Future of American cities

I'm curious to hear if others feel the way I do about this or if I have just completely lost my mind. I think that cities like NY, SF, LA, CHI are going to spiral out of control in the coming years and on their current trajectory be unlivable in ~20 years. There is no focus on the everyday person who just goes to work, raises a family, etc. The people who run these cities are completely incompetent and try to go above and beyond their job responsibilities. Rather than make sure their areas are safe, clean, and well functioning they spend all of their time on asinine projects and ideas. They are not meant to run cities. I see the role of a mayor as a manager of an area, not an activist. 

I think that crime, especially violent crime will continue to multiply, education will plummet further and overall quality of life will decrease to near 1970's NYC levels. It doesn't seem that anyone in these cities really cares or even recognizes what is going on. The role of the government should be to keep people safe, encourage economic expansion, keep streets clean. This is really basic stuff that has completely gone by the wayside. It seems to me that this was consensus amongst both parties in the past. Doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I don't think that this is necessarily a Democrat thing as I do not consider people like Bill deBlasio and Lori Lightfoot to be Democrats. I think that they are considerably further left than what used to be a Democrat mayor.

Cities like NYC seem to be doing everything possible to chase out the wealthy, which is their entire tax base. After receiving a massive bailout to make up the budget deficit that they created by torpedoing NYC's economy they still are raising taxes to the highest levels in the country. The refrain prior to receiving the bailout was that it was needed in order to avoid raising taxes. I think that it was done as a slap in the face to "the rich." It is extremely short-sighted and self-defeating for everyone involved. 

I go back and forth in my head about whether I am overthinking this or if my predictions will come to fruition. What is even more alarming is that governments in places like NY and CA have completely seized power. To my knowledge, it is unprecedented to shutter businesses, put people out of work, etc by mandate. I do not see that power dynamic changing or going back to normal. Apart of me hopes that I am wrong, but my general outlook on the future of cities like those mentioned is extremely negative. Do you see yourselves living in places like these in the future?

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Comments (273)

Apr 14, 2021 - 4:11pm

I'm bearish on NYC, but not as much as everyone else seems to be. NYC votes progressive in certain districts, but still is a "moderate" democrat city. Keep in mind Cuomo beat out Cynthia Nixon strongly for governor here. In the mayor race, Eric Adams is the favorite and he is as close to a republican as you can get. This means more real estate development (brings in the most tax money), a LOT more cops, and he actually has a plan to do something about guns/shootings. With that being said, if we see a "full remote" or even partial remote future, than NYC will be dead. Office valuations will continue to plummet and real estate makes up over 50% of the tax revenue. It will be a disaster unless we get our budget under control. If you see what we spend in comparison to other cities and states, it is shocking. I'm talking $28k per student annually in the public school system and they can't even read.  We need to see a complete audit of our government or yeah, we will spiral out of control. Unfortunately, most of the people who run the city are completely incompetent and I have no faith they can get it right. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Apr 14, 2021 - 6:28pm

Apparently NY spends more than Texas and FL combined. FL alone has a larger population, along with no income taxes to NYC's new 15% top bracket. 

Apr 14, 2021 - 9:42pm

Honestly if Eric Adams or Andrew Yang wins I will become more bullish on NYC, I think either one of them could help turns thing around. I agree, commercial real estate needs to rebound quickly (which I think it will - I don't think most companies will still be doing WFH five years from now and younger office workers don't want WFH) and the budget needs to be fixed ASAP. But if the incompetent and corrupt government keeps paying $15,600 to illegal immigrants and raising the taxes every year and commercial real estate doesn't recover - NYC is fucked big time. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 12:55am

Interesting. Most everyone I know in the mid to late 20's loves WFH, or at a minimum, wants some component of it to stay simply for the flexibility. With that said, new yorkers may have a very different take considering you folks live in shoe boxes. I know I would hate working from home with my roommate in a 600 SF 2 bedroom. Hell I dislike it and I have more than double that.... But I am one of the few who complains about not being able to go into the office out here 

Apr 15, 2021 - 11:37am

I wonder what makes you think young people don't like WFH? I see most wallowing about having to work a job at all. WFH at least increases options for people. And, I know in most places not NYC, people have long taken advantage of WFH especially every Friday or in other cases where they can be remote and take care of personal things. I know several who had completely relocated prior to Covid and were 100% WFH. Commercial Real Estate is not feasible in the future, if you ask me, especially without a major correction.

