City Journal Spring 2014

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Fred Siegel
Goodbye, New York « Back to Story

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im an aspiring twenty something year old worker and cannot imagine staying here although i love ny will alway call it home i cannot and likely will never be able to afford to live here. Outmigration 1 NY 0
tma_sierrahills has it exactly right. But, what is left out is how the people coming in vote, which is overwhelmingly Democrat. And there is much tolerance for the resulting social misery - in the inner cities, it's 50 years of failure and counting, and you don't see any call for having the other party have a hand at running things - the Democrats are, if anything, more firmly entrenched than ever.

Most of this has to do with the major media, which never saw a Democrat it didn't like and which refuses to even recognize the problems of the inner cities as anything other lack of money and racism. One wonders if a 100 years of failure would be too much before people come to the understanding that Democrats simply do not want things to get better since that would mean a loss of power.

The only place that I am aware of where someone from the other party was given a chance was in 1990, with Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani took a city on the brink of disaster and more or less single handedly turned it around, in the process doing things that the 'experts' declared could not be done - cleaning up Times Square, reducing crime by unbelievable amounts. Most of this was done in four years (!). Of course, he was never given credit for this turnaround - the media simply couldn't get away from its story line of Giuliani as dictator. This 'open minded' media also hinted about mafia connections in Giuliani's family. And, the same media that excused Bill Clinton's abuse of a young intern and attempted rape of other women with the narrative that they somehow "deserved" or "asked for" it, was critical of Guiliani for his marital difficulties. One could only imagine what could have been done if Giuliani had a city council of the same party and media behind him.

And it is the media that can't conceive of the other party taking power that allows the one party system in the nations cities to go on. That combined with a population that has been manipulated into thinking that their enemies are really their friends ensures re-election of Democrats in election after election. The fact that things don't get better and that immigrant groups cycle through ghetto doesn't matter - the population is puzzled but since there is an absence of other voices in the media telling them what's really going on, Democrats continue to get elected.

There is a small - very small - hint that things may be changing. Democrats ability to fool all of the people all of the time is slowly being challenged. But, it may be another 20 years before the message gets out - 20 years of continuing misery, hopelessness and violence. There is a special place in hell for those who have maintained this system for so long and made so much money and enjoyed so much power - at the expense of the very community that they were purportedly trying to help. (and I put Obama among these people).
Correction: most of NYS propety taxes goes to schools. I can vouch for this personally. Of our tax bill in East Quogue LI of $14,000, over $11,000 is for schools, not for Medicaid . Yet those protesting high school taxes are not pushing for the obvious solution: pay for all schools out of state income taxes and then redistribute the revenues equally to all schools on a per student basis. If wealthy school districts want fancier school programs, let them pay for it themselves.
Dr. Charles G. Waugh May 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM
Not to worry. If our government claims the right to prevent businesses from moving from one state to another for monetary reasons, then what's to stop them from preventing people from moving from one state to another for monetary reasons? After all, isn't that the next logical step?
Fred, this is a myth. New York State population went up. New York City population went up. This is a dishonest piece.
tma_sierrahills May 26, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Who's more deluded, liberal Democrats or their professional opponents?

Not that excessive government regulation and taxation do not play some part in our decline, but for decades America has been massively exporting manufacturing jobs and importing millions of largely uneducated, unskilled Third World colonizers. Thus obviously killing off the middle class. But what are we continually told is the central problem? Excess government taxation and regulation. Well, alright, if that helps people, like Neocons and libertarians, sleep better at night.

But when it comes to population trends, it would be so much more helpful if all of our journalistic experts would occasionally deal in actual numbers of people, rather than growth "rates."

For example, there is so much talk of people fleeing California that even many residents here seem to believe that the state is in imminent danger of emptying out and becoming a sort of mega ghost town, when in reality it is only California's growth RATE that has slowed. California continues to grow in population each year, and continues to be America's most heavily populated state, as can be seen by fights over water, overflowing prisons, jammed emergency rooms, bulging classrooms, and an endless laundry list of Third World maladies.

Furthermore, as heavily populated cities, states and nations continue to grow in population, the "rate" of population growth is bound to decline, because each recalculation of the next year's growth rate will be calculated against an ever larger base population. To think otherwise would be to believe that if a couple has their first two children after one year, and that family's increase from 2 to 4 members is seen as a good healthy rate, then if that couple a couple more years down the line has not in one year increased their family size from 8 to 16, there is something seriously amiss--because their growth rate has horrifically slowed!

It is no accident that American elites continue to turn America into a future Third World nightmare while they spout half-truths about "Celebrate diversity!" or how the central problem is simply too much taxation or regulation. They are each too bound to their respective Utopias to cut themselves free.

Another factor is that much of the flight from California and other states and cities has to do with 'white flight,' but that has to be skipped over because it does not fit into the regulation v. non-regulation paradigm of pro lemming-like perpetual growth.

Of course liberal social programs and over-regulation have made things worse, but nothing compared to the damage done by the deranged open-borders policies of Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, and their co-conspirators.

