What Should We Do About Flint?

I was recently invited to Midland, MI to give a talk about the challenges facing Flint in light of its water crisis and beyond. It’s an extended version of some themes I raised in my podcast on the topic. I put the challenges of Flint in the larger context of failing post-industrial cities and ask the question of what we should do about them.  If the video embed of my talk doesn’t display, click over to watch on You Tube.

Topics covered in my lecture include:

  • 0:00 – Introduction and overview of the Flint water crisis
  • 4:00 – The story arc of industrial America
  • 7:14 – Flint and America’s infrastructure challenge and the liability stack
  • 15:17 – How cities get caught in a civic death spiral
  • 18:47 – Putting very difficult questions on the table
  • 23:26 – Helping people more than places
  • 25:41 – Restructuring to create a sustainable level of services and taxes
  • 29:10 – Focusing state and federal aid on the liability stack


from Aaron M. Renn


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