I think you're living in a bubble where you see the 10% of workers who are in their early 20s in banking who don't like it because of the weird dynamic that is banking. But that's not everywhere. Only some few fields have facetime. 80% of workers don't even understand the concept. Weekend work and constant pinging is also not a very familiar as most places literally die down by 6pm on Fridays, with occasional asks but those will have much more reasonable expectations than 9am Monday turns.

I think the majority are in the same camp and would prefer a remote schedule. Haven't seen many who disagree except the typical hardo that you're probably accustomed to seeing only if you spend a lot of time on this site.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 14, 2021 - 4:35pm

Was thinking very similar thoughts. Can't speak to the other cities listed, but NYC is doomed. Among all its other problems, it just doesn't make sense why a kid out of school wouldn't notice being paid the same base in the southeast or whatever versus NYC. It's not a small amount. I don't have the exact numbers, but its a lot more than popularly thought with everything taken into account. Couple that with this horrible year for juniors, it's no wonder why kids would say to hell with typical NYC "higher" finance and just chase after the quick money in some tier 3 city or something.

Think we're seeing a shift. Not just toward middle of nowhere towns in the south but like Chicago/Charlotte/Atlanta/FL/Texas being more preferred and relevant.

Apr 15, 2021 - 1:00pm

Lol, NYC is definitely not doomed, definitely not in the long term. There are certainly problems the city will have to deal with (bankrupt public transit, losing RE tax revenue, etc.) but there is a reason humanity has been moving into cities consistently for the last 500 years, the benefits are too great. Now this doesn't support NYC specifically, it's also an argument in favor of the other cities you mentioned, but the one thing NYC has is the institutional capital from 150 years of being the center of American business.

  • The NYSE and NASDAQ are based in New York, and it's home to the biggest banks, and other secondary financial institutions.
  • It's easily the most built-up city, and, while real estate will be in trouble in the medium term, the existing infrastructure makes it far more dynamic and valuable of a market than new cities that are just building out unsustainable sprawl (see the entire South).
  • It's a major tech hub, and as we've seen in SF and in academic research, there are synergies (actual ones, not buzzword ones) from having a localized knowledge in specific industries (the short version is it enables better employee-employer skills matching). 
  • It's one of the entertainment/arts capitals of the country (the other being LA obviously), being the home to numerous theaters, museums, concert halls, as well as countless media companies like Time Warner and NBCUniversal, all of which helps out the last point:
  • It's a magnet for tourism. People from all around the world come to see NYC and its various attractions. 

The city might take a dip like it did in the 70's and 80's, but once it's cheap enough (and we're already starting to see a bit of that with retail space), the city will revitalize itself again. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 4:16pm

Mate, urbanization didn't start 500 years ago. People have been moving into cities since at least Ur and Uruk in Sumerian Mesopotamia.  There's a reason if those two once majestic cities today are nothing but ruins.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Apr 15, 2021 - 5:26pm

jarstar1

Lol, NYC is definitely not doomed, definitely not in the long term. There are certainly problems the city will have to deal with (bankrupt public transit, losing RE tax revenue, etc.) but there is a reason humanity has been moving into cities consistently for the last 500 years, the benefits are too great. Now this doesn't support NYC specifically, it's also an argument in favor of the other cities you mentioned, but the one thing NYC has is the institutional capital from 150 years of being the center of American business.

  • The NYSE and NASDAQ are based in New York, and it's home to the biggest banks, and other secondary financial institutions.
  • It's easily the most built-up city, and, while real estate will be in trouble in the medium term, the existing infrastructure makes it far more dynamic and valuable of a market than new cities that are just building out unsustainable sprawl (see the entire South).
  • It's a major tech hub, and as we've seen in SF and in academic research, there are synergies (actual ones, not buzzword ones) from having a localized knowledge in specific industries (the short version is it enables better employee-employer skills matching). 
  • It's one of the entertainment/arts capitals of the country (the other being LA obviously), being the home to numerous theaters, museums, concert halls, as well as countless media companies like Time Warner and NBCUniversal, all of which helps out the last point:
  • It's a magnet for tourism. People from all around the world come to see NYC and its various attractions. 

The city might take a dip like it did in the 70's and 80's, but once it's cheap enough (and we're already starting to see a bit of that with retail space), the city will revitalize itself again. 

Please stop using reason.  You are ruining a perfectly good rant about metropolitan cities.  

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Apr 14, 2021 - 4:51pm

There are definitely some shifts being made, do I think all the current big cities will die? No. But look at rust belt cities and that will give you an idea of what could happen to SF/LA/NYC/Chicago.

We are definitely entering a new shift where some of the best cities will be in your sunbelt markets. I think it's pretty dang apparent if you look at 2010-2020 population gains of the largest metros. Out of the MSAs with over a million people you get, in order, Austin (+29%), Raleigh (+23%), Orlando (+22%), Houston (+19%), DFW (+19%), Phoenix (+18%), Charlotte (+17%), Nashville (+17%) and Denver (+16%). Compared with NYC (+1.6%), LA (+3.0%), Chicago (-.03%), Philly (+2.3%)

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 14, 2021 - 6:51pm

Do you realize that Austin added ~200k people and NYC added ~160k people? Don't you think your %'s are not appropriate becuase, for a small city, any growth will yield a large %?

Apr 14, 2021 - 9:59pm

The rust belt cities decline was fueled by factories leaving. The industries tethered to SF, NYC, LA, Chicago are far more sticky and people will always be attracted to those cities. What's more likely is those cities continue on their current trajectory and become true third world Latin American cities (SF and LA already are) with the rich living in compounds with high security and driving their bulletproof Tesla's past homeless criminals and drug addicts. The economic value is in tech, finance, not low wage factory jobs and we really haven't seen those leave yet. 

Apr 14, 2021 - 5:14pm

I'm bullish on NYC. It will remain as the greatest city in the world. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Apr 14, 2021 - 5:22pm

Ehh. I love it, but I think people just repeat this without thinking about that. Compared to a number "world-class" cities, our transit sucks, it's filthy, more violent crime, more homeless people, etc. Obviously those are all problems in most major cities, but I think the argument can be made that our is worse. I think a vast majority of the cities in the US are boring as fuck and by default wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but we can't just keep telling ourselves we're the best when gun violence is increasing, homeless problem is getting out of control, trash is getting worse (obviously always a problem, but just shows our budget is fucked), and kids in the public school city can't even read, among a long list of other problems.  Is it the best city to be moderately wealthy and party with hot girls in their 20s from all around the world? Of course, but that is also a small subset of the city and if people aren't willing to stay here after they finish that stage of their lives, that is pretty telling.  

Apr 15, 2021 - 1:37am

I don't think gun violence and violent crime in NYC is anywhere near some of the other cities mentioned here like Chicago, LA, or the Bay Area. PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong. I know it's going up but I really think people are blowing it way out of proportion compared to other cities.

Dayman?
Apr 14, 2021 - 9:50pm

It's culturally significant and a financial juggernaut and I love New York, but its also full of trash and shit and homeless people and the subways and airports are third-world. Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore are much better cities than NYC, NYC being the greatest city in the world is a complete meme at this point. 

Apr 14, 2021 - 10:01pm

Lloyd BIankfein

It's culturally significant and a financial juggernaut and I love New York, but its also full of trash and shit and homeless people and the subways and airports are third-world. Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore are much better cities than NYC, NYC being the greatest city in the world is a complete meme at this point. 

NYC has hotter chicks than Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore............................ 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Apr 15, 2021 - 5:09pm

Yeah I visited Tokyo during cherry blossom season a few years ago and it made me realize just how delusional New Yorkers really are.

Cleaner, safer, better infrastructure, friendlier people...

