January 1st, 2011
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is sifting through a stack of corporate, Hollywood and real estate offers as the celebrity politician nears an inevitable career crossroad: On Monday, he's out of a job.
His next act? After seven years in Sacramento, the former strongman and film star will by his own account hit the speech circuit, keep a hand in political activism and possibly write the autobiography that publishers have wanted him to do for years.
Schwarzenegger says he even might get back into acting if the right script comes along — presumably one appropriate for a 63-year-old father of four with political baggage, advancing age lines and a tinge of gray.
"Will I still have the patience to sit on the set and to do a movie for three months or for six months, all of those things? I don't know," the governor tweeted in October in a rare exchange about his future plans.
Spokesman Aaron McLear says Schwarzenegger is sorting out "an absolute flood of every conceivable offer" from the corporate world, real estate ventures and the entertainment industry, but the governor insists he won't make any decisions until after he surrenders the office to his successor, Democrat Jerry Brown.
"I don't have a plan," Schwarzenegger told hundreds of supporters and staffers at a private farewell party in Sacramento last month.
He was less guarded in October when, along with plans for speeches and a book or two, he hinted broadly at a continuing role with the environment and political reform, issues that have become part of his mixed legacy at the statehouse.
In the absence of a global climate-change treaty, Schwarzenegger has urged state and regional governments around the world to address greenhouse gases. This month California regulators approved the nation's most extensive system giving major polluters financial incentives to discharge fewer greenhouse gases, a key piece of a 2006 climate law championed by the governor.
"There are a lot of important things that I want to say," Schwarzenegger tweeted. "My struggle for reform will continue, my belief in environmental issues and in protecting the environment will continue."
One thing is certain: The multimillionaire Schwarzenegger will start earning money, after passing up his $174,000 salary throughout his two terms. His time in office left the governor with plenty of political welts, but the biggest hit was on his own wallet.
State records show Schwarzenegger dumped at least $25 million in direct and indirect payments into two campaigns for governor and other political ventures since 2001, no small sum even for an actor who once commanded $30 million a movie.
That doesn't include travel costs. He often commuted from Los Angeles to Sacramento several times a week in a private jet at his own expense. He, wife Maria Shriver and his children never moved to Sacramento, preferring their secluded canyon estate a few miles from the Pacific Ocean.
His assets have been held in a private trust since he took office in 2003, but he can return to managing his portfolio, deep in real estate holdings, after stepping down.
His Hollywood future will be the subject of endless speculation. Hollywood insiders say he could take a role as producer or director, but don't look for him to reappear as a hulking screen hero swinging an automatic weapon.
"He's a wealthy and clever man. Wealthy and clever men have lots of possibilities," said longtime Hollywood publicist Michael Levine, who has represented Academy Award winners such as Charlton Heston and Jon Voight.
But the messy work of politics "tarnished his superhero persona," Levine says. "He can get into anything that doesn't involve politics or acting."
One way to understand the governor's future is to look at his past.
Schwarzenegger rarely leaves anything behind. He might have spent years bickering over budget deficits and public pensions in Sacramento, but he maintained strong ties in the sports world and entertainment industry.
He has staged sports and fitness events in Ohio since 1989, and even while in office he made cameo appearances in films, most recently in friend Sylvester Stallone's action flick, "The Expendables."
Some of his Hollywood friends were on hand at his exit party, giving a peek into the private life to which he returns in January — Stallone, Tom Arnold, Jay Leno and Danny DeVito.
Schwarzenegger long ago tamped down the showy lifestyle of his glory days in Hollywood — his gas-swilling Hummers now run on clean fuels. Wild nights? In his spare time he likes to work out and dote on his kids.
He says a fun night can be watching a movie at home or going out to dinner with the family, although he gets out for an occasional motorcycle ride around Los Angeles.
The seven-time Mr. Olympia appears robust despite a string of medical problems: He had a heart valve replaced in 1997, a 2001 motorcycle crash left him with several broken ribs, he had rotator cuff surgery in 2003, went to a hospital complaining of a rapid heartbeat in 2005, and broke an upper thigh bone while skiing in 2006.
He's acknowledged using steroids in his bodybuilding days, before they became illegal without a prescription, but it's unknown whether the drugs that can cause heart problems have had anything to do with any of his health issues.
Schwarzenegger and his wife are known for charitable work, which is expected to continue, and he also founded a committee with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to encourage road, bridge and other infrastructure development.
