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New York! San Francisco! Our once grand cities are fast turning into… Yikesvilles. To help our hosts work up a diagnosis, The Ricochet Podcast needs the great Victor Davis Hanson. The quartet talk universities; they consider the unique top-down nature of this new wave of revolution, and discuss whether the country is in graver danger than it was in those dreadful 1970s.
Then James, Peter and Rob muse on the recently discarded standards of public decency vis-à-vis debased internet content and the all-to-common swear word.
Song of the Week:
- Sound clip is from New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s remarks after the seeing the video of Jordan Neely’s death
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Rhymes with ginpole?
I’ve heard it said that the deleted expletives in the Nixon tapes were mostly goddams.
And the bleeping made people imagine things so much worse. Though for me, the Lord’s name in vain is in many ways more serious than an F-bomb.
One of the late night comedians had a regular feature in which he would insert completely unnecessary bleeps into G-rated videos, with comical effect.
Spicy for a Quaker.
This was a really good podcast.
As for NYC comeback. I see there was a GOP governor from 1995 to 2006. That probably helped. I don’t see how any city in California can make a comeback. There are Leftists at every level of government and the proposition system allows the lefties not in office to make things worse.
I grew up in NY and live south of San Francisco. My (now few) friends who live there have told me NOT to visit. Never, ever go downtown …Union Square is ripe with dog matter, human feces, marijuana, meth, fentanyl, needles…a cornucopia of litter. My nephew is a realtor in Manhattan. He left fora cottage in Vermont when Covid hit and returned AFTER the St. George riots to tell me then that it’s ‘mostly dead’, to quote from Princess Bride, but rapidly moving to completely dead. Those who live there have a LOT of $$….they Uber to a restaurant or are chauffeured or have gourmet meals delivered. There are more pets than kids.
The Progressives have won. It’s why I said that despair is rather optimistic.
But it is, inevitably, a pyrrhic victory.
You know how people in Utah get porn now?
To despair is to blathe?
I agree, the last time we experienced this – the late 70s, some of the institutions were intact (military, business) – the progressives run everything now and will try to kill anything that does not adhere to their orthodoxy.
Makes me want a MLT sandwich.
I can see your point, until one looks it up, and finds that the GOP Governor was George Pataki. I am not sure that even his mother found him helpful.
I think its more a sign of the times, leftists have marched through all the institutions and they’re not pretending anymore. They’re confident that they’re on the cusp of total victory.
I had a slight chuckle when Peter mixed up Stuyvesant high school Manhattan with Bedford Stuyvesant a Brooklyn neighborhood, entirely different demographic.
There are many people still that don’t speak that way. Convincing us, through movies, TV and music, that everyone does, is just one more way to destroy the country.
I’m in favor of violence or swearing in art when it helps tell the story (war movies, for example), but I am opposed to it in nearly every other case. Of course, I noticed a significant trend toward dystopian “entertainment” many years ago, and this is why I watch almost nothing new these days.
I was born in Detroit. By 1980 it was a crappy city and now has 1/3 its peak population. Things can bad quickly and never turn around. I found this nice description of Detroit at its peak.
Unspoken is that in 1950 America was still the main production nation due to the world being bombed.
It’s in there.
Gentlemen (@peterrobinson , @roblong),
I think the discussion on America’s dying cities was missing something very important.
Please check out my Main Feed post, Saving Our Cities (Part 2) where I describe a likely mechanism that is consistent with incentives and observations, explain why most suggestions won’t work, and offer what is probably the only workable solution.
Putting these four mechanisms together provides a very consistent explanation for the current state of our major cities.
Since we’re talking San Francisco, consider this thread from a local high tech investor.
Threadreader version here.
This isn’t getting in the news very much. The San Francisco BART system is a disaster. It’s unbelievable. Ridership is down 60% since the pandemic they have federal funds supporting it that run out in about a year. There isn’t one fiscal metric that isn’t a disaster. When I go out there, everybody hates it. It never used to be like this. 40 years after building the thing, they are spending millions on bigger gates, so people can’t fair jump. Choo-choo trains are magnets for crime and social problems. It’s this gigantic capital project that is going to collapse pretty soon. Then throw in the fact that they don’t have enough free ways to not use it, and all housing is built around it.
Choo-choo trains are a leverage point for social problems.
The point is that a city can go from most prosperous big city in the world to murder capital of the world in a generation.
Yes, my late college roommate, a Stuyvesant grad, used to bristle when we’d tease him about going to “Bedford Stuyvesant.”
But US car production increased up through the 80’s, during the time Detroit went seriously downhill.
And a substantial fraction of the US car production moved to neighboring cities (Dearborn, Windsor, Dundee, Trenton, Warren) and cities in other states.
VDH is completely on point with this podcast from a few days ago:
My point is still valid about a yearning to return to 1950s anywhere.
But if you want to ignore it and pretend that we can return to the way things were when we produced half of the worlds products go right ahead.
I don’t yearn for the 1950s, I just wish our largest and most important cities hadn’t become post-apocalyptic hellscapes.
The US was the number one nation in manufacturing output until pretty recently, around 2010, when China had ramped up enough to overtake us. And with the advances in robotics and logistics automation, and the fact that robots in China aren’t cheaper than robots in the US, I think we’re seeing a potential manufacturing renaissance.
Don’t the robots in the US come from China?