Here’s an excerpt from Charlie LeDuff’s new book, Detroit: An American Autopsy, which describes how the immutable laws of the Visible Black Hand of Economics have destroyed property value in South Warren:
“South Warren – the part that directly touched Detroit – used to be about the Stars and Bars flag of the Confederacy flying from the flagpole in the front yard. The Dodge factory and the General Motors plant and the cinder-block mom-and-pop tool-and-die shops that supplied those factories also supplied the groceries and the fishing trips and the new car every other year. By the time I arrived in Detroit, perhaps 75 percent of those shops had died.
The industries replacing them were increasingly drug sales and prostitution. What came with those businesses were not better schools but gunshots and rusting cars and broken porches with men drinking from paper bags. Tough-looking kids hung around the playground up the street, slinging dope. Frankie started keeping his daughters inside.
Frankie had bought his house for $70,000 a decade earlier. It was an unpretentious two-bedroom with an unfinished attic on a double lot. It wasn’t worth $15,000 in 2008, if it was worth a nickel.”
Note: LeDuff himself admits in the book that he doesn’t live in Detroit because of the violent crime, corruption, and the low quality of public services.