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Blue City Decline: How to Save New York and Other Cities

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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38 Comments
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new york city view and Mayor Adams

New York City residents have thrown in the towel. Gotham’s quality of life is plunging, but only 11% of registered voters turned out in last Tuesday’s local election. Nearly all incumbent members of the New York City Council skated to reelection.

New Yorkers are voting with their feet, abandoning the city instead of going to the polls to demand new leadership. Amazingly, more New Yorkers have fled the city since 2020 than turned out on Election Day.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Big Apple could be a safe, thriving place to live. But our politicians have no vision of a better future, no priorities.

Last year, Mayor Eric Adams announced a plan, “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” which includes 70 initiatives. Seventy priorities mean no priorities at all. It proposes a “hub for digital game development” and a “one-of-a-kind cultural district on Governors Island.” These are hardly essentials when the city is headed off a fiscal cliff.

Later last year, Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul rolled out another “Roadmap for Future” of the city. Forty more initiatives. Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s a four-point agenda to turn New York around:

No. 1: Deter freeloading migrants from coming to New York. Adams has warned that the huge and continuing influx of migrants seeking shelter and services will “destroy” the city. City services for New Yorkers are being cut, including even fire protection and sanitation, to meet the expense.

That’s unacceptable. The city’s “right-to-shelter” legal obligation is a magnet. New York is the only city legally compelled to house all comers. That obligation originated more than 40 years ago, in a 1981 agreement between the city and homelessness advocates. All elected officials should back Adams in a legal fight to get it overturned. The city will continue to take care of its own, but not an unlimited number of newcomers.

In the meantime, future migrants should be housed in tents or barracks, not upscale hotel rooms many tourists can’t afford.

No. 2: Stop the city from descending into lawlessness. Shoplifting and subway crime are the major problems, not murders and rapes.

Shoplifting in NYC has surged 64% in the last four years, more than in any other city. In 2019, the New York state legislature changed the law, ensuring that even repeat shoplifters would never be incarcerated. In 2022, newly elected District Attorney Alvin Bragg vowed not to prosecute them. But the city’s law enforcement brass must figure out ways to make shoppers feel safer.

The subways are twice as dangerous as they were in 2019, on a per rider basis, according to Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute. Mentally ill homeless people terrorize riders without being removed, and then ultimately push someone onto the tracks or commit another serious crime. Social service teams and police must coordinate to remove these mentally ill homeless people and get them into treatment.

Improving public safety will help New York rebound. Foot traffic in the city’s business districts is down 33% from pre-lockdown levels. Office vacancies are 18%, the highest since the early 1990s.

The Big Apple ranks behind 18 other U.S. cities, including quiet Boston and remote Boise, Idaho, in future economic and real estate growth. Only Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco do worse.

No. 3: Cut taxes. New Yorkers pay the highest combined state and local tax burden in the nation. Businesses here are also getting taxed to death. A whopping 158 Wall Street firms have moved their headquarters since the end of 2019, fed up with crime and high taxes.

Hotels here are losing business because a 5.875% occupancy tax and stiff property taxes make rooms here more expensive than in other cities. New York can’t tax its way out of decline. It must cut taxes to rebound.

No. 4: Protect New York’s Jews. New York is home to 1.6 million adherents — the largest Jewish community of any city in the world. Attacks at The Cooper Union, on the Brooklyn Bridge and elsewhere make Jews wonder if they will be safe here. Police and prosecutors alike must act decisively to deter more attacks.

This agenda of four items is as different as night and day from the confusion and lack of focus sinking New York City.

The same overpromising, overspending and lack of prioritization is dooming Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other cities.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM

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PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

You can toss this list of recommendations in the nearest trash can, as none of them will ever be implemented under any Democrat regime. The majority of voters of New York will continue to vote Democrat no matter what. The voters may complain a lot, but when it comes to who they will vote for, that remains a certainty. Straight-line Democrat unless it’s in one of the Republican enclaves they still exist. NYC will rival SF in terms of filth, crime and tent encampments in a few short months. Mayor Adams solution is begging for a financial bail-out from Biden in D.C., instead of changing any political or fiscal priorities to clean up the city and reduce crime.

Today Mayor Adams called for parents to volunteer to be school safety monitors after the mayor canceled the latest training class for new recruits to this position. His reason was the city can’t afford to pay for school safety people anymore. because they have blown out the city’s budget on housing and feeding the illegal aliens, they treat better than the citizens of NYC. Those thousands and thousands of hotel rooms and three meals a day with unlimited snacks on demand all cost a lot of money you know. Then when you add in the free medical care and walking around that seems to go for beer and other “essentials”, the price tag just keeps rising.

