THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK: a reporter’s true tale tells the story of how a corrupted political system hollowed out New York City, leaving it especially vulnerable, all in the name of equity and “fairness.”
When, in the future, people ask how New York City fell to pieces, they can be told—quoting Hemingway— “gradually, then suddenly.” New Yorkers awoke from a slumber of ease and prosperity to discover that their glorious city was not only unprepared for crisis, but that the underpinnings of its fortune had been gutted by the reckless mismanagement of Bill de Blasio and the progressive political machine that elevated him to power.
Faced with a global pandemic of world-historical proportions, the mayor dithered, offering contradictory, unscientific, and meaningless advice. The city became the world’s epicenter of infection and death. The protests, riots, and looting that followed the death of George Floyd, and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement—cheered on and celebrated by the media and political class—accelerated the crash of confidence that New York City needed in order to rebound quickly from the economic disaster.
Through reckless financial husbandry; by sowing racial discord and resentment; by enshrining a corrosive pay-to-play political culture that turned City Hall into a ticket office; and by using his office as a platform to advance himself as a national political figure, Bill de Blasio set the stage for the ruin of New York City.
As New Yorkers slowly adjust to their new reality, they ask themselves how we had been so unprepared—not so much for the coronavirus, which caught everyone by surprise—but for the economic shock, which was at least foreseeable. THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK is the story of how a lifelong political operative with no private-sector experience assumed control of a one-party city where almost nobody bothers to vote, and then proceeded to loot the treasury on behalf of the labor unions, race hustlers, and connected insiders who had promoted him to power.
Bill de Blasio’s failure to manage the outbreak of Covid-19 is well established. But what is less well understood is how poorly he managed the city up to the point of the pandemic, and how his mismanagement left New York City vulnerable to the social, economic, and cultural shocks that have leveled its confidence and brought into question its capacity to absorb the creative energies of the world and reflect them back in the form of opportunity and wealth, as it has done for hundreds of years. At a moment when socialist currents are stirring throughout America, Bill de Blasio’s term in office in New York City is a demