Factors that Caused the Demographic and Economic Decline of Detroit in Regards to the Marxist Theory

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In 2013, Americans witnessed a slowly sinking ship finally submerge. Once a bustling urban center rife with economic prosperity, the city of Detroit, Michigan filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S history on July 18, 2013 (Fletcher, 2013). Over recent decades, Detroit has been the victim of both economic and demographic decay. To put the magnitude of the city’s desolation in perspective, during the middle of the twentieth century, the city’s population was approximately 1,850,000, making it, at the time, the fifth most populous city in the nation. As of 2013 census data, however, the city has dropped to the eighteenth most populous city, with a population of 701,000, the lowest it has been since the 1910s when the city was still developing. What this means is, in a little over half a century, Detroit has seen a population loss of nearly 60%. In fact, it’s the only city to have climbed above one million people and then fallen below that mark (Johnson, 2013). To make matters worse, Detroit’s unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, has risen to 23.1%, the highest of any large city in the nation (U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). Not surprisingly, Detroit is also the nation’s most poverty stricken city, with 36.4% of individuals and 31.3% of families living under the poverty level (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Detroit even claims some of the highest crime rates in the country, and thousands of its houses and industrial buildings are abandoned (Koremans, 2013).
The question is: What caused Detroit, the Rust Belt’s most valuable player, to crumble? The answer to this question is contested on both sides of the political spectrum. It’s easy to point fingers and make the col...

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