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Varchild2008 (83.99)

The Smell of the Great Depression from a Michigander



March 30, 2009 – Comments (12)

I'm a Michigander...  "Hi! Michigander!"

At first I thought I'd just take off and leave after High School to a College in the south.

"So did we! So did we!"

Ya know...but instead I went to College at a place called "Eastern Michigan University..."

"Why not University of Michigan or Michigan State??"

Didn't have the money or the will to put myself in debt in the Tens of Thousands for those colleges.  Eastern provided similar education at nearly 1/2 the price.

Well, at least that was the case in my Freshman Year.

Ya know.. Before the "Scandals" that happened.  The president at the time was retiring and a new one was brought in (without Student Input or Student Vote).  This new president had a some kids and a wife and they came to Eastern Michigan, located in an extremely poor city known as Ypsilanti, not liking the city whatsoever.  I couldn't really blame them regarding the dirty, filthy, conditions of Ypsilanti.

I mean hey... It wasn't a shock when you didn't have any cement under your feat when you walked down the residential streets..... Hardly a business in Ypsilanti wasn't broken into and stolen from... Cops were attacked with knives and guns....Women were raped....killed...Rampant drug use...Rampant gangs....

Walking to the College of Business meant every single day you'd run into either someone Mentally Screwed up or someone homeless or both.  You never knew if your life was at stake every time you took the trip....

So, the new President and his Wife of Eastern Michigan didn't like Ypsilanti? Can't blame them.  Except for the fact that EMU had a beautiful 16 bedroom mansion as a home right near campus.

But, alas... The President didn't think the Mansion was BIG ENOUGH.   He demanded a better one and was given one in Ann Arbor so he could have his kids in an Ann Arbor High School.

But, that came with the condition that eventually we would move him back to Campus... You see the brilliant plan was to use Student Dollars and Taxpayer Dollars funding an Ann Arbor Mansion while a City Block Wide Mansion near the Football Stadium was constructed for him under his exacting specifications....

Bottles of Merlot? Painted Doors??? Beautiful Hedge trimmings?  The works....whatever the president wanted he got to the tune of $6.5 Million dollars not counting Post Construction Costs.

Eventually the Scandal broke out....the President was fired over the House scandal and countless others (he did afterall set up a SLUSH FUND for himself off Student's Money)....

The president was fired..... New president came in (With 2 students voting against 8 Administrator Votes).  So.. Ultimately.... with  only 2 votes for the students.... The Students didn't have much of a voice.. They also were silenced about talking about any of the candidates in public..

The President Chosen was also scandalous... *Big Shock*  This guy was perhapse worse.... A Murder happens on campus and the President plays "Cover Up" and tells the family of the victim and the public that it was a suicide instead.

Prior to lying to everyone about the murder, the President was already setting up an extremely expensive "Beautification Project" known as the "Cross Street Project" and known by other names.
Many students protested against it in obvious anger.

There really wasn't anything good about Eastern Michigan University.

So you'd think I would have left Michigan after College Right?

"Yea! Yea! Why Didn't you?"

I graduated right in the middle of the September 2001 Recession and no one was hiring someone who possessed ZERO work experience beyond a 3 month Co-Op.

I couldn't find a job anywhere.... no where..... Except Michigan... So Here I am...

GM going into Bankruptcy.....

Chrysler is a mess....

Even the Casinos are in trouble with no one staying at the Hotels they built...

12% unemployment....

Life-Time Welfare Program sustains DEMOCRAT LIBERAL Voters to keep voting DEMOCRAT so nothing changes...year after year....The Stench of the Great Depression just creeps over you like a Smog.

Ever been to a store where kids are begging for work?

Ever seen a Fight between recently layed off employees of a Dealership?

Ever had your life threatened by a street mugger?

Ever see street bums punch a Bouncer in front of a large crowd of young Teens and Tweens waiting for the "Majestic Theatre" to open for the ELECTRIC SIX show on New Years Eve?  Or spend your time wondering if you will SURVIVE and "MAKE IT" to your car which is just 10 FEET from the BAR Entrance instead of enjoying the show you payed $30 to see?

I have... I've seen the Great Depression and I don't like it.... But, I know it ain't Conservatism that is responsible cause there ain't no conservative leadership in Metro Detroit.

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 30, 2009 at 11:08 PM, ikkyu2 (98.17) wrote:

Look - up in the sky.

See those?  Those are airplanes.

Airplanes 'Fly Over' you.

The people in those airplanes have 'Money.'

The 'Money' people call your state a 'Fly Over' state.

They know they can fly right on over you, they do not have to drop any money as they fly.  'Helicopter Ben' only drops money over Wall Street.

Sorry, Michigan.  You're not relevant to the 21st century AmeriKKKa! 

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#2) On March 30, 2009 at 11:13 PM, zversyp (< 20) wrote:

I saw all that too, when I was deployed in a 3rd world war zone.

Just get out of Detroit, dude.  That's not America.

