Is NYC dead forever? - Page 4 - Politics | PoFo

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By Doug64
And there’s this from London:

The commuters are revolting

    The cubicle drones are revolting. Having been encouraged to work from home during lockdown, the hordes who packed the pre-coronavirus commuter trains are dragging their heels about returning to work. And the official reaction to this phenomenon betrays how thin our Government’s commitment really is to the much-vaunted ‘levelling’ agenda.

    Working from home has not all been idyllic, of course. Not everyone has a spare room to use as office space, or a garden where the kids can let off steam. The burden of trying to homeschool fractious children while remote working has disproportionately fallen on mothers, with many risking their jobs by requesting furlough in order to cope. There’s been sketchy internet, a 40% spike in divorce enquiries and skyrocketing domestic violence.

    No doubt those for whom the workplace is sanctuary, social life and home from home have rushed to return to its embrace. But given that one early summer survey showed that 90% of workers would rather not rush back, and another July study revealed that only a third of British workers had returned to the office, clearly this isn’t everyone. It shouldn’t come as a surprise: for many — and especially for commuters — working lifestyles have become increasingly unbearable.

    Before we embarked upon our mass national experiment in remote working, the centrifugal power of our cities seemed a law of nature. Anyone with ambition had to be physically present where the jobs were — and that meant, chiefly, London. Caught up in that trend, for a while I took the train from Bedfordshire to London five days a week for work. It was horrible.

    When you commute, there’s a relentless, conveyor-belt feeling to every working day: out of the house shortly after 6am, the daily worry you’ll miss your train, fighting for the last station parking spot, fighting for the last train seat, fighting to get on your connecting train when you get to town. By the time you make it to work, you’ve been fighting for two hours, and you know you’ll have to do it all over again at the other end of the day.

    There’s no time to do anything at home except make a quick meal and collapse, exhausted, in front of the telly. If I tried to do anything else at all in the evenings, I was running a chronic sleep deficit. I was constantly ill. With socialising and exercising time consumed by travel, I piled on weight and lost touch with friends. In the winter, when the barest hint of normal seasonal phenomena such as ice or wet leaves makes the trains curl up and die, I’d often enjoy an unscheduled hour or so added to my journey time, usually whenever it was least convenient. For all these privileges, I was charged close to £10,000 a year by train companies whose services were overcrowded and unreliable.

    I was one of around a million commuters paying a version of these personal costs, for a middling seat at London’s economic banquet. This banquet, while plentiful for many, has had large-scale political costs too. Back in 2016, the Brexit vote revealed a country bitterly split between the urban, liberal and cosmopolitan winners of globalisation, and (as repeatedly implied by that august demographic) globalisation’s reactionary, provincial thicko losers.

    Our political class has been murmuring for a while now about how terribly sad it is that cultures and demographics are polarising between urban centre and provincial periphery. They mostly looked carefully past the bottom line, which is that London has enjoyed its pre-eminent position by concentrating the lion’s share of Britain’s ambition and intelligence in its penumbra.

    The advantages of this to the winners in the arrangement have been obvious: a bottomless supply of talent, a global reputation for cultural dynamism and apparently copper-bottomed property prices. The costs, in political polarisation and the ever more extreme nature of commuter lifestyles, were either ignored or treated as unfortunate but inevitable side-effects of the otherwise positive “London effect”.

    Borne aloft by his landslide victory last December, Boris promised to heal the nation’s economic and geographic divides by “levelling up” the rest of the country — a phrasing that assumes the way forward is to encourage everywhere else to ascend to London’s giddy heights.

    Only now, the boom in remote working means talent and disposable income no longer needs to be physically present in London five days a week. There’s been a stampede to get out of the metropolis, with a surge in enquiries for more spacious rural properties — especially those with space to work from home. That could be great for the provinces; but it also means that the “levelling” Boris promised may turn out to mean less building on London’s success than ending its stranglehold on the nation’s workforce.

    I don’t pretend to have been an irreplaceable loss to the capital, but for me, back in 2016, it was having a baby that tipped the balance. I couldn’t think of a London job I wanted to do badly enough, or that seemed likely to pay me enough, to warrant leaving my infant with someone else 12 hours a day while I returned to the treadmill. Once I calculated that the London salary premium is consumed by the cost of commuting for all but the highest earners, the whole arrangement just seemed mad.

    Now, having demonstrated that remote working is fine at least some of the time, much of commuter-belt Britain seems to be making similar calculations. If your commute is 90 minutes either way, working from home two or three days a week amounts to half a day of family or leisure time clawed back every single week. That’s a whole extra weekend’s worth of free time, every month. Who in their right mind would relinquish that save under duress?

