14. Detroit, MI
In a downward spiral for years upon years, the city finally bottomed out in 2013 when it declared bankruptcy. With a debt approaching $20 billion, Detroit now lays claim to the dubious distinction of being the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy filing ever, according to USA Today.
Even worse? Government administrators blamed the situations not on their own egregious misplanning, but on retired workers — upon whose backs the city was built — who pushed back against a plan to cut pensions.
While the troubled town formerly dubbed the “City of Champions” was once the crown jewel of the American automobile industry, those days are long gone. Now Detroit boasts a staggering collection of weep-worthy statistics, a 53.6 poverty rate for children — the highest in the nation — according to the National Center for Children in Poverty.
Throw in a population decline of more than 25 percent in the past decade alone, according to Time Magazine, and homes the city can’t even pay people to buy, and the situation becomes bleaker still. Is there anything that can breathe new life into Detroit at this point? More likely than not, this town is DOA.
One bizarre Detroit’s solution to its budgetary problems? In 2012 the city announced plans to save money by shuttering the doors of all police precincts between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. and replacing them with “virtual police precincts.”
While this may be terrific in theory as a treatment for “virtual problems,” it’s anything but practical for a city with a shockingly high violent crime rate of 700 times the state average, according to AreaVibes.
While the Journey anthem about the city boy “born and raised in South Detroit,” may have implored us not to stop believing, it’s time for even the most diehard Detroit fans to wave farewell to the Motor City from the rearview mirror of their foreign made cars.