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#3) On March 30, 2009 at 11:15 PM, nau99 (28.26) wrote:

My brother, his wife, my niece and 3 nephews live in Washington Township, about 30 miles north of downtown Detroit.  I've been to Detroit 12 times in the past 7 years to visit - the most recent was over Christmas. 

If you've never been to Detroit, you don't understand the auto industry - I can't put it any more clear than that.  It's not like tourism is to Los Angeles, or Disneyworld is to Orlando.  It's much more than that.  It's even more than casinos are to Las Vegas or lobster trapping is to our countrymen from the great state of Maine. 

You see with the Las Vegas or the Maine examples - they are industries that are surviving (weak as it may be) in tough economic times.  Detroit is a city that hit its peak decades ago, and has been attempting to latch onto the sides of a bottomless pit ever since.  The city's population has declined more in the past 50 years than any other metropolitan area in the western Hemisphere. 

Fifty years ago, Detroit was the city of dreams - beautiful cars, Motown music... a booming metropolis.  That's all but gone now - and by letting the Big Three fall apart we not only lose a cherished part of our nation's history... we lose what was once an iconic city in the midwest of our country.

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#4) On March 30, 2009 at 11:22 PM, stockrevealer (38.70) wrote:

You guys in Michigan need to have a revolution. Why do you take that? If this is the place that belongs to you and you lived there all your life and you feel like it's your home fight for it.

You know I hate to tell you this but many people from your state are also corrupt. Including Jim Cramer who convinces many poor college students to invest. I believe he visited your university or the other Michigan university. I hate it when he said to students they need to do their "homeworks" before they invest. Read on, this is all the homework you need:

Cramer works for the Media and makes his money that way. Jim Cramer cares only about one thing: you trading more! Why? Look at the commercials while he is on. Don't be stupid, Jim Cramer only wants you to trade so he can make more money.
As far as doing "homeworks" go to elementary school if you like homeworks because obviously you are absolutely clueless.
I am a CFA and also have a Masters in Finance. I also have a BA in International Development Studies from UCLA. I had years of micro, macro economics and years of finance.
I also have a minor in accounting.
In short: trust me when I tell you there is no homework to be have. Why?
The financial statements of companies are so corrupt, so massive, so complex that not even I can figure it out. And you think your "homework" will figure it out. Companies simply cook the books and what you think you are doing as "homework" is worthless because the numbers are big idiot!
And why do you think when you get a financial statement it looks more like a book??!! Because companies are hiding debt, problems, insider trading in all those little footnotes.

And in regard to Jim Cramer: He is very corrupt because he never goes back to the stocks he recommended that are now penny stocks...he always finds companies that trade above 20-50 dollars and when those companies prices go down he moves to other companies. I was stupid and once I listened to his advice. I bought UNG and $70 when he was saying BUY BUY BUY!!!! and now UNG is at $15.00.....keep listening to Jim Cramer if you want to LOSE LOSE LOSE you money!!!

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#5) On March 30, 2009 at 11:44 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Sounds like the Twentieth Century Motor Corp. Maybe the story was true after all.

Good post, though I can't say there's too much that Conservatism has to offer you. Had Republicans been the one-party-in-control in Michigan for the last however-many-decades I suspect Michigan's plight would be the same.  Upon closer inspection I haven't found much difference between the two parties.

Thanks for sharing this story. I hope things turn around for you, and the people of Michigan.

David in Qatar

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#6) On March 31, 2009 at 12:07 AM, falang1 (< 20) wrote:

Hey, if you want I have a house about 1 block from EMU.  Sitting empty right now I think. 

 I can't say I agree with all of your Ypsi bashing.  It has some good areas and some bad.  The police are actually quite good and they have some decent community events.  I heard about the most recent Eastern Pres scandal (the coverup) but not the house one.  Interesting.  My dad used to teach there, maybe that's why he left.   

I forget where the Majestic is but I remember going to shows on Cass Ave in Detroit.  Man was that sketchy.

 Good luck to you.  I will be back in Michigan shortly... :(

And please tell me you've been to the wooden nickel...

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#7) On March 31, 2009 at 2:36 AM, CapStockInvestor (22.05) wrote:

Well, I think we are going to be fine... only if we can clean up the corruption and the toxic waste.

Basically, I am saying that I don't see anytime that is going to happen.

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#8) On March 31, 2009 at 4:40 AM, ralphmachio (< 20) wrote:

If Detroit hasn't done something yet, and it won't until things get much worse, how far do the rest of us need to fall before we decide enough is enough, and we will not let corrupt financial interests and the politicians they put in power determine our quality of life?  As our quality of life deteriorates, so too will our health, our patience, and ultimately our ability to respond to the challenge at hand in a civil way.  What is obvious to anyone who inquires, is that we have been exacerbating the financial problem for decades, while increasing rule that takes away freedom, and preparing for a showdown against the people, rather than make things better.  That is the most obvious problem.  Our government anticipated this depression, and instead of trying to prevent it, they are looking to police and imprison those who are starving and trying to feed their families.  They never had any intention of fixing this problem, because this problem was engineered to render a reaction from the people, and the solution is to be presented by invisable hands that control our little Bush and Obama puppets.  Notice the push for global currency, and how that will be the precursor to global government.