    Duress is coming, though. Early in August, US bank Morgan Stanley published research that stopped barely short of calling British workers lazy. When I read the headline British workers more reluctant to return to work than Europeans, my first thought was “wait, who said it was a competition?” But from the bankers’ point of view, when cubicle drones boycott their cubicle, home-working means a deserted City of London. And that, in turn, means a struggling commercial property market, as businesses scale down their office sizes or scramble for premises without germ-laden shared lifts.

    A source tells me workers in financial services have been saying privately for some time that they could do their jobs from home with no loss of productivity. Now that the virus has proven them right, the firms they work for are panicking about their exposure to an urban commercial property market that’s looking shaky to say the least. No wonder Morgan Stanley (whose 2019 advice on the London commercial property market was bullish) is now looking for ways to guilt the plebs out of their home offices and back into London, by talking up some imaginary competition over which nation can resume the rat race with more Stakhanovite fervour.

    It’s not just banks: the Government’s return-to-work mood music has now shifted from friendly encouragement, to a more threatening tone. When we hear unnamed official sources whipping up fear of job losses among the stubbornly home-working commuter class, we should remember that London’s skyscraper boom is itself a legacy of Boris Johnson’s years as mayor, with a glut of such applications waved through toward the end of his mayoral term. Perhaps we should not be surprised if Johnson now shows a reluctance to embrace a variant of the “levelling” agenda that would leave all those shiny skyscrapers standing empty.

    Nor is it just commercial property. The cubicle-drone rebellion echoes all the way down the metropolitan economy. Last week, Pret A Manger announced it was cutting 2,800 jobs, as commuters and office workers stay home instead. Pizza Express, Byron Burger and Frankie & Benny’s have also announced job losses.

    Beyond the “lunchtime economy”, countless small-business owners depend on the daily influx of commuters, from masseurs and City gyms to dry cleaners and in-office yoga instructors. Such businesses often have little working capital. One City-based physiotherapist reports turnover currently at 20% of the usual figure. If London ceases to demand workers’ physical presence every day, the consequence will be a tsunami of pain through all levels of the capital’s economy, from property giants down to sole traders and baristas. And it’s one thing telling Morgan Stanley to “take the hit”; if we’re facing a major economic rebalancing away from London, we’ll also have to face the human cost of that rebalancing on countless small businesses.

    And yet, this human cost was “market forces” when it was the provinces declining toward despair while the cities flourished. Globalisation has winners and losers, we were told; to make an omelette you have to break eggs. So you’d think there might be the odd voice arguing that shifting some of London’s talent and spending power out to live in the provinces is at least a plausible tradeoff.

    Before coronavirus, London was home to around a third of all the coffee shops in Britain. No one is advancing the possibility that losing some of these might not represent an absolute loss to the national coffee-shop total, so much as a shift in daytime disposable income to suburban or small-town locations. It might even mean the opening of new coffee shops in locations where they previously weren’t viable.

    But it seems as though, should we wish to make omelettes, it’s only okay to break provincial eggs. The golden egg that is London’s economy is not available for culinary purposes. Early signs from our political leaders indicate that “levelling” is only a political option if it’s ‘up’, toward a London whose apex position stays unassailable. But if that “levelling” turns out to be a tradeoff, at London’s expense, we can expect the revolt of the cubicle drones to face brisk Government counter-measures.
We all know the really insane people are the ones who fuck and have fun. Not the ones who look forward to an angry deity destroying the world to spite everyone they don't like. This is just common sense.
It really did take less than ten years to go from "love is love" to "legalize all drugs, kill police, decriminalize pedophilia." California is leading the way on that last one with a new law about legalizing anal sex with a "willing" child within 10 years of age, so now a 19 year-old can legally sodomize a 9 year-old boy in that state.
Oh cool, Wulfschilde is repeating dumbass Qanon level bullshit now. What a surprise from the well adjusted man who dreams of setting all urban centers ablaze and murdering their inhabitants in a rural uprising.

The bill basically mirrors an existing law that gives judges discretion over whether or not to place someone on the sex-offender registry if they have sex with a minor 14 years or older and are within 10 years of age. It currently only applied to penile-vaginal sex, and did not offer the same discretion to other sex acts such as oral or anal. It is still illegal to have sex with minors, the hair splitting comes on whether or not the offender is placed on the registry.

From a Guardian article on the subject:

Wiener’s proposed law dealt with people who are convicted of having non-forcible sex with minors above the age of 14 and who are themselves no more than 10 years older than the minor. Judges in such cases were able to exercise discretion when deciding whether or not to place a convicted offender on the registry if the sex act was penile-vaginal sex but not if it was anal or oral sex or non-penile sexual penetration. The bizarre status quo stemmed from a 2015 California supreme court ruling which reasoned that if the victim in such a case became pregnant, placing the offender on the registry would make it harder for them to provide for the child.

To Wiener, this inequity was part of the legacy of the criminalization of LGBTQ+ people. “It used to be much more explicit and obvious in terms of anti-sodomy laws,” he said. “This is one example where the judge can keep straight kids off the registry, but the gay kids have to go on the registry. It’s mortifying that in 2020, in California, this discrimination continues to exist in our penal code.”

