Miami named the worst-run city in America

Miami is known for it's high rises and glamor, but underneath the glitz hides the homeless, traffic, and other civic problems that have landed Miami rated one of the top worst run cities in the United States. Marlena Skrobe//Photo Editor

An online financial news and opinion forum, Wall St. 24/7, named Miami the worst-run city in America.

The study, which looked at the 100 most populous cities in the U.S., took violent crime, poverty rate, credit rating and the proportion of high school graduates among the adult population into account. This review of “the local economies, fiscal discipline and standard of living” in each city was used to determine how well each is managed.

“Worst run city is a euphemism for the negligence and criminalization of poverty, and no one does that better than Miami,” English professor Richard Simpson said.

Detroit, commonly viewed as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation, took the second spot in the race, while Virginia Beach, Va., was named the best-run city in the U.S.
Neighboring Hialeah, Fla., placed 10th in the worst-run rankings, making Miami-Dade County the only county to have two cities on the extensive list.

Miami residents have the fourth-highest domestic purchasing power in the world, but also the second-highest income inequality rate nationwide, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
This wealth gap plays a large role in fiscal issues.

“We get this perpetual municipal negligence toward those who make up the city’s local population, who are also the group that fall within the highest percentage of households living below the poverty line,” Simpson said.

One of the most important distinctions between the best- and worst-run cities is their economic standing. The analysis demonstrated that encouraging job growth and the success of local businesses is the most important role of local government, 24/7 Wall St. reported.

In fact, nine out of the 10 worst-run cities rely on shrinking industries, like Detroit’s automobile-driven economy. The Motor City is known as the world’s automotive center; thus, it comes as no surprise that a city that depends on an industry in which two of the largest American companies were bailed out would also have the highest poverty rate in the country.
Miami’s problem seems to stem from its significant housing foreclosure problem. It has the fifth highest percentage of housing vacancies and has been ranked among the 20 weakest-performing metropolitan areas in the country with regards to recovering from the recession. This is due in large part to the crash of its housing market, according to 24/7 Wall St.

“It’s titles like ‘The Worst-Run City’ that make you wonder why private entrepreneurs and city leaders don’t jump to address availability of affordable housing, livable minimum wages and public school graduation rates, or even simply sponsor and support Miami’s incredible nonprofit organizations,” Simpson said.

This list will be compiled annually from data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody’s Investors Services, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, according to 24/7 Wall St.

However, political science professor Joseph Uscinki said he was skeptical that some of these measures gauge how well a city is run.

“City management may have little to do with the unemployment rate, the violent crime rates and the poverty levels,” political science professor Joseph Uscinki said.

He suggested measuring corruption by determining “waste and duplication in terms of unnecessary levels of government,” and comparing the outcomes of taxpayer money paid to different local governments.

January 22, 2012


Lyssa Goldberg

Lyssa Goldberg is online editor of The Miami Hurricane. She is a senior majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in math. She has interned at Mashable and the Miami New Times, and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Miami named the worst-run city in America”

  1. L. Thomas says:

    I never heard of a better synopsis of Miami than Mr. Burroughs above description.

    I will go one step further by saying what most do not want to hear….
    “We sold Miami out because we wanted to believe that Castro was a bad guy therefore accepted the very people that made Castro relevant in 1957”.
    No one can take away the positive influence of the Cuban immigrants on Miami; they took a “back road country side city” into the 21st Century and made a Cosmopolitan Metropolis out of it. We owe that much to the Latin influence on this city.

    However, by taking over our political structure, they manipulated the system wrongly and turned the city into the new COSMOPOLITAN BANANA REPUBLIC that it is now.

    It is unfortunate that the above statement sounds bias but it is the truth one may or may not agree but, it is what it is….

    We need to change the power structure, re-balance the distribution of the political landscape to favor the entire inhabitancy not just some.
    Rein the abuses by the Police by making them responsible for their action as opposed to agreeing with their constant idiot cites. Put a hold on the PBA constant defenses of their wrongdoing by reforming them as well. This is only the beginning of what must be done but, it will be the right thing to do.

    ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!!

    It is time for us to take conscience and retake our city from the incompetent that seems to have evolved over the last 30 years.

  2. JBurroughs says:

    Miami’s low rating are due to the fact that Miami is run by a lot of greedy crooked people. We are suffering here. The politicians rob us and the police bully us here. They put up, tolls everywhere, they allow people to buy parts of Miami so they can make money off of it’s communities by taxing for everything. The education is poor because they focus on how they can make more money of us and our children instead of actually teaching our children. Our children aren’t taught anymore how to think for themselves but more on how to be a good worker for others. Everyone is making money off of the citizens of the city of miami except the citizens and we are all suffering. They entrap our men and sons so they can lock them up and make money off of them and their families. Miami is suffering because it is being run by corruption and greed and no one seems to care. People complain but act as if there is nothing they can do about it. Just a few days ago my family and household was violated by the police. They committed treason in a sense because they violated several of our constitutional rights as American Citizens. Our rights are being violated everyday and everyday they find ways to strip away our freedom. Miami is not a glamorous place for many of the people who live here and work here. Jobs, Politicians, police, companies, housing, etc are being allowed to take full advantage with no recourse. Most of the crime is committed by the so-called law givers. If you want to know what’s really going on here, start asking the citizens in some of these lower neighborhoods. Miami is a slave city and we are all being used from the adults down to the children. We have a city full of beautiful people that are slowly being drained and sucked dry. I pray to God everyday for thing to get better here.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

The unopened Christmas gift that University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz recently spoke ...

Joseph Yearby declared early for the NFL draft. Gus Edwards transferred to Rutgers. Trayone Gray is ...

The University of Miami is in conversations about playing the University of Alabama to kick off the ...

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.