As NYFC seems to be about to crash and burn, and given that the situation seems to be echoing in other large, similarly-Democrat-governed cities and states around the country, it raises rather an interesting discussion point.
Should the federal government even get involved? (That explains the hidden Nero reference in the title, by the way.)
In the first instance, we all know that as a federal republic, the states have a great deal of autonomy when it comes to various policy initiatives and experiments — the famed laboratories of democracy of which USSC Judge Louis Brandeis once spoke. Logically speaking (I know, I know), should a state like New York have no problem with abolishing the NYPD, should it not be regarded as such an experiment? Ditto Seattle, where Pantifa seems to have created an enclave within the city and declared it a Soviet collective or something. In both cases, the attitude of these states’ respective governors is best characterized by a “boys will be boys” laissez-faire response.
My question is: in the absence of any state action, is there a compelling reason for the federal government to step in and end such experiments?
I’m not sure there is. And yes, there’s a certain degree of Schadenfreude involved, in that I know that this foolishness will end in tears; but at the same time, I also have a kind of Let Africa Sink attitude towards the whole thing — as long as when the cities implode, the federal government is not expected to be part of either the deconstruction of said stupidity, nor the mini-Marshall Plan that will be required to rebuild the fools’ paradises.
The question arising from the above, therefore, is: as the nation’s economy has greatly decentralized away from the large urban centers, are cities still that important to our country? Strip away the romantic public relations veneer, and I think we can find that they aren’t.
Take Wall Street, for example. With the growth of the Internet and the ability to conduct stock trades remotely, i.e. away from the actual floor of the NYSE, I can think of no compelling reason why the stock exchange should occupy any real estate at all. The importance of New York as a financial center is not what it was, say, in the 20th century, and if the Wuhan virus has taught us anything, it is the degree to which the Internet has taken away the need for such centralization.
I know, it sucks for those
fools wealthy people who plonked down $5 million for that 2BD 2BA condo on the Upper West Side, and who would have to pull up the drawbridges against hordes of rampaging looters every night; but quite frankly, I don’t think there’s going to be a great deal of sympathy for these people in the population at large — even though The Donald is one of those same people. (His hotels, for one thing, are going to go under in such a scenario, but the vagaries of fortune of overpriced urban real estate investments are not, as a rule, the concern of suburbanites and country folk in Ohio, Missouri or Utah.)
So, to quote a one-time quasi-revolutionary: “You say you want a revolution?” Go ahead, have fun. Just don’t expect taxpayers from Texas, South Dakota or Arizona to bail you out when it all goes pear-shaped; because while you’re screwing around with anarcho-socialist communes (which have always — always — failed in the past), we Deplorables in Flyover Country will be too busy making America great again to have the time or money to waste on helping you out. And contrary to your expectations, American greatness does not depend solely on places like Seattle or NYFC anymore.