The inexorable decline of American cities

phluff127

Sparrow
@TooFineAPoint enjoy your Arby’s. Home of expert employees serving you not overpriced meat that arrived to the store in liquid form (Arby’s meat is at one point literally a liquid) Enjoy the decline. At least it’s convenient.
 

Intuitive

Sparrow
TooFineAPoint said:
I don't get the fairytale around "Mom & Pop Shops".

Those shops suck ass, and are the worst of both worlds: overpriced, understocked, and lacking in both convenience and expertise.

I remember having to deal with Mom & Pop Shops for most of my life, and it was nearly always terrible. I am glad they are going under. International corporations and boutiques are the better options, in my opinion. You have convenience and low price (due to economies of scale and advanced logistics) in the chain corps, and you have quality and expertise in the boutiques.

When I travel to America (minimum once per year for more than a week), I am always pleased with both. Especially compared to Canada and Europe.

I agree with this sentiment. Franchises and corporate owned stores have more consistency (even if its product or service is mediocre, you know what to expect) and have better customer service. And the original example of the corporate owned Baskin Robbins is more than likely a locally owned franchise, and franchise ownership is one of the fastest ways for the average person to become a millionaire.
 

DogLover

Sparrow
LEMONed IScream said:
Just an info, I often have trouble seeing links, twitter videos etc. It just shows up blank, this thread is another example. Surely does not affect only me!

Shows up as blanks for me, as well. I thought it was me. But now I know it is not.
 
Leonard D Neubache said:
TooFineAPoint said:
I don't get the fairytale around "Mom & Pop Shops".

Those shops suck ass, and are the worst of both worlds: overpriced, understocked, and lacking in both convenience and expertise.

I remember having to deal with Mom & Pop Shops for most of my life, and it was nearly always terrible. I am glad they are going under. International corporations and boutiques are the better options, in my opinion. You have convenience and low price (due to economies of scale and advanced logistics) in the chain corps, and you have quality and expertise in the boutiques.

When I travel to America (minimum once per year for more than a week), I am always pleased with both. Especially compared to Canada and Europe.

I think it depends. My trouble is that when I go to big-box stores they're always staffed entirely by minimum wage, minimum age millennials who couldn't find their ass with both hands.

If I know what I want, where to find it and how to use it then the low prices are great. Otherwise it's a 30-60 minute game of "find the dodgers then work them around to finally admitting they have no fucking clue where the item I want is, whether they even have it, or for that matter how it works". Then they offer to find someone else who can help and promptly piss off to lunch "because I'm not getting paid enough for this shit".

Absolutely. There is no pleasure in the experience of a big box shop. It is strictly for availability and price.

You make your decision usually before leaving the house if you want quality or affordability/convenience, then you are not let down.

phluff127 said:
@TooFineAPoint enjoy your Arby’s. Home of expert employees serving you not overpriced meat that arrived to the store in liquid form (Arby’s meat is at one point literally a liquid) Enjoy the decline. At least it’s convenient.

Work on your reading comprehension. I talked about chains AND boutiques, for different uses.

Maybe you aren't well versed in how most one-off small ma/pa restos are run. They use generic ingredients, have a menu too-large, and often just source from the local "wholesale" shop like Costco. Functionally it is as unhealthy as eating at Arby's, just double the price and twice as long a wait.

If you want quality, you need to go to a gastronomic restaurant and pay 4x the price. Or you go to a supermarket and cook yourself. But if you are on the road, yeah, I'll take quick and dense calories at McDonalds over the average "local family restaurant" trash.

And the amazing thing about America is that they actually have corporate/chain semi-healthy / semi-fast food restos popping up to serve this market need I just wrote about.

An In-N-Out Burger in western USA probably has fresher ingredients and less calories than a cepelinai from a hole-in-the-wall Lithuanian eatery, for instance. Likewise a burrito bowl from Chipotle.
 

JohnKreese

Pelican
Athanasius said:
I never can get over how utterly stupid liberal cities are. A recent Colin Flaherty podcast was an introduction to this growing phenomenon of fare-evasion, which has been exacerbated by cities deciding to not go after it. Now they are reconsidering after large budget shortfalls.

Problems like this are easily solved. There's just no will to do it.


To be fair, there are a lot of people in other parts of the world that scrimp out on paying for public transport. I was at a party in EE and the topic came up of who actually pays for a city bus pass. Only one girl rose her hand and everyone else laughed at her.
 
JohnKreese said:
Athanasius said:
I never can get over how utterly stupid liberal cities are. A recent Colin Flaherty podcast was an introduction to this growing phenomenon of fare-evasion, which has been exacerbated by cities deciding to not go after it. Now they are reconsidering after large budget shortfalls.

