Tarnish on the Sun Belt


Source: city-data.com

Source: city-data.com

Hey, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, LA, Atlanta, etc. Do you honestly think you are exempt from the problems that have befallen Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and other post-industrial cities of the Midwest and Northeast? Better think again Sun Belters. Here are just a few reasons why…

  • A number of you are rapidly falling prey to suburb encirclement. Even those Sun Belt cities that are practically larger than Rhode Island in area are gradually being encircled. There goes annexation as a remedy and budget cure. Dallas, you appear to be virtually entrapped. Phoenix, not too long for you. Memphis, the same. Ditto for many of the rest of you.
Dallas County, TX - Source: publictransit.us

Dallas County, TX – Source: publictransit.us

  • Your suburbs really don’t care about you. This is not just a problem that older cities face. For example, Atlanta, what happened when you tried to merge with Fulton County…can you say City of Sandy Springs? If everyone loves living in Denver, Phoenix, and Houston so much, then why do so many suburbs keep popping up and growing like wildfire around you?
  • Your industries will not be permanently healthy. Sooner or later, you will face a severe economic downturn and how you handle that will determine your long-term socio-economic fate. You’d better hope your representatives haven’t pissed the rest of us off any more than they already have.
  • The baby boom is over, folks. As America’s population ages and growth levels off, just keep building like you are and you will end up with thousands of empty nests pulling down the economy.
  • Think you are exempt from bankruptcy or a financial crises? Hmmm, go ask Jefferson County (Birmingham), Alabama. Possibly Miami might want to talk with you about its ongoing financial crises. Or perhaps, you should ask  San Bernardino, Vallejo, or Stockton, California. Just because your budget is rosy today does not mean some asinine political movement or economic cloud will not befall your little slice of paradise.
  • How long do you think people will keep moving to a city that is more polluted, congested, and overcrowded than where they came from? There are always options and if Houston reeks, or San Diego is a giant parking lot, then perhaps someplace else instead. People are fickle and it they don’t like what they find, they are apt to move somewhere else…here today, gone tomorrow.
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