In 1981, director John Carpenter released a movie that put New York City in a bad light, literally. Gotham was portrayed as a depopulated, dark prison where federal authorities dumped violent criminals to fend for themselves. Any attempt to “Escape from York” resulted in execution.
Today in real life, the pandemic has devastated New York City, bringing fear and grief to its eight and a half million residents. Even before the contagion, folks were getting out. According to the Census Bureau, 181 thousand people left New York state last year alone, an exodus that leads the country.
Many moved to Florida, land of sunshine and no state income tax. While New York ranks first in overall taxation, Florida is 47, and now has two million more residents than the Empire State.
In spite of that, Florida will spend around $93 billion this year, while New York’s budget is an incredible $177 billion. So the question becomes do New Yorkers get more services than Floridians?
No, they don’t.
Do New York kids get a better education?
No, they don’t.
Do New York drivers have better roads?
And then there is the COVID invasion which could seal New York’s fate, at least short term. A significant number of businesses and workers may flee, having experienced hell for months. That means tax revenue will plummet. So Governor Cuomo and his fun bunch of democrat legislators will have to raise taxes even higher or risk default. New York currently runs a six billion dollar yearly deficit despite bleeding it’s workers for every cent.
After COVID, some folks will no longer use the squalid subway system so it will fall deeper into debt. Already the state has approved a new, punitive toll for driving into midtown. When does enough become enough? New York City is a tremendous cultural bastion but, for some, it has become painful to live and work there.
With so many residents packing up, city real estate prices will collapse, especially high end apartments. Restaurants and stores will shutter, and the city could approach the brink as it did in the 1970’s.
The incompetent totalitarian mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, is already demanding a federal bailout. The mayor has a very weak case after allowing his wife to spend close to a billion tax dollars on “educational” programs which amounted to little.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to leverage the pandemic into a White House bid, but he has to know the desperate shape his state is in. Because he is liberal, Cuomo is rarely challenged by the corrupt media but the stats speak for themselves. Many New Yorkers are fed up, fully understanding the chaos staring them directly in the face.
In the “Escape from New York” movie, a thug named Snake Plessken is sent to the decaying city to rescue a President who’s being held hostage there.
The current President, Donald Trump, is a life long New Yorker or was. Realizing that Plessken or Batman or Green Lantern or anybody else cannot rescue Cuomo-land, Mr. Trump recently said adios and moved to Florida.
Where he will have plenty of company going forward.