SB145 was, essentially, a clean-up bill that would allow judges to exercise discretion in all such cases, regardless of the sex act involved. It did not change the criminality of sex with a minor (which remains illegal) nor did it change the criminal penalties for breaking the law. The bill was introduced in January 2019 and had the official support of LGBTQ+ groups, prosecutors, police chiefs, public defenders, civil liberties groups and advocates for survivors of sexual assault.

Basically, in the case of a heterosexual 17 and 20 year old couple who attended high school at the same time the judge could choose not to place the 20 year old on the sex offender registry. This is not the case with homosexual couples, where the older one would automatically be placed on the registry. In both cases, the older partner would still be criminally charged.

Just a reminder: Wulfschilde had to figure out backward that cities are centers for trade, which is why they buy agricultural and resource extraction products from rural areas. He fantasizes about a rural uprising where all the ranchers, farmers, miners, etc. rise up and kill their customer base by starving them to death because I guess they hate money? As you can tell, it's not a very well thought out fantasy.

Btw Wulfschilde this would have taken you all of two minutes of Googling to figure out. So maybe think about not getting your information from Kek Patriot Pizza Gator or whatever next time.
Edit: On second thought, I don't need to respond to your fantasies about what I supposedly want to do.

As for the pedophilia law. I did get the ages wrong, still, a 24 year-old having homosexual anal sex with a 14 year-old sounds like pedophilia to me. Seriously, consider what you are trying to split hairs about here. "Cis 24 year olds weren't going on the sex offender registry for having sex with a 14 year old so now the gay ones won't either." This is in the context where they also decriminalized child prostitution, reduced knowingly giving HIV to someone down to a misdemeanor, etc.

So, a gay HIV-positive 24 year-old man could literally pay a 14 year-old boy for butt sex, deliberately infecting him with HIV and it would be a misdemeanor. But this doesn't matter because you've convinced yourself that the guys you argue with on the internet want to kill everyone :excited:

I mean really, I did Google this just to confirm the ages and there was some media SOB story where the author of the bill got death threats just because he made it legal to butt-fuck 14 year-old boys. Gee, wow, I have so much sympathy for him now because death threats are not appropriate in this case.
It's up to the judge's discretion about whether or not they're put on the sex offender registry. They are still being found guilty of statutory rape in this case, and in California the prosecutor can charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on a combination of circumstances (being within 3 years of age of each other being one factor) or their own discretion.

I'm glad you Googled it to look up the ages, and the did the barest effort, but you got everything else wrong and added some homophobia on top. Good job, brain genius. And again, since you are a massively gullible fuckup who apparently gets their news from randos on Facebook with Pepe avs, here is the childhood prostitution law you are referring to. From NBC News:

SB 1322, he added, "bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so."

And that's true — the law does state that minors won't be treated as criminals if they are caught under such circumstances. But state Democrats say that distinction was necessary so that the children aren't being blamed or punished for their situation.

They are instead to be treated as victims who can be placed into a safe environment by the Department of Social Services, keeping them out of the criminal justice system and potentially off the streets again forced into prostitution, said state Sen. Holly Mitchell, who introduced SB 1322.

Essentially, it prevents law enforcement from charging minors with solicitation and loitering, instead directing them to social services. Anyone soliciting a minor is still charged.

Unless you think sex-trafficked minors have better outcomes when treated as criminals? Is that what you want? You want to put children forced into sex work in jail? Thank God we have ill-informed moral panicking idiots around to ensure that child prostitutes are treated as criminals because they get all their news from people repeating Infowars talking points on Facebook.

Also here is you fantasizing about some weird situation where red states apparently decide to form agricultural fiefdoms to defend their corn and cattle as they watch the cities burn down:

The truth is that economics are not just your paper money. None of these large cities are self-sustaining, they are completely reliant on imports. If there was any sort of breakdown in economic exchange the producers would suddenly start price gouging on necessary goods like food, they also own all of the guns, what the fuck are blue states supposed to do? All of their upsides exist only on paper, you'd burn everything down and start eating each other in a month.

You might remember it from the previous page of this thread.
By Doug64
While all the attention is on the fallout from RBG’s death, it’s not the only thing going on:

Big Apple downsized: New Yorkers ready to leave their city

    The Big Apple could soon get down-sized. Well-heeled New Yorkers continue to grapple with the challenges posed by life in New York City under Democratic leadership and trying circumstances. New research from the Manhattan Institute, a think tank espousing free market ideas, reveals a very glum situation in good old Gotham.

    The organization cites the grim reality among residents who earn $100,000 or more. They make up 80% of New York City’s income-tax revenue, placing the city government at risk to “tax-base erosion.” Personal income tax, in fact accounts for 22% of the city’s overall take in tax revenues. Many residents have had just about enough.

