Gary, Indiana in the USA has a population around 100,000 and practically no jobs or services. It is the recipient of Obama’s stimulus package to resuscitate the economy. A report on BBC 2 last night looked at the city to examine the impacts of recent economic policy in the US. Watch an excerpt and read more here.

Gary is one third poor, 84% African American, and has seen its population halve over the past three decades. If crime, as the official figures suggest, has recently dropped off then – say the critics – that is because population flight from the city is bigger than the census figures show.

In Ireland, we don’t have ghost towns like Gary yet. If we get out-migration then we might do in a few places as oversupply decay and other buildings are vacated as people leave. However the size of the country will probably mitigate the stark neglect experienced in many areas of the US (the Ozark Mountain region depicted in Debra Granik’s recently released film Winter’s Bone offers another example). Nevertheless, Gary is a bleak vision of uneven development under capitalism.

Cian O’ Callaghan

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