Just watched this documentary about the current state of Detroit. Apparently, 30 millions of people left the are after auto manufacturing industry collapsed, but the life is slowly coming back.
One thing that this underscores is a complete lack of vision on the part of our political class.
Instead of vasting $700B on rescuing banks that are not ready to collapse again, how about talking to a bunch of companies - Google, Microsoft, Amazon, others in software industry, venture capitalists - getting them to come into the area. Pouring money into revitalizing culture (hiring artists, opening theaters, clubs, etc), education to support the newcomers...
I bet a lot of people can be attracted by a prospect of almost free housing!