It's just an all around more pleasant place to be.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Apr 14, 2021 - 8:38pm

I've lived in Chicagoland my whole life... grew up here, went to school here, and I'm still here. Here are my two cents: It seems like everybody has a very similar opinion to you - people want Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker OUT. These two are driving people out of the state like no other. If these two people maintain their power positions in the next elections, I believe that your hypothesis will certainly come to fruition... at least in Chicagoland. You can already begin to see the effects of the actions of these so-called "leaders." There have been tons of "initiatives" to bring down gun deaths and violent crime in my city, but they are so half-assed and actually do NOTHING. 2020 was Chicago's bloodiest year since Mayor Lightfoot took office. Murders jumped more than 50%! That is saying something, especially when the city was locked down all of 2020! It makes me sad to see my hometown in such a condition. I just don't know where I see my city going if Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot hold office...

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Apr 14, 2021 - 9:23pm

We are in a similar situation here in NYC. deBlasio and her are in lockstep from a leadership and mental horsepower perspective. If NYC gets someone worse than our current mayor I feel that it's truly 'over.'

Apr 18, 2021 - 6:49pm

Dude I was in Gold Coast for a few weeks last summer and it did not feel the same at all, in fact I didn't feel safe. Mf's were riding 4 wheelers threw streeter at 1 am, felt like I was gonna get smoked

Apr 14, 2021 - 9:48pm

New York is a very special place, but Austin is the best city in America right now in my opinion. SF is pretty bad and LA is an honest to god, Latin American third world dystopian shithole. LA will never, ever, recover and will get super dystopian. People aren't going to pay an obscene amount of taxes to live by the coast when the coast is covered in tent cities of homeless crazy fuckers shooting up heroin. 

Also, compared to Shenzhen or Shanghai or even third-tier cities like Wuhan and Hangzhou, NYC is a third world country. I talked to a girl who had lived in Shenzhen since 2006, practically her whole life, and she told me that when she came to NYC, she was completely appalled and thought it was a dirty shithole and nothing like she imagined. In terms of cities and infrastructure, the US has permanently fallen behind China and will never recover. 

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 14, 2021 - 10:06pm

Typically the people who say this are NY's who hate California and/or people who have never lived in LA.

DTLA and Hollywood are everything you say. Santa Monica and Venice are very touristy and have some the same problems. These areas are also where 99% of tourists spend all of their time and make their judgements about LA. I would never live in any of those places as someone from here. 

If you go to Silicon Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Brentwood, Palos Verdes, etc. and many places in West LA you just won't see homeless people at all. 

The reason that LA or Southern California will never truly die is that it has the best weather in the world. When it's -17 in Chicago or 10 degrees in NYC it's no worse than 50 degrees and you can surf, play golf, etc. 340 days a year. 

I agree with you that Austin is probably the best city in the US right now, however the COL is getting ridiculous. Go on Zillow and it's starting to get to the point where a 2 bedroom 1 bath 700 square foot house 20 minutes from DT is $750k. 

Apr 14, 2021 - 10:21pm

I hate the sprawl and traffic too, I like walkable cities. There are definitely some very nice areas in LA which are liveable, but as far as I know, the shithole parts and homeless encampments are slowly encroaching on the nice parts. Southern California has the nicest weather and nature of anywhere in the continental US, I like Silicon Beach and Malibu a lot, but it's just pretty darn overpriced for what you get imo. 

  • Investment Analyst in RE - Comm
Apr 15, 2021 - 7:38pm

Brentwood is becoming just as bad as Santa Monica now. South Bay is better but commute from there to anywhere else is horrible.

Beverly Hills is clean because they're technically a separate city from LA so they police differently.

If it wasn't for weather, LA would be in serious trouble. Garcetti is a clown.

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 15, 2021 - 9:21am

I share your opinion. The only area that has gotten noticeably worse over the past 10 years is DTLA. 

Hollywood, Venice, and Santa Monica have not seen dramatic increases in homeless from my perspective as someone who lives here and drives around those areas on occasion. 

People who aren't from here just assume that people from LA hang out in DT because thats what many people in most cities in the world do and use that to form their opinions on the city. I personally don't know anyone who hangs out in DTLA, the only reason I would ever even go in that area is to go to a Lakers/Clippers game. They've done a good job adding businesses to the area and it's much more vibrant now than it was 5 years ago but until they clean it up I'm never going to spend any meaningful amount of time there. 

