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America's 14 Most Ready to Riot Cities

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Could a Tottenham happen here? And, if so where?


London Riots by Late Breaking News

Here's a list of 14 large American cities that may be ready to erupt.   They have been identified by sorting common social, economic and demographic data including: unemployment, education, income, crime, housing and homelessness.

Other data was also included that might indicate probable "flash points" igniting unrest.   These include: cities with especially high rates of reported police misconduct, high disparity between rich and poor, city budget deficits threatening social services, high incidence of hate crime, and large differences in home values between neighborhoods.

One such statistic is a "Wealth Disparity Index" calculated as a "Gini" co-efficient. The index measures the inequality of the local wealth distribution. In this case, the closer the index number is to 1 the greater the disparity between the haves and have nots.

Should the American economy take another dive into "official recession" makes little difference if our cities and states become dysfunctional with a recovery that does not include jobs and a safety net to catch those victimized by an economic system based on fraud.

Why should the victims of economic tyranny turn to anger and action?   It has been said that Americans are too self-absorbed to challenge the status quo.   Even under the intolerable stress and life threatening situation of Hurricane Katrina cooler heads prevailed.   For the most part, we are a patient people.

But at some point the fuse will be lit if economic relief is not forthcoming.   The rationale may be factious as it was in Newark, NJ in 1967, when a rumor of police injustice sparked riots that lasted six days and nights.   But when polite protests fail, as they did in London, action speaks louder than words.

As a young man said to an NBC news reporter in Tottenham: "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"

1. Detroit, MI:     

The poster child for what has gone wrong with American capitalism. One way the city aims to increase revenue is to work with the state to identify businesses that have not been paying the city income tax, an initiative with the potential to generate $49.5 million over the next five years.  Well, every little bit helps.

  • Unemployment 21.6%
  • Income per capita: $14,213
  • Poverty: 36.4% of residents below the poverty line
  • 56% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 67.1%
  • Homeless: 1,627/100,000 residents
  • 3rd highest U.S. city crime score: 356.44
  • High school graduation rate, public school district: 37.5%
  • Deficit through FY2011: 710,000,000; per capita: $780
  • 9th U.S. large city for police misconduct per capita
  • 88,200 high net worth individuals

2. Miami, FL:  

Here is a moderate example of economic schizophrenia at work. Commuters increase Miami's population 37.3% every work day, then leave the business district a ghost town every evening.   Foreclosure paper work clogs a Miami courthouse with no end in sight. The city faces a $50 million budget deficit for 2012.

  • Unemployment 13.7%
  • Homeless: 1,191/100,000 residents
  •  54.8% of residents spend over 35% of their income on housing
  • Children living in poverty: 43.8
  • Increase in food stamp (SNAP) use from 2007: 45%
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 44.4%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 35%
  • Housing value disparity: 136% (std. dev. / median) 
  • Wealth Inequity Index: 0.494 (Miami Metro)
  • Share of aggregate income going to top 5 percent of households: 24.9%
  • 18th U.S. city for police misconduct per capita

3. Cleveland, OH

According to The Plain Dealer: "People on the streets of Cleveland... say they are impatient with bullish economists and bickering politicians who don't seem to realize how little the economy has improved. They waved away questions about higher debt ceilings... because many of them wanted to vent about how much the economy stinks."

  • Poverty: 35.0% of residents below the poverty line
  • Children living in poverty: 43.8%
  • Income per capita: $15,583
  • Percentage of single-parent households: 58.6%
  • Increase in food stamp use from 2007: 25%
  • Unemployment 10.7%
  • Residents with no health care insurance: 18.2%
  • 7th highest U.S. city crime score: 260.60

4. Memphis, TN:

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Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration (more...)
 