    “We found that 44% of high-income New Yorkers say that they have considered relocating outside the city in the past four months, with cost of living cited as the biggest reason. More than half of high-income New Yorkers are working entirely from home, and nearly two-thirds believe that this will be the new normal for the city. Of those considering leaving New York City, 30% say that the possibility of working remotely makes it more likely that they will move,” the analysis reports, citing the institute’s succinct new poll of high earners.

    “Nearly two in five New Yorkers making six-figure salaries or higher believe that the city is headed in the wrong direction. These high-earning residents report a steep drop in the quality of life since March, with satisfaction cut in half since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the research said.

    • 44% of New York City residents with incomes over $100,000 have considered leaving the city in the past four months.
    • 69% of this group cited the cost of living in the city, 47% cited crime.
    • 46% now want a “non-urban lifestyle”; 34% worry about coronavirus in the city.
    • 30% favor working from home from “some other location”; 15% cite difficulties with child care.
Finally. The insane Moonie newspaper is confirming my confirmation bias. New York is dead. How can it possibly survive without its investment bankers?

And once they move to my rural shithole they will assimilate 100% and not change anything in any way, and their large pay checks will have no gentrifying effect upon real estate values or property taxes. The cities are dead, people, and we have won.
By Doug64
Another look at the future of New York City that's a little too large to post here, but an interesting read: The Panic Attack of the Power Brokers
My home state is still mostly locked down, almost a year after this virus presumably came into existence.

Even though the dialogue is "if it saves only one life", we still don't have lockdowns against fatty foods (heart disease kills 14x as many people), a war on driving under the influence (drunk driving kills 1 person every 50 minutes in the US) or swimming pools.

My question at this point is, if Trump wins, what if these places don't fully open up again for another four years :lol: At other levels of technology these cities would have been physically destroyed and burned to the ground a long time ago based upon who the inhabitants are.
By Doug64
It's been awhile, but the reality hasn't changed:

United Van Lines’ National Migration Study Reveals Where and Why Americans Moved in 2020

United Van Lines today released the company’s 44th Annual National Migration Study, revealing in 2020, Americans continued to move westbound and southbound – and the COVID-19 pandemic factored into and accelerated many of those decisions to move.

According to the study, which tracks the company’s exclusive data for customers’ 2020 state-to-state migration patterns, Idaho was the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration (70%) among states experiencing more than 250 moves* with United Van Lines for the second consecutive year. Topping the list of outbound locations was New Jersey (70% outbound), which has held the spot for the past three years.

Among the top inbound states were South Carolina (64%), Oregon (63%), South Dakota (62%) and Arizona (62%), while New York (67%), Illinois (67%), Connecticut (63%) and California (59%) were among the states experiencing the largest exoduses.

United Van Lines also conducts a survey examining the reasons behind Americans’ migration patterns as a companion to the study’s findings. This year’s survey results indicated 40% of Americans who moved did so for a new job or job transfer (down from prior years), and more than one in four (27%) moved to be closer to family (which is significantly up over prior years).

Data from March to October 2020 also revealed the COVID-19 pandemic influenced Americans’ decisions to move. For customers who cited COVID-19 as an influence on their move in 2020, the top reasons associated with COVID-19 were concerns for personal and family health and wellbeing (60%); desires to be closer to family (59%); 57% moved due to changes in employment status or work arrangement (including the ability to work remotely); and 53% desired a lifestyle change or improvement of quality of life.

“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist and professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “However, we’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life.”

For retirement, Delaware experienced more inbound moves than any other state at 41%, followed by Florida (39%) and South Carolina (38.5%). Minnesota led the list of states people moved to for family (41%), and Wyoming was the top state for a lifestyle change with an inbound percentage upwards of 29. More people migrated to Nebraska (72%) for a new job or job transfer than any other state, and more people moved to Idaho (11%) due to the cost of living than any other state.

Throughout the pandemic in 2020, major metropolitan areas and hotspots, such as New York City (72%), Newark (72%) and Chicago (69%), experienced greater outbound migration, while lower-density cities like Wilmington, North Carolina (79%) and Boise, Idaho (75%) saw high levels of inbound moves.

“Each year, our United Van Lines study provides critical insights into broader migration patterns and Americans’ moving motivations. As the largest household goods mover in the country, United Van Lines’ data-driven insights uniquely point to national trends and, this year particularly, the resounding impact of COVID-19 on moving choices and the moving industry,” said Eily Cummings, director of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “For example, as more people experience job and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic like remote working, we’re seeing they have more flexibility in where they can live – many choosing to move from urban to more rural areas.”
Moving In

The top inbound states (with 250 moves or more) of 2020 were:

South Carolina
South Dakota
North Carolina

New to the 2020 top inbound list are Tennessee at No. 7 and Alabama at No. 8, both with inbound percentages of 60, and Arkansas at No. 10 with 59% inbound.

