Detroit Syndrome

Detroit Syndrome is a form of age discrimination in which workers of a certain age are replaced by those who are younger, faster, and stronger, not to mention endowed with new skills better suited for the modern workplace. Observers even detect a three-stage process, which is seen as very disrespectful to workers who've been working long hours for years. This process starts by devaluing these workers, then discounting them, and finally dumping them[1].
The syndrome, first reported in 1997, gets its name from the American city of Detroit, and more specifically from its former reputation as a manufacturing hub for automobiles, in which newer models would replace the older ones on a regular basis.

Seen in a somewhat broader sense, it is also a sign of an economic failure. Of cities like Detroit that did not embrace the modern times quickly enough.

Detroit's failing economy was inextricably linked to the auto industry and weapons complex. The corporations had grown complacent and did not see the cheaper, better quality Japanese cars as a threat. The US government allowed these companies to get over-leveraged, and most were (and are) drowned in debt. Automation and the replacement of skilled workers by robots meant that poverty increased and a brain-drain resulted in a dwindling population.

The present desolate and crumbling inner city of Detroit can be the future of any other (now) thriving center of technology or government that misreads the signs of the times.

[1] Petrick, Quinn: Management Ethics: Integrity at Work - 1997

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