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So Detroit is indeed circling the drain. I have no doubt anyone who can do so and has any desire to is fleeing to Chicago. I've never been a city groupie but they exist... and Detroit has almost nothing to offer them that other cities don't have in spades.

You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) at how many U of M grads, people who grew up in the greater Detroit area, end up moving to Chicago after college. In the trendier neighborhoods on the North Side, they seem to be here by the thousands. They move here in packs and share apartments with their friends who also moved here at the same time, so they already have a built-in social network here by the time they arrive.

We get lots of young folks moving here from other parts of the Midwest -- Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, even from as far away as Nebraska -- but the number of people imported from Michigan trumps them all.

Lots of "Big Ten" grads, and they still follow their own college football teams after they get here, and in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park there are different bars catering to followers of different teams -- if you're U of M, you go to this bar, if you're Ohio State, you go to this other one, etc.

One word of caution: Detroit was once (economically) where Chicago now is. Very bad things can happen in a remarkably short period of time.

Although political and economic policies certainly do play a role in a city's prosperity or decline, there are other factors, too. Detroit was basically a one-industry town, whereas Chicago is far more diversified. And it appears to have successfully shaken off its Rust Belt past to become a major global economic player. I've seen rankings from various organizations that place Chicago anywhere from 6th to 10th in the world in terms of global economic clout, and that position has only strengthened in the past ten years or so. I think that's pretty impressive.

Of course, I do realize that despite the above, all is not well here, but I think overall Chicago will continue to prosper in the foreseeable economic future, as long as its leaders don't make too many really dumb moves. (Of course, Chicago is tethered to the state of Illinois with all its problems, so that could hurt the city in the long run.)
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