Apr 16, 2021 - 2:26am

LA is a horrible city, nobody ever move here please, don't even visit, just stay far away. WINK WINK it's a fucking great city bro

Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.
Apr 15, 2021 - 8:00am

You aren't going to be like South America. Places like Buenos Aires or Rio are dysfunctional, but they work with it. You aren't going to be like Caracas either. Your future is more like Johannesburg.

They get random energy shutdowns during the day. The Indian-South African community, which is one of the backbones of the economy, is racially discriminated against, in the name of racial justice. The same excuse is used to justify rampant corruption and favouritism. Afrikaners are being erased.

Sounds familiar?

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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Apr 15, 2021 - 8:17am

I think Brazil and South Africa are good indicators of what American cities are going to look like / already are in a way. Lots of civil unrest, violence, racial tensions, incompetent government, corruption. Still a perfectly livable society as long as you have enough money but it could be so much better and it's a far cry from the best European and Asian cities.

Apr 18, 2021 - 4:46pm

Austin is kinda garbage bro. The "city" is a small town that grew too large and really has nothing to offer besides a bar/music scene and definitely isn't worth the price you pay to live there. Weather sucks, nature scene is trash, homeless people everywhere, the city is pretty dirty also -- you're talking about NYC being a third world place yet you think Austin is good? The only thing it really has going for it is attractive women other than that it's nothing special.

You clearly have never lived in LA given your take so not even gonna bother commenting on that. SF will continue to be a magnet for tech/start-ups for the foreseeable future, I don't see how that changes anytime soon, there are no real competing cities that offer a similar ecosystem.

China is pretty wack man, if you wanna talk about amazing asian cities look to JP or SK or Taipei/SG/HK. Sure chinese cities may have great infrastructure and be clean but they are boring as hell.

  • Assistant in Research - Other
Apr 18, 2021 - 5:37pm

I second this - just went down to Austin with super high hopes given all of the hype and was severely unimpressed. It's flat, hot, and full of aggressive homeless people. The food and bars are awesome until you realize that it's all the city has going for it. There is nothing to do there other than eat and drink.

Big cities like NY, LA, and SF are popular for a reason and will continue to be once we get back to normal life. City governance sucks in all three places but will get better in the future.

Apr 18, 2021 - 7:47pm

Austin is fucking amazing. Great weather, how can you say the nature scene is trash when the entire city is centered around a beautiful lake? Beats NYC by a mile (I do fuck with the Catskills though). LA has pretty great nature but it's less accessible. Mt Baldy is great though. Austin is a great place for kayaking and running which are two of my favorite outdoor activities, great women, great food, great culture and music for a city it's size. 

Yes I've never lived in LA and I have never wanted to. Visited several times but have never been impressed, maybe it just appeals to a different kind of person. IDK. 

yes Singapore Tokyo Taipei are better than mainland China, I've never been to SK but really want to go, just using China as a comparison because they're the only directly comparable major country the same size and scale of the US. Singapore and Tokyo are probably the best two cities on the planet. Taipei is amazing too, perhaps has the easiest access to great nature adjacent to the city center. The fact that you can take a train to Hualien and end up in a place that's basically Hawaii while living in a vibrant modern city is pretty much unmatched anywhere else in the world. 

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 17, 2021 - 1:15am

While I've not spent extended time, I've been to Shenzhen and Shanghai and they both have their fair share of shitty, 3rd world areas. China has plenty of urban slums, though the government has been cracking down and destroying many of them, but it still seemed like a huge problem when I was last there in 2019. I think they do buyout the property from the residents though. Idk if the prices are fair however. Eminent domain is pretty much impossible to resist there.  
 

