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Old 04-05-2012, 03:09 AM
 
43 posts, read 35,792 times
Reputation: 60
The author is known to focus very critically on Chicago. To say that the new "second city" is DC is just ludicrous on it's face. Yes they have the highest economic output per capita in the US, but by that logic SF is America's "second city" and NYC is 4th.

I think the author is correct that NYC is basically in a league of its own and is rising above every other city in importance. LA and Chicago are both losing global cache, and Houston and Philly are certainly not gaining it as they falter. Banks are not going to move to DC, Advertising companies are not going to move to DC, tech is not going to move to DC, etc. DC will continue to prosper due to Federal largess and the slew of high paid professionals associated with it, but it will never grow to be some sort of new LA or 1950's Chicago. Alarmingly, NYC also depends quite heavily on Federal support and the myriad guarantees provided to their large financial services sector.

So the future looks bright for the rentiers who maintain a privileged position with regard to Federal outlays and the rest of us will face relative, if not absolute, decline in the face of competition from international cities - many of which with their own substantial governmental support. Yes there will be a few small pockets of great wealth/importance outside of government-supported areas, but they will be just that, small.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,932 posts, read 2,667,313 times
Reputation: 2133
Quote:
Originally Posted by uffthefluff View Post
The author is known to focus very critically on Chicago. To say that the new "second city" is DC is just ludicrous on it's face. Yes they have the highest economic output per capita in the US, but by that logic SF is America's "second city" and NYC is 4th.

I think the author is correct that NYC is basically in a league of its own and is rising above every other city in importance. LA and Chicago are both losing global cache, and Houston and Philly are certainly not gaining it as they falter. Banks are not going to move to DC, Advertising companies are not going to move to DC, tech is not going to move to DC, etc. DC will continue to prosper due to Federal largess and the slew of high paid professionals associated with it, but it will never grow to be some sort of new LA or 1950's Chicago. Alarmingly, NYC also depends quite heavily on Federal support and the myriad guarantees provided to their large financial services sector.

So the future looks bright for the rentiers who maintain a privileged position with regard to Federal outlays and the rest of us will face relative, if not absolute, decline in the face of competition from international cities - many of which with their own substantial governmental support. Yes there will be a few small pockets of great wealth/importance outside of government-supported areas, but they will be just that, small.
I highlighted what I think is a fatal flaw in what you describe about New York. This is a nation of over 300 million people; if New York stands that far above the others (and grows in that spread), than it is a very dysfunctional nation and that can't bode well for the Big Apple.

With talk of the US in decline, there has to be a question about New York's decline, too. New York may be the poster child city of the American economy these past 30 or so years. Finance at one time made up about 7% or so of the economy. Today it's at around 35%. Yet finance does not build wealth and the very finance that exists today is about shifting around monetary value, much like a casino. It does not invest.

The house of cards that keeps finance being such a major part of the economy will fall. And no city will pay the price like NYC.

Personally I think New York was a better and more powerful city when Detroit was a strong city. Blue collar Detroit helped pump the economy to the benefit of white collar New York.

How does New York benefit from the shattering of so much of the economic engine that was the rest of the United States?
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,932 posts, read 2,667,313 times
Reputation: 2133
I'd like to add one idea to my thought above:

change is constant.

and for many people, we appear to be going through a major, seismic shift in the way things work.

If New York sits on top of the world's pecking order of cities, it does so in a structure that is coming apart at the seams. New York represents that system of capitalism that has evolved into system built on steroids that destroys the very essence of what made it work (for some) in the first place.

New York is a fantasy world of the notion that we don't have to make a thing in this nation, that wealth can be obtained by exchanging one asset for another, shifting them around from place to place, tweaking the value of each in often the most convoluted, irrational, immoral, and should-be-illegal ways. Finance rules. And New York becomes a place for the rich, a 1%er's paradise. Morality aside, it negates the fact that there ultimately can be no rich if society is geared strictly for them. And where on earth do you get all the little people to serve the Emerald City when only the rich can afford to live there?

Not that Chicago escapes this mentality (it sits pretty high up there in the same global cities world of crony capalitism). It's just that New York is so pervasively about it that it leaves other cities in its wake on the issue (just like its supposed Greatest City In The World Forever status).

We tend to look far more to the past than the future since the past is known (or at least it has happened) and since it brings the comfort of what was while the future brings the fears of change and what might be. But a reasonable person can look at the New York of today and see plenty of reasons why the fairy tale kingdom won't last and why it can't withstand the changes the world is experiencing, changes that take place at an exponentially faster pace as our technologies speed down the increments of time to shorter and shorter intervals.

If New York is pulling away from the other cities (and the rest of the nation), it does so on an island a bit bigger than Manhattan, but not huge....it's the island that really combines two islands...the one surrounded by the Hudson and East rivers to the north down to the one surrounded by its beltway to the south. And increasingly that NY-DC axis lives in a different reality than the vast nation that spreads eastward from it. While that vast nation itself seems so removed from the realities of the rest of the world.

