The Great Suburban Anschluss: Don't Worry Plano, You're Safe. For Now.

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Oh, ouch. That was a liberal ouch, by the way. Even as a liberal, I can see this as the Next Bad Idea snouting its way up over the far horizon: telling the suburbs they have to bail out the cities.

Ain't ... gonna ... happen.

David Firestone, a young hotshot reporter in Dallas back in the day, now a mature if not yet senior writer for The New York Times, has a fascinating, depressing piece on the op-ed page of the Times today about my own alma mater (his, too, if memory serves) -- the city of Detroit. When I read these things about the Motor City, I get survivor syndrome: Why did I deserve to leave Detroit when others never made it out?

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The capitol of New Detroit
Oh, my God. Detroit is just so screwed, glued, tattooed and utterly un-renewed when you take a hard look. Firestone recounts how the auto industry bailout has done zip for the city, because hardly any of the industry is left in the city.

So beleaguered is Detroit by population loss and the critical hemorrhaging of its tax-base that the state of Michigan may have to appoint an "emergency manager" with powers to bust unions, fire officials and sell off municipal assets.

When I talk about the Next Bad Idea, that's not what I mean. It's this, at the conclusion of Firestone's piece:

"The solution may be in the suburbs that have siphoned off Detroit's money and jobs and talent for decades. A true emergency manager, as many people here have suggested, would have the power to begin merging the tax base of the city with that of suburban counties in hopes of saving the region. Bailouts can come in many different forms."
The moral political spine of this idea is the notion that the migration of vibrancy from city to suburb is something suburbs did to cities, and now this act of aggression must be redressed by some kind of fiat forcing the 'burbs to pay back their debt.

Listen, I get exactly where all of that come from. It's mainly an echo of white flight -- a memory owned by an increasingly narrow slice of the populace, most of whom are soon to be in nursing lah-lah-land anyway.

As long as we're reaching back to yesteryear, however, we might as well also talk about cross-district school busing to achieve integration, the last time I can remember anybody ever tried to put a theory of suburban obligation into political motion.

It never got off the ground. We did do a lot of race-based busing in this country, but not across districts. Texas, of all places, has twisted itself in knots shipping school finance money back and forth all over the map to comply with equity-based court orders, at the heart of which has been de-seg.

But telling the 'burbs they actually have to lean back into the city and own that mess? Nah. That was always the rock too big to roll. And at some point, even a libtard like me has to confront the possibility that maybe that rock just wasn't meant to roll.

We do have to have a healthy competition of alternatives in this country if we're to believe that we still have freedom, and in order to have competition, the scores have to count.

If people see a better world across the line, at some point they have to figure out how to cross that line and get into it. I don't know about your family history, but in my family I think we might still be on our knees digging tuber crops and giving the virginity of our daughters to the Margrave of the Saxon Ostmark if it were not for that principle.

I'm glad we moved.

On the one hand, Dallas is not even in hailing distance of the kind of trouble Detroit is in. On the other hand, if you back off, squint your eyes a little and look at it from an overview, there are some parallels.

The situation in Michigan is deeply racial. Detroit is 83 percent African-American. Firestone tells us that Michigan already has taken over four other cities, all of them majority black.

I always think there's another set of numbers we need for context, not in a short op-ed piece like Firestone's today but in a deeper longer look. How many African-American people are scattered across the Detroit suburbs -- or our own -- doing just fine and living the dream? I want to see that number, because otherwise I expect racists to start painting a picture of all black people based narrowly and exclusively on those who have been left behind in the old neighborhoods and cities.

But I'm also willing to admit that the concept is a bit arcane. People see a mainly black city in the ditch and mainly white suburbs in the pink as many of them are around Detroit. Face it. They see a racial picture.

Let's not kid ourselves. We've got a similar picture. And that freights the question with a whole 'nother baggage, good, bad and ugly.

Let's take a hike up to our own prosperous profoundly -- even zanily -- conservative suburban Collin County and sound out some people how they'd feel about merging their communities with Dallas someday to maybe help out the city some. Oh, jeez. You'd hear stuff that would make Rush Limbaugh sound like Maya Angelou.

Do you give in to that? Look at cross-district busing. Yes. At some point you do give in, because you can't make that rock roll. It's just too much.

