Cities

Loose Ends Updates

Featured image Let’s catch up on some updates to the regular themes and stores we’re covering right now. • Here’s our feel good story of the day: Mayor Bill De Blasio Plans 22,000 Layoffs, As People Flee New York City In Droves New York City may lay off tens of thousands of municipal workers. Even with this massive downsizing, it won’t be enough to stem the financial hemorrhaging plaguing the city. The Wall »

Failed States, Failed Cities, Failed Parties?

Featured image We’re familiar with the designation of places like Somalia as “failed states,” but can’t we equally recognize failed cities when we see them? New York City in the 1970s, when it needed a federal bailout, was one example from our past, and New York’s fiscal woes were closely connected with its larger social problems of crime, welfare dependency, and all the other factors that diminished the shine of the Big »

Our Collapsing Cities

Featured image Let us take as our text for the day a passage from Sir Roger Scruton’s book How To Be a Conservative: Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created. This is especially true of the good things that come to us as collective assets: peace, freedom, law, civility, public spirit, the security of property »

The Decline and Fall of San Francisco

Featured image Not long ago UC Hastings School of Law, as well-regarded law school in downtown San Francisco, sued the city because local neighborhood conditions had deteriorated to the point that the law school was losing prospective students who took one look at the place and said, “No, thanks!” Hastings is a very liberal law school—I don’t think they have a single conservative on their faculty—but as Robert Conquest reminded us, everyone »

Chronicles of the Crazy Time (10)

Featured image It’s barely noon here out here on the Left Coast, and already my Krazy Kup overfloweth. A (very) few highlights: • What is it with liberals and Hollywood types and blackface? Now the NBC hit “30 Rock” is memory-holing four episodes that featured white characters in blackface: Four episodes of 30 Rock, including two featuring Jane Krakowski’s Jenna character in blackface, are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and »

On Crime and Punishment

Featured image Lately I’ve been saying “I’m so old I can remember when Democrats wanted 100,000 more police on the street—and proposed federal funds to make it happen!” That was in the long-ago days of the Clinton Administration, when even Hillary Herself was speaking about “super-predators” who needed to be taken off the street. (This was one reason why leftist law professor Michelle Alexander argued in 2016 that, as Slate reported, “Clinton’s past »

The Power Line Show, Ep 192: “The Coming of Neo-Feudalism,” with Joel Kotkin

Featured image Joel Kotkin is one of America’s premier analysts of city life, urban economics, demographic change, and social trends. His brand new book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class, turns upside down the conventional liberal narrative about why the middle and working classes are under pressure. It’s not capitalism and markets, but their perversions, especially in the hands of the tech oligarchs of Silicon Valley and »

The Power Line Show, Ep 191: “The Sixties Never Ended”—Fred Siegel on Our Mob Rule Moment

Featured image When our cities start to come apart and people say it seems like 1968 all over again, that can only mean one thing: time to get in touch with Fred Siegel. Among Fred’s many fine books is The Future Once Happened Here: New York, LA, DC, and the Fate of America’s Big Cities, which explained the high cost of incompetent liberal rule of our major cities in the 1960s and 1970s »

Dan Henninger’s Grand Slam

Featured image One of the most-read unsigned editorials ever to appear in the Wall Street Journal editorial page was way back in 1993, entitled “No Guardrails.” It is rare that an unsigned editorial at a daily paper has much of a half-life, but “No Guardrails” was one those that you clipped out and kept handy, and which people talked about for years after. Dan Henninger, nowadays the Journal‘s regular Thursday columnist, was »

Mayor de Blasio, and Other Leftist Luxuries

Featured image It is a long running theme that the United States and Europe have been dissipating their inherited moral capital, and with the asset side of our civilizational balance sheet running dangerously low, we can see the consequences in front of us over the last seven days. Take New York City Mayor Warren Wilhelm Bill de Blasio, who is, let’s face it, a literal Communist. You could tolerate him so long as »

Rats! It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

Featured image The controversy about rat-infested cities provokes a strong sense of deja vu, as a proposed federal rat eradication program was perhaps the turning point against LBJ’s “Great Society” back in 1967. A little background and the climax to this story from the first volume of my Age of Reagan: Many poor urban neighborhoods have yet to recover [from the rise in crime], for it was precisely the poor, and largely »

Re-Learning the Lessons of the Past

Featured image There was a time in my early adulthood when many believed that American cities would soon become uninhabitable. New York City was the prototype: crime and social decay had made the city a dystopia. Many expected New York to collapse, and other cities to follow. It didn’t happen, because New York’s officials–most notably Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton, although others were involved–adopted the philosophy of Broken Windows »

Leftism’s dire consequences, Chicago edition

Featured image Earlier today, I wrote about how Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy caused a child to be raped. Philadelphia authorities refused ICE’s request to detain a previously deported illegal immigrant. Instead, they released the man, who then committed rape. This was clear case of the left’s agenda trumping concerns for public safety. The consequences were dire for the illegal immigrant’s victim. But leftism is also producing dire consequences for entire communities. Areas »

Death by Dems

Detroit is a case study in the wreck of liberal governance and the politics of racial grievance. Michael Barone is from Detroit originally and has occasionally written about its decline, as in his CRB review “The unheavenly city” (on Charles LeDuff’s Detroit: An American Autopsy). The review opens: “When people ask me why I moved from liberal to conservative, I have a one-word answer: Detroit.” In his current column, Barone »

Chicago held hostage

Featured image The Washington Post features a story about Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago woes. The headline is “In Chicago, distrust toward mayor has turned ‘personal.’” I can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t have. There are two key passages in the Post’s story. Here’s the first, which appears early on: On the streets of Chicago, the list of grievances is long — especially in the city’s black wards, where Emanuel won strong »

The larger meaning of Rahm Emanuel’s woes

Featured image One of the underreported stories of 2015, it seems to, was Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago crisis. Elected to a second term as mayor just last spring, it’s now unclear whether he will be able to cling to office following the police shootings that are roiling Chi-town. The Wall Street Journal reports: Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut short a holiday break in Cuba amid a wave of criticism at home that isn’t letting »