Another run for political office appears unlikely. The moderate Republican will leave Sacramento unpopular with state voters, and he has often noted how his wife never wanted him to enter politics. He often sounds dismayed at the dysfunction within the Legislature.
In a way, he doesn't need to. If he chooses, Schwarzenegger and his circle of wealthy friends can finance ballot proposals that can reshape state politics.
Shriver, for her part, has chafed at questions about her future.
A power in her own right during Schwarzenegger's term, the 54-year-old former TV journalist is best known for running an annual women's conference that attracted a long list of business, political and entertainment luminaries, along with an audience of thousands.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver each declined interview requests from The Associated Press.
In 2007, Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political dynasty, said she wouldn't resume a TV news career after the media circus surrounding Anna Nicole Smith's accidental drug overdose. "It was then that I knew that the TV news business had changed and so had I," she said at the time. In a 2009 interview with AP, she said "I'm too much of a free spirit" to consider running for elective office.
As with Schwarzenegger, she's being approached by businesses and nonprofits with ideas for the future. She has a strong interest in Alzheimer's disease, which afflicts her father, R. Sargent Shriver, a 1972 vice presidential candidate. Her late mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics, where Maria Shriver serves on the board. She's made documentaries, including on Alzheimer's.
"I love the possibility that good journalism can inspire people and educate people if done well. I think there are many opportunities to do certain forms of journalism," she said in 2008.
Could Shriver become another Oprah Winfrey? Establish a women's conference as a private venture? Turn back to journalism?
January 1st, 2011
By Barry Secrest
The White House recently announced that Rock Star Jon Bon Jovi had been appointed to Obama's Community Solutions program. Bon Jovi responded by saying that he was "honored to have been selected by the President to serve on the newly created White House Council for community solutions." To which we must point out--only the ever brilliant Obama could actually choose a Star best known for a song called "Living On A Prayer" to represent his economically clueless Administration. This, therefore, leads us into a the storyline for this week that has largely been missing in public discourse.
In fact, one of the most satisfying, if not endearing, spectacles for many Americans in the year of our Lord, 2010, had to have been witnessing Senator Harry Reid, lips all a quiver, hands and voice shaking, grudgingly retracting his gargantuan Omnibus spending bill from the floor of the Senate. While many might make fun of John Boehner's attempts at stifling his very honest and rather patriotic emotional outbursts , Reid's journey into nearly tearful authoritarian spite in front of the entire world was a thing of beauty to behold. It must be historically noted, especially in this case, that the comeuppance of tyranny's servants has always been a remonstration of ultimate valor.
While on the subject of ill-controlled crying...it would be our further suggestion to Patriot Boehner, having worked out daily for many years, that he might consider including a daily dosage of aromatase inhibitors in addition to catching a few of those Fox News primetime commercials...while staying away from soy products and totally avoiding grapefruit. Hey! Just saying...happens to the best of em', John.
Quirog of Greazidom: Whale Excrementus Magnus
Ahem, back to Quirog. One other point to emphasize here is that some might actually think--and others have even said--that Reid actually pulled the bill from the floor due to its unpopularity with the American people. Oh, really? Why not healthcare, also? Why not remand his unpopular coddle of illegals among many, many other items? No, indeed, the Senator's only reason for pulling this bill was because it both did and will affect Obama's START treaty, the tax agreement, and the other main matter which was that he didn't have the votes.
You see, in mid-December of 2010, the leadership of the Democratic Party set into a foundation of the hardest stone conceived everything that a majority of Americans have been proselytizing over for the past 18 months. The Democrats, who never even bothered to pass a budget bill for the entirety of 2010, despite having the numbers and being fully in charge for the entire year, actually put forth a one-plus trillion dollar Omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2011--for the soon-to-be Republican-controlled Congress. This sneaky antithesis to governing in deference to the will of the people left many to observe that these nefarious Elites apparently know absolutely no limit to the lows to which they can artfully delve.
Quite frankly, were whale excrement of a sentient nature, it would lie deeply submerged in gelatinous envy, prayerfully admiring the daunting depths to which this Congress and its President have consistently sunk.
However, this continuing episode of legislative overreach only emphasizes the depth and the degree of distaste that the American people have both felt and vocalized over these many months--with the most recent poll indicating a still sinking 13% Congressional approval rating among the civil society. The damages continually leveled at both the American people and a still quagmired US economy, by this particular tag-team of congressionally-destructive politicians, can now easily be said to be immeasurable at best.
Mark these words: This particularly infernal legislative session, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, as 2010 draws to a close, promises to solidify the 111th Congress as one of the most damaging and tyrannical, if not insane, seatings of Federal Government ever elected in American political history.
To Boldy Go....The Liberal Pledge of Constitutional Disobedience
In fact, the 111th "Congress-interrupted's," two year journey of unrequited doom and dysphoria brings to mind a monologue re-tailored to fit within their particular subspecies' authoritarian mindset:
Government, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the 111th Congress. It's four year mission (almost), to explore strange new authoritarian rules, to seek out new strife and new Totalitarian civilizations, to boldly go where no US Government has gone before....(que music)...
Having completely absconded the will of the people on occasions far to0 numerous to count, the imperative here would be: Please don't think that they do not know all of this. Most historical members of Congress, having just been treated to the "shellacking" that "We the People" recently engineered, along with a long year of Townhall meetings where the Democrats were verbally assaulted and--in some cases--even threatened on a daily basis, should not even dream of scurrilously passing any major legislation until the new Congress has been seated, especially under these circumstances.
It must be further noted that the need to pass an extension of the current tax rates was understood by all, even the previously disdainful Obama himself, to be a needful component for the nation's economic well-being to continue. That was not exactly a point of argument in this specific case. But for a lame duck Congress to actually endeavor to vote a budget bill in place, after having cowardly avoided passage of it prior to a nearing election for an entire year, is simply one of the most dishonorable schemes many might ever have witnessed of a sitting, extraordinarily partisan Government.
Harry Reid, who has proven to be one of the most partisan and liberally-biased anti-Constitutional Senators ever to assume the leadership of the Senate, has surprised even the most starched of Conservatives for his excremental proclivity at sneaky disavowal. The Senator, as a result of his antithetical actions, has essentially shot the bird, both to America and also to every one of his colleagues in the next-to-be-seated Congress, with his Omnibus act--among others.
This outrage, however, does sharply illustrate a phenomena that liberal columnist EJ Dionne once referred to during his post-Bush Presidency diatribe. This particular ill-fitting rant of Dionne's pointed to a specific period of prolonged American duress which will eventually come to be known as The Lost Years of America.
A Poor Marksman and Noted Spastics Of The Constitution
Dionne, arguably the poorest of liberal ideological marksmen, simply missed the exact period in question--as it would seem that we have just only now transitioned through it. The interesting fact, which will, overtime, become crystal clear, is that it wasn't just the economy nor was it just the Government. But rather it was the Government's ongoing actions which exacerbated the lethargy of the largest economy on the planet through a constant and insanely meddlesome proclivity at constructing economic roadblocks and instability month after month. The job losses mounted.
As most Conservatives and a majority of Republicans have all seen--and repeatedly admonished to anyone who might listen for the past 15 months--the new healthcare law is grossly unconstitutional. This fact has even now been affirmed by a major Virginia Federal Court Judge's decision concerning Obamacare--in very specific and unambiguous language--who essentially stated that the Federal Government has overreached its authority. That not being enough, another Federal Judge located in Florida enumerated essentially the same findings noting that he could not see how the Supreme Court could find against the States, as plaintiffs, in that the law was patently unconsitutional and was a clear overreach against the people of the United States.
Now, does not anyone find it beyond interesting that businessmen, ordinary laymen, housewives and even high school students, for Heaven's sake, both knew and understood the precepts of the US Constitution even better than a Constitutional Professor in Obama, who was, at one time, the prestigious Editor of the Harvard Law Review? What does this actually say about the now-questionable education of our supposed Elites? Further, what exactly does it say about the intelligence of both a man and his powerfully partisan Congress who have been consistently, if not unremittingly, touted as the smartest of the smart, while unerringly succeeding at nothing but failure?
Ok, So Which One's Smart and Which One's Stupid?
Even the highly vaunted Charles Krauthammer, a respected Conservative who consistently points out both where and why Obama is wrong, among many others, has even more consistently mused over the "smartness" of Obama to many more Conservatives' chagrin. Yet, our point to Charles would be just this: If indeed Obama is such a powerful and all-wise brainiac, Charles Krauthammer, does this then make you less-than-smart, Sir? Because you never, ever agree with the man!
