There is nothing constant in the ever-changing world. In fact, change is the only constant. As a city built on the belief of infinite growth and demand for vehicles, the collapse of the American auto industry resulted in the catastrophic collapse of Detroit’s economy. Worse still, from the onset, the city had been designed to promote and embolden the racial divide that existed in the American society in the early 1900s. As such, it had been divided into two major sections, one for the White’s and the other for the Black community. This marginalization of the communities destroyed the social fabric, which would have resulted in the emergence of other forms of enterprise and trade besides the auto industry.
The symptoms of the collapse of the city had shown themselves early in the 20th century. To begin with, the racial divide, which was vivid based on the city’s design promoted a tense and hostile environment between Blacks and Whites. Black families could not move and live in regions that were designed for the White’s. A similar situation was witnessed in the provision of social services such as education, where schools were divided based on an individual’s race. The rifts between these two communities resulted in strikes and protests by Black communities. On their side, they campaigned for equality and resisted against police brutality leveled against them. These strikes resulted in the closure of businesses, destruction of infrastructures, and death of protesters. Moreover, some individuals migrated from Detroit city to other towns that had better working and living conditions. These events led to a slowdown in the city’s growth.
Moreover, since the automobile industries in Detroit had continuously been the world leaders in this market, most of them had gotten the illusion that they would continue to hold that position. As a result, they did not check on the tactics that their competitors in Europe and Japan were implementing to usurp their place as world leaders. With the increase in fuel prices and the emergence of cheap and fuel-efficient vehicles from Europe and Japan car makers in the late 1970s, most consumers purchased the latter’s vehicles. In effect, the automobile companies in Detroit collapsed due to the dwindling demand for their vehicles.
The city’s economy was overwhelmingly dependent on the auto industry that it ignored the need to diversify to other industries. As a result, it was highly sensitive to changes in the demand for vehicles. For instance, during the great depression, its economy had taken a sharp dive as the demand for vehicles fell. During the World War II period, it enjoyed a huge boom due to the increased demand for vehicles by the American forces. The lack of diversification resulted in the city’s failure to recover even after efforts to boost its economy, through increased demand for SUVs in the early 1990’s. Actually, the increase in oil prices in late 2000 and the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008 showed how overly reliant the town was in the automobile industry. The tragedies of the 2000 period resulted in immigration and closure of most businesses in the city.
To sum up, the fall of Detroit city from the fourth largest and wealthiest city in America to one of the poorest shows the need for implementation of sound economic policies as well as the formation of strong social and communal bonds. Specifically, Detroit lacked economic policies that would have ensured that its economy was properly diversified to cope with a failure in the automobile industry. In addition, it did not have properly integrated social bonds, which would have ensured that all individuals in the city openly shared ideas on how they would overcome their economic and social challenges. As a result, this documentary is informative on policies that countries must follow to ensure that they do not put themselves in Detroit’s situation.