It is sometimes said that cities do not die natural deaths. Rather, they commit suicide. They fail to maintain essential infrastructure, like letting their harbors and channels silt up. Or accept things like lead and sewage in their water supply, or overloading it. Or failing to defend themselves sufficiently against the barbarian, savage invaders and destroyers. Or they fail to keep up with technology or prevent the destruction of their immediate environment, or take proper action against truly nasty diseases and epidemics. (The Black Death kind, NOT the Coronavirus type.)
Or… Some cities destroy themselves through their arrogance and abuse of their hinterlands and other cities – or even of their own people.
And some cities destroy themselves through excessive, crushing regulations and taxation.
Now, many cities kill themselves but then new cities rise on the same ground. The location is too useful, too valuable. That is cities like Rome and London and Mexico City.
But some are destroyed and never reestablished: Ninevah, Babylon, Antioch of Syria, Chichen Itza, Nauvoo, Cahokia. (FYI, Chichen Itza was a Maya city in central America; Nauvoo was an LDS municipality in Illinois before the “Mormans” were driven out of that State; and Cahokia, also in Illinois, was a pre-Columbian Mississippian AmerInd city. And no, the evil white colonialists did not destroy it: it was found by French and Anglo-American explorers as abandoned ruins.
We may be seeing some of the same things today. Of course, we don’t know HOW much modern cities may destroy themselves, or be destroyed. Or whether they will be revived sometime in the future. Detroit is an example of a modern basket case: seemingly doomed by its own actions. But we see signs in many other places. Consider Oakland. Or Portland, Oregon. Minneapolis (and Saint Paul). Or a slew of cities in the Rust Belt.
But the best example of how modern cities are being destroyed is probably New York City itself. With the full aid of the pitiful excuse for a State government in Albany and – especially with the new regime – the FedGov in DC.
New York City is on the rocks – much worse in many ways than in the aftermath of Bloody Tuesday, 9-11. Estimates range up to a million people who have fled the City and its immediate environs because of the Pandemic, the Panic, and the Lockdown. Millions more commuters just plain never go into Manhattan and even other parts of the City on a daily basis: they now work at home. Sales taxes (in all the various forms NYC and NYS have invented and adopted over the years) have plunged. City services are more abysmal than ever – and the businesses that provide essential services (like trash companies) have seen their revenue dry up. (There just isn’t as much trash anymore and their customers can’t afford to pay for it!)
But now Albany wants to make things even worse, and not just for NYC. The Democrats control both the Senate and the Assembly, and these idiotic lawmakers are proposing $7 billion dollars in new state taxes.
Now, on NYS’s scale, that doesn’t seem too much. After all, the State spent nearly $200 billion in the current budget year. But we all know the fable of the straw that broke the camel’s back.
What Albany is pushing for is higher and higher taxes: levies on the incomes of wealthy New Yorkers (including those who have FLED New York in recent decades!), more money gouged out of estates (death taxes) and corporations. And as the Tax Foundation pointed out, New Yorkers already are paying the highest State and local taxes in the nation – and most of the world!: 14%! And it isn’t just the wealthy that are shelling that kind of moola out. The AVERAGE sales tax that EVERY New Yorker pays (unless they steal the stuff) is 8.48%. Although the State sales tax is just 4% (and they boast about how low it is compared to ’86.5% of other states,’ when you add local sales taxes the maximum some New Yorkers pay is a staggering 8.875%. Getting close to one dollar in ten. Even for the low income, poorest people. THAT is on top of Federal taxes – and other NON-sales tax levies.
Is it any wonder that even in NY, businesses are worried? A letter sent to Cuomo by 250 New York-based business stated in part: “Ultimately, these new taxes may trigger a major loss of economic activity and revenues as companies are pressured to relocate operations to where the talent wants to live and work.”
Is this a threat? Or just an attempt to get Albany (and City Hall in NYC) to see the reality? One analyst and correspondent notes: “Companies such as JetBlue, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are warning that they will relocate some or all of their remaining business operations outside New York City if the tax hikes are approved.”
New York City is destroying itself. It is tearing the economic heart out of the State, the region, and even the Fifty States. The process seems inevitable. Do we think (and hope and pray) that OTHER cities might learn a lesson from NYC?
Don’t count on it: parasites are just that: ultimately, they destroy their hosts. Government, at all levels, is a parasite. Their host? The people, the economy, the society. Us.