You get a flavor of how bad things are in Detroit by looking at the other Big Idea for the Motor City: large-scale urban agriculture. That might be easier than merging with the 'burbs. Not saying it could happen here.

But let's say it did. Am I going to wind up back on my knees digging spuds and shipping my daughters off to the Park Cities for a romp with the duke?

Not me. I'm not going to be having any daughters. And by the time Dallas turns into a potato farm, I plan to have pulled off another Great Escape, this time to nursing lah-lah land. Only this time I won't even remember to feel guilty about it.

Dementia: the place where even a libtard can learn to think like a Republican. I look forward.

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55 comments
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TVZ fan
TVZ fan

Dementia is where you would have to be to believe that a libtard can learn to think.

pak152
pak152

" How many African-American people are scattered across the Detroit suburbs -- or our own -- doing just fine and living the dream? I want to see that number"

welll Jim go to this link at the texas tribune and you can download a csv file 'Texas Census Population, Race Totals by County" http://www.texastribune.org/te...

here is an interactive map with race breakdown for each countyhttp://www.texastribune.org/li...

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/ch...

http://www.uscensus2010data.co...

http://www.cubitplanning.com/s...

pencil
pencil

Do you want some cheese with that bleeding heart whine?

One thing going for Detroit, you don't live there.

RWNJ
RWNJ

I guess if he is a libtard, that makes you a right wing nut-job. I'll take the libtard all day long..............

thewordisthebird
thewordisthebird

Maybe, if we can get the Tigers to move their ball-team here, we'll be able to speed up our "possible" Detroit metamorphosis! At least, we could try :)

Ket354
Ket354

Wouldn't it be easier to start with the cities within your city than to reach beyond your boundaries?

Or is that little bastion of Not-Dallas in the middle of the city the only thing that holds Dallas together?

Ed D.
Ed D.

A regional solution where the suburbs pour in as much or more money while Dallas reaps the lion's share of the benefits? I think we call that "DART".

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

There are benefits to DART? Is it April 1st already?

Ed D.
Ed D.

Light rail keeps getting better but Addison will have been paying into DART for 50 years (maybe more!) before they see their first connection to the system. Sure, they have some buses but they pay the same rate as all the other DART member cities for much less than full benefit from the system.

CR
CR

Fuck em and the Dallas Morning News' "White Guilt" Cry Me a River Campaign for the South Dallas Restoration Beautification of Skid Row Committee.  It's putting lipstick on a pig - like that Calavatra Bridge to Nowhereland.  It's just making a silk purse out of a sow's ear!  Do the Chinese stay in Chinatown seven generations later?  No, the next generation moves to communities with more opportunities and they don't speak like they are fresh off the boat seven generations later either.  If everyone else has sense enough to move to Plano, Frisco, etc. etc., why don't blacks move too instead of suffering in squalor waiting for a handout from the government or some government-funded nonprofit or faith-based group?  Because many South Dallas blacks are racist and they have a history of uniting around known racists like John Wiley Price.  South Dallas represents a united front against white culture.  Many would rather watch their children join gangs, sell crack, and get shot walking home from school or playing in a park... they would rather put up with all that and much much more than live in a mostly non-black community - that's how much many South Dallas blacks hate white people.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

Go up to Plano and take a look around.  It is not the lily-white enclave it once was.  There are many blacks and hispanics there now.  You could say Plano is the new Richardson.  Frisco and Allen are the new Plano.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Last time I checked, even Black Americans were Americans (even the poor, white-hating urban ones).  So, whether what you are saying "Fuck it" to is black urban poverty or white trailer park poverty, or Asian Gulf Coast shanty-towns, or Indian Reservations, Jewish ghettos, hispanic barrios, etc etc, in essence what you are saying is "Fuck it" to America.

America doesn't get through tough times one ethnic group at a time.  America doesn't get into tough times one ethnic group at a time.  Both scenarios are group efforts.  Maybe we've gotten too specialized in this country.  Everyone wants to be ____??____-American instead of just plain old American.  When you start to identify with a particular segment of society, you tend to develop antagonism towards other segments, thus dividing the house we all share.

