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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NYT should visit New York City

The New York Times sent intrepid reporter David Gelles into deepest, darkest New England to report on the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on Bristol, New Hampshire, a town of 3,300 people.

Gelles wrote of its Freudenberg factory, "which employs 350 people and makes bonded piston seals and other components for carmakers around the world, has an outsize impact on Bristol’s economy."

The plant is shuttered temporarily.

If the Times wants a story on a town so devastated by COVID-19 that it is unlikely to recover in 10 years, it should send David Gelles to New York City. Manhattan is a ghost town.

The streets are empty in a city of 8 million. This is not their fault. Yes, they could have acted sooner but this punishment does not fit the mistake.

In Bristol, Gelles wrote, "On April 3, the bad news started to spread around town. Freudenberg announced it was firing more than 100 people, shutting down its manufacturing of bonded piston seals and looking for additional buyouts. With car sales around the world essentially halted, automakers were suspending operations, and suppliers like Freudenberg were suddenly without revenue to pay workers in places like Bristol."

Tourism is its backup plan.

Well, you can see how good that is now. West Virginians feel their pain. Our chemical factories, steel mills, and aluminum plants were devastated by first Japan, then NAFTA, and now Red China.

The New York Times, however, supported all this and supports the shutdown because it believes another depression will wipe out capitalism in America. The Times overlooks the fact that it is a capitalist operation. No ads, no Times.

Let us look at New York.

The financial center of America is now the epicenter of COVID-19 of America. Wall Street is now telecommuting. Is there any reason to stop once the all-clear signal sounds?

The trillions of dollars invested in stocks and bonds can be bought and sold online. Why bother having a presence in Manhattan where the rents are high? Brokers are still needed, but they can relocate to less congested places that are less susceptible to Chinese viruses.

Other corporate headquarters also will re-locate. Why would a CEO risk his health to live there? The Times story on Bristol, New Hampshire, did not say whether anyone in the town had COVID-19. I suspect no one does. The story said many people have their second homes there. They may wish to make them their primary homes. 

Then there is Times Square and tourism. Visit New York City? Are you crazy? Why would anyone from Twin Oaks, Ohio, want to risk getting the next COVID-19 there?

This is not 9/11 where everyone rallied behind New York. Rudy Giuliani is not the mayor now, some communist named de Blasio is. New York was a victim in 2001. Now many Americans blame New York City for this shutdown.

Then there is real estate. Most residents are renters. Decades of rent control have led to a crazy quilt of uneven rents and subleases. A three-month rent holiday devastates not only landlords but people who are renting out their apartments. This is just the beginning of the woes of landlords as people flee. No money, no maintenance, and more people will leave.

Restaurants will feel the pain. People in New York have learned to cook. While the New York Times sent a reporter to Bristol, New Hampshire, the Los Angeles Times sent Stephen Battaglio to Manhattan.

Melissa Fleischut, president and chief executive of the New York State Restaurant Association, told the paper, "I think people were afraid after 9-11, but they weren’t afraid to go out and eat. As long as the pandemic continues to go on, I think the prospects for the majority of restaurants to come out on the other side is slimming. I think it is an altering event — a moment of change for the industry for sure."

Her job is to cheerlead her industry. She can't.

The Los Angeles Times noted, "Nearly half of restaurants in New York are closed even with the provision that they can serve food and alcoholic beverages for takeout and delivery."

I doubt they will re-open.

The demise of fine restaurants will affect the elitists. Do you really think a stuffed shirt like John Podhoretz will take his kids to McDonald's. Oh, they will keep their condos. There is no market for them anyway. But they will spend their money in Palm Beach, Palm Springs, and wherever else rich folks go.

The rest of the service industry also will suffer. Fewer offices means fewer maintenance crews. It also means fewer packages sent by FedEx and the like. The people who make the city run face layoffs.

Tax revenues will fall. City services will falter.

Manhattan will be like it was in the 1970s again, only there is no young Donald John Trump on the horizon to reverse the fleeing, and there is no Rudy Giuliani to fight the crime.

This is tragic. 8 million people will suffer for a far longer time than most people realize. If you think I get any joy out of this, you are wrong. I have seen economic devastation in West Virginia, and yes, it catches up with the local paper.

The New York Times is wrong. COVID-19 will not kill small-town America. Bristol will come back. Car factories will re-open. They will need Freudenberg parts.

No, COVID-19 is killing the biggest town in America.

The New York Times fancies itself as a world newspaper, but it is still a New York newspaper. Its local ads help pay the bills. The paper's managers should get their noses out of the air and realize that the biggest crisis is not the president they dislike but that their city is about to suffer an economic collapse that has not been seen by an American city since at least the depression and perhaps the civil war.

New York needs leadership. The Times could provide it. Instead of trying to save the world, it should try to save its city and itself.


  1. You are spot-on Don. NYC people don’t realize how little they matter. The manufacturing and farming that runs America is not there.

    But pleeeeeeeease. When you New Yaaaaaekaz are fleeing, don’t come to where I am. Move to New Joysee.

    1. As one of the few conservatives in NJ, my gut reaction is, 'No, please stay out of my state, New Yawkers! We're full up.' However, since I have no voice in the liberal sanctuary state of NJ, we might as well take on more liberals and keep them from infecting other states with their leftist crap. This, of course, won't happen as NJ taxes are the highest in the country. People and businesses are fleeing the state. I have to stay because that's where the work is.

