Why Minneapolis didn't become Detroit

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2013 - 6:55 PM

Detroit, Minneapolis took different paths after summer of 1967.

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minn12Jul. 24, 1310:42 PM

Really? Give it time. Like Detroit, Mpls. has been dominated by liberals, unions, and the same tax and spend policies that wrecked Detroit. They are driving out white middle- class people and businesses who have higher incomes with their high taxes and war on businesses. Soon there will be a large majority of low-income minorities and immigrants dependent on government handouts who cannot pay the taxes necessary to support the massive spending. Look around. It's happening now, and unless people stop voting for these big-spending liberals, Detoit WILL be our future.

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albundy74Jul. 24, 1310:57 PM

And lets not forget the copious amounts of money the county and state have poured into Minneapolis over the decades: Pension funds, Plymouth bridge repair, Twins stadium, Vikings stadium, Target Center, etc. etc. This editorial leaves out a great many inconvenient financial facts. Wait- Minneapolis has lots of bike paths.

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suuwhatJul. 24, 1311:25 PM

"In Detroit, where race-based housing discrimination had been the norm, what had already been a trickle of white and middle-class flight from the city turned into a massive wave. The exodus was encouraged by state and federal policies that made suburban commercial and residential development affordable while doing little to provide a leg up to city dwellers too poor to leave."-------Complete nonsense. The reasons for detroit's decline are simple, obvious and well-settled: A racist, tax raising, longtime mayor, coleman young that drove the productive people out of detroit along with extreme crime and violence. All people want is to live in quiet civilized places and not have to pay more than necessary to do so. They don't want marches, or stadiums, or crime, or casinos, or molotov cocktails thrown thru the windows of their businesses. Detroit, as well as many other urban areas in america, couldn't provide these things (and many still can't) so people up and left. It's a pretty simple concept. This "paper" has recently written a long article about the alarming stagnation of population growth in minneapolis--especially when compared to other cities like denver, seattle and portland, oregon. Silly opinion pieces like this are just so much whistling thru the graveyard--especially when minneapolis is stuck with a tax-raising mayor of its own and with hundreds of millions of city revenues and tax money earmarked for declining, revenue-negative assets like stadiums.

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chlyn001Jul. 25, 13 2:01 AM

It probably helps that both Minneapolis and St. Paul aren't so big, and that we have a more or less enlightened population and county and state governments that take on more of the burden of taking care of whatever population is deemed needy. The cities have not had to go it alone when new people arrive either. Even corporate types, who in other places might show little empathy for the downtrodden, don't do that here so much, or at least not in significant enough numbers. Call them, and most of the rest of us enlightened if you like, because it's true, to some degree anyway. Further too, we have had fewer yahoos fanning the flames of racism and hate some people seem to want to exploit for whatever reason elsewhere. Maybe I'm deluded, but people try here, for the most part, to take an interest in others and for everyone to get some semblance of a chance in life, no matter our backgrounds. There seems to be a lot of helping hands around this town and state, and it makes our area livable.

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northhillJul. 25, 13 7:39 AM

There are still burned out buildings in Detroit from the 1967 riot in 2013.Eight Mile Road is still the boundary between abject poverty in Detroit and affluence in Oakland County. Detroit remains one of America's most impoverished cities to this day.The Minneapolis riot on Plymouth Avenue in 1967; while much less violent, was still as dramatic.North Minneapolis changed between 1960 and 1970. Broadway in 1960 was one of the best commercial streets in Minneapolis rivaling Lake Street; today it is only a shadow of its former glory. We experienced white flight just like Detroit and Milwaukee.Minneapolis has been luckier than other cities because we had a more diverse economy not because we may have done anything right.Racism still plagues the Twin Cities just like Detroit and Milwaukee. There is still a disconnect between those who come to Minneapolis for work and entertainment and many minority Minneapolis residents that live here. We need to be honest about this. There is a saying But by the grace of God go I.

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ruphinaJul. 25, 13 7:57 AM

What a bunch of hooey. All of the factors mentioned for both cities contributed, but the main difference was Detroit had a population very heavily dependent on one industry and they took themselves out of the market with wages and benefits that could not compete with workers in other places. That is the cause, the rest is all consequences. The dominating industry in Minneapolis was grain milling, and that started a slow death long before "white flight" started. Bill G.

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infoninjaJul. 25, 13 8:06 AM

One big reason will never be like Detroit is we never depended on one industry like Detroit did with auto manufacturing. We had the milling industry collapse in Minneapolis here years ago, but Minneapolis and MN weathered this by diversifying its economy in education, health care, retail, engineering, medical devices, and so on. Long story short, our economy is more broad, innovative, and resilient than Detroit's. I see some people taking shots at immigrants too, which is ridiculous. I can say I am grateful for the Latino population revitalizing the Lake Street area. Immigration also saved Minneapolis from additional decay and population loss in the early 1990s too. Only recently have residents from the suburbs returned to the city. In my childhood, the Lake Street area was mostly abandoned and crime ridden. I remember two policeman were gunned down at the Pizza Shack on Lake. The Latino community and the greenway have breathed new life in this area.

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west336Jul. 25, 13 8:33 AM

suuwhat: Is that why Minneapolis currently has well over 10,000 housing units being developed within the city, and construction cranes are everywhere? Yes, the city had stagnated for a bit, but it's growing again (just like Denver and Seattle). Also, unlike Denver, Minneapolis didn't tear down it's International Airport and build a brand new "city within a city" (i.e. Stapleton in Denver). As far as Detroit goes, I've read some books about its demise and this article hits on some of the very same notes. It's sad to see an American city (let alone a Midwestern brother) like Detroit fall so hard so fast, but nobody should be gleaming about its losses and everybody should be enthusiastic for this "Detroit 2.0", and hope for the best.

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notaxmaxJul. 25, 13 8:51 AM

The story misses it completely. Detroit is bankrupt because it can't pay it's 20 Billion dollar pension debt. The city is so mismanaged that it has the same city work staff to service 700 thousand people as it did for 1.8 million people. The city still has people employed as "horse shoers". No layoffs because the union would make life unbearable. I feel for Detroit pensioners but it is now appearant that there is no money to pay them and that they will recieve less then 50 cents on the dollar from federal ERSIA coverage. A well written article would have included Minneapolis pension projections to see how we compare.

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honeybooJul. 25, 13 9:00 AM

Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago are on Detroit's pathway. The Strib editorial board shouldn't be so quick to declare victory.

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