You mentioned several things in the context of being part of 'black culture'; joining gangs, selling crack, getting shot walking home from school or playing in a park.  Change the nouns up somewhat, and you've described white culture as well.  The majority of meth dealers and cookers are white.  Columbine HS was a predominantly white HS and the two shooters were white.  Pot seems to be an equal opportunity drug.  Most of your violent separatist movements in this country are white.  An overwhelming percentage of sex crimes, especially against children are committed by whites.

You see, it is natural to look at people just like you and see mainly the good, and to look at those who are different from you and notice the bad.  Everyone is prejudiced in some way, shape or form.  Liberals think Conservatives are evil and vice versa, women think men are bumbling, oafish, crybabys and men think women are helpless dolts.  Whites and Blacks and Browns have various stereotypes they cling to, about themselves and about others.  Here's the good and the bad in such thoughts:  Good, conscientious people recognize these things in themselves and work diligently to eradicate such thoughts through education and understanding.  Slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, peckerwoods of all races, genders and economic backgrounds embrace these thoughts and spew out vitriol on blogs.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Should be engraved on a plaque somewhere. Or at least read, thought about, then read again. Thanks for talking sense in an often senseless gabble of voices. 

TruthHurts00
TruthHurts00

"Change the nouns up somewhat, and you've described white culture as well."Really?  Blacks make up 12% of the population, yet commit more than half of all murders.  More than half of all black males do not finish high school.  More than 70% of black children are born out-of-wedlock.  You can change the nouns as much as you want, you still haven't described white culture.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Thank you.  I couldn't have proven my point any better myself.

BP
BP

Is this all you do? Go around imploring that blacks commit 99% of all crimes in America and that all blacks should die and go to hell? 

Why dont you post your true name so you can really engage your audience? 

JP
JP

"Criminologists James A. Fox and Jack Levin (2001)found that males made up more than 90 percent of the sample. Seventy-threepercent of male [serial killers] were white, 22 percent were African-American,and the remainder were of different ethnic groups."I knew there was always a reason I liked good, nice, hard working hispanics!!! 

Weezwas2001
Weezwas2001

 

Perhaps you could site the sources for your list of"truths"? Here are some "truths" I have collected withcitations for further research. I'm not taking your word for what you aresaying, so please don't take mine. Do some research and increase your knowledgeabout all of these topics. I dare you.

 

"Criminologists James A. Fox and Jack Levin (2001)found that males made up more than 90 percent of the sample. Seventy-threepercent of male [serial killers] were white, 22 percent were African-American,and the remainder were of different ethnic groups."

 

http://www.deathreference.com/...

 

"Marriage has declined amongwhite parents, too. White out-of-wedlock births have increased to a rate higherthan the one in four that black births reached 40 years ago. I have yet to hearanyone talk about a tangle of white pathology."

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/s...

 

While it may be  true that, "Blacks make up 12%of the population, yet commit more than half of all murders." there arereasons behind these bare numbers that explain much of that disparity: "First, suppose thatthe costs of committing murder are contingent on the identity of the victim,with murders less likely to be solved and less aggressively prosecuted if thevictims are black. In this case one would expect blacks to be victimized atgreater rates, other things equal. But this means that blacks face greaterdanger in all their interactions, and are more likely therefore to kill pre-emptively.Anticipating this, whites will be more likely to kill preemptively ininteractions with blacks than in interactions with other whites. The effect isstrongest when both participants to a dispute are black, and we show that thehypothesis of victim-contingent costs implies that one can provide a completeranking of levels of violence, with black on black interactions being mostlikely to end in murder and white on white interactions being leastlikely."

 

Read moreat: http://www.columbia.edu/~rs328...

 

As forthe graduation rates of blacks vs. whites, if you have been an up close andpersonal observer of DISD over the last 40 years, you would know why a 50%graduation rate is not all that bad for schools that are situated in very poorareas of town and blithely neglected by DISD administration for all theseyears.

 

And thatis just my own observation, take it for what you will.

 

All ofthese, except the "mass murderer" issue seem to be the result ofeconomic conditions rather than racial differences. Keep in mind, correlationis not the same as causality.

 

Oh and bythe way, the "Truth" never hurts. The "Truth" sets youfree. Statements of prejudice labeled as "truth", on the other handcan hurt, so be sure of which one you are presenting.

