What’s in your neighborhood?
Via Naked Capitalism comes this question about comparing economic data for a successful area in the aggregate with contrasting signs of things being not so good for some.
Now and again I ask readers for input on what they are seeing locally, a sort of regional check on the statistics and media reports on how the economy is faring.
I’ve seen some things in my backyard that have me puzzled and wondered if readers see similar patterns.
On the one hand, New York City should be faring better than the country overall. It’s dominated by finance, which benefits from ZIRP. Wall Street had a decent bonus year last year and both bonuses and staffing levels are forecast to rise this year. The real estate market here is smoking, due at least in part, I’m told, to Russians and other foreign buyers being leery of property markets in the Eurozone, and so New York is high on a shorter-than-ever list of places to buy.
Yet…I have never seen so many vacant retail stores in my neighborhood, even in the worst of the crisis. And the pattern isn’t the “all storefronts for one building vacant” sort, which means a building is slotted for demolition or a major makeover. And some long-established local mini-chains have gone bankrupt.
Do you see any local cross currents? Can you make sense of them?
Huh. That sounds rather like the story I recently read about neighborhoods in London where so much of the housing had been bought up by wealthy foreigners who were almost never there and never ever used the local shops that a very odd wealthy ghost-town vibe had arisen.
The finance money is so incredibly unevenly distributed that I suppose it is prone to this sort of thing as well. You have to be in the exact places where the finance people live to see the money.
Ralph Nader for President:
“So we’ve got a real problem here. It’s not too extreme to call our system of government now “American fascism.” It’s the control of government by big business, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt defined in 1938 as fascism. And they control the government and turn the government to their favor—subsidies, handouts, giveaways, deferred prosecutions, non-prosecutions—and against the American people. And minimum wage is just one. You have full Medicare for all, which a majority of doctors and the American people want, with free choice of doctor and hospital. That’s the only—we’re the only Western country that doesn’t have it. Eight hundred Americans a week die because they cannot afford diagnosis and treatment for their ailments. That’s 800 Americans a week, 45,000 a year. Who says so? A study, peer-reviewed, out of Harvard Medical School. So, we have the lowest minimum wage in the Western world. We have the greatest amount of consumer debt. We have the highest child poverty, the highest adult poverty, huge underemployment, a crumbling public works—but huge multi-billionaires and hugely profitable corporations.”