Take a walk around downtown Seattle. You will be shocked by a shuttered, dystopian city and made angry by the inaction and ineptness of its political leadership. It is simply beyond words.
I swung by the infamous McDonalds* on Third Ave– infamous for both drug dealing and violence, and I could not believe what I saw: an obvious drug deal going down right in front of me.
What didn’t I see on my two-hour walk? Not a single police officer. Not one police car.
A boarded up central core of a major U.S. city was being left to the homeless, drug dealers, and security guards. Even the most notorious, crime-ridden corner of the city had no police. The streets of the city had become a fearful abandoned place.
August 5, 2020
Seattle: A City in Fear Can Be Restored
[Mass concludes with some suggestions and hope that Seattle can recover. I’m not so certain.
This morning I spent most of an hour talking with daughter Jaime about the death spiral of Seattle and other major cities. We’re not so sure Seattle can be saved. A significant part of the success of cities the last 200 years has been because most of the best jobs were in cities. Part of the response to the pandemic, many workers being able to work from home, has proven that reason is no longer valid. And just the existence of the pandemic is a deterrent to city life. Another attraction of city life was the restaurants and nightlife opportunities. Those were among the first casualties of the pandemic. So, why should people stay in the cities?
Many have already left. The people staying are those who contribute the least, if not a net drain, to the tax base. In New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been begging rich people to return to New York City from their second-home retreats so they can pay taxes to help offset the state’s growing coronavirus-related revenue shortfall. The people the politicians want to come back are those most sensitive to the loss of police protection for their property. So what is their motivation to return?
Add violence and property destruction to the ability to be prosperous and safe outside the mega cities and we may have a death spiral for Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other large cities. Those cities have been accepting and even encouraging the terrorists who have been making the cities less desirable. So what are the plausible outcomes?
Add mega cities to the list of causalities of 2020..—Joe]
* This is ground zero of Mugme Street.