There's joy in Flint, Michigan. Money Magazine recently published its "livability" ranking of 300 U.S. cities, and Flint came in at 299.

"Hey, we're pretty dam happy," said Flint pediatrician John Tauscher, M.D., FAAP. "Two years ago we were 300."

Flint is a "company town." Its one major industry is automobile manufacturing. Its one major employer is General Motors (GM). There was a time in many U.S. cities when a single, high-paying, blue-collar employer could support most members of the community. Smaller industries, offices and services, including physicians and their hospitals prospered because the companies prospered. In industries including the auto and oil businesses, jobs were lost to automation, foreign competition and a variety of economic "crises" including the domestic oil crisis and the Arab oil embargo. The economies in these communities collapsed.

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