Problem, reaction, solution is the preferred method for changing the people, because it instills a belief that it was the will of the people that caused the change.  The truly painful part is listening to a world full of people argue about what the actors on TV are telling them to argue about, while the truth lies in the spectrum of unacceptable argument. 98% of people will never even touch upon the real issues that create their paradigm at all, and merely pick a side that they were given as options by the TV, rather than use their own minds.  Picking one of the viewpoints the TV offers is the inability to think, and those who choose to do this aren't really choosing at all.  Their mind is in atrophy, and they only serve to perpetuate the seemingly directionless servitude of the elite.

Have a nice day! 

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#9) On March 31, 2009 at 7:23 AM, jszoke01 (26.72) wrote:

I live in Royal Oak, have spent my whole life in Michigan, so I know exactly what you're talking about.  Take hope in this....  GM just announced this morning that "bankruptcy might be the best option at this point".  While this is going to be devestating in the near term - especially in my area - roughly 15 miles from the Rennaissance Center (the ironic name of GM's HQ in D-town), this may be the beginning of the end for what ails our state.  People make comments, saying things such as "why don't you stand up for yourselves" etc etc etc, but in order to understand, you've got to see firsthand what it's like to live in this state.  EVERYONE in the auto industry here has a sense of entitlement.  Union, Managment, Suppliers, everyone. 

I work for a 3PL (transportation consultation/managment) that primarily services the auto industry.  If I walk into a Delphi (huge parts manufacturer, been in bankruptcy for years) to try to sell my services, you're looked at like you're a bit of nasty that they just stepped on.  Yet when I took my client at that location out to lunch, he was sporting around in one of the 50 BMW 5 Series that are on location as pool cars.  Don't even get me started on the Union workers.

80% of the employment in this state is tied directly or indirectly to the housing industry.  These people had it so good for so long, they can't bear the thought of losing their perks, vacation days, and all of the things that you would deserve if you actually ran a successful business.  It is literally the equivilant of the homeowner that kept on drawing the equity out of his house so he could maintain the lifestyle that he isn't making the money to enjoy.

But like I said, this could be the first of many shoes to drop.  If we can loosen the grip of the unions, we might even get a foreign (successful) automaker in here one day.

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#10) On March 31, 2009 at 9:38 AM, lenri (68.00) wrote:

David...your argument that Michigan would not have fared better under conservatism does not wash because you make the same mistake as most of the fools. Republicanism does not ensure conservatism and few politicians of either party are truly conservative although it is true more "R"s than "D"s follow the ideology or at least pretend to. Most politicians are in the game for power and wealth and thus they thrive on the rampant nepotism and cronyism that exists and flourishes in the destruction in wealth degeneration of the people especially in urban areas as evidenced so well in Detroit and Ypsilanti. The problem that conservatives have with liberals (notice I did not say "D"s) more than anything else is that governemental power is the foundation of liberalism. Thus to us the math is simple: liberalism + power = corruption + expropriation = decay + destruction of wealth.

Varchild your fears for Michigan have already being realized. Here in New Jersey conservatism is even rarer than in your state but our economy was not as one-dimensional as yours thus we have held on to our wealth longer than your state but we will suffer the same fate eventually. One of our state leaders and governor wannabes is an officer of a union. He has directed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to inflate the largess to his workers at the citizens' expense. I have personally witnessed union members being told that if they did not vote their favored candidate they would never work again. The union members (including many of my friends) believe it and vote to ensure their families' survival. On election days union workers are forced to go door to door en masse to politic for the union candidate. At this point in time and the foreseeable future the union workers control New Jersey and the state is nearing Michigan status. I would bet dollars to donuts the same thing has happened over the years in your state.

I know some Michiganers and they are some of the best that the US has to offer. Unfortunately, like us, they are grossly outnumbered by the union machine and its sympathizers.

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#11) On March 31, 2009 at 3:43 PM, jszoke01 (26.72) wrote:

80% of the employment in this state is tied directly or indirectly to the housing industry. 

Whoops.  I actually meant to say the Auto Industry.

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#12) On March 31, 2009 at 4:44 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:


I'll accept your rebuttal since you are defining conservatism in the classical sense as opposed to the modern political sense. I inferred that the blog poster was speaking to the political definition (ex: National Review, Huffington Post) since he defined Liberal in similar limits, rather than the classical economic definition of Classical Liberalism.

The only point I was trying to make was that the one-party system in major metropolitan centers like Detroit is even worse than the two-party system, and it wouldn't really matter which party was in charge if they have a monopoly. (I think we agree on that.) Unless that is overthrown, Michigan's depression is sure to get much worse.

David in Qatar


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