It hard to see what is the result of ideological blinders versus just plain dishonesty, but it is abundantly evident that many people could write a very long book detailing the problems of the Titanic without ever getting around to mentioning that unfortunate incident with the iceberg.

Or, to put it another way, to make one's way across the Oakland Bay Bridge or along the Hollywood Freeway at rush hour, which can be almost any hour, and to then try to persuade someone that California's number-one problem is not that its population is not growing fast enough would be something like trying to persuade someone that he has incorrectly convinced himself that he is Napoleon.
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Border Enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.
I think NYC is a great place..to visit. Grew up near Albany, moved to AZ in 72 and never looked back. Brought the kids to the city when they were young to see it but other than that...
36yoAmerican nailed it. Actually there are lots of good jobs here. Unfortunately many of these jobs are uber-competitive and are ridiculously high-skilled, which most young people and the poor don't qualify for. Its difficult for most to "move up" in this atmosphere. And lets not forget that the city and state governments of NY sponsor the arrival of big, highly subsidized corporations while forcing out small, taxpaying businesses.
B. Samuel Davis May 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM
No surprise here - in the Democrat Party paradise that is New York, the middle class is not welcome. For Democrats what is cited in the report is not a negative, it is an intended result of policies that ensure that Democrats will stay in control.

The hour glass cited in this article is also the very definition of a third world country - a few rich, and lots of poor. What you will not see, however, is any effort at changing any of this. Since the Democrat Party does very well among the poor and recent immigrants (those who stay for awhile usually get past the Democrat propaganda in the media and change their voting habits) for the Democrats there isn't a problem here to solve. To reiterate: what's outlined in the report is not only desirable, it's intended - with the side benefit of lots of poor people can be the basis for calls for anti-poverty money to feed the Democrat controlled poverty industry, which is an industry that is doing quite well in New York.

Democrats are also satisfied with people upstate leaving since this is an area where Republican typically dominate. Let them go!

In short, don't look for things to change. In the third world New York State of the future, the Democrat party, with its firm control of the traditional media, will be more in charge than ever. As long as there is a continuing supply of immigrants, it makes no difference if those who have been here awhile leave. That is seen by Democrats as a positive, since (and this statistic is missing from the report) those who are leaving are more likely to vote Republican anyway.

L. G. Davis said it best with his comment below
This issue here is the same issue with other MAJOR cities in the US. They have become TOO expensive for young Americans. These cities are for the rich and the deadbeats.
Mr. Siegel is right. In NYC I made 52K as a social worker; when I moved to upstate NY to escape the super high cost of living in the city and improve my quality of life, I took a 15K pay cut. But social services positions in upstate don't require the Master's degree I have (and now have a student loan for). The degree doesn't have any potential for higher pay in upstate NY. Upstate New Yorkers are amazing people and they are suffering in this anemic economy. The state has to do something to make it possible for its people to do more than survive.
B. F. Reinauer III May 24, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Since the article was written new statistics have been released. A New Jersey county (Hunterdon) now has the highest real estate taxes (Source: Tax Foundation Median Taxes on Homes 2005-09 citing the US Census Bureau) in the nation followed by three New York counties and six additional New Jersey counties to make the illustrious top ten. A discouraging statistic for the future of these two states. Add to this the anti-business reputations of both states and the future for these states looks bleak. Both states are losing population and also their highest income citizens are in flight.
B. F. Reinauer III May 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Since the article was written new statistics have been released. A New Jersey county (Hunterdon) now has the highest real estate taxes (Source: Tax Foundation Median Taxes on Homes 2005-09 siting the US Census Bureau) in the nation followed by three New York counties and six additional New Jersey counties to make the illustrious top ten. A discouraging statistic for the future of these two states. Add to this the anti-business reputations of both states and the future for these states looks bleak. Both states are losing population and also their highest income citizens are in flight.
The largest reason they want to leave is cost of living. Its easy to blame this on taxes (particularly if you have an ideological agenda) because theres an easily understandable solution: lower taxes. The fact is, the largest factor in cost of living is supply of and demand for housing. This doesnt have as easy a solution.
We left NY State after graduation years ago and have always planned to retire here. New York is truly a beautiful place and if you like changing weather, cool, breezy summers and beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers this is the place to be. Unfortunately when we returned 5 years ago we found a state in decline and an economy that has never recovered from the last recession.
Taxes, high utilities, overbearing regulations, and property taxes that are simply ridiculous have driven businesses out, and forced people who have lived here for generations to move to a state where they can afford to live. Drive around our small city and you see home after home with for sale signs, roads that need repaired, empty stores in downtown, and people seeking state employment, since private companies are almost nonexistent. In our city, 60% of the taxable property is owned by “not-for-profit institutions. This, of course, leaves the cost of running the city up to the middle class 40% who cannot find any work, left holding the bag.
I love western NY, but we are wondering if we made a mistake and should rethink our move. It would make us very sad to leave, but we would be joining thousands of others who were forced to make that choice. Progressive liberal thinking has all but destroyed this state. I am not sure Cuomo is the Governor that will change anything.