DTLA has some nice condos, but I agree street level is…not nice. Still a massive city though with plenty of nice parts 

Apr 14, 2021 - 10:27pm

All of these cities in China are very clean, the homeless are scarce, no open drug usage, have first class amenities and infrastructure, subways, bullet trains, incredible airports, no violent crime or guns, world class shopping malls and attractions, and a female could walk by herself at 3 am at night in any part without having to worry about her safety. You couldn't say that about a single city in the US.

guangzhou

china

china

china

Most Helpful
Apr 15, 2021 - 6:09am

In the next century? In the upcoming 10 years. The fanaticism with which American elites have embraced a jihad against their own civilization to force its collapse finds rare equivalents in history.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

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Apr 15, 2021 - 5:52am

Yeah but they don't have diversity and inclusion.

Srsly, all those buildings look the same.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Apr 15, 2021 - 6:45am

Skid row in LA is pretty diverse just saying 

China has a lot of distinctive architecture that pushes the envelope in ways the West doesn't do anymore and the Chinese government is making major moves with their urban planning policy towards creating functional living city spaces, parks, etc in their cities.

outside of NYC and Chicago this country is just strip malls with the same chain stores and chain restaurants and the same low rise apartment buildings anyways 

Apr 15, 2021 - 6:38am

Lloyd BIankfein

All of these cities in China are very clean, the homeless are scarce, no open drug usage, have first class amenities and infrastructure, subways, bullet trains, incredible airports, no violent crime or guns, world class shopping malls and attractions, and a female could walk by herself at 3 am at night in any part without having to worry about her safety. You couldn't say that about a single city in the US.

guangzhou

china

china

china

No Guns >>>

Will never understand the weird obsession that Americans have with Guns.

  • Intern in PE - Other
Apr 15, 2021 - 10:11am

It's literally a foundation of which the country was built. The ability to protect yourself and your family from tyranny. Before you go "well hurr durr good luck fighting off TANKS and BOMBERS", the taliban has been doing it for decades. And the U.S. government is kept relatively in check since most military members are 2A advocates anyway. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 10:55am

CollierV

Lloyd BIankfein

All of these cities in China are very clean, the homeless are scarce, no open drug usage, have first class amenities and infrastructure, subways, bullet trains, incredible airports, no violent crime or guns, world class shopping malls and attractions, and a female could walk by herself at 3 am at night in any part without having to worry about her safety. You couldn't say that about a single city in the US.

guangzhou

china

china

china

- expand -

No Guns >>>

Will never understand the weird obsession that Americans have with Guns.

It's been explained thousands of times. If you don't get it by now, you never will.

Apr 15, 2021 - 5:30pm

CollierV

Lloyd BIankfein

All of these cities in China are very clean, the homeless are scarce, no open drug usage, have first class amenities and infrastructure, subways, bullet trains, incredible airports, no violent crime or guns, world class shopping malls and attractions, and a female could walk by herself at 3 am at night in any part without having to worry about her safety. You couldn't say that about a single city in the US.

guangzhou

china

china

china

- expand -

No Guns >>>

Will never understand the weird obsession that Americans have with Guns.

It does not makes any sense but Americans have been duped into thinking that guns are a good thing.  Former  Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative, said the idea that there was an individual right to bear arms was a fraud.

http://www.series65examtutor.com
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Apr 14, 2021 - 11:38pm

Strongly disagree. Demand for NYC apartments is through the roof - lots of people left 7-12 months ago, sure, but since December they've been ramping back, landlords are slashing concessions, etc.

I'm in Texas and love it, but everyone calling for the death of the largest cities in the country is either misguided or pushing a political point. Certain policies may not be helping, but people want to live in cities like NYC and LA, which was true before the pandemic and will be true after it - if prices stay down, that will just entice them further and we'll get back to an equilibrium.

Most employers don't want permanent remote work, and those who have been able to maintain their inflated coastal salaries during the pandemic may sing a different tune when comp comes back in line with the local market post-pandemic and they realize they don't actually like living in Florida, or Arizona, or wherever. My view continues to be that cheap support staff will continue to shift to LCOL markets as they have been for decades, but ambitious professionals will want to remain concentrated in major cities even if it means paying a little more tax (earnings growth >>> savings).

  • Intern in HF - Other
Apr 15, 2021 - 12:07am

Have spent a lot of time in AZ. The RE prices were attractive 12-18 months ago and bargains between 2014-2017, but they've gone up 3-4x in the past 7 years in the most attractive areas and IMO are at levels now where any desire I had before to go back at some point has waned. 

