion that genetics and biology have anything to do with humans.  They are petrified to even read hate facts like this that suggest that everything they hold dear about diversity is WRONG and in fact, we humans really can reinforce traits like intelligence and how tall parents have tall kids.

The entire industry that has convinced you that it is wrong to not have diversity is itself avoiding diversity.  They want YOUR offspring to include suboptimal genes, not theirs.  Think about why that might be and the type of structural power shift that might lead to when THEY are practicing effective eugenics with their daughters and you are encouraging yours to bear the offspring of criminals with low IQs.

nah's picture

a million years of bullshit history is no excuse for oportunity and existance



should we kill them

AnAnonymous's picture

Breaking down along racial lines would give the people who want to live in peace and civilization somewhere to go.


In this US world order?

Shallow attempt to hide facts.

Extorters of the weak and farmers of the poor do not mix with the weak and the poor. It is vital for them. It is imposed by extortion and farming.

Racism has been extremelly helpful in that it helps to lump extremelly various populations into one label and move extortion to a much bigger scale.

But extortionists and farmers are not peaceful people. Selling that there would be a peaceful civilization that would rise is US citizenish, denial of straight reality.

trav7777's picture

Nonsense...complete non sequitur.

Racism is irrelevant.

pupton's picture

Trav, et al. check out Pat Buchanan's latest book quoted on Drudge.  He gets right to the point that America is being destroyed by DEMOGRAPHICS!

Lednbrass's picture

Yep, but one cant observe objective reality without being damned for it by reflexively PC idiots who dont have to experience such things from their suburban or gentrified urban and heavily patrolled neighborhoods.

No Mas's picture

The mob event is a simple hate crime.  Happens with or without an economic mess.  Whites are fair game for violence as the DOJ just doesn't care.

Seer's picture

And white people didn't think that there would be blow-back from the extermination of natives and exploitation of blacks?

Cry me a river.  It all evens out.  Sucks to be the ones at the helm when it's taken over...

trav7777's picture

"white people"?

Most white people hail from ancestors that were themselves slaves.  Don't bitch about slavery to anybody Irish.  Nobody gives them a month over their diaspora, nor a museum for their Holocaust.

The fact is that while blacks in the US are descended from slaves, the vast majority of white people had nothing to do with slavery.  And even if they DID, blacks here have it so much better than anywhere else, that THEY OWE REPARATIONS for having been brought here.  Nevermind the tens of thousands of rapes and homicides they commit every year and the trillions poured into futile attempts to educate them.

White people keep blacks ALIVE; Africa would have half its present population without white food aid.

taxpayer102's picture


check out to get a better understanding of blacks, slavery and American history facts not taught in school.

IQ 101's picture

The Small-pox vaccine is in part responsible for Africas present large population, along with Malaria treatment, Mosquito net distribution

and Condom distribution.

Rhode........Zimbabwe and South Africa are not quite as prosperous as they were a few decades ago,methinks.

Some of the richest geology and most fertile land on Earth.

But the true racists, in their wisdom, took whitey down a notch, how is it working out for them? But let's make things EQUAL!

All we have to do is start living in Shanty's built from corrugated iron and cardboard boxes, then we will all be EQUAL! with Soweto and Juarez. Utopia bitchez.

EQUAL! copyright 2011.

Pay Day Today's picture

conveniently ignore how a succession of white colonial powers used Africa for a mine, and when it got too difficult or expensive, simply walked away leaving tinpot dictatators of convenience. Now the Chinese are doing the same thing.

trav7777's picture

So how does INDIA have a fuckin space program?

White people are responsible for the affairs of Africans now?  In perpetuity, I'm sure.

There are mines in Australia, btw, and oil in Norway.  Why the fuck is it that those damned white people just seem to be able to create civilizations in places where the natives have failed?

White colonial powers would have civilized africa, and that's precisely what they did.  The apartheid african states were the most prosperous and advanced on the continent.

Dr. Acula's picture

But white is the combination of red + orange + yellow + green +  blue + violet!! While black is NONE of them!!!

Hence White > Red and White > Yellow and White > Black = 0

White is the GREATEST color!

Trav is right after all.

Further proof from 

Black #000000 White #FFFFFF
AnAnonymous's picture

Another funny example of US citizenism at work. You usually get funny results with US citizenism.
The fact is that while blacks in the US are descended from slaves, the vast majority of white people had nothing to do with slavery.

The vast majority of US citizens have nothing to do with US waged wars. This does not prevent them from benefiting from the wars.

The vast majority of US citizens have nothing to do with the FED policies. This does not prevent them from benefiting from the FED policies.

White people keep blacks ALIVE; Africa would have half its present population without white food aid.

Does it mean that white people have been a key element in what they perceive as being an overpopulated Africa?

Ah, US citizens, dancing around facts because facts indict them.

And as usually, hijacking a large human condition to justify themselves in their very peculiar course of actions.

As if being white would automatically mean think along US citizenism lines...

GhostfaceCracka's picture

Really? It's the ones at the helm that pushed this. That's where our fifth column is. And given the differences between Pittsburgh and Detroit, I don't think it will even out at all. 

Are you kidding's picture

Are you saying we should have finished the job back then?  It was a mistake to leave ANY survivors?  I tend to agree...