Author Topic: Fight or flight in Flint  (Read 2126 times)


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Fight or flight in Flint
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:58:13 AM »
Love makes sure his children don’t drink from the tap now, but bathing everyone with bottled water just isn’t feasible. The pediatrician has told him the odds are that his children will be all right, but he worries whether lead they ingested before Flint residents realized their water was tainted may have damaged their brains in ways that show up only later.

Each week, Love stops by a church off Saginaw Street to load up on enough cases of water for a family of six. He operates a small fleet of ice cream trucks around the city to make ends meet.

He has considered taking the children somewhere else. But where? And how?

“Of course, I’d want to leave,” he says. “But even if I wanted to, I’ve got all these kids, and I don’t got a lot of money. A lot of people want to run from it. [But] where am I going to run?”

Flint has a population of about 100,000 people. Houses have dropped to $14,000. Many of them need to have pipes replaced at $3000 per home. Replacing all the pipes could cost $1.5B.

So, wouldn't it be more cost effective and better for the population to declare Flint a disaster zone and abandon it entirely, and just give the 100,000 people enough money to move, get a new home, and start a new life? It really comes down to the number of households, rent, etc. But at $15,000 per resident (if you spent the same 1.5B), a family of four could get $60,000 to move.

How far does civic pride take you, when your city is an embarrassment? Just put up a big old fence with a closed sign on it.


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Re: Fight or flight in Flint
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 01:13:02 PM »
While I like the idea, and if I lived there I would like it even more...  This is a bad precedent to set.  What then would make a city invest in good infrastructure upkeep and repair?  Does the federal government or their respective state just condemn them one at a time? 

Now in the case of Flint, maybe the business outlook is already dismal enough that incentivizing migration is a win-win?  What happens if it's a city that is otherwise doing well? 

Are we writing off the city for the lead contamination or for just being impoverished which is what got them to this point. 

Granted they botched their "cost savings" measure and leeched the lead out of the pipes here, but we are facing lead pipes that will eventually need to be replaced all over the nation as well. 

I think this type of proposal needs to be broken into two distinct parts.
1.  How do we best address crumbling/eroding infrastructure as a nation?
2.  How do we make it easier for people to move out of failing areas towards more phosphorous ones to break cycles of poverty?


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Re: Fight or flight in Flint
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2016, 01:34:32 PM »
Not that the state or any level of government has the money but fine the appropriate authority twice the projected cost of the repairs and use it to finance the relocation. That should encourager les autres to invest in infrastructure before it becomes a crisis. Presuming they have enough foresight to care about twice the cost when the threatened cost alone doesn't seem sufficiently motivating.