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How to Lose a City in Ten Steps, Part Eleven: An All American Wasteland

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Step ten is not so much a step as it is an outlook point with a few necessary formalities thrown in. It should be considered both a warning of things to come in places not already decimated by illegal immigration and an answer to the question of low consumer prices at the cost of cheap unlawful labor.

The public sector layoffs brought city government through one tough crunch, but its trademark social programs simultaneously are growing costlier and more in demand. When the next budget is written, the councillors find that they are once again standing squarely between a rock and a hard place. A few make appeals to the state and federal governments, while others search high and low for the possibilities of new taxes and firings.

Everyone’s efforts are ultimately fruitless. The city has lost nearly all of its productive population, and the greatest share of those remaining there are career moochers. Even the industrious illegal aliens have decided to run as fast and far as they can. There is nothing in store for the future, and all the present has to offer are those welfare measures. The formerly solid tax base has devolved into a mound of packed wet sand losing formation with every incoming tide, and the tides grow higher on a daily basis.

The city’s natives, both those who remain and those who have moved to the suburbs, wonder what contributed to their hometown’s downfall the most: corporate malfeasance or political corruption and pandering. The wisest of them recognize that one goes in hand with the other. They also know that as monumental a problem as illegal immigration is, like all of history’s quagmires, it is rooted in another one: the irrational expectation of a massive return on any given investment; also called greed.

In the case of illegal immigration, the foundation was laid by the factory owners and CEOs. As time passed, others got in on the action; from politicians to activist groups to professional holy persons. When all was said and done, most of these profited handsomely, but the city itself was reduced to a hollow shell. Hardworking taxpayers in every socioeconomic stratum footed the bill, and consistently found themselves paying more for less. This, it bears repeating, is why so many of them relocated, which exacerbated the city’s decline and inevitable fall.

So, what about those public assistance programs? Will they survive this year’s budget? In some way, shape, or form, probably. Consider them a bribe from the councillors for another four years. It’s all they have, but it’s enough for a satisfactory number of their constituents. Gangsters control most of the streets, the police department is a sham, utilities are distant memories, and English is a thing of the past, but those checks will be dished out, rain or shine, and this is what really matters.

The city represents what was once the American Dream, then the American Nightmare, and finally the America that surpassed fantasies altogether and settled for the conscious state of subsidized failure. It is a prime example of everything wrong with not only the country, but society. Oh, well. That’s life.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • roger nowosielski

    A hell of a way to blame corporate or governmental corruption on illegal immigration. If that was you point behind this “series,” you surely could have taken a far more direct route. Corruption needs no excuse or pretext, If not illegal immigration, it would be something else.

    Your diagnosis as to the effective causes of the fall of the American society is way off. All you’re looking for is excuses, something or someone to blame, whereas where you should be looking is within.

  • Igor

    If you are looking to foreign influences that corrupt US society, one would do better to ignore the ‘streets’, where only about 5% is foreign, and look in the ‘suites’ where the permissive rules of US incorporation allow foreigners to dominate the boards of the corporations that are permitted to bribe US politicians with so-called ‘campaign contributions’. For example, foreigners own 60% of US oil corps, which have spectacular bribe permissions.