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2008 December 20 Saturday
Detroit Jails Appealing For Some Homeless

With Depression level 21% unemployment and homelessness, prisons look appealing to some down and out.

DETROIT – One measure of how tough times are in the Motor City: Some of the offenders in jail don't want to be released; some who do get out promptly re-offend to head back where there's heat, health care and three meals a day.

"For the first time, I'm seeing guys make a conscious decision they'll be better off in prison than in the community, homeless and hungry," said Joseph Williams of New Creations Community Outreach, which assists ex-offenders. "In prison they've got three hots and a cot, so they commit a crime to go back in and come out when times are better."

Detroit Michigan: avoid it.

About 83 percent of the current population is African-American; of cities with more than 100,000 people, only Gary, Ind., had a higher percentage in the latest census.

Detroit's crime, poverty, unemployment and school dropout rates are among the worst of any major U.S. city. The bus system is widely panned; car and home insurance rates are high. Chain grocery stores are absent, forcing many Detroiters to rely on high-priced corner stores.

With a population of 916k, a city budget deficit of $300 million, and a school budget deficit of $400 million the deficit works out to about $764 per person. That compares to California's deficit of about $600 per person. But since California has a much higher per capita GDP the deficit in Detroit is far worse when measured in terms of ability of residents to pay it.

Update: Detroit houses are some of the cheapest in the nation.

$18,513: Average sale price of a Detroit home so far in 2008, down from $40,011 in 2007, according to Detroit Board of Realtors.

How can Detroit function? Will it go bankrupt?

By Randall Parker    2008 December 20 03:02 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (11)
2008 July 14 Monday
Cash Subsidies Used To Reduce Child Moves

Rent subsidies are used in Flint Michigan to reduce the number of times children from poor families have to change schools.

In some of Flint’s elementary schools, half or more of the students change in the course of a school year — in one school it reached 75 percent in 2003. The moves are usually linked to low, unstable incomes, inadequate housing and chaotic lives, and the recent rash of foreclosures on landlords is adding to the problem, forcing renters from their homes. The resulting classroom turmoil led the State Department of Human Services to start an unusual experiment, paying some parents $100 a month in rent subsidies to help them stay put — a rare effort to address the damaging turnover directly.

It is politically incorrect to say this but very poor people really should not make 6 babies. The world is overpopulated. The poor are a burden to us all.

The program is popular with parents, and not just for the money. Sinceria Williams, 27, and her partner of 11 years, Marcus Turner, 37, had been living with their six children, ages 3 through 11, in a substandard house that was an unreliable bus ride from Bryant Elementary School.

The welfare state subsidizes poverty. When you subsidize something you get more of it. Modest proposal: Offer cash to poor people who elect sterilization after their first children or before they get any children at all. In fact the fewer children a woman has before sterilization the bigger the payment should be for not making more babies.

By Randall Parker    2008 July 14 09:56 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (3)
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