When perusing through the list of “Cities Where It’s Easiest To Get Away With Murder” from 247wallst.com, I found myself very curious as to what shithole would claim the top spot. Unsurprisingly, the crème de la crème of unsolved murder rates was none other than Flint, Michigan. Boasting a whopping 17.5% of all homicides solved from 2005 through 2015 using the FBI’s statistics (national average is 62%).
What is it about Flint that makes it so desolate? Is there something in the water? Other than lead of course. But seriously, let’s take a deeper look here. Below are 5 main reasons why Flint, Michigan is so perpetually plagued with issues.
1. Water Crisis
Obvious choice for the top spot. Long story short, the city switched to the Flint River in order to supply the residents with water. City officials did this to cut costs. A combination of financial mistakes and economic decline can be attributed to the short fall leading up to this decision. They include financial miscues made in the early 2000’s, the decline in the automotive industry and the recession of 2008. This contributed to residents not paying their water bills (7x higher than the average American household) which also lead to the inability to treat the water from the Flint River properly. The Flint River contains nineteen times more chloride ions than average water sources. This can occur naturally. Since the water was so corrosive due to the chloride it caused erosion inside of the pipes (which contain lead) that make up Flint’s water infrastructure. To top it off, city officials covered up the fact that any of this was happening. Pretty bad deal.
2. Crime Rate
Naturally, given it’s terrible economic state, Flint is riddled with crime. From 2010-2012, Flint was regarded as the most dangerous place to live based on the FBI’s statics of violent crime per capita. It is also specifically one of the most dangerous places for women to live as well.
Because of the aforementioned budget cuts, Flint also employs an extremely lean Police force. This is a major contributing factor behind the lack of solved homicide cases.
3. Nobody Works
Well some do. About 60% of adult residents make up the work force. It doesn’t take a calculator to realize that the burden has to fall on somebody to take care of the other 40%. The high unemployment rate is also factor in the inability for the local government to provide proper services to the citizens. Things like treating water and hiring law enforcement comes to mind.
We are not talking recreational marijuana here. Flint has had a serious drug problem for decades. More recently their has been a spike in heroin use amongst citizens. Michigan as a state has had a major drug problem. The rate of drug related deaths in the state has increased 10x over the last fifteen years.
To round out our list, poverty is the root of all evil in Flint. Where the median income is 20,000 dollars less than the national average. Coming in around 22,000 per household. Naturally, when there is low incomes, the dealing of narcotics and theft is more prevalent to make ends meet. The drug users also need money for their habit, so many result to crime as well.
Now I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but as you can see it is vicious circle. It seems for now Flint’s issues are a paradigm that will repeat itself over and over until the end of time.