Speaking in Camden, New Jersey, President Obama just uttered the following Detroit-esque words of doom:
- *OBAMA SAYS CAMDEN IS SYMBOL OF PROMISE FOR NATION
All over America, formerly prosperous communities are being transformed into crime-infested wastelands of poverty and despair. Of course the most famous example of this is Detroit. At one time, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen and it had the highest per capita income in the entire country. But now it has become a rotting, decaying hellhole that the rest of the planet laughs at. And of course Detroit is far from alone. There are hundreds of other U.S. cities that are suffering a similar fate. In this article, the focus is going to be on Camden, New Jersey, but the truth is that there are lots of other "Detroits" and "Camdens" all over the nation. Jobs and businesses are leaving our cities at a staggering rate, and what is being left behind is poverty, crime and extreme desperation.
Earlier this month, Rolling Stone published an article that took a hard look at the nightmare conditions that exist in Camden. A city that once made Campbell's soup and some of this nation's most famous warships is now a national disgrace. The following are six of the best quotes out of that article...
-"In September, its last supermarket closed, and the city has been declared a "food desert" by the USDA. The place is literally dying, its population having plummeted from above 120,000 in the Fifties to less than 80,000 today."
-"Their home is a city with thousands of abandoned houses but no money to demolish them, leaving whole blocks full of Ninth Ward-style wreckage to gather waste and rats."
-"With legal business mostly gone, illegal business took hold. Those hundreds of industries have been replaced by about 175 open-air drug markets, through which some quarter of a billion dollars in dope moves every year."
-"On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town."
-"After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight."
-"The carnage left Camden's crime rate on par with places like Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, and with other infamous Third World hot spots, as police officials later noticed to their dismay when they studied U.N. statistics."
You can read the rest of the article right here.
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And finally this...
While the stock market in the US continues to surge (if not so much in China where the composite is back to 2009 lows) as the relentless liquidity tsunami makes its way into stocks, and other Fed frontrunning instruments, and only there, reality for everyone else refuses to wait. Last week we saw reality striking in Greece, where a section of Athens literally shut down after it ran out of all cash. Today, reality comes to the US, and specifically its poorest city, Camden, which is a twofer, doubling down also as America's deadliest city. It turns out Camden is about to become even deadliest-er, as its police force is set to be disbanded following a budget crisis in this effectively insolvent city.
And here are some pictures of just what Dante would see in his modern descent into America.
Shocking crimes: A Camden police officer stands in the doorway of a home on August 22 in New Jersey's most impoverished city, where authorities say a 2-year-old boy was decapitated, apparently by his mother
Fight: A supporter of the Camden Police Department speaks during a hearing before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee, in Trenton
Forces dwindling: There are now 270 police officers in Camden, down from 450 in 2005 and 368 the day before the layoffs
Run down: Crack houses have sprung up amid the boarded-up factories and burned out houses in Camden
Abject poverty: The unemployment rate in Camden skyrocketed from less than 9 per cent to more than 20 per cent during the recession
Gone: Camden police officers will lose their jobs at the end of the year when the department is disbanded
Decay: The Camden police have struggled to keep up with the soaring murder rate, amid layoffs and budget cuts
Decay: Soaring unemployment and the flight of thousands of city residents has resulted in urban blight spreading across the city
Run-down: Residents look out over the gutter city where almost half of people are unemployed
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