We discuss very short time frames here on this forum, almost freeze framed in time. And even the trends that we look at seem to be short range. In the long run (and I don't expect the long run to be that long in time), one has to question NY's viability in a brave new world. And let's put time frame in perspective, too: a mere century ago, 100 years back from today, New York was hardly viewed as being among the world's greatest cities. And yet we imbue it, this city whose fame is a drop in the bucket on the time line compared to, say, Rome, the eternal city, with powers to last an eternity.

Things are changing. And our old paradigms won't work. New York is wedded to the economy of the past, deficiently based on the way it elevates finance and the most predatory and unsustainable aspects of capitalism.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL SouthWest Suburbs
3,528 posts, read 2,603,527 times
Reputation: 6077
The common denominator is diversification.

What is interesting to me is the fact NYC did not collapse during the global crisis we just went thru.

Literally the worst financial crisis since the great depression.

The shifts that were made during the recession are bringing to light the importance of world influence in an economy.


Literally thousands of jobs were shed in the financial sector in NYC
At the end of the day they stand tall and prosperous.
Pretty impressive.

I found the following article very interesting
to me its worth a read
http://www.atkearney.com/index.php/P...s-outlook.html

Chicago seems to be more at risk but they are diviersified.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:27 AM
 
2,040 posts, read 3,425,507 times
Reputation: 1130
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
...
The house of cards that keeps finance being such a major part of the economy will fall. And no city will pay the price like NYC.

...
Umm, it did, about 5 years ago. And NY did suffer.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL SouthWest Suburbs
3,528 posts, read 2,603,527 times
Reputation: 6077
Companies like this one
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:36 AM
 
2,040 posts, read 3,425,507 times
Reputation: 1130
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
..
Things are changing. And our old paradigms won't work. New York is wedded to the economy of the past, deficiently based on the way it elevates finance and the most predatory and unsustainable aspects of capitalism.
Actually, I've read many articles that say just the opposite, that NY is firmly placed in the economy of the future.

Why Some Cities Lose When Others Win - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities

Chicago, on the other hand, seems to have stagnated over the last decade, and risks not being able to compete in the race to be one of the world's premier cities over the next couple of decades.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:04 AM
 
906 posts, read 636,218 times
Reputation: 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I'd like to add one idea to my thought above:

change is constant.

and for many people, we appear to be going through a major, seismic shift in the way things work.

If New York sits on top of the world's pecking order of cities, it does so in a structure that is coming apart at the seams. New York represents that system of capitalism that has evolved into system built on steroids that destroys the very essence of what made it work (for some) in the first place.

New York is a fantasy world of the notion that we don't have to make a thing in this nation, that wealth can be obtained by exchanging one asset for another, shifting them around from place to place, tweaking the value of each in often the most convoluted, irrational, immoral, and should-be-illegal ways. Finance rules. And New York becomes a place for the rich, a 1%er's paradise. Morality aside, it negates the fact that there ultimately can be no rich if society is geared strictly for them. And where on earth do you get all the little people to serve the Emerald City when only the rich can afford to live there?

Not that Chicago escapes this mentality (it sits pretty high up there in the same global cities world of crony capalitism). It's just that New York is so pervasively about it that it leaves other cities in its wake on the issue (just like its supposed Greatest City In The World Forever status).

We tend to look far more to the past than the future since the past is known (or at least it has happened) and since it brings the comfort of what was while the future brings the fears of change and what might be. But a reasonable person can look at the New York of today and see plenty of reasons why the fairy tale kingdom won't last and why it can't withstand the changes the world is experiencing, changes that take place at an exponentially faster pace as our technologies speed down the increments of time to shorter and shorter intervals.

If New York is pulling away from the other cities (and the rest of the nation), it does so on an island a bit bigger than Manhattan, but not huge....it's the island that really combines two islands...the one surrounded by the Hudson and East rivers to the north down to the one surrounded by its beltway to the south. And increasingly that NY-DC axis lives in a different reality than the vast nation that spreads eastward from it. While that vast nation itself seems so removed from the realities of the rest of the world.

We discuss very short time frames here on this forum, almost freeze framed in time. And even the trends that we look at seem to be short range. In the long run (and I don't expect the long run to be that long in time), one has to question NY's viability in a brave new world. And let's put time frame in perspective, too: a mere century ago, 100 years back from today, New York was hardly viewed as being among the world's greatest cities. And yet we imbue it, this city whose fame is a drop in the bucket on the time line compared to, say, Rome, the eternal city, with powers to last an eternity.

