Kozik: "St Loius..no big mystery. It's a commercial center like any other town except that theres no more commerce. Like most ghettos the blight is the result of cheap imported labor that had no jobs once the 'boom' was over.
Now that theres no reason for St Loius to exist it's slowly rotting away and all the 'talent' and 'money' has left for other places. All cities are artificial constructs that revolve around commerce. A few have like a nice climate or 'entertainment value' and hence can survive economic obsolecense like SF for example or Seattle..but places like St Loius no longer are a 'magnet' for anything. Times change. The place is used up. I wouls also imaginge the power structure was the result of graft and machine politics which are into 'short term' investment for the purpose of skimming...so what you have is a blight zone. They do need to bulldoze it. And there's NO FUTURE fopr the 'losers'. They Lose."
Christ Frank, you nailed it, pretty much describes every city in Upstate NY, esp. the graft/machine politics.