I admit it has been predicted more than once, that the “great urban areas” (whether they had a “mere” 50,000 people in the Middle Ages or the 5-20 million of the huge urban complexes of the 21st Century) are going to collapse and die. But maybe, just maybe, this time – with the Pandemic Panic and the accelerating withdrawal of the Fifty States from the world order of the last 75 years – it is going to happen?
It is a week of surprises. For just a few reasons.
Kristin Tate, described as a libertarian writer, has an Op-Ed piece on The Hill, that political rag that is about as pro-establishment and pro-powers-that-be as they come. In her article, she points out that New York City’s decline has accelerated during the Pandemic Panic and will continue to do so after the official end of that (whenever it will be) as people see no advantage to having to live in a stinking, polluted, overpriced, overhyped, and over-governed city.
It isn’t just people and small businesses that are either dying or leaving the city.
Large – even multinational – firms and organizations are dying or leaving. And it is inevitable that as companies and people go away, and taxes are increased on those who remain, even NGOs and the like will decide that the prestige of an NYC address isn’t worth the direct and indirect costs. And as taxes plunge and the FedGov (and the rest of New York State) refuse to pay tribute to Babylon on the Hudson, the City will deteriorate even more.
The reasons are telecommuting, the perceived dangers of living in the world center of COVID-19 deaths, cost of living, insane taxes, and more. (Assuming that the Chinese are telling the truth about Wuhan, NYC has far surpassed the death toll there. And if the Chinese ARE lying (as many of us think), NYC may STILL have more deaths, and not just relative to size. But even in NYC there are people with enough ties to elsewhere to realize how tyrannical the NYC and NYS governments have become. What a police state is was before Beer Flu, and how much more it is today.
One part of this Exodus will be, ironically, the Jews. Driven by all of the above and the rampant antisemitism exhibited by de Blasio and Cuomo, they are already fleeing – at least to Jersey and New England.
NYC is NOT alone: she discusses San Francisco and Chicago as well. They are far from the only ones. Add at least New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles, Detroit (what’s left of it), and a dozen more. And even in Flyover Country, places like St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Kansas Cities and Denver. plus many smaller satellites of those cities.
Indeed, in Minneapolis, we just found ANOTHER reason to abandon the cities: the recent inexplicable killing of a black man by four cops. A viral video showing virtually the entire incident is a strong argument for deliberate murder. It certainly justifies the protests – and riots – already roiling the city. Together with the Lockdown Rebellion, the State’s crackdown, and the critical state of the economy, it warns us it may be a long, hot summer.
The collapse and fall seems all but certain. The real question is whether these masses of humanity can recover and rise from the ashes, as they have done so many times in the past. I’m not trying to predict the future but…
It will change the entire Fifty States – and even the world. The coastal urban messes will remain important ports, but as Peter Ziehan and others have pointed out, the US does not really NEED foreign trade – and much of what we want (not need) is freighted in by air. What comes in by sea can just as easily go into a port that has only enough city behind the docks and warehouses to provide places to live and shop.
IF we believe the climate fearmongers, these coastal cities will be increasingly subject to higher tides, rising water, and especially in the East, hurricanes and superstorms.
For me as a Westerner and a lover of liberty, the big problem with the decline and even abandonment of these cities, leaving a hollow core of ports, some industrial areas, suburbs, and other debris around an inner city as bad as any “Escape” movie fiction or Gotham “No-Man’s Land.”