By Ray Cardello for June 22, 2021 Season 2 / Post 7
Like millions of other Americans, we used to venture to New York City for dinner and a play. We may never make that trip again. We traveled to Minneapolis a couple of years ago for a wedding. Chances are good we will never see the Twin Cities again. I had to go to Chicago for a business meeting recently. I hope I only fly over Chicago next time. Big cities in America are dying, and nobody is answering their 911 calls.
To be fair, many cities are healthy and ready to welcome you and your money. Most of these cities are not in Blue run states. Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are not on the must-visit list of many Americans or foreign visitors. What has happened to these cities in distress? Who is responsible for the demise of these formerly beautiful cities? How and when will they regain their glory?
Let’s take the last question first. The answer is maybe never. Unless the people of these cities can break the chains that bind them to Democrat leadership, they are destined to continue to spin downward. Leadership in the towns like New York, Chicago, and Portland have some of the worst mayors in history. Yet, the people keep electing and re-electing these inept leaders to office. They would not think of casting a vote for a Republican alternative, but that will be their only chance at a ticket back.
Businesses have left, or their workers are in the suburbs working remotely forever. Remote workers do not bring money to the big cities. They don’t pay for parking. They don’t buy lunches. They don’t entertain clients for dinner. They do not live in the big cities. They do not miss the big cities. Vacant office buildings and closed restaurants are not magnets to bring people downtown. Like empty strip malls in the burbs, the darkened commercial properties of the inner cities are no longer destinations for morning commuters.
The crime is not only out of control, but so is the Justice system. In New York, the DA’s are dropping charges against rioters who wreaked havoc on the city in 2020. The claim is there is not enough evidence to proceed, so these thugs are free to hit the streets and cause further harm to the Big Apple. In Portland, where there has been over a year of nightly damage, the entire Early Response Team resigned en masse last week. That is fifty police officers who took leave or retirement rather than put their necks on the line for a dying municipality. Can you blame them?
In Chicago, there have been over 700 shootings in twelve months. Yet, the current mayor of Chicago is blaming Trump and Indiana for her city’s woes. This rhetoric is insulting to those who have followed the rules and the companies trying to decide whether to reunite their teams in person downtown. Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco all have downtown tent cities that are centers for drugs, crime, and disease. Life cannot be normal in neighborhoods that these tent towns call home.
Big cities have been the population and power centers of their states. That is all changing, and no one knows how they will settle in for the future. As the cities have an exodus, the burbs are seeing an influx. Housing prices are rising out of sight, and rental units are impossible to find. The demographics of the country are changing like never before.
The good thing, and there is a good thing, is that we are Americans. We are resilient and tough. We will figure this out, and we will come back stronger than ever. Because that is who we are. Big cities can only hope that they can become a shadow of their former selves. Stay tuned, stay safe, and stay out of the big sick cities for now.