The point here being, with the handwriting already on the wall as it regards the new healthcare law and its pending demise, this set us to to thinking the unthinkable. Looking at what exactly President Obama and his triumvirate of terror has wrought through these, the last few years of America's lost years, is it far too painful to note that our Government has set about mis-accomplishing things that have been a waste of time and will have to be reversed? So, when we look at just a few of the many major undertakings of the Obama Administration and his busy little Congressional elves, we must note that none of these have actually turned out very well, despite the fact that they have been crowed about as brilliant by members of the Media and the Liberal Logheads and a number of even Conservative Pundits:
Obamacare has already proven to be nothing less than a financial nightmare for every single American involved-- but that's not all! We have had Seniors whose Medicare plans are being severely curtailed, doctors dropping out of practice, clinics going broke, drugs being canceled, health insurance carriers Federally required to increase their rates, individual insurance carriers pulling out of states, 111 companies having to obtain waivers out of the plan, and a whopping cache of cost increases. This begs the penultimate question--that being, if Obamacare is so great, why is the Federal Government being sued by nearly half of all the states, and why is everything associated with healthcare failing mightily? Further, if Obama and the Democrats are so smart, why then could they not tailor their plans to be in concert with the US Constitution, rather than diametrically opposed? The obvious answer to this question has been answered many times in many of our previous columns...stupid is as stupid does.
Cap and Tax, Global Warming
Never mind the massive carbon footprint of the world's politicians rushing to various climate meetings, some of them even leaving their cars running to apparently stay warm while at such meetings, the gist of the global warming hoax has been exposed. While there have been some few changes in the environment, these changes have been increasingly proven as cyclical, as always. The countries involved, having been privy to the outed Hadley emails, now understand perfectly what Cap and Trade is about, and most no longer wish to meaningfully participate in these global warming cultish escapades.
These orgies of environmental tripe have proven to be nothing more than a massive world initiative at redistribution from wealthy nations to poor nations as payola at best. Most countries have now recognized this. The most ironic part of this anathema is the increasingly worrisome possibility that global cooling may actually be occurring, according to a number of scientists or has everyone been ignoring the freakishly brutal winters that the entire Northern Hemisphere has been suffering. Whether the warmers are cluelessly inept or gainfully disingenuous, this debacle has worked out to be an abject waste of time, effort and money for the entire globe.
Everyone, including many Liberals and a number of the Media now agree that the Stimulus stimulated nothing but our deficits, as was predicted on this site well over a year ago, among many others. In fact, the Stimulus has proven to be nothing more than a one trillion dollar budget-busting wrecking ball which caused our deficits to soar while only temporarily extending the deadline that many bankrupt States and their Governments will soon be suffering, at the extreme cost of the upcoming generation. Once again, a very bad idea with even worse execution by the Executive branch.
The Gulf Disaster
Obama's "opportunity at greatness and good" proved to be nothing more than a pie in the sky photo-op'ed interruption of his summer vacation series. We had heard that the Gulf would be ruined for hundreds of years, even that the entire economy of the Gulf would dry up among many other oh-so-dire predictions. Now, six months later, the Gulf, in large part, is back to normal, except for the radical knee-jerk and yet predictable reaction by Obama to halt much of the drilling in the Gulf and to set an expanded moratorium of drilling along the east coast of the US and other areas as our fuel costs even now begin to ratchet up. The Simple supply and demand equations understood even by Pre-schoolers yet evades Obama and his "elite economic team" or what's left of it...can you say "Duh?"
Civilian Terrorist Trials
The trial of a terrorist, who had cooperated with and provided aid in the bombing and killing of a large number of US Embassy personnel, resulted in all but 1 of 224 murder counts being dropped against Ahmed Ghailani . The Justice Department's failure at successfully applying US Civil Law to what must be considered a military matter proved to be nothing less than a joke. So much for Obama's insistence at closing Gitmo and trying terrorists like normal Americans. While the ideal may have been lofty to some, the results have so far been predictably abysmal. If the goal is to turn the American civil law system into an international joke and a domestic outrage then congratulations guys. Otherwise, the ballet of stumble continues.
Obama's undiscovered brilliance in economics remains a mystery that only Sherlock Holmes could solve. We have yet to see any of the Administration's bright ideas regarding America's economy come to fruition. Unemployment remains stubbornly high and companies are still slow to hire due to (drum roll please?) Ta-Da! Uncertainty and instability at current and future Government actions...you just can't make this stuff up. Obamanomics has failed.