Problems like this are easily solved. There's just no will to do it.


To be fair, there are a lot of people in other parts of the world that scrimp out on paying for public transport. I was at a party in EE and the topic came up of who actually pays for a city bus pass. Only one girl rose her hand and everyone else laughed at her.

Must be Romania or Bulgaria - or FSU, because in most other EE places the people pay - they have controllers and even the subway system is hardly ever cheated on despite being able to be jumped over.

When too many people break the rules, then it's a return to the past:

 

aeroektar

Pelican
TooFineAPoint said:
Leonard D Neubache said:
TooFineAPoint said:
I don't get the fairytale around "Mom & Pop Shops".

Those shops suck ass, and are the worst of both worlds: overpriced, understocked, and lacking in both convenience and expertise.

I remember having to deal with Mom & Pop Shops for most of my life, and it was nearly always terrible. I am glad they are going under. International corporations and boutiques are the better options, in my opinion. You have convenience and low price (due to economies of scale and advanced logistics) in the chain corps, and you have quality and expertise in the boutiques.

When I travel to America (minimum once per year for more than a week), I am always pleased with both. Especially compared to Canada and Europe.

I think it depends. My trouble is that when I go to big-box stores they're always staffed entirely by minimum wage, minimum age millennials who couldn't find their ass with both hands.

If I know what I want, where to find it and how to use it then the low prices are great. Otherwise it's a 30-60 minute game of "find the dodgers then work them around to finally admitting they have no fucking clue where the item I want is, whether they even have it, or for that matter how it works". Then they offer to find someone else who can help and promptly piss off to lunch "because I'm not getting paid enough for this shit".

Absolutely. There is no pleasure in the experience of a big box shop. It is strictly for availability and price.

You make your decision usually before leaving the house if you want quality or affordability/convenience, then you are not let down.

phluff127 said:
@TooFineAPoint enjoy your Arby’s. Home of expert employees serving you not overpriced meat that arrived to the store in liquid form (Arby’s meat is at one point literally a liquid) Enjoy the decline. At least it’s convenient.

Work on your reading comprehension. I talked about chains AND boutiques, for different uses.

Maybe you aren't well versed in how most one-off small ma/pa restos are run. They use generic ingredients, have a menu too-large, and often just source from the local "wholesale" shop like Costco. Functionally it is as unhealthy as eating at Arby's, just double the price and twice as long a wait.

If you want quality, you need to go to a gastronomic restaurant and pay 4x the price. Or you go to a supermarket and cook yourself. But if you are on the road, yeah, I'll take quick and dense calories at McDonalds over the average "local family restaurant" trash.

And the amazing thing about America is that they actually have corporate/chain semi-healthy / semi-fast food restos popping up to serve this market need I just wrote about.

An In-N-Out Burger in western USA probably has fresher ingredients and less calories than a cepelinai from a hole-in-the-wall Lithuanian eatery, for instance. Likewise a burrito bowl from Chipotle.

I recently spent some time in Lithuania and I ate daily at a place called Kavinė čeburekinė where a meal was $4-5 for a nice sized chicken steak, delicious pickled vegetable and roasted potatoes. All fresh high quality ingredients, and places like that are everywhere. I also ate a ton of saurkraut and that black rye bread that is popular and available everywhere. It was affordable healthy eating and I felt fantastic while I was there.

Another example is Puzata Hata which is a national chain in Ukraine. Awesome place to eat, where you can get a huge healthy meal for $5-7 and be in and out quickly.

I've never been to an In-N-Out or a Chipotle but I've eaten at plenty of other fast food chains in America serving highly processed garbage and I imagine they aren't much better. I've not come across any good chain restaurants serving healthy wholesome affordable food while living there, in fact where I'm from (New England) the best options for that kind of eating are the small seafood restaurants up and down the coast.

As far as mom and pop shops go, they're bad for consumer culture and I'd argue vital for a community. You can pretty much find whatever you need in store or online and have it in 2 days from amazon in the US. It's the paradise of consumerism and a lot of us have grown accustomed to it, but a lot of that shit we could live without. Now we have a lifestyle and culture that has been reduced to acquiring shiny objects. I'd much rather live in a place where the downtown hasn't had its soul ripped out by Walmart, Target and Amazon.
 
< I agree - so long as the agricultural products are not corrupt as in some 3rd world countries, then the food quality benchmark is higher in Eastern Europe. Even Western Europeans have worse meat and other products. The US is bottom-level since you have to pay extra for real food. Expensive grass-fed beef in the US - that is standard beef in many European countries.

Only countries like Japan have higher food quality due to a specific mindset and also a very very protective regulation and industry that favors local farmers - sometimes even bans exports as well as imports.
 

rotekz

Ostrich
Gold Member
In New Orleans the Hard Rock Hotel redevelopment collapsed on Saturday morning.


