Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Wrecking of New York City

 From Jeffrey Tucker at the Brownstone Institute:

Here we are 19 months later. Millions are still gone. Entire skyscrapers are empty. Retail outlets are still leaving. One never knows whether the vaccine mandate is going to be enforced. The outflow of people from the city to the suburbs, then from the suburbs to Florida is continuing. Ground-floor storefronts are available for a song, with one quarter empty in lower Manhattan and one third open in major tourist areas like Herald Square. Owners of huge office buildings still pay the mortgage, electricity, and taxes but the employees are not coming back. 

Broadway is finally back and ticket sales seem solid. But other signs are not so bullish. The luxury furniture retailer ABC Carpet & Home has now filed for bankruptcy protection because of “a mass exodus of current and prospective customers leaving the city.”

My friend noticed a new sign in the subway. The old signs demanded a full face covering and staying away from people. The new sign demands that people on the subway not speak to each other. Instead, instructs the sign, people should just look at their phones. Detach from society. Be a big alienated collective. Stop with normal life, forever. 

If you live in a place like Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, or many states in the Midwest, you are reading this with a sense of bewilderment. I might as well be describing life on Mars. But I promise you, it is all real. 

In many places in the Northeast of the US, the Karens still patrol the grocery aisles, denouncing people without masks and telling people to stand further apart. The frenzy and hysteria is as intense now as ever – with people still imagining that their masks, plexiglass, and unrelenting terror somehow protects them against an enemy they cannot see. And this is after 19 months of this parade of grotesquery. 

As for New York City itself, does it have a viable future? It certainly did a year ago, even six months ago. But it is getting very late in the day. The current structure cannot last under these conditions. In a few years, we could be observing scenes out of an apocalyptic novel, with skyscrapers crumbling and criminal gangs ruling the streets. It’s a grim prospect but it is increasingly difficult to imagine conditions under which things change enough to restore the city’s greatness. 

I was in midtown Manhattan on March 12, 2020, the last moment before the beginning of the end. I had gone into the city with a friend to do a television interview. We had two more friends set to arrive the next day. We had tickets to a jazz club that Friday night, and all four of us were set to catch two Broadway shows the next day. I could tell upon arrival that Thursday morning that something was very wrong. The traffic flows were out, not in. People were scrambling through the streets as if preparing for a storm. 

Sensing something very wrong, I made a call to tell my friends not to bother catching the flights to the city. Something was up, and they could be in danger. I knew from reading the federal regulations that at any point, governments could invoke their quarantine power. We could be grabbed off the trains, even out of cabs, and rounded up and put into Covid camps. 

I told people this at the time, and people said I was losing my mind. Something like this could never happen in America. (Read more.)


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