The Unifier's Great Performance: A Swan Lake of Stumbling
At no time in the past have cries of incivility or partisanship ever been greater. The One who was to be the Redeemer of All Things Caustic proved to be the acid wash of American politics. Even to the point of a new group being launched called "No Labels," which is essentially another vain attempt at relabeling Liberalism. The second change in the Liberal rebranding effort was called Progressivism, while the first rebranding was but an ode to Socialist-Lite. Progressivism is now loosely associated with Communists, in many circles, by the way.
The "No-Labels" crowd promises to end up in this same vernacularized offshoot category after someone find an appropriate moniker--while then each little liberal will dutifully march to its tune and joins its particular niche. However, much like one of those aluminum cans that has lost its label, we are certain that every time a no-labels idea is opened up and revealed, it too will never fail to surprise many Americans at what the mystery idea on the inside reveals.
Finally, isn't being smart or intelligent a function of finding success in many, if not most, of your endeavors? and If that's so, how will the President, upon building an apparent "House of cards" framework for all of his agenda, react when he and his followers find each of their efforts lying submerged in the waste pool of history at the end?
January 1st, 2011
LaMesaPatch /By Hoa Quách / December 31, 2010
Californians will welcome 725 new laws on Jan. 1. Here's a glance at some of the laws taking effect when you ring in the new year:
- AB 119 prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage.
- SB 782 prevents landlords from evicting tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse or stalking.
- AB 1844—informally known as Chelsea's Law and authored by local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher—will increase penalties, parole provisions and oversight of sex offenders, including a "one-strike, life-without-parole penalty" for some.
- AB 1871 allows people to lease out their cars when they are not being used—alleviating the need to purchase additional insurance.
- AB 537 will make food stamps an acceptable form of payment at farmers markets through an EBT process.
- SB 1411 makes it a misdemeanor to maliciously impersonate someone via a social media outlet or through e-mails.
- SB 1317 allows the state to slap parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.
- AB 715 makes a change to the California Green Building Standards code. The change will require new California buildings to be energy efficient.
- SB 1449 makes the possession of one ounce of marijuana an infraction with a penalty of a $100 fine.
- AB 12 allows foster youth to acquire state services until the age of 21.
- SB 1399 allows California to medically parole state prison inmates with physical incapacitating conditions and ultimately shifts some of the cost of care to the federal government.
- AB 97 bans the use of trans-fats in food facilities.
January 1st, 2011
Yahoo Finance / 24/7 Wall Street
The population of the United States has increased steadily by roughly 2.5 million people every year since World War II. Throughout prosperity and hard times, Americans continue to have families. Many of the country's regions have expanded to accommodate this population increase. Some cities have grown faster than others as the result of being at the center of some important new technology or job market. Others have lost residents because of failing industries and migration. Nevertheless, some of these cities have continued to grow slowly, or at least remain relatively stagnant, buoyed by the rising tide of the national population.
There are some cities, however, that have experienced such severe hardship and decline that their populations have actually decreased significantly. New Orleans has lost more than a quarter of its population in the past 10 years as the result of Hurricane Katrina. The rest of the cities that have lost major parts of their population have seen their flagship industries, which include coal, steel, oil, and auto-related manufacturing, fall off or completely collapse. America moved away from its status as an industrial superpower in the second half of the 20th century as the services sector rose to replace it. Millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs have moved overseas. Cities such as Rochester, Cleveland and Buffalo declined in population because they were trade hubs, and new modes of transportation removed their geographical dominance. Cities like Flint, Mich., have economies based on a single major industry. In Flint's case, that industry is auto manufacturing. When that industry began to decline, Flint was unable to diversify to prevent a population exodus.
All of the cities on this list experienced at least one of these devastating problems, which have caused tens of thousands -- and in some cases, hundreds of thousands -- of its residents to leave the region for other jobs and other homes. While it has been the primary focus of these cities to create new sources of employment for their residents, it may be years before people return, if they do at all.
Unfortunately, the populations of most of the cities on this list continue to decline and the situation could get worse for years. This loss of residents has caused severe drops in the social services that many of these cities can provide. Property and other taxes have fallen so much that the support that residents of other cities take for granted is at risk in the municipalities on this list. There is no longer any guarantee that they can maintain police and fire departments at reasonable levels. Some of these cities cannot continue to manage large neighborhoods that have become almost deserted as residents have left unoccupied homes behind. Home vacancy rates tell a great deal about how much a city's population has dropped.
