News that foot traffic in the city’s business districts is still down 33% from pre-lockdown levels is no shock — but should inspire New York’s leaders to reverse the policies that explain it.
The University of Toronto study didn’t distinguish among tourists, shoppers, office workers and residents in citing Gotham as having one of the nation’s worst rates of recovery from COVID, but it’s plain that the drop translates overwhelmingly to less economic activity.
Fewer people earning, fewer spending: That translates to a reduced tax take for the city and state, and continued long-term decline.
In other words, the pandemic and lockdowns just accelerated changes already underway (as with other trends, like the rise of remote work).
Notably, the same study saw the same problem in San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Minneapolis — all progressive-run.
New jobs and businesses — and some old ones — are flocking to Texas, Florida, North Carolina and so on.
In short, progressive policies — high-tax, pro-crime and -disorder, anti-standards in education, determined to inflict soaring energy costs in the name of fighting climate change — are the keys to decline.
New York can either reverse course on all those fronts, or keep on losing ground.
The folks running the Legislature and City Council are more likely to double down on every front, so the real question is whether the voters will wake up and demand change — or join the rush for the exits, and let the left keep looting New York until it rivals ghost cities like Detroit.