The latest Census data is in, and it’s another year of bad news for the high tax, high crime, high regulation, high cost of living blue blob cities on America’s coasts. New York City lost enough people between 2020 and 2022—468,297—to fill the entire city of Miami. Los Angeles and San Francisco also lost big as residents fled for smaller cities with less crime and better affordability. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board reports:
Population loss from big cities slowed last year, the Census Bureau reported last week. Was it trying to bury the lead? The bigger news is how Covid lockdowns, crime and the rising cost of living are causing an exodus from big progressive cities.
Population decline in these cities slowed but notably didn’t reverse in 2022 after lockdowns were lifted. City leaders blame remote work, but can you blame workers for not returning to offices when they face high taxes, high housing costs and declining public order? Chicago logged 41% more crimes last year than in 2021, and crime is up 43% so this year.
CME Group CEO Terry Duffy recently revealed that his wife was the victim of a carjacking in broad daylight in Chicago. Citadel CEO Ken Griffin last year cited Chicago’s crime surge as the reason he moved his hedge fund to Miami, after first considering New York City. One colleague had been punched by “some random lunatic” in the head, he noted. Another had been robbed at gunpoint.
You can dismiss these as anecdotes, but no one wants to become one of them. “We have violent crime that’s happening in our restaurants,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski told the Economic Club of Chicago last year. “We’re seeing homelessness issues in our restaurants. We’re having drug overdoses that are happening in our restaurants.”
It’s not much different in San Francisco, where a giant Whole Foods in downtown closed last month. Tech workers complain about maneuvering around human feces, needles and the homeless. Public safety has improved in New York City under Mayor Eric Adams, but there are still far too many random assaults by the mentally ill, often hopped up on drugs.
Democrats who run America’s big cities have long taken for granted that businesses and workers would be attracted to their cities’ energy and culture. The pandemic and its aftermath have changed that calculus, but progressives haven’t changed their policies.
Action Line: If you are looking for a better place in America, begin your search with my 2023 Super States. Sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter by clicking here.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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