“The economic crises of the early 1970s overwhelmed New York City,” writes James Doran in the British newspaper The Guardian. “The stock market crashed, oil prices plunged and unemployment soared.” Now that we’re rewriting that same scenario, will the same crime wave surge again? The article zeroes in on Bed-Stuy, the domain of Frank Serpico who would be wowed and disoriented by the million-dollar brownstones of the neighborhood today. “Crime has dropped dramatically over 30 years and continues to show strong reductions,” in the area. But what will happen now that we’ve got a billion dollar budget gap and a 5,000-man reduction in the police department? “There were 455 murders in New York City in the year to 16 November compared with 429 in the same period last year, an increase of 6 per cent,” they write. “And this is just the beginning of New York’s woes. The slump is expected to take a big toll on a city which relies on the financial services sector for some 10 per cent of its overall tax revenue. Add to that the amount of money that is pumped into the economy by wealthy bankers and financial traders who until recently were buying mansions and luxury cars and eating at expensive restaurants with abandon, and it soon becomes obvious that New York City is bankrolled by Wall Street.” Commissioner Kelly told the City Council yesterday that it would be a real challenge to keep crime down. On the jump, a handy comparison of 1970 NYC and now.
New York Fears Return of Dark Days [The Guardian]
Photo by csamperezbedos.
â€¢ Price of a subway ride – 30 cents in 1970 to 80 cents by 1979
â€¢ Price of a hot dog in Coney Island $1
â€¢ Top TV shows – All in the Family, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley
â€¢ Millions move out to the suburbs in the great urban flight
â€¢ Economy so bad that 3,000 are arrested for looting during a blackout
â€¢ Price of a subway ride $2
â€¢ Price of a hot dog at Nathan’s in Coney Island $3.20
â€¢ Top TV Shows – Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Heroes
â€¢ Millions move back to old city neighborhoods left derelict for a generation
â€¢ Economy so bad that mayor Michael Bloomberg demands a third term.