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John Lindsay, the clueless rich-boy-turned-mayor of this little burg in the crumbling late ’60s, famously, if unintentionally, coined the phrase “Fun City” back in the “Midnight Cowboy” era (1966-1973), over which he presided so oafishly, it’s as if Bill de Blasio took his sad mayoralty as a playbook.
Now the era of fear, filth and fiscal fallacy is back, but Fun City is a tired nickname. The proper sobriquet for NYC is now Sin City. As in: the Seven Deadlies. De Blasio and Andrew Cuomo have decided to go along with every-born-in-the-’90s bolshie and forge a collection of policies out of the idea that “New York was better before it got so sanitized.”
Yeah, safety sucks, New York is much cooler when walking after dark means gripping your keys tightly in your hand in case you have to fend off an attacker, amirite, ladies? Consider the sins New York is now welcoming:
Alcohol consumption is way up, so is gorging on chocolate, and 60 percent of us gained an average of 29 pounds. But let’s talk about municipal gluttony, too. With makeshift homeless encampments all over the sidewalks, men sleeping on the train, trash spilling out of receptacles and streets being cleaned half as often as in 2019, our tax dollars sure aren’t being spent on keeping things safe and orderly, are they? City spending goes to city bureaucrats, and they are gorging themselves now that de Blasio has announced a staggering $99 billion budget for a population of 8.4 million. That’s more than Florida, which has 21 million people! If you live in the five boroughs, your state and municipal governments are spending more than $300 billion a year so that bureaucrats can stuff themselves. By contrast, if you live in the city of Los Angeles, your city spends $10.5 billion (LA is half the size of NYC) and your state a paltry $165 billion. California has twice as many people as New York state. Goodbye, belt-tightening. New York has thrown away its belt.
Porn use boomed when people were forced to stay home with nothing but their computers for company, but the old-fashioned retail sex trade just got a big boost, too, when Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said he will no longer prosecute prostitutes. More women than ever will be exploited by pimps and traffickers who, of course, keep all of the money they earn. And your kids get to learn what all of this looks like while they’re going to Starbucks as hooking comes out of the shadows and right out into the open.
With a stepped-up new tax on rich people, and an extension of the “temporary” millionaire’s tax enacted after the 2008 financial crisis that now looks permanent, sticking it to our betters is official. Problem: rich people can live elsewhere, and take the tax revenue they provide with them. Moreover, bitter people who were stuck in their apartments throughout the crisis are seething with contempt for their returning neighbors — the New Yorkers who are wealthy enough to afford houses out of town and wisely made use of them during the pandemic to increase social distancing and stop the spread. The Brooklyn guy who wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled, “They Escaped During the Pandemic. Now They Must Pay,” speaks for a million young fussbudgets who are pissed off by the idea that some people have spent the last year being insufficiently miserable.
Some 80,000 New York City workers still haven’t gone back to their offices. I’m sure they’ve been working super-hard at home, though. More than 60 percent of public-school students haven’t returned to the classroom. Why bother? Many of them discover that if they do show up, all they get is “Zoom in a Room” because many teachers are staying home to teach from their sofas. Meanwhile, restaurant workers who get fat unemployment packages of $805 a week are actively choosing unemployment despite the labor shortage. Maybe legalizing pot will reinvigorate people’s desire to work? Good plan.
After Cuomo legalized online sports betting in New York, you won’t even need to find your way to the nearest casino to start throwing away your money on get-rich quick bets. Those $805 unemployment checks we’re all paying for? They’re just a few Giants and Jets losses away from being pocketed by Big Gaming. On the big-bucks side of the income spectrum, a combination of lockdown boredom and the stock-market bubble is making people gamble real bucks on crappy joke stocks called “stonks” and even put their cash into joke currency (“Dogecoin”). The S&P 500 is up more than 300 percent in the last 10 years; the air is thick with moneyfrenzy.
New Yorkers have always taken pride in not suffering fools gladly, but 2020 must have been the angriest year on record. If every police killing within a 2,000-mile radius could potentially lead to days of rioting in New York, though, we seem to have reached a whole new basal level of anger. As for daily, nonpolitical rage, that’s off the charts: after a nauseating 97 percent increase in shootings last year, crime is still going up. Last week in the city, there were 50 people shot in 46 separate incidents over seven days, up from 12 shootings in the same week last year.
OK, so 20,215,750 of us aren’t feeling that customary New York arrogance so much, so the remaining one will have to make it up. And he’s doing it! In a disaster year that wound up leaving Cuomo the highest-paid governor in the history of the United States, the guy who once named a bridge after his dad and boasted, “I am the love gov” to his brother on CNN just before 10 women accused him of sexual harassment, Cuomo wrote a book praising his own pandemic management. Sure, it was fine to order taxpayer-funded employees to put it together for him so he could rake in $65 per book and accept an Emmy award for his awesome transparency while he was covering up thousands of senior-citizen deaths he helped cause by forcing nursing homes to take patients carrying a lethal virus. Meanwhile, he chased so many people away that New York lost a congressional seat and an electoral vote, both of which it would have retained if Cuomo could have persuaded just 89 more people to stay. You could say Cuomo has chutzpah, but if you did he’d probably just mock you for being one of “these people and their f–king treehouses.”
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