'even as Uber’s added lower-priced services, it’s faced persistent criticism that it’s an inherently elitist service…'
For black Detroit, the story was…different. Nearly two hundred thousand African Americans had moved to Detroit since 1930, and by 1950 blacks accounted for 16.8 percent of the population. While they might have wanted to follow the jobs that moved to the suburbs, they could not. With equal housing laws still in the future, they were excluded from buying in the suburban housing developments by developers and real estate agents. Nor could they get FHA loans to buy or improve homes in the city neighborhoods where they could live because the government considered such loans too risky. Black neighborhoods, already chopped up during the ’40s and ’50s to build the very highways that took whites out of the city, became even more isolated and isolating. Making things worse, as federal dollars were transferred to road building, public transit dollars dried up, and in 1956, with the active lobbying of Big Auto, the historic streetcar system disappeared, leaving no reliable public transportation.
Last week, the President…talked about the need to repair the country’s infrastructure. Where better to start than in Detroit? By the standards of the banking and auto bailouts, the sums involved are small: the banks received seven hundred billion dollars; the auto companies eighty billion. Already, there are hopeful signs. The auto industry has turned a profit and repaid much of the federal monies. And hipsters and artisans aren’t the only ones moving in: firms such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Quicken Loans, an online-mortgage lender; GalaxE.Solutions, a tech firm; and the insurance company Title Source have also recently arrived. Americans of all ages are increasingly eager to live in urban environments: a smaller, rebuilt Detroit could eventually thrive. “I speak of new cities and new people,” Obama said last week, quoting Carl Sandburg. Here’s an opportunity to turn words into deeds.
art: mural panel, ‘Detroit Industry-4’ by Diego Rivera. 1933
In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), and Volkswagen—are very profitable. How can that be?
George Washington Carver and Henry Ford shared a vision of a future in which agricultural products would be put to new uses to create products and industries. One idea both men worked on more than 60 years ago—biofuels—is again in vogue as America seeks to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
Hyundai is…putting Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” in an ad for its Assurance Connected Care in-car customer-service program…the late reggae icon’s music is…infrequently licensed for ads. The automaker is also sponsoring a remixed version (done by Bob’s son Stephen Marley and DJ/producer Jason Bentley) of Marley’s Legend album, which features the song, and a three-minute documentary about the remix project.