Detroit, Michigan, was once a prosperous industrial city; the primary business was automobiles and Detroit was called the “Motor City.” However, there was a long slide in the health of the American automotive industry and Detroit slowly lost residents and a tax base. In July 2013, Detroit became the largest city in the history of the United States to file for bankruptcy.
The term “Detroitification” has been cited in print since at least 1997 and appears to have been invented separately by several writers. “Detroitification refers to the destruction of a city, state or nation through draining money from hardworking individuals to pay for the cushy compensation and retirement of unproductive public ‘servants’” was an Urban Dictionary definition in 2010. “The term represents a declining if not dying economy” was written in an article published in August 2013.
Detroit /dɨˈtrɔɪt/ is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, and is the seat of Wayne County, the most populous county in the state. It is a primary business, cultural, financial and transportation center in the Metro Detroit area, a region of 5.2 million people, and serves as a major port on the Detroit River connecting the Great Lakes system to the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
The state governor declared a financial emergency in March 2013, appointing an emergency manager. On July 18, 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history.
6 April 1997, Toronto (Ontario) Star, “US cities can teach Toronto something” (letter), pg. F2:
The city centre exists in the death grip of a clique of effete grandstanders utterly unconcerned with business development (herein lie the real potential roots of Detroitification).
18 July 2004, Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer, “Moving city’s fountain isn’t the answer” by Peter Bronson:
Cincinnati is losing population faster than any city in the country, but we can’t give all the credit for Detroitification to City Hall.
Sextalk.com Special Interest Forums
Jul 28, 2005 -> 09:29 AM
With a Jesse Jackson Jr. administration in the mold of the late Coleman Young, the Detroitification of Chicago might really begin in earnest.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
More at Stake in Budget Battle than Next Year’s Spending
By Jack McHugh, published on Sept. 7, 2007
(Note: The following is an expanded version of an Op-Ed that appeared Aug. 15, 2007, in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.)
The gap between desired spending and expected revenues in Michigan’s state budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2007, exceeds $1 billion, and the slow progress toward resolving it has generated tension that has some voices in the media and elsewhere urging, “Just get it done,” even if that means higher taxes.
The “Detroitification” of Michigan has begun and won’t be reversed by tax increases whose outcome would be to establish the same dynamic that destroyed that city: Hollowing out the private economy to prop up unsustainable government establishments.
Blog: Bennie Gray’s manifesto to avoid Detroitification of Birmingham http://tinyurl.com/6gv7hg
8:46 AM - 29 Oct 08
The Detroitification of America
By Robert Morley
December 1, 2009
Like a forgotten downtown billboard, Detroit proclaims a warning about the rest of America for any who will stop and look.
Detroitification refers to the destruction of a city, state or nation through draining money from hardworking individuals to pay for the cushy compensation and retirement of unproductive public “servants.” When paired with corruption, Detroitification can skeletonize a city in just a few years.
The term “Detroitification” was coined by Michigan policy analyst Jack McHugh in 2007.
Gentrification is less of a problem in the U.S. than Detroitification.
After the Detroitification of my hometown, Bosnia looks appealing in comparison.
by SouthDetroit Feb 23, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy—Capcon
How Bad is Detroit’s Detroitification?
By James M. Hohman | Jan. 21, 2011
Mackinac Center analyst Jack McHugh has called the long process of hollowing out a private economy to prop up an unsustainable government “Detroitification.” Detroit’s most recent comprehensive annual financial report shows just how much the title-city itself has been hollowed.
Policy experts fret over ‘Detroitification’ of Detroit, citing government as largest employer
By Darrell Dawsey
on January 24, 2011 at 4:30 PM, updated January 24, 2011 at 6:50 PM
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is wringing its hands over the state of the city in a recent tidbit that bemoans the steep “Detroitification” of...well, Detroit.
Apparently coined a few years ago by some other guy at the Mackinac Center, the term “Detroitification” refers to the so-called “hollowing out” of private industry to, as the piece puts it, “prop up” an unsustainable government.
Guest Post: Detroitification - It’s The Government, Stupid
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/26/2013 14:48 -0400
Via Monty Pelerin’s World blog,
For lack of a better term, the process the entire country is headed for is “Detroitification.” The term represents a declining if not dying economy. Higher interest rates, “slow growth,” lack of innovation, worldwide slowdown or many other variables will be used to rationalize what is coming. The tragedy results from one cause and one only — the idiocy of our federal government and its greed.