Skip to content


Worst City in America?

Dissident Voice Article

By William Hicks

Not many people have the “honor” of having the city near where they grew up named as the Worst City in America. I am one of those unfortunate souls. In 1996, Money magazine ranked the mid-sized rust belt burg of Rockford, Illinois, dead last among 300 U.S. cities in terms of quality of life. Money’s reasoning was simple: “few jobs and not-great health care.” And this was at a time when the tech-boom was fueling one of the fastest periods of economic expansion in recent American history.

By the time that article came out I had graduated from college and was long gone to the East Coast, but I was taken aback that Rockford could be named the worst of the worst. Surely, I thought, the place couldn’t possibly have become THAT bad in the half-decade or so since I had split town for good. Could the hometown of notable Presidential candidate John Anderson, the great classic rock band Cheap Trick and early 80s porn star and long time Charlie Sheen girlfriend Ginger Lynn Allen really have sunk so low?

Obviously, Rockford wasn’t always the butt of such derision. In fact, back in 1949 Life magazine actually said, “It is as nearly typical as any city can be.” Okay, so maybe that doesn’t bring to mind a glorious land of milk and honey, but it sure sounds like a pleasant place to live rather than an absolute urban hell hole.

So what happened? Well, unfortunately for Rockford and surrounding environs more than half of its earnings back then came from manufacturing…well above the national average at the time. Sundstrand Corporation, Woodward Governor Company, Airbrush Manufacturing, Hanson Clock Company and Hess & Hopkins Leather Company were just some of the industrial concerns headquartered there. In 1965, a major Chrysler assembly plant also opened in nearby Belvedere. Rockford was a town where things were built, and for nearly a century it formed part of the vital backbone of the American economy and supported tens of thousands of good paying blue-collar jobs.

Starting in the 1970s, however, all of that began to change as American corporations started to export manufacturing jobs overseas in search of cheaper labor. The trend accelerated in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, a politician who was revered as a near-deity in conservative Rockford despite the fact that he repeatedly knifed its working class labor base in the back. The final nail in the coffin then came under Bill Clinton, who despite being a Democrat and alleged union supporter, pushed through “free” trade agreements like NAFTA, completing the process of globalization that was the demise of manufacturing cities like Rockford.

Rockford’s downfall from the kind of place where working men (and later working women) were proud to raise a family to a post-industrial wasteland was a bipartisan effort more than a quarter-century in the making. It all boiled down to the fact that there was more money to be made in destroying America’s manufacturing base than there was in preserving it. Some cites that have fallen victim to this vicious turn in the business cycle have tried to arrest their decline by transforming themselves into tourist Meccas. But a place like Rockford, situated as it is among the Illinois cornfields and possessing little of historical interest, hardly has that option. The only factor preventing a complete collapse in the local economy to date is that the eastern section of the city lies close enough to the ever-expanding Chicago suburbs to derive at least some economic benefit.

Like the scenes in Michael Moore’s stinging documentary, Roger and Me — about the similar decline of his own hometown of Flint, Michigan — where hapless local officials try to arrest the decline of their city with increasingly desperate economic development schemes, Rockford’s city leaders have tried their best to revitalize the town in recent years. Their lack of success can be measured by the fact that Forbes magazine just recently ranked Rockford as the 14th Most Miserable City in America, stating:

Once known as the Screw Capital of the World because of the billions of screws and bolts made locally, Rockford has struggled with high crime as well as soaring unemployment, which is expected to average 16.9% this year.

But, hey, at least the locals can take comfort in the fact that so many other places have been hammered even harder the past few years that they aren’t dead last anymore.

With economic collapse sure to accelerate in the coming years, distressed places like Rockford are going to decline even faster. It is as inevitable as the fact that all those abandoned factory buildings will never be reopened. Thus we will witness the downward spiral into economic oblivion of countless American communities that not too long ago people were actually proud to have called their hometowns.

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Finance & Economics.

Tagged with , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?



css.php