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I find it interesting that Boehner's home district... by Joanne Boyer on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 9:24:35 AM
Next time I write something like this I'll try to ... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:14:49 AM
Citations for all facts and figures in this piece ... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:11:42 AM
DHS is expanding their polygraph program to fight ... by Patricia Donalds on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 1:36:15 PM
Patricia,I moved to Russia in 1999 and I've not he... by mike buchan on Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 3:18:35 AM
Looting, burning property, and assaulting fellow c... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 2:29:06 PM
Just remember what a genuinely inspired US preside... by manifesto 2000 on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:22:05 PM
Q: What's the difference between a protester and a... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 8:32:28 PM
And you know how they were criminals? Because PM C... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:25:07 PM
Burning and looting your own neighborhoods solved ... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:46:06 PM
power rob, steal, impoverish and beat enough peopl... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:14:56 PM
But where did I excuse or offer excuses for the po... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:54:33 PM
What's the difference? We're all going to hell.... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 8:42:16 PM
condemn the rioters, but never condemn the abuses ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:15:08 AM
Please explain your question.  How have our r... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:18:59 AM
expected you to have read about that before if you... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:46:54 AM
that your comments are distracting from the main p... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:12:36 AM
I was foreclosed on.  Not because of the bank... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:32:37 AM
I'm also not surprised that you while you condemne... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:46:58 AM
I'm self employed just trying to  make my way... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:52:54 AM
at putting words in peoples mouths if they don't a... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:55:36 AM
don't forget that you just claimed that you took a... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:17:02 AM
I put in my income honestly and they worked their ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:31:17 AM
Laura, here is what you wrote:"Yes their governmen... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:06:36 AM
my responsibility to see through what these banks ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:13:38 AM
Unemployment...here in the US we pay into that out... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:19:23 AM
You just talked about something the Govt is at fau... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:41:51 AM
they looted and fire bombed their own areas, how?A... by ibrahim turner on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 7:50:35 PM
I don't advocate violence.  I want to deter v... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:18:31 PM
And I'm not arguing that fact one bit, I happen to... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:56:51 PM
Kudos on a great, well-researched article with loa... by Richard Scott on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:08:37 PM
It is a very well written article with lots of fac... by Laura Roberts on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:30:32 PM
in which the people are most likely to riot are th... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:42:15 PM
I bet that will be where the spark ignites.  ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:11:00 PM
Thanks for these links.  Great, just great. &... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:28:16 PM
of 1965-1971. Riots, burned out cities, cops in sn... by Monica Davis on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:43:34 PM
There is a myth we are innately violent.  Rod... by Donnie McLeod on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:22:45 PM
What pulp science fiction did you pull that from? ... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:44:18 PM
Q: Why doesn't our government try to put the brake... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:32:12 PM
the title said 14 cities. My version of the articl... by Charlotte Wilson on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:28:12 PM
cities are named in 13 spots.  Of course, if ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 5:51:53 PM
Thanks again Mr. Adams.  There are sooooooooo... by Chaz Valenza on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 6:39:06 PM
Hey Chaz,   Just a quick note to inform you... by Richard Scott on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 10:01:00 PM
I would think that the rich had better review thei... by George Schmitt on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 11:00:17 PM
The GOP/Tea Party and their mass media and supreme... by eric stone on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 2:37:41 AM
I would have liked to have seen the same statistic... by Doc McCoy on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 1:36:16 AM
banksters have been on a worldwide looting spree.&... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:25:13 AM
How about those who looted the Treasury of the US?... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 9:27:05 AM
Both Codger and Laura are extremely well-versed in... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:58:04 AM
you are completely out of line.  ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:02:11 AM
No, I'm not. What zombies (self-appointed and anno... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:39:53 AM
Imagine, a millionaire's daughter was caught with ... by Vaikunthanath Kaviraj on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:35:05 AM
facts that all the looters were poor?  Some n... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:38:32 AM
At least in Britian the police do not carry f... by David Chester on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:45:08 AM
I'm afriad America can't do what Europe and the re... by Perry Logan on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:40:04 AM
I agree with all the gun power arguments. &nb... by Chaz Valenza on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 8:40:54 AM
that the people don't strive to do better for them... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:50:07 AM
You're right about buying into the corporate racke... by Chaz Valenza on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:38:01 AM
You want to make changes do not buy from the ... by Laura Roberts on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:47:01 AM
It's not that hard to go to the credit union, pull... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 6:03:05 PM
Don't come across actionable ideas too often, your... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:37:47 PM
Your argument is an improvement over Perry's at le... by Ned Lud on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:18:20 AM
We still have demonstrations and they are for the ... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:31:55 PM
Most of the discussion seems to be about... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:19:19 AM
I was there for Chicago then and visited after the... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:54:02 AM
Google the name Darcus Howe and then click on the ... by Mark Colwell on Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 6:24:55 PM
While 68.3 million Americans struggle to get eno... by Richard Clark on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 1:47:19 PM
What you are describing, Richard, is capitalism at... by Bruce Morgan on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:30:43 PM
control government and prevent tyranny and injusti... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Aug 18, 2011 at 10:26:43 AM
is number one "Cameron identified the growth ... by John Smith on Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 at 4:28:00 PM
My daughter recently moved my 2 grandkids (boys) t... by Jane Christenson on Friday, Aug 19, 2011 at 5:14:26 PM