The late Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck once quipped that “Rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”
Lindbeck’s law may have to be amended to include the devastating impact of lockdowns on cities, with New York at the top of the list.
Now former Eric Adams enters the mayor’s office with the tall task of cleaning up the mess that America’s worst mayor, Bill de Blasio, has left behind.
The Economist magazine has cataloged just how devastated the New York City that Adams inherits is:
- New York still has an unemployment rate of 9 percent, more than double the national average. Before the pandemic, the city’s jobless rate was only 3.7 percent. Double-digit unemployment rates for the city’s minority groups are expected to persist for years.
- The city has 100,000 fewer restaurant jobs than it did in early 2020, and hotel occupancy rates are about 50 percent, compared with 90 percent before the pandemic.
- Tourists are staying away. The midtown business district is dead.
- Murders are up 50 percent and non-fatal shootings are twice as prevalent as in early 2020.
Now with the latest Covid wave, Mayor Adams will need to fight the lockdown crowd that wants to cripple New York City in fear and economic paralysis yet again. We wish him the best of luck.