Voting With Their Feet

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about what is happening to the cost of living in New York City.

The article reports:

More than a third of all city residents say they can’t afford to live anywhere in the state — much less the Big Apple — and believe economic hardship will send them packing in five years or less, according to a dismal new poll.

That’s 41 percent of city dwellers who say they can’t cope with New York’s high cost of living, according to a Quinnipiac poll published Wednesday.

Separately, 41 percent fear they’ll be “forced” to pull up stakes and seek greener pastures where the economic climate is more welcoming.

“They are making this city a city for the wealthy, and they are really choking out the middle class,’’ said Ari Buitron, a 49-year-old paralegal and born-and-bred New Yorker from Forest Hills, Queens.

The cost of taxes and housing have driven many residents south:

Even well-heeled New Yorkers are being lured down south thanks to New York’s hefty tax burden and new federal tax policies that punish high-tax states, according to Miami property magnate Gil Dezer.

“Because of the city tax and the non-deductibility of your real estate taxes, we’re seeing a lot more people with piqued interest,” he told The Post.

The poll’s findings reinforce research done by the Empire Center for Public Policy that shows that New York leads the nation in terms of residents jumping ship.

“It’s not surprising. The out migration downstate is first and foremost about affordability. Rent and property taxes downstate are very high,” said the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon.

Right now, a very large percentage of Americans live in New York City and Los Angeles. If the electoral college were eliminated, these cities would essentially elect our President. However, if these cities continue to lose population, eliminating the electoral college, despite the fact that it would be a foolish move, might not have the effect those calling for its elimination desire.

Why Many Americans Are Losing Faith In Their Government

Yesterday The New York Post posted a story illustrating one way that some of our politicians exploit their offices. I suspect that what went on here may actually be legal, but that does not necessarily make it right.

The story reports:

The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband (Sen. Dianne Feinstein), Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.

Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.

This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.

It would be nice if, just for the sake of appearances, Mr. Blum chose not to participate in the deal.

The Recovery Doesn’t Seem To Be Recovering Very Well

Yesterday Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about the latest report to come out on the housing market. The National Association of Realtors reported that the market for both new homes and existing homes went down in March. March was the third month out of the past four months when sales of existing homes have gone down.

The article reports:

Residential real estate remains the economy’s soft spot, challenged by stricter lending standards, lower home values and the threat of more foreclosures. An improved labor market and mortgage rates near historic lows have yet to stoke bigger gains in demand.

The article further states:

The description of an “improved labor market” applied more in February than it did in March.  Last month, the US only added 120,000 jobs, barely enough to keep up with population growth.  Even before that, the previous three months added around 650,000 jobs in the aggregate, which means actual growth above population increase of about 300,000 jobs — which wouldn’t greatly increase demand in the housing market, but shouldn’t result in a decrease in demand.  First-time buyers still only account for a third of these purchases, when the normal level is around 40%, according to Bloomberg News.  That’s an indication of a lack of confidence among younger adults.

I am not an economist, but it seems to me that until people feel they have secure jobs, they won’t buy houses. I also wonder if the fact that it used to cost $30 to fill up a gas tank and now costs $60 might have people saving their pennies in case things get worse.

 

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