From November-February you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere in North America with as good of weather but March-October are a living hell if you didn't grow up in AZ.

Apr 15, 2021 - 5:49am

Rome went from 2 million people (peak estimates say 3.5) in antiquity to 30k in the Middle Ages. We live in faster times, let's see how long does it take for NYC to do an equivalent. All liberals guilty of course.

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Apr 15, 2021 - 10:58am

Thanks, going to watch in a bit. Looking at the title slide it says "why it may last until 2030." I think were actually just getting started, 2021 may look pretty solid compared to 2030.

Apr 22, 2021 - 1:22pm

Interesting video, really hits it spot on in its contextualization and characterization of both millennials and gen z, and these evaluations have been further bolstered by COVID since the video was made.  While COVID in one sense united everyone around the world around one universal problem, it also of course made certain divisions much more evident and observable, so I'm curious if COVID will serve the role of the "regeneracy" point (and transition into the crisis and beyond stages) within the fourth turning

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Apr 15, 2021 - 10:19am

Lots of good points in this thread. If we are talking NYC, the top 1% pays 42.5% of the taxes. Yet these people are the most mobile and the city / state is doing everything it can to drive these people away. And just to be clear, we are talking about 39,000 people paying almost half of the taxes. This reliance of high earners in a era of expanding mobility is going to be a problem, especially in a city where spending is out of control and has dire need for infrastructure replacement. The NYC budget has doubled over the last 10 years, yet I challenge anyone to show any improvements whatsoever to the quality of living. Similarly, a lot of key infrastructures are about to fail and building anything has gotten so absurdly expensive that the city will probably need hundreds of billions just to replace soon to fail tunnels and bridges. Even if I think the city will remain a great attraction to a lot of people, imagine the fiscal impact of half of the 1% moving permanently, it would devastate the city finance. And let's be honest, probably something like 90%+ of these people have been gone from NYC since last march.

Which brings me to the other point. While I do think lower COL cities are going to benefit, the biggest impact of WFH IMO is that it doesn't tie you to a city anymore and you can live practically anywhere. I'm really into outdoor stuff (snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking and climbing / hiking) and always dreamed of living in the Rockies. However, it has always remained a bit of a pipe dream given the absence of good paying jobs. So either you have to make f u money and semi-retire there or live the ski bum life. Now that we can work from anywhere, suddenly living full time in say Boulder, Truckee or Jackson is possible. And these area have seen a huge influx of tech / finance worker since the pandemic started, building communities of like-minded people that offer potential for a great social life. We bought a cottage / lake house early in the pandemic and have been living there since and I cannot imagine going back to city living all week. I can put some executive time in my calendar and there's hiking / mountain biking trails right outside my door to go for a quick bike / hike and there's no word on how refreshing it is. I wake up every morning looking at the lake, have ton of space around the house (we use to live in a 950 sq ft condo so it's quite the change). Sure I probably wouldn't have liked it in my 20s (I lived in NYC, London and Tokyo), but that's only a short part of your life. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 10:58am

Livin the dream man. Just accepted a full time remote job so hoping to do the same. I live in a smaller New England town right now so I can do most of the stuff pretty easily, but it's not the same as being in the rockies/utah/tahoe etc. 

Apr 15, 2021 - 11:07am

what you going to do remotely big dawg? and where'd you find the role? there is a guy on WSO that does a sales job remotely after he works his finance job, this was well before COVID, I'm sure he was taking in an extra ~$200k from sales alone.

Apr 15, 2021 - 11:02am

my complaints about American cities as an outsider:

NY - too many weirdos and the city is too much of a grid. it's very annoying. every block looks the same.
LA - pulling in to DTLA from LAX and the road is covered in tents. Santa Monica and Hollywood full of crack heads. it aint look like this is the movies.
SF - don't know what the fuck was going on here but there was hundreds of crazy homeless people and crack heads. tent city too. 
MI - too hot
O-town - Love it
LV - Love it

and you neanderthals haven't discovered gun laws yet

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