Things are changing. And our old paradigms won't work. New York is wedded to the economy of the past, deficiently based on the way it elevates finance and the most predatory and unsustainable aspects of capitalism.
It's too difficult to write a long response on a phone, but as lifelong New Yorker who worked on Wall Street before recently moving to Chicago, I must say I disagree with your view. New York definitely suffered after the finanical crash in 2008, but the city has rebounded, and is thriving again. I do agree that New York can only stay a leading global city as long as the US is in that position as a whole. To me it seems that the Chicago economy is more of a "jack of all trades, master of none", surprisingly even with this economic diversity Chicago has suffered harder than New York during the recession.
As long as New York is in bed with corporate America it will continue to thrive. I dont see this changing anytime soon. The US is becoming a place for the rich and the poor, with the middle class getting forced out, and the cities with the most wealth will be the ones to thrive the most.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,932 posts, read 2,667,313 times
Reputation: 2133
Quote:
Originally Posted by FAReastcoast View Post
It's too difficult to write a long response on a phone, but as lifelong New Yorker who worked on Wall Street before recently moving to Chicago, I must say I disagree with your view. New York definitely suffered after the finanical crash in 2008, but the city has rebounded, and is thriving again. I do agree that New York can only stay a leading global city as long as the US is in that position as a whole. To me it seems that the Chicago economy is more of a "jack of all trades, master of none", surprisingly even with this economic diversity Chicago has suffered harder than New York during the recession.
As long as New York is in bed with corporate America it will continue to thrive. I dont see this changing anytime soon. The US is becoming a place for the rich and the poor, with the middle class getting forced out, and the cities with the most wealth will be the ones to thrive the most.
I think you and other posters here are missing my main point:

the factors that will lead to New York's decline will also affect Chicago. New York and Chicago are far more in the same boat in different ones. We have these crazy discussions here that seem to suggest that these cities stand on their own and are not representative of what is happening in and to their nation.

and, of course, at the same time, we do something almost opposite: we view things in exceedingly americancentric terms. It's not in Chicago's interest for New York to fail; the reverse is also true.

There is no way that New York (or other American cities, like Chicago) won't be affected by a shifting balance away from single polar world, built around the United States, after there collapse of the Soviet Union, a continuation of the bi-polar world that was built around both those nations. And don't forget that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a shocker for most of us. Perhaps it shouldn't have been. Communism was an insane notion and never could have worked. Unfortunately we took the fall of the Soviet Union as a validation of our present form of captialism-on-steroids (less competition and more in bed with the government), rather than seeing the collapse of one -ism might have many of the same conditions that would cause the collapse of another -ism.

BRIC and other nations are on the rise today. The US's ability to control resources loses power. Don't forget that New York's position of premiere world city was built on it being America's great city, just as London's role was based on Britain's hegemony.

I don't know about others, but to me the last 10 or so years have indicated that the fantasy we had over the lack of effect humans have global climate and environment has become impossible to play. Capitalism was built on the idea of endless supply for endless demand; it was destined for a relatively short run in terms of history. I have no crystal ball, but given the evidence of what is happening to climate and its effect on ocean levels, I have some serious concerns if much of New York will be standing out as land from the rising Atlantic (just like the more obvious concerns about what they will do to the Florida peninsula). Those waters are rising because of the things built around the activities we do in places like New York. the best metaphor may be the luxury cruise ship sailing through the oceans more loaded with garbage and less able to produce living organisms; it's somewhat like luxury floating in sewage.

We're at the point today where it has become unsustainable. And that's the perspective I'm taking with New York: the goodies the system was able to generate now gets smaller and smaller. Whatever system replaces where we are at (and it will need to take place in a reasonable amount of time) will be built on sustainability and will hardly be centralized and top down organized as today.

Again, we pit places like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles up against each other. To me, that feels like life inside the bubble. In reality, those three great cities (and the rest of the US) are linked together and will rise and fall more on what we do as a society in the our nation. And in the last 30 years, we have ignored so much of the commons and what makes us great.

I don't really buy into the concept of "the world's greatest city", but if I did, I have no doubt what my choice would be:

New York City

(circa 1920s-1960s). the New York of that era was at the height of its came, rising in tandem with the United States in an exuberant era (I think of Gerswhin's Rhapsody in Blue as evocative of the the sheer joy and energy of the rise of New York). Look at that city in mid-century, with not only ethnic diversity, but economic as well. A totally real city where culture thrived along with finance. Just look at the list of plays that hit Broadway in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, the work of New York authors and artists. That was a city of style and grace, standing far more than the money machines that are so much a part of what made it work.

Guys, you don't have to agree with me (and few of you do), but at least be sure you understand that I am not by any element raising Chicago at the expense of New York. As noted, Chicago is part of the same system, subject to the same results and, believe me, we're not the "real city" we once were either, part of the great homogenization and disneyfaction that our mass culture have produced.

Yes, this is a city comparison thread, but a discussion can't happen in a vacuum. that discussion has to be based on national and world conditions and trends.

Last edited by edsg25; 04-06-2012 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 10,854,232 times
Reputation: 7364
Quote:
Originally Posted by FAReastcoast View Post
The US is becoming a place for the rich and the poor, with the middle class getting forced out, and the cities with the most wealth will be the ones to thrive the most.
As Rome was pillaged by the Visigoths so will New York City some day be plundered by desperate Americans; midwesterners or Pennsylvanians I'd guess.
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