24/7 obtained its population data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. Housing vacancy came from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. This is a list of the seven American cities that have lost the most people in the past decade:
1. New Orleans
Population Change 2000-2009: -128,813
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -26.63%
Home Vacancy: 21.5%
New Orleans is unique in that its presence on this list is not due to industrial decline, but from natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina flooded 80% of the city, caused by some estimates more than $80 billion in damage, and displaced tens of thousands of residents. The period of widespread homelessness, severe crime, and slow recovery has left the city as a shadow of its former self. While people are trickling back into the city, many will likely never return, and the city has lost more than a quarter of its population in just 10 years.
2. Flint, Mich.
Population Change 2000-2009: -13,266
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -10.63%
Home Vacancy: 18%
While most of the cities on this list are here as the result of a general decline in industry, Flint's woes have come almost entirely from one sector -- the auto industry. Flint became a boomtown at the turn of the century as it became a divisional headquarters to the major American auto manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Buick, and General Motors. Between 1910 and 1930, the population had more than quadrupled due to the success of the American car business. Since the American auto industry began its decline in the 1980s, Flint has consistently lost at least 10% of its population each decade. Massive layoffs and plant closings have devastated the city, and unemployment rates remain well into the double digits.
Population Change 2000-2009: -45,205
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -9.49%
Home Vacancy: 17.5%
Cleveland, the largest city on our list, was once a thriving manufacturing center, as well as an important point of trade because of its connection to several key routes, particularly Lake Erie. The city was once home to a sizable auto industry. Most of the largest companies that were once based in Cleveland no longer exist. These include Peerless, People's and Winton. Cleveland also served as headquarters for John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, as well as a key import location for coal and iron shipped from the South and Midwest. The decline of industrial American has hit the city particularly hard, and poverty, a default on municipal debt in the '70s, and pollution have earned the city the nickname "the mistake on the lake." In 1948, the city had over 910,000 people; it now has less than half of that.
4. Buffalo, N.Y.
Population Change 2000-2009: -21,970
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -7.52%
Home Vacancy: 17.2%
Another victim of the Erie Canal boom and bust, Buffalo was the 13th largest city in the country just before WW II. It is now the 70th. Like Rochester, the city was once a premier mill town due to its location to the canal. Massive electricity generation from Niagara Falls improved Buffalo's industrial capacity, and the city referred to itself as the "City of Lights" for a time because of its power production. The collapse of the canal and improvements in the energy industry that made Niagara Falls less important led to the mass migration from the city which continues to this day. In the 1970s alone, Buffalo lost more than 100,000 residents, roughly a third of its current population.
5. Dayton, Ohio
Population Change 2000-2009: -11,961
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -7.21%
Home Vacancy: 18.9%
For its size, Dayton, Ohio, was once one of the most productive and creative cities in the U.S. It produced more patents per capita at the turn of the century than any other. The city was home to several former great Fortune 500 companies, including National Cash Register, Mead Paper and Phillips Manufacturing. Through the first half of the 20th century, Dayton had one of the healthiest manufacturing industries. It had more GM autoworkers than any city outside of Michigan during World War II. In the past 50 years, Mead has merged with West Virginia Paper and moved to Richmond, and GM has closed one plant after another in the city.
Population Change 2000-2009: -22,056
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -6.61%
Home Vacancy: 14.1%
Known as the "Steel City," Pittsburgh was once the forge for the American industrial engine from the late 1800s through the late 1970s. At its peak, the city was home to more than 1,000 factories, including the mills owned by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which by itself employed over 340,000 workers during World War II. As the American steel industry collapsed in the 1980s, Pittsburgh suffered severe unemployment problems. In the past few decades, the city changed to a technology-based economy, but the population is still on the decline. Since 1950, Pittsburgh's population has declined by more than 50%.
7. Rochester, N.Y.
Population Change 2000-2009: -12,180
Population Percent Change 2000-2009: -5.55%
Home Vacancy: 15.3%
Rochester was once a booming trade center largely due to its location at the midpoint between Albany and Buffalo on the Erie Canal. At its peak, the city was the major flour processor in the country, and was home to several key corporations including Xerox and Eastman Kodak. Rochester declined as the usefulness of the canal went out with the advent of railroads and its flagship companies began to lose their relevancy in the larger global economy. Rochester has yet to produce an important replacement industry to drive up the population, and even the success in the 1990's of Xerox has faded. Between 1950 and 2000, Rochester lost 34% of its population.