Moving Out

The top outbound states for 2020 were:

New Jersey
New York
North Dakota


Several states saw nearly the same number of residents moving inbound as outbound. New Hampshire and Montana are among these “balanced states.”

*Although Vermont experienced the highest percentage of inbound moves overall, United Van Lines moved fewer than 250 families in and out of the state. The inbound and outbound rankings in the 2020 study only reflect states with 250 moves or more.

Since 1977, United Van Lines annually tracks migration patterns on a state-by-state basis. The 2020 study is based on household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. and ranks states based off the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state, “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference between inbound and outbound is negligible. To access the study details and creative assets, use the link to the press kit at the top of the page.

There's an interactive map with inbound/outbound percentages plus percentages for why people moved, income, and age ranges. In the case of New York state, 33.1% of the moves were inbound to 66.9% outbound. The state has 13.24% moving in that make less than $50,000 a year, to 6.69% moving out; for those making $150,000+, it's 39.74% moving in to 45.04% moving out. New York City was even worse, naturally, with 72% outbound to 28% inbound--almost three times as many people moving out as moving in.
Just confirming NYC is dead. Reactionaries called it. A city that is larger than most nations is an empty, ghost riddled town. You were all right.
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By Rancid
Reactionaries should be scared shitless that so many people from more liberal cities and states are moving to places like Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. They should want NYC to not "die" :lol:
By Doug64
@Rancid, you’re assuming that the ideological demographics of those leaving matches the state as a whole. If Texas’s experience is anything to go by, that’s not necessarily how it’s working. In 2018 a CNN exit poll found that O’Rourke beat Cruz 51-48 among native Texans, but Cruz won new Texas residents 57-42. It seems that Conservative residents of Blue states are more motivated to move out already, so they need less of a push.
Rancid wrote:Reactionaries should be scared shitless that so many people from more liberal cities and states are moving to places like Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. They should want NYC to not "die" :lol:

Yeah they're not very good at thinking things out. Git ready to be gentrified out you neighbhorhoood by the newest Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, fuckos. If you don't leave because of the rent hikes then the angry people with rolling pins will surely surely convince you
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By Rancid
Doug64 wrote:@Rancid, you’re assuming that the ideological demographics of those leaving matches the state as a whole. If Texas’s experience is anything to go by, that’s not necessarily how it’s working. In 2018 a CNN exit poll found that O’Rourke beat Cruz 51-48 among native Texans, but Cruz won new Texas residents 57-42. It seems that Conservative residents of Blue states are more motivated to move out already, so they need less of a push.

The articles I've seen say's the liberals are bringing in their views. This is happening in Georgia too, and we've seen what has just happened there.
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By Oxymoron
Rancid wrote:The articles I've seen say's the liberals are bringing in their views. This is happening in Georgia too, and we've seen what has just happened there.

yeah like a toilet overflowing the shit gets spread around :lol: and the grown ups will have to come in and clean the mess.
User avatar
By jimjam
Doug64 wrote:I remember a commercial I saw years ago, with a man getting excited about an empty field in the middle of nowhere (and therefore cheap) because it was up the road from an airfield and had telephone lines along the road, and therefore had everything he needed to build and run a business. It was premature at the time ... but maybe not now. Altucher is right about Before Bandwidth and After Bandwidth, but we’ve been coasting—infrastructure is already set up for the old way of doing things, changing costs money and no one is quite sure if it’ll work, we’re comfortable with the way things are ... until suddenly, we aren’t.

I came across a column self-posted by a former and maybe future resident of New York City, who is afraid the world he has lived in for most of his life may never be coming back:


    I love NYC. When I first moved to NYC it was a dream come true. Every corner was like a theater production happening right in front of me. So much personality, so many stories.

    Every subculture I loved was in NYC. I could play chess all day and night. I could go to comedy clubs. I could start any type of business. I could meet people. I had family, friends, opportunities. No matter what happened to me, NYC was a net I could fall back on and bounce back up.

    Now it's completely dead. "But NYC always always bounces back." No. Not this time. "But NYC is the center of the financial universe. Opportunities will flourish here again." Not this time.

    "NYC has experienced worse". No it hasn't.

    A Facebook group formed a few weeks ago that was for people who were planning a move and wanted others to talk to and ask advice from. Within two or three days it had about 10,000 members.

    Every day I see more and more posts, "I've been in NYC forever but I guess this time I have to say goodbye." Every single day I see those posts. I've been screenshotting them for my scrapbook.

    Three of the most important reasons to move to NYC:

    - business opportunities

    - culture

    - food

    and, of course, friends. But if everything I say below is even 1/10 of what I think then there won't be as many opportunities to make friends. =


    Midtown Manhattan, the center of business in NYC, is empty. Even though people can go back to work, famous office buildings like the Time Life skyscraper is still 90% empty. Businesses realized that they don't need their employees at the office.

    In fact, they realize they are even more productive without everyone back to the office. The Time Life building can handle 8,000 workers. Now it maybe has 500 workers back.

    "What do you mean?" a friend of mine said to me when I told him 'Midtown should be called 'Ghost Town', "I'm in my office right now!"

    "What are you doing there?"

    "Packing up," he said and laughed, "I'm shutting it down." He works in the entertainment business.

    Another friend of mine works at a major investment bank as a managing director. Before the pandemic he was at the office every day, sometimes working from 6am to 10pm.

    Now he lives in Phoenix, Arizona. "As of June," he told me, "I had never even been to Phoenix." And then he moved there. He does all his meetings on Zoom.

    I was talking to a book editor who has been out of the city since early March. "We've been all working fine. I'm not sure why we would need to go back to the office."

    One friend of mine, Derek Halpern, was convinced he'd stay. He put up a Facebook post the other day saying he might be changing his mind. Derek wrote:

      "In the last week:

      * I watched a homeless person lose his mind and start attacking random pedestrians. Including spitting on, throwing stuff at, and swatting.

      * Ive seen several single parents with a child asking for money for food. And then, when someone gave them food, tossed the food right back at them.

      * I watched a man yell racist slurs at every single race of people while charging / then stopping before going too far.

      And worse.

      I’ve been living in New York City for about 10 years. It has definitely gotten worse and there’s no end in sight.

      My favorite park is Madison Square Park. About a month ago a 19 year old girl was shot and killed across the street.

      I don’t think I have an answer but I do think it’s clear: it’s time to move out of NYC.

      I’m not the only one who feels this way, either. In my building alone, the rent has plummeted almost 30 percent - more people are moving away than ever before.


      It’s not goodbye yet. But a life long New Yorker is thinkng about it."

    I pick his post out but I could've picked one of dozens of others.

    People say, "NYC has been through worse" or "NYC has always come back."

    No and no.

    First, when has NYC been through worse?

    Even in the 1970s, and through the 80s, when NYC was going bankrupt, and even when it was the crime capital of the US or close to it, it was still the capital of the business world (meaning: it was the primary place young people would go to build wealth and find opportunity), it was culturally on top of its game - home to artists, theater, media, advertising, publishing, and it was probably the food capital of the US.

    NYC has never been locked down for five months. Not in any pandemic, war, financial crisis, never. In the middle of the polio epidemic, when little kids (including my mother) were going paralyzed or dying (my mother ended up with a bad leg), NYC didn't go through this.

    This is not to say what should have been done or should not have been done. That part is over. Now we have to deal with what IS.

    In early March, many people (not me), left NYC when they felt it would provide safety from the virus and they no longer needed to go to work and all the restaurants were closed. People figured, "I'll get out for a month or two and then come back."

    They are all still gone.

    And then in June, during rioting and looting a second wave of NYC-ers (this time me) left. I have kids. Nothing was wrong with the protests but I was a little nervous when I saw videos of rioters after curfew trying to break into my building.

    Many people left temporarily but there were also people leaving permanently. Friends of mine moved to Nashville, Miami, Austin, Denver, Salt Lake City, Austin, Dallas, etc.

    Now a third wave of people are leaving. But they might be too late. Prices are down 30-50% on both rentals and sales no matter what real estate people tell you. And rentals soaring in the second and third-tier cities.

    I'm temporarily, although maybe permanently, in South Florida now. I also got my place sight unseen.

    Robyn was looking at listings around Miami and then she saw an area we had never been to before. We found three houses we liked.

    She called the real estate agent. Place #1. Just rented that morning 50% higher than the asking price. Place #2. Also rented (New Yorkers - "they came from New York for three hours, saw the place, got it, went back to pack."). Place #3. "Available."

    "We'll take it!" The first time we physically saw it was when we flew down and moved in.

    "This is temporary, right?" I confirmed with Robyn. But...I don't know. I'm starting to like the sun a little bit. I mean, when it's behind the shades. And when I am in air conditioning.

    But let's move on for a second:

    Summary: Businesses are remote and they aren't returning to the office. And it's a death spiral: the longer offices remain empty, the longer they will remain empty.

    In 2005, a hedge fund manager was visiting my office and said, "In Manhattan you practically trip over opportunities in the street."

    Now the streets are empty.


    I co-own a comedy club, Standup NY, on 78th and Broadway. I'm very very proud of the club and grateful to my fellow owners Dani Zoldan and Gabe Waldman and our manager Jon Boreamayo. It's a great club. It's been around since 1986 and before that it was a theater.

    One time, Henry Winkler stopped by to come on my podcast. He was the one who told me it had been a theater.

    He said, "I grew up two doors down from here and used to perform in here as a kid. Then I went out to LA to be the Fonz and now I'm back here, full circle, to be on your podcast. This place has history." Things like that happen in NYC.

