Twenty years ago, two major cities in the United States, Detroit and New York, were viewed by many as being poorly governed, labor unions held sway, crime was rampant, corruption was everywhere, jobs were disappearing and an urban exodus had begun.
Today, Detroit has lost millions of jobs, two-thirds of its population has fled, the city is bankrupt and now is facing an uncertain, but likely bleak future.
A few hundred miles to the east, the city of New York is thriving once again having lost population and jobs during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s due to inept leadership, and all the other factors that were plaguing Detroit. However now the Big Apple enjoys a very low crime rate, jobs are readily available and the city has once again become a Mecca for business and tourists from around the country and around the world.
This diverse tale of two cities hinges on one word, leadership, good and bad; and while Detroit has been very poorly governed for a very long time, under the wise leadership and careful stewardship of New York’s two recent mayors, Rudolph Gulianni and Michael Bloomberg, the city is solidly on its feet and, unlike Detroit, was facing a bright future.
Sadly, I fear this is all about to change with the election of Bill deBlasio as mayor of New York, for Mr. deBlasio has quickly taken the helm and his first command was to order a sharp course swerve to the left. The new mayor has promised his supporters all of the benefits that can only stem from a healthy economy, while at the same threatening to enact policy and legislation that is bound to drive out the most productive residents in the city, and with them jobs; and as consequence, kill the goose that has been laying the golden eggs for a good part of the past twenty years. Detroit redux?
Following lockstep in the footsteps of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, the new mayor of New York City, Bill deBlasio is a divider, not a unifier; and this does not bode well for either the city, or the nation. In the history of the United States, it has never been more evident that united we stand or divided we fall. Which will it be?