New York City
September 14th, 2011
With 700 no-questions-asked billion handed back to the same bankers responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown, historical unemployment and poverty statistics, and a Republican led Congress refusing to even consider new taxes for the wealthiest Americans, the term âdouble-dip recessionâ must be puzzling to most of the nation.
In the city I call home, however, Iâm often left to wonder: what recession?
New York City is wrapped in an urban cocoon, surrounded by ostentatious wealth. The bars and restaurants, never cheap, are full, luxury condos, even when half empty, continue to fill the skyline, and the rows of Madison Avenue boutiques are open, selling the very idea of what it means to be rich. The once distinct neighborhoods of Manhattan have, one after another, become dead zones, unaffordable and unlivable for all except the richest of the rich.
Welcome to the future-London, Paris, New York and Tokyo-will continue to expand as internationally concentrated centers of wealth, where the worldâs speculators move and sell debt from one pile to another, while the suburbs that service them decline into commuter ghettos for the working poor.