Is New York City on a collision course with disaster? Some very savvy observers believe it is. Their opinion is important because if the city does collapse putting all the pieces together again will be both very difficult and very painful.
For many decades, the city was the envy of states and countries around the world, flourishing by every measure. It was widely recognized as the center of higher education, the arts and culture, and certainly finance. Businesses large and small wanted the prestige of a New York address, subways and buses ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The air was so charged with energy that New York was dubbed the city that never sleeps.
“New York still calls itself the Empire State, but the name cannot disguise its decline and coming fall,” stated Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media and a candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for President twice.
The Times Are Changing
To be sure, the city still has great appeal. It is host to Wall Street, impressive tech start-ups, restaurants, museums, and numerous other attractions. But in Forbes’s opinion, this will not be enough to save the city if the economy crashes.
“New York is becoming, proportionately, a shadow of its former self,” he says. “People are fleeing to more hospitable climes, most notably Florida.” This is happening for a number of reasons, but irresponsible fiscal policies are high on the list.
“The state’s new budget and regulatory action show a political class…increasingly locked in a fantasy world that can send the state into bankruptcy,” he says. In fact, he believes New York will not be able to withstand the next serious economic downturn.
Not Quite Paradise
The city is not now and never has been paradise. The cost of living here has always been a challenge, for many decades crime was rampant, and taxes, always oppressive, keep going higher. Despite these drawbacks, most residents have decided to remain in the Big Apple.
But this has been changing. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have left for greener pastures, the budgets of both the city and the state are soaring, and numerous businesses have been forced to close.
According to a report in the New York Post, Cornell University estimates that during the first year of the pandemic (from 2020 to 2021), a record 336,000 people moved out of New York; other estimates placed this number even higher.
One may attempt to explain this as a fluke, but it wasn’t. A CBS affiliate reported that NYS “led the nation in population decline from 2021 to 2022, losing 180,341 people.” Considering all the residents who have left, the burden of taxes will fall more heavily on those remaining.
New Yorkers who were hoping for fiscal relief when the pandemic ended are in for a disappointment. Like some other cities and states, New York has become a sanctuary city for tens of thousands of asylum seekers.
According to Bloomberg, the city is spending approximately $8 million each day to house the 37,500 migrants currently living in shelters. And this has become “a burden that is straining the budget and overwhelming city agencies.” The city has literally run out of space and is unable to accept any more.
Doing It New York Style
Nevertheless, the numbers of migrants coming here has shown no signs of slowing; on the contrary, it may even be increasing.
In late May, Mayor Adams said that 900 migrants arrived here in a single day – up from the more typical 300-500 per day. Furthermore, he said the city has already spent more than $1 billion on them, and that the cost of providing housing and related expenses could reach $4.3 billion this year – or even higher.
Is the city spending more than it can afford to on asylum seekers? Forbes thinks so. And he believes the city is also spending too much on other programs and is not getting enough bang for its bucks.
Although New York’s population is now smaller than Florida’s, he notes that its budget is very nearly double Florida’s: $229 billion compared to Florida’s $117 billion.
And as with the federal government, Albany’s spending is soaring – it jumped 32% in the last four years. Going forward, if a serious financial crisis develops, will either the state or the federal government be able to provide the additional assistance the city may need?
And That’s Not All
Forbes had a lot more to say. For example, he noted that outlays for schools are up nearly $3 billion, despite “miserable performance results.” At the same time, “the enormous demand for charter schools by parents wanting their kids to get a real education is ignored.
“Because of environmental foolery, New York State’s budget is banning gas stoves and heating in all new buildings by 2029. 70% of the state’s electricity must come from renewables by 2030; today, only 6% comes from wind and solar. And by 2035, all new cars must be electric. The fact that most motorists don’t want EVs is brushed aside. Where will all that extra electricity come from? Don’t ask.”
And looking ahead the problems don’t seem like they’ll become easier, as future revenue shortfalls could run into the tens of billions of dollars, he adds.
Nothing New Under The Sun
In the last few years in particular, the needs of hard-working Americans appear to have been pushed aside in favor of migrants. Some cities and companies have endorsed extreme lifestyle agendas. And theft and lawlessness are condoned, to name just a few issues.
Why all of these trends are developing is very difficult to understand. Maybe it should be considered from a different perspective. Is it possible that they are not a series of isolated events but are connected – all part of a greater agenda that would push America so far left that it could never return to its traditional roots?
While the 2024 Presidential election is still far off, the pieces of that puzzle are starting to come together.
The stakes are exceptionally high – higher than usual. If the Democrats maintain control of the White House, Republican policies may be finished forever. If Republicans are victorious, they’ll likely try to reverse the trend toward the extreme left.
The divisiveness and tensions we’re seeing now in Washington are just the tip of the iceberg that may lie ahead. You can anticipate an unprecedented battle, no holds barred.
In the future, there’s sure to be lots to say about the upcoming race for President. The only thing you won’t be able to call it is boring.
Sources: bloombergcom; cbsalbany6.com; nyc.gov; nypost.com; prb.org. YouTube