Joe L
Joe L

I"ll say it again, Dallas needs to continue to concentrate on creating more jobs downtown, uptown and at the inland port if it wants to help  South Dallas.  There actually has been some progress.  Oak Cliff now has areas that are considered cool by yuppies.  Ditto the Cedars. You'll pay more for a square foot of house in Kessler Park now than you will in Plano.  These yuppies' discretionary incomes bleeds over into less privileged areas creating a few jobs as well as helping out with taxes.

Dallas, despite its blighted areas, supposedly has the largest high income areas in the city limits of any big city in the country.  I grew up in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow where I still live.  An older friend from a distinguished old family who has fallen on hard times in the recession was thinking about selling her house in Preston Hollow and moving to Plano.  She said she mentioned it to a group of friends at lunch, and  there was embarrassed silence and almost gasps ("Surely things can't be that bad, honey.  You'd be so lonely because you won't have any thing in common with "those' people.").  I kind of chuckle when I hear the pretensions of some Plano residents.  Living in Plano is simply not some thing one does.  No, Dallas has a huge suburban flight problem, but it is not a basket case like Detroit and many of Dallas' neighborhoods are clearly the most desirable in the metropolitan area.

But Collin County should definitely be assessed for the residents they dump on Dallas County's health care systems.  East Plano has massive numbers of poor that have to go to Dallas.  The situation where one of the richest counties in the state pulls this is an outrage. 

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Sorry us Planoites are so offensive to your Park Cities / Preston Hollow sensibilities; we'll try to stay out of your sight.  Particularly those East Plano ones - eewwww!

Hey, how did you enjoy your portrail on GCB the other night?

JimS
JimS

Joe L: Whenever I leave town and then come back, I'm always struck by alll the stuff Dallas has going for it that other cities would give their eye teeth for. It's one reason I cringe at all the Calatravatism going on lately: it just makes us look lame and insecure, when maybe we should be the contrary sometimes.

TruthHurts00
TruthHurts00

"otherwise I expect racists to start painting a picture of all black people based narrowly and exclusively on those who have been left behind in the old neighborhoods and cities."Why don't you just compile a list of all the world's majority-black cities that are not crime-infested hellholes?

You might discover that you're a racist.

BP
BP

Ahhhhh, so you admit your a racist and you hate blacks? 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Are they going to bring the potholes with them during the great Collin County invasion?

And can we get a designer overpass on one of the sites that was designated for an overpass 30 years ago?

And a toll road. We definitely need more toll roads. Only 3 sides of Plano have one right now. I'm sure the east side feels left out, and we should make some money off the poor people coming for all our jobs that require college educations.

Mike
Mike

These so-called suburbs are now major cities. They are near Dallas, but the connections to Dallas city occupy a smaller share of total connections every day. The people that supposed "fled" Dallas decades ago are either dead, moved elsewhere, or are an insignificant share of population. The population there now likely came from somewhere else, probably well north of the Red River. They have no guilt about why Dallas is the way it is and certainly no inclination to fix it. As they and others like them rule the state, no one matters except for people outside core urban areas, do not hold your breath.

dt&ot
dt&ot

I think this: 1.) There will always be a place nobody wants to live and a place only a select few can live.  The only way to change this is by force (French and Russian Revolutions, WW2) and then it only works for a little while.

2.) If we bus the DISD to the suburban school districts, the people in the suburban school districts will move somewhere else where the DISD does not bus andhave their kids go to school there.

3.) If tax dollars from Collin County are used to prop up Dallas County, it will just make Collin County Worse.

4.) Even John Lennon put the word "imagine" in front of his cummune fantasy.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Lets see, force people to be part of a political entity of which they do not want to be part of ...

Been there, done that - the Berlin Wall.  Seems it didn't work in the long run.

NatWu
NatWu

That's right, sooner or later we Native Americans are going to be free of American oppression!

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Touche!   Time for form a war party!

NatWu
NatWu

Don't be silly. Even the Lakota use the courts now. We Cherokee went to the Supreme Court for the first time back in 1831. It's the US that's never gotten over its love of war.

Amy S
Amy S

Even the people and businesses in the suburbs have choices should this become a regional issue. And like in the late '70's-early '80's some will probably choose to relocate, perhaps to a state with no personal income taxes and few unions. I don't see how this makes things better.