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  3. Agreed SL. We have enough NY transplants in Florida. I hear Colorado is nice this time of year!

    1. Please NO! Colorado has had to absorbed the California population smart enough to leave but still too dumb to NOT vote Demoncrat!

  4. Not only NO, but HELL NO to Colorado...we've already been damaged by all the Californian communists like Polis that have moved here and made pot legal. Colorado has been Californicated and, like CA, has no GOP capable of stopping the bleeding. Conservatives are fleeing CO as fast as we can...

  5. The NYC (just like WAPO) is the plaything of Carlos Slim and other globalists. Losing money means little to men with their pocketbooks. Politically speaking it is effectively a Social Democratic party organ. There are still good sections of the paper that have not yet been badly infected by by Wokery. But they are shrinking.


  6. Meanwhile, in Miami...

  7. No need to let all that real estate go to waste. Turn Manhattan Island into a federal penitentiary. 'Escape From New York' for real.
    -Call me Snake.

  8. Great day to put out this blog. The day the Titanic sank, see any similarity here? It is also the usual Income Tax filing deadline, brought about by the 16th Amendment, the beginning if our long march toward socialism. I am 70 y.o. and will not have to suffer long as the erosion of our Constitutional rights continues. I pity our children and grandchildren who will suffer.

  9. At los angeles, the times meets the lock down.

  10. When people used to ask me why I was moving to the Oregon Outback, the rude answer was "Because you don't!" There is no one in New York who wants to live where I do, and I am very pleased to know that.
    PDJT said at a presser the other day that he was the only reason the NYT is still in business. "When I'm no longer president in five years, they will be gone too." The market for Fake News will disappear.
    Whatever we end up with after all this is over, it won't ever be like it was before.

  11. I'm retired in the Choctaw nation, living in mountains formed 300 million years ago. covered in oak, pine, hickory and cedar. I love it. good climate, plenty of rain, and real nice folks here are good at getting by under their own steam, but always ready with a helping hand if needed. we live in a wonder ful marvel ous world for all too short a time. savor every bite with gusto.


  12. Manhattan restaurants are going to get clobbered. As old leases expired, landlord jacked up the rents to the point old restaurants had to close and newer trendy restaurants replaced them. I think they are very susceptible to any decrease in cash flow and will close.

    NY'ers are a special breed (this is not a compliment). They live in a world where they are overly compensated for skills that are not physically useful. I lived in a building with 216 apartments. There wasn't a single tenant I'd want to be with in a foxhole or on a desert island. They were incredibly useless and couldn't do anything more complicated than change a lightbulb and had to call the building maintenance staff. But could they ever look down their noses on conservatives!

  13. This right here is why I read your blog, Don. Excellent analysis.

  14. In rural northeaster MD we have seen many more NY license plates and I wonder if that is why our number of cases have increased.

  15. I used to work at Sears and Kmart. I was there in the early 90's when both companies were already locked into their death spirals. Sears was the original Amazon - you could buy practically anything without leaving your home, and have it delivered to your door. And at lower prices too!

    Kmart was the original Walmart. When Kmart opened in my home town we were amazed at the wide selection of products and the low prices.

    Both companies are still officially in business, but they grow smaller every year. The local stores here are closed.

    I took a trip to Chichen Itza once. It was the capital of the Mayan Civilization. The Mayans are gone. Chichen Itza is nothing but ruins in the middle of a Yucatan jungle.

  16. The LibCommie elitist prejudice against the people of Almost Heaven has made our state uninvadable. Open us up, Jumpin Jim. We got this shite.

  17. New Yorkers voted for their stupid mayor and their democratic
    leadership is destroying the city. Too bad. A nuclear bomb is the only thing that might clean it up. ☢️

  18. One of the most prescient and logical columns. You just keep the hits coming. You're one of the best.

  19. Back in the '90's I had a bumper sticker on my car: STOP BUYING MADE IN CHINA.
    That was 1992. Remember driving into NYC and getting a few looks and comments from the enlightened city dwellers when I was stopping for all the red lights. It was obvious back then what would eventually happen to this country. Those who chose to hand America over to China knew EXACTLY what would happen. It was planned. Just what did everyone think the New World Order was all about? Right now the Bush crime family foundation is saying we need MORE global co-operation in times like these. Yeah. MORE of what got us into this mess in the first place. You had to be blind not to understand that when you get rid of middle class jobs and import peasants by the millions that something was going to crater. We were all sold the idea that China would become more like us. Did anyone think that was the real reason why our country was sold down the river? No. The elites have a way of masking their evil with acceptable reasons so we don't question what their true agenda is. Like their "humanity" about letting in third world scum when it's really only about power, votes, and increasing the welfare state. The same was true for why America was being turned into a colony of China. Money. And what's even more terrifying: many of those in positions of power today are in complete agreement with China's politics. They WISH we were more like China. You'll see in the days, weeks, and months to come who the real traitors are when they fight like wild animals to keep China rising and America on her knees.

  20. It's going to last longer in NYC as well, since they are already starting to use mass transit again. I expect there to be a couple more surges in the city and surrounding area.

  21. Hahahahaha. Fuck NYC and every stupid fuck that lives there. Just fuck 'em.


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