New York City: A Pay More, Get Less Sinkhole
New York's dishonest governor, Andrew Cuomo, has made it eminently clear that there is no place for pro-life voters, or gun owners, in his sorry excuse for a state. This, along with the resounding failure of even moderate Democrats to distance themselves from this individual, shows there is no place for gun owners, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, or Evangelical Christians in the Democratic Party.
New York State's problems have a clearly identifiable source. Votes from the Big Rotten Apple put individuals like Andrew Cuomo, his father Mario, and Emperor's VIP Club Client 9 into office. Michael Bloomberg was a Kim Jong Un-wannabee who took Federal gun law enforcement into his own hands, and almost stepped onto the wrong side of Federal gun felony laws in the process. His replacement, Bill De Blasio, has made it clear that there is no place for productive businesses or citizens in his pay more, get less Socialist paradise.
De Blasio said people earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. "[W]e do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories," he said.
Let's face the facts. New York City, just like other deep blue left-wing strongholds like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Detroit, is a collective parasite that leeches off the productive elements of the rest of their states along with their own residents. The first three cities are why New York, Illinois, and California are the worst places in the country to work or do business.
The City's Journey from Productive Entity to Parasite
Think carefully about the purpose of a city. Long ago, as in thousands of years, humans concentrated dwellings and other vital structures in cities to minimize the perimeter of the wall necessary to defend them. This, in turn, minimized the number of soldiers necessary to defend the perimeter. The 17th century saw the construction of massive trace italienne fortresses, such as those designed by the great French engineer Sebastian Vauban, that required months to batter into submission. The 19th century saw the construction of even more extensive fortresses such as those that protected Verdun. Cities also served as centers of commerce and industry; if you wanted to buy something that could not be made in your village, you had to go to the city. A weekly, or monthly, trip to town (by foot, or horse-drawn wagon) was once a big affair for the rural family.
Even during the 17th and 18th centuries, however, howitzers and mortars made it possible to bombard the inside of a city despite its walls. The tightly-packed houses, apartments, and commercial structures made it almost certain that a shell or rocket would hit something important. This should have been a hint, even more than 200 years ago, that packing so much value into so little real estate might no longer be a good idea. The Zeppelin, and then the airplane, underscored the city's new role as a target-rich environment rather than a defensible position. Now cities are targets for intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as terrorist weapons.
A city's high concentration of people and property gives the attacker the biggest payback for whatever he spends on his weapon of mass destruction. The terrorists made this emphatically clear with the 7/7 subway bombings in London, and the use of poison gas in Tokyo. Risk management and employee safety are, by themselves, good reasons to not do business in New York City.
Cities are also extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. The elevator made the high-rise building possible, but a power failure will make you a prisoner in your upper-story apartment (unless you are in top physical condition). Hurricane Sandy cut the power to a New York City hospital, thus endangering lives when the hospital's auxiliary generator failed. If the electric power goes out in a subway, you will be trapped between stations, and widespread looting also is a problem. The elimination of these risks costs less than nothing because cities are no longer important as centers of commerce.
Remember that a trip to the city was a big event for many families 100 or more years ago. The advent of the railroad began to change this in the 19th century, when Sears Roebuck introduced the mail-order catalog. The automobile created the suburb, along with the shopping mall that eliminated the need to go into town. Henry Ford saw the handwriting on the wall more than 90 years ago.
And finally, the overhead expense of living or doing business in the great cities is becoming so large as to be unbearable. It places so great a tax upon life that there is no surplus over to live on. The politicians have found it easy to borrow money and they have borrowed to the limit. Within the last decade the expense of running every city in the country has tremendously increased. A good part of that expense is for interest upon money borrowed; the money has gone either into nonproductive brick, stone, and mortar, or into necessities of city life, such as water supplies and sewage systems at far above a reasonable cost. The cost of maintaining these works, the cost of keeping in order great masses of people and traffic is greater than the advantages derived from community life. The modern city has been prodigal, it is to-day bankrupt, and to-morrow it will cease to be.
Now we have Google Shopping instead of the Sears Roebuck catalog. The Internet has also made it possible to provide most services that involve knowledge work (e.g. financial services) from anywhere in the world. It is clear that today's big cities -- the deepest blue voting regions in the country -- cannot even begin to carry their own weight economically. This is, in fact, exactly why they are the deepest blue voting regions in the country. Their residents, even those who work and pay taxes, must look to other taxpayers to carry their lifestyle, public transportation systems, and so on.
New York City Equals Supply Chain Waste
It is incredible that New York has built yet another World Trade Center, and even more incredible that anybody in his right mind would want to move into it. The fact that two-thirds of Cantor Fitzgerald's workforce was wiped out on 9/11, along with the fact that a previous attempt was made to bomb the original WTC, should have educated most rational people to the effect that setting up shop on a bulls-eye is Not A Good Idea. The truth is, in fact, that many businesses are shunning the new World Trade Center out of consideration for the safety of their employees, the astronomical rents, or both.
There is, believe it or not, at least one company that offers virtual office space in New York. The idea is that the purchaser can have a "prestigious New York City address," but I can say what a NYC address tells me as a potential customer or supply chain partner. A midtown Manhattan address has muda, the Japanese word for supply chain waste, written all over it. It tells me that whatever service I purchase will include astronomical rents, taxes to carry Mayor De Blasio's Socialist non-worker's paradise, and inflated wages and salaries to induce employees to live and work in NYC.
If, for example, $44,400 a year buys a certain standard of living in York County, PA, and an employer must pay a worker $100,000 a year to get him to live and work in New York City instead, then $55,600 a year of that person's pay is absolute waste -- for the employee as well as the rest of the supply chain. If I am buying goods or services (probably services, because midtown Manhattan produces little or nothing in the way of material goods), I am not going to squander that kind of money, or whatever my business' share of it might be. A company's location in the World Trade Center, or indeed anywhere else in Mayor De Blasio's pay-more-get-less sinkhole, is absolute proof that its overhead costs include exorbitant, and avoidable, waste.
The Solution: Escape from New York
Andrew Cuomo made it clear that there is no place for gun owners, or gun manufacturers, in his state. This is why Kahr Arms, a small arms manufacturing company with high-wage jobs for its skilled workers, is moving those jobs and the associated tax revenues out of Mr. Cuomo's sorry excuse for a state. We will be delighted to welcome them to Pennsylvania, along with New York's other productive industries. New York's energy-intensive businesses can opt out of the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by leaving. Other productive businesses should do the same so they can stop wasting their investors' money, their employees' money, and their customers' money, to carry New York City.
Productive citizens should also be aware that New York taxes retirement income from 401Ks and IRAs. The obvious solution to these problems is to work and retire elsewhere, and leave the Big Rotten Apple to fend for itself.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.