My husband and I are both relocatees of 1980 Michigan, and how many "rebirths" has Detroit gone through since then? We would never have had the opportunities we've made here. Instead, like our in-laws, we'd be stuck with a house in the Detroit 'burbs (or even more terrifying, still in Lansing) that is worth 1/3 of what it was worth 6 years ago.

I'm sad for Michigan. But at the same time, there is much of the state that does not want to carry the burden for its corrupt past. As far as real estate goes, it's not exactly Traverse City.

Rangers100
Rangers100

The downtown core of Detroit is actually a small bright spot, doing very nicely lately.  Just as with South and West Dallas (~30% population declines from 2000-2010) i's the 2nd ring of Detroit where the decay is really happening.  

Phelps
Phelps

Urbanite fleeing to suburbs: your lifestyle is terrible, your financial stability laughable, and your governance is completely unredeemable. I'm outa here!

Remaining urbanites: good riddance! Have fun in your dull wonder bread existence!

Fourty years later...

Remaining urbanites: help! Our lifestyle is terrible, our finances have collapsed and our governance is unredeemable! You've got to come back and save us!

Rangers100
Rangers100

That isn't what is happening in Detroit.

The parts that are dying are the 2nd-ring, car-dependent places.  The original suburbs.  The urban core of Detroit is very much alive lately. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I get that you hate automobiles, but how in the hell are you correlating car-dependence with urban decay?  Like it or not, cars are the red blood cells on the arteries that bring life into your little bubble.  Try delivering 80,000lbs of produce/electronics/consumer good/liquor on your bicycle.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

I thought he was limiting his comment to second-ring (that is, further out, dependent commuter suburb) decay. When transportation costs get higher, it's cheaper for people to live closer to their jobs. Dependent, commuter suburbs don't have large job bases. So people naturally vacate them when this happens.

Nobody wants to prop up dependent suburbs for the people who still haven't moved away; it's sad, but they're just not cost effective. Same thing with old towns that used to be the centers of industry, but have lost their core. So the question is, is there still a significant job and tax base downtown (and would there be, without continual attempts to prop it up, like the hotel)? Or do most of the people who still live in Dallas now work in the suburbs? Is Dallas actually becoming a suburb of its "edge cities?" I think we're not there yet, but we're headed in that direction, especially with the type of government we have, which rewards bickering instead of collaboration between districts.

RTGolden
RTGolden

That isn't the point I'm arguing.  Rangers100 doesn't just want to be rid of highways, he is yearning for the halcyon days before internal combustion engines were discovered.  Not only that, but in his comment, he is trying connect automobile use to urban decay.  One did not lead to the other, but if he'd really like to see the Urban core deteriorate, go ahead and take truck traffic out of the city.

Anon
Anon

defending Rangers100 really makes me sick, but having highways cut through urban areas makes little sense. from a logistical perspective, the goods and services we need as city dwellers can be supplied on the regular old street 99.9% of the time. 

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

How about Collin and Denton counties start supporting Parkland with their tax dollars (since they don't want to build their own public hospitals) and we call it even?

JS
JS

And we put toll booths on every major egress point from Arlington into Dallas since those residents would rather spend money on sports stadiums than public transportation.

Replay
Replay

HMMMMMMM...........maybe because no one asked them to help with the $1.25 Billion (that's right, BILLION) that Dallas County is spending on the "new" Parkland.

Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter

So your "solution" to living in a county where people do something really stupid is to try to get your much wiser neighbors to pay for your foolishness? 

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

I'm not sure what is stupid about having public hospitals to serve those who need them, including President Kennedy. It's more about the fact that suburban counties send patients there without helping to support it.

Anon
Anon

If they didn't insist on using it so often, I wouldn't complain.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Even better: cut the sprawl lifeline.

Gabe
Gabe

Technically the page you linked only proposes to tear the the 75 to 45 overpass that cuts off the CBD from Deep Ellum and East Dallas, not tear down the whole of Central Expressway. 

Jim Is White Guilt
Jim Is White Guilt

White-guilt libtard.

Bob
Bob

 Log files and carelessness with your I.P.s are a bitch.

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