Joe McHugh
Joe McHugh
6 months ago

I reside in Syracuse, NY and when I read about the financial problems in New York City caused by Democrat policies, I have to wonder about the people who vote for such governance. Yeah, I know that the majority of the New York City voters are simply taxsuckers, but even in a matter of self-interest, they should protest against the “Sanctuary City” policy that the Democrats announced years ago.
The illegal aliens? I don’t blame them for doing what I would do if I were one of them. From the moment they are allowed to waltz across our Southern border, they are given whatever is needed for them to acquire food, shelter and clothing.
The solution? Bring back the old concept of the bounty hunters to bring the illegal aliens to detention centers where they can be processed for return to their home countries. The taxpayer money saved after these people are deported would more than cover the bounty money awards. In fact, there would be so much savings that extra judges could be hired to try each apprehended illegal alien’s claim for asylum for validity. It would be the burden of the accused to prove that his home country would persecute him for political crimes if returned. No documentation? Here is your all expense paid trip back, by, by invader!
Unlike obama, these illegal aliens could only claim to be natural born citizens if a county in America has a Record of Live Birth for them. obama won’t allow an exam of his claimed birth records in Honolulu, Hawaii, but that’s only because the authorities refuse to investigate obama’s citizenship status. I mean, over 70-million voters would look like fools if obama couldn’t prove he was not an Indonesian citizen. Psst! Only Indonesian citizens can attend the Indonesian schools that young obama attended. And yes, obama is an illegal alien who refuses to prove his right to live in the United States.
Hey, obama, I’ll allow an official exam of my ORIGINAL birth record, if you allow the same.
Oh, …and unlike obama, I have a Social Security account. obama’s account number 042-68-4425 was closed due to “unsupported account opening documentation”. Guess who inappropriately had that Social Security number for years, …………. yep, …obama! That Social Security number was originally issued to one Harrison Bounel, in the State of Connecticut, a state that obama never resided in. Mr. Bounel would be 133-years old if he were around today. Psst again! The woman who was supposed to be obama’s grandmother in Hawaii, worked in a position that enabled her free access Social Security records.
Democrat voters are, indeed, useful dullards.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

New York City is just another Marxist Metropolis Hell hole because it’s run by so-called Democratic Socialists. I currently reside in the worst Marxist run state, California, where we have the HIGHEST Gasoline prices in the country, even higher than Hawaii and Alaska! Our food, utility and housing prices are almost double since Biden STOLE the Presidentcy! At 76 years old, I still have to work to stay here and only because of the weather! Over 6 + million people have left California since Bidenomics with at least 4 million being Republicans. I hear almost as much Spanish being spoken as English now. But here in Southern California, NO SNOW!

Jeri
Jeri
6 months ago

Is it worth trying to save blue cities? Will it make a difference? Is it worth the time and energy and money it would take?

Jackie
Jackie
6 months ago

How do you save blue city decline?? Get rid of Democrats that run the city!!! Joe isn’t listening to anyone’s woes because, frankly, he doesn’t give a damn!! He is a wealthy old man who thinks he is important and thinks he is running the country!! He is more interested in getting trips around the world at taxpayer expense! And, of course, finding more deals where he can cash in on the 10% off the top!!!
As for the illegals, we should start rounding them up and shipping back to their country of origin!! We have immigration laws on the books currently and just because Joe doesn’t want to enforce them doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t insist on them being enforced!!! Joe, we are NOT the world’s savior!! We can’t continue to even think that way especially after several years of Democrat rule!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

Keep voting democrats in because they are for the people and and you end up with lawlessness and broken windows

Mike Ecko
Mike Ecko
6 months ago

Why bother saving the blue cities? They only breed more leftists who then grow up to riot, pillage and vote to steal money from the producers.

michaelR
michaelR
6 months ago

I don’t know if the outrageous allowance of criminal activity in blue state cities is supposed to be part of reparations, but in just about every city run by Black mayors, they’re all soft on crime, say nothing and allow it to become a normal activity. Target just announced the closing of three more stores due to the brazen looting. You can pause your DVR and plainly see who makes up the looters. This is why most Blacks are crats. They allow this, while the entire crat party says NOTHING.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
6 months ago

Face it folks. This sounds racist. Why is it when Blacks take over a city,the City bstarts to degrade. Counties in states are the same way. Maby it’s education. Alot of it is mentel. The Blacks are getting ack at Whites for slavery, in which we have no part. Dont say I’m wrong. Just take a good look at what we have today. Yes white p-oliticions are to blame also. Mostly Dems. Get that vote. As for shoplifting, its worse than a jungle. I would never go to NYC. Kyle L.

Charlotte Mahin
Charlotte Mahin
6 months ago

It doesn’t take a genius to look around and see that the Republican states and cities are still great places that revere freedom! The problem is that once the Democrats take any power, they use it to CHEAT to stay in power!! People have to stand up to them and stop it before it gets as bad as it is now!! The Democrats do not want to empower law enforcement because that means more Blacks will be incarcerated. They commit a large percentage of the crime in this country. Until we get back to punishing criminals, ALL criminals, we cannot have safe cities.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Hey cf, CEASE STUPIDITY NOW!

Janis
Janis
6 months ago

Great ideas from a great lady!
But why is everyone using the term “migrant” instead of “Illegal immigrant”?

5 string
5 string
6 months ago

Well Betsy, who cares? New York City has chosen to make itself a “Sanctuary” cesspool.

Mike Ecko
Mike Ecko
6 months ago

Why bother?

PHILIP SIMON
PHILIP SIMON
6 months ago

Despitre the problems NYC faces, the mayors buget will create chaos.

C. Benson
C. Benson
6 months ago

Democrat leadership is what’s dooming NYC. BTW the thousands of freeloaders coming to NY are not migrants, the word “migrant” means a person who moves from one place to another and is used to confuse who these people are. The precise words when describing those flooding over the border are, illegal aliens. “Illegal” meaning not legal, “alien” meaning not a citizen of the country they’re in. For awhile the left was trying to convince us they were immigrants, also not true. The word “immigrant” means someone who comes here legally.
It’s difficult to take seriously the advice from someone who refuses to acknowledge that Democrat leadership is the problem while using words that don’t precisely describe who the people are flooding into the city.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

NYC got rid of DeBlasio and voted in… Adams? Bwa-ha-ha! Maybe you all were better off voting for Anthony Weener after all!

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
6 months ago

LEt NYC decay and decline. The people there can live with the Rats that have overtaken the city. Kyle L.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
6 months ago

Let them FAIL then voters have to elect new Blood.

LMB
LMB
6 months ago

It’s just me, but I would LOVE to see all of the Blue cities/states FAIL!!!!

Derby
Derby
6 months ago

I’m sure your message is for Hamas but I doubt that they read this.

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