Project Leader Praveen Kailas is currently in jail for defrauding the state.

 
< That's the thing with the shitizen invasion - you get shitizen corruption vs first world corruption/incompetence.

First world corruption:

+ some low-tier underqualified workers get hired, but most are perfectly certified - in business projects it's virtually impossible to enter even without extensive qualifications
+ suppliers and builders skim a bit at the top or make it so that they coordinated their price bids -

Still - they hire sound engineers and builders, architects and don't skip on the essential materials at all.

Shitizen corruption:

+ everything goes - put in wood or paper instead of steel - who cares
+ hire everyone of your ethnic tribe first, then cheapest option available

Then you get collapsed buildings which barely happened even in communist countries.

The same gets replicated in all areas - in medicine you sometimes get a careless overworked doctor making an honest, but costly mistake, operating on the wrong knee or leaving instruments in the stomach. Shitizen doctors - catastrophic errors of beheading babies at childbirth!
 

aeroektar

Pelican
Corruption is corruption. Have a look at the Big Dig, brown men weren't in charge of that.

The problem is we don't punish these scumbags anymore, they get off scot free or with a slap on the wrist every time, whereas a century or two ago they'd be publicly executed for fucking their communities over that bad.
 
aeroektar said:
Corruption is corruption. Have a look at the Big Dig, brown men weren't in charge of that.

The problem is we don't punish these scumbags anymore, they get off scot free or with a slap on the wrist every time, whereas a century or two ago they'd be publicly executed for fucking their communities over that bad.

Please - those near-water large construction projects are notoriously difficult - even the best countries face serious miscalculations over it. They seldom work out as planned - this is Western style of corruption and incompetence.

This is not the same scale of a normal office building collapsing on itself.
 

Leonard D Neubache

Owl
Gold Member
I frankly think the uglier truth is that importing low-trust outsiders to do work in your nation results in these catastrophes not because they're especially incompetent but simply because they either don't care about the natives that die later, or worse, actually think it's funny or just.

Mexicans build massive structures in Mexico, Indians build them in India and Chinese build them in China.

Now would you trust a bunch of Indians and Chinese and Mexicans with a proven track record in their home nations to build you a school for your lily white kids?

Fuck no. Because they don't care about your people and they know that when the local gravy train ends that they're going to be able to zip off back to their homeland with profits in hand and laugh all the way.

That's why Manuel and Bhanesh are only slapping in every third bolt or spot welding instead of beading the whole seam. Because "fuck these people, they're not my people."
 

VNvet

Kingfisher
In my city you can see the globohomo architecture slowly creeping in to each neighborhood.

For instance, my neighborhood is in a super desirable location, but it's entirely small 1950s post-war homes on massive lots. The homes are kind of ugly, but they don't look too bad by modern standards.

Anyway, the boomers that have lived here since the 90s are selling their homes for $700k and moving to Mexico or something.

The bulldozer usually arrives 3 days after closing.

6-9 months later a massive box home pops up. No one wants to pay for siding on the home, so they all look like concrete boxes with windows. People would rather have a 2500 sqft home that looks terrible than a smaller one that actually looks decent.

It's kind of sad. The neighborhood I grew up in will be full of McMansions in 10 years.
 

An0dyne

Robin
Leonard D Neubache said:
I frankly think the uglier truth is that importing low-trust outsiders to do work in your nation results in these catastrophes not because they're especially incompetent but simply because they either don't care about the natives that die later, or worse, actually think it's funny or just.

Mexicans build massive structures in Mexico, Indians build them in India and Chinese build them in China.

Now would you trust a bunch of Indians and Chinese and Mexicans with a proven track record in their home nations to build you a school for your lily white kids?

Fuck no. Because they don't care about your people and they know that when the local gravy train ends that they're going to be able to zip off back to their homeland with profits in hand and laugh all the way.

That's why Manuel and Bhanesh are only slapping in every third bolt or spot welding instead of beading the whole seam. Because "fuck these people, they're not my people."

Ain't no Mexicans, Indians, or Chinese people "zipping back" to Mexico, India, or China. And I'd trust their work ethic any day of the week over the white trailer trash of the U.S.
 

VNvet

Kingfisher
Leonard D Neubache said:
I frankly think the uglier truth is that importing low-trust outsiders to do work in your nation results in these catastrophes not because they're especially incompetent but simply because they either don't care about the natives that die later, or worse, actually think it's funny or just.

Nah. They don't care about their own people either.

I've seen Cambodians in Cambodia using bamboo to build a cinder block wall on a government building. And judging by the amount of buildings I see collapsing in the third world, I don't think they really care about anyone other than themselves.
 
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