    In the past year, Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Tracy Morgan, and many others have been on the stage.

    It's only one step to get on the stage. Jim Gaffigan fell flat on his face while he was walking up the steps. The next day, on Seth Myers late night show, Jim said, "I failed at the one thing you're supposed to do - I couldn't stand up!"

    I love the club. Before the pandemic I would perform there throughout the week in addition to many other clubs around the city and in the past few months, clubs in: Chicago, Denver, San Jose, LA, Cincinnati, all over the Netherlands, and other places.

    I miss it.

    We had a show in May. An outdoor show. Everyone social distanced. But we were shut down by the police. I guess we were superspreading humor during a very serious time.

    The club is doing something fun: they are doing shows outside in the Park. This is a great idea.

    In a time like this, businesses need to give to the community, not complain and not take.

    That said, we have no idea when we will open. Nobody has any idea. And the longer we close, the less chance we will ever reopen profitably.

    Broadway is closed until at least the Spring. Lincoln Center is closed. All the museums are closed.

    Forget about the tens of thousands of jobs lost in these cultural centers. Forget even about the millions of dollars of tourist and tourist-generated revenues lost by the closing of these centers.

    There are thousands of performers, producers, artists, and the entire ecosystem of art, theater, production, curation, that surrounds these cultural centers. People who have worked all of their lives for the right to be able to perform even once on Broadway whose lives and careers have been put on hold.

    I get it. There was a pandemic.

    But the question now is: what happens next? And, given the uncertainty (since there is no known answer), and given the fact that people, cities, economies, loathe uncertainty, we simply don't know the answer and that's a bad thing for New York City.

    Right now, Broadway is closed "at least until early 2021" and then there are supposed to be a series of "rolling dates" by which it will reopen.

    But is that true? We simply don't know. And what does that mean? And will it have to be only 25% capacity? Broadway shows can't survive with that! And will performers, writers, producers, investors, lenders, stagehands, landlords, etc wait a year?

    Same for the museums, Lincoln Center, and the thousand other cultural reasons millions come to New York City every year.

    The hot dog stands outside of Lincoln Center? Finished.

    C) FOOD

    My favorite restaurant is closed for good. Ok, let's go to my second favorite. Closed for good. Third favorite, closed for good.

    I thought the PPP was supposed to help. No? What about emergency relief? No. Stimulus checks? Unemployment? No and no. Ok, my fourth favorite, or what about that place I always ordered delivery from? No and no.

    Around Late May I took walks and saw that many places were boarded up. Ok, I thought, because the protesting was leading to looting and the restaurants were protecting themselves. They'll be ok.

    Looking closer I'd see the signs. For Lease. For Rent. For whatever.

    Before the pandemic, the average restaurant had only 16 days of cash on hand. Some had more (McDonalds), and some had less (the local mom-and-pop Greek diner).

    Yelp estimates that 60% of restaurants around the United States have closed.

    My guess is more than 60% will be closed in New York City but who knows.

    Someone said to me, "Well, people will want to come in now and start their own restaurants! There is less competition."

    I don't think you understand how restaurants work.

    Restaurants want other restaurants nearby. That's why there's one street in Manhattan (46th St between 8th and 9th) called Restaurant Row. It's all restaurants. That's why there's another street called "Little India" and another one called "Koreatown".

    Restaurants happen in clusters and then people say, "Let's go out to eat" and even if they don't know where they want to eat they go to the area where all the restaurants are.

    If the restaurants are no longer clustered, fewer people go out to eat (they are on the fence about where so they elect to stay home). Restaurants breed more restaurants.

    And again, what happens to all the employees who work at these restaurants? They are gone. They left New York City. Where did they go? I know a lot of people who went to Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, upstate, Indiana, etc - back to live with their parents or live with friends or live cheaper. They are gone and gone for good.

    And what person wakes up today and says, "I can't wait to set up a pizza place in the location where 100,000 other pizza places just closed down." People are going to wait awhile and see. They want to make sure the virus is gone, or there's a vaccine, or there's a profitable business model.

    Or...even worse.


    If building owners and landlords lose their prime tenants (the store fronts on the bottom floor, the offices on the middle floors, the well-to-do on the top floors, etc) then they go out of business.

    And what happens when they go out of business?

    Nothing actually. And that's the bad news.

    People who would have rented or bought say, "Hmmm, everyone is saying NYC is heading back to the 1970s, so even though prices might be 50% lower than they were a year ago, I think I will wait a bit more. Better safe than sorry!"

    And then with everyone waiting... prices go down. So people see prices go down and they say, "Good thing I waited. But what happens if I wait even more!" And they wait and then prices go down more.

    This is called a deflationary spiral. People wait. Prices go down. Nobody really wins. Because the landlords or owners go broke. Less money gets spent on the city. Nobody moves in so there is no motion in the markets. And people already owning in the area and can afford to hang on, have to wait longer for a return of restaurants, services, etc that they were used to.

