The gilded Apple
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After more than a decade, the Bloomberg Era in New York City is coming to an end in December. Ken Auletta spoke to the the 71-year-old, three-term mayor, whose personal fortune is said to be $27 billion. The NYT, a paper which Bloomberg reportedly â€śdetests,â€ť also has a sprawling retrospective on the era this weekend, focusing in part on the cityâ€™s economic transformation.
You can think of Bloombergâ€™s economic legacy as the cityâ€™s transition from gilded to even more gilded. Real estate prices have soared — the median sale price for Manhattan condos and co-ops jumped 69% in a decade, and even buyers with $1 million in cash are frustrated. Still, Auletta writes, Â â€śthere are record numbers of homeless people, unemployment is high, and working- and middle-class incomes have stalled.â€ť
â€śThe top 1 percent of earners in New York make nearly 40 percent of the total income of city residents, nearly twice the national figure,â€ť Ginia Bellafante writes, up from 27% in when Bloomberg took office in 2002. Bloomberg tells Auletta the city has created 350,000 entry-level jobs in tourism, and has lowered poverty. The Fiscal Policy Institute, Auletta notes, says poverty in NYC hasnâ€™t budged in the city three decades, and food stamp usage has soared since 2007. Bloomberg tells Auletta the cityâ€™s built some 165,000 units of affordable housing, though Choire Sicha notes that this is the kind of building which doesnâ€™t actually involve building anything.
Bloomberg-era New York is presumably healthier (if only thanks to smoking and soda bans); bikier, thanks to more bike lanes and Citibike (which is mostly thanks to Janette Sadik-Khan); and safer, even if thatâ€™s been accompanied by controversial stop-and-frisk policies. Hereâ€™s Auletta on just how much safer NYC has become:
Between 2001 and 20012 rapes dropped by twenty-five per cent, robberies by twenty-eight per cent, and burglaries by forty-one per cent; the murder rate fell thirty-six per cent, to a record low of four hundred and nineteen murders in 2012, down from twenty-two hundred and forty-five in 1990. Bloomberg says that he expects murders to be in â€śthe low three hundredsâ€ť this year, half the number of the year he was elected, 2001.
A third of the city has been rezoned under Bloomberg, and itâ€™s been demographically transformed as well. Richard Florida looks at a map of New York Cityâ€™s various socio-economic classes, and concludes that â€śmost striking is the extent to which the working class has disappeared from the regionâ€™s geography.â€ť NYCâ€™s neo-Bohemians (read: N+1 editors) are also worried about disappearing. Emily Badger writes that reversing this trend will be the next mayor’s real challenge: â€śexpand the geography of desirable, healthy, safe neighborhoods while also expanding the population of locals who can afford to call those places home.â€ť – Ryan McCarthy
On to todayâ€™s links: