The coming collapse of New York City, by Lion of the Blogosphere.
Although they say that New York City has many industries like finance and banking, business services, media and publishing, etc., in fact this can be generalized to say that New York City has only one industry: people working in office buildings. If that industry leaves New York City because everyone who used to work in office buildings is working from home, then I can’t see any other future for New York City besides a total collapse, maybe even worse than the collapse of Detroit because, as the proverb goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall. …
Detroit … the model for NY?
New York City is like a Ponzi scheme that requires a constant influx of corporate jobs and gentrifiers and construction projects in order to balance its budget despite having the highest tax collection per capita of anywhere else in the United States.
As businesses and rich people move out, budget cuts and reduction in services will make New York City an even a crappier place to live and more will move out. Garbage is already piling up, the presence and aggressiveness of homeless are increasing, shooting incidents have doubled since a year ago.
The big question is, when will people return to the office? Will they ever? The last report on this from the New York Times indicates that less than 10% of workers have returned to the office, primarily in real-estate and banks, two industries that are especially worried about a collapse in commercial real estate (with banks having lent lots of money to big construction projects) and are trying to set a “good example” for other industries. (With a “good example” actually being a bad example for public health.)
The reason I have become more pessimistic is because it now seems to me that the pandemic is not going to have a magical neat ending. I think people are imagining that everyone is given a vaccine and Covid-19 disappears never to return again. This is unlikely to be the case. …
There will probably be an outbreak of Covid-19 AFTER we start vaccinating people. I think it’s pretty predictable that, after receiving the vaccine, people will think they can go back to normal, take off their masks, go to crowded indoor places. But if the vaccine is only 75% effective, and only 75% of the people have been vaccinated, that’s a recipe for an outbreak. There are flu outbreaks every year despite vaccines and people having had the flu before. …
I don’t foresee the other 90% of New York City office workers going back to the office until Covid-19 is gone. Until then, people don’t want to take crowded trains and subways, ride crowded elevators, so they can stay cooped up indoors for 8+ hours where one infected person could infect dozens of their coworkers.
How long will covid linger on in the West? In the third world? How widespread is “long covid” (it is now reported in the UK that there are more cases of long covid than deaths)? Does immunity of any sort exist, and for how long? No one really has any convincing answers, AFAIK.
It’s hard to believe that something as mild as covid could bring down NY City. The comrades in the CCP must be giggling insanely.