    Well, will prices go down low enough everyone buys?

    Answer: Maybe. Maybe not. Some people can afford to hang on but not afford to sell. So they wait. Other people will go bankrupt and there will be litigation, which creates other problems for real estate in the area. And the big borrowers and lenders may need a bailout of some sort or face mass bankruptcy. Who knows what will happen?


    There are almost 600,000 college students spread out through NYC. From Columbia to NYC to Baruch, Fordham, St. Johns, etc.

    Will they require remote learning? Will kids be on campus? It turns out: a little bit of both. Some colleges are waiting a semester to decide, some are half and half, some are optional.

    But we know this - there is uncertainty and there is hybrid. I don't know of any college fully coming back right away.

    That's ok, you might say, so in a semester or two it might be fine.

    Not so fast. Let's say just 100,000 of those 600,000 don't return to school and decide not to rent an apartment in New York City. That's a lot of apartments that will go empty.

    That's a lot of landlords who will not be able to pay their own bills. Many bought those student apartments as a way to make a living. So now it ripples back to the landlords, to the support staff, to the banks, to the professors, etc.

    In other words, we don't know. But it's going to be a lot worse before it's better.


    Yes it does. I lived three blocks from Ground Zero on 9/11. Downtown, where I lived, was destroyed, but it came roaring back within two years. Such sadness and hardship and then quickly that area became the most attractive area in New York.

    And in 2008/2009, much suffering during the Great Recession, again much hardship, but things came roaring back.

    But...this time it's different. You're never supposed to say that but this time it's true. If you believe this time is no different, that NYC is resilient, etc I hope you're right.

    I don't benefit from saying any of this. I love NYC. I was born there. I've lived there forever. I STILL live there. I love everything about NYC. I want 2019 back.

    But this time it's different.

    One reason: bandwidth.

    In 2008, average bandwidth speeds were 3 megabits per second. That's not enough for a Zoom meeting with reliable video quality. Now, it's over 20 megabits per second. That's more than enough for high quality video.

    There's a before and after. BEFORE: no remote work. AFTER: everyone can remote work.

    No alt text provided for this image

    The difference: bandwidth got faster. And that's basically it. People have left New York City and have moved completely into virtual worlds. The Time Life building doesn't need to fill up again. Wall Street can now stretch across every street instead of just being one building in Manhattan.

    We are officially AB: "After Bandwidth". And for the entire history of NYC (the world) until now we were BB: Before Bandwidth.

    Remote learning, remote meetings, remote offices, remote performance, remote everything.

    That's what is different.

    Everyone has spent the past five months adapting to a new lifestyle. Nobody wants to fly across the country for a two hour meeting when you can do it just as well on Zoom. I can go see "live comedy" on Zoom. I can take classes from the best teachers in the world for almost free online as opposed to paying $70,000 a year for a limited number of teachers who may or may not be good.

    Everyone has choices now. You can live in the music capital of Nashville, you can live in the "next Silicon Valley" of Austin. You can live in your hometown in the middle of wherever. And you can be just as productive, make the same salary, have higher quality of life with a cheaper cost to live.

    G) And what would make you come back?

    There won't be business opportunities for years. Businesses move on. People move on. It will be cheaper for businesses to function more remotely and bandwidth is only getting faster.

    Wait for events and conferences and even meetings and maybe even office spaces to start happening in virtual realities once everyone is spread out from midtown Manhattan to all over the country.

    The quality of restaurants will start to go up in all the second and then third tier cities as talent and skill flow to the places that can quickly make use of them.

    Ditto for cultural events.

    And then people will ask, "wait a second - I was paying over 16% in state and city taxes and these other states and cities have little to no taxes? And I don't have to deal with all the other headaches of NYC?"

    Because there are headaches in NYC. Lots of them. It's just we sweep them under the table because so much else has been good there.

    NYC has a $9 billion deficit. A billion more than the Mayor thought they were going to have. How does a city pay back its debts? The main way is aid from the state. But the state deficit just went bonkers. Then is taxes. But if 900,000 estimated jobs are lost in NYC and tens of thousands of businesses, then that means less taxes unless taxes are raised.

    Next is tolls from the tunnels and bridges. But fewer people commuting to work. Well how about the city-owned colleges? Fewer people are returning to college. Well how about property taxes? More people defaulting on their properties.

    What reason will people have to go back to NYC?

    I love my life in NYC. I have friends all over NY. People I've known for decades. I could go out of my apartment and cross the street and there was my comedy club and I can go up on stage and perform. I could go a few minutes by Uber and meet with anyone or go play ping pong or go to a movie or go on a podcast and people traveling through could come on my podcast.

    I can go out at night to my favorite restaurants and then see my favorite performers perform. I can go to the park and play chess, see friends. I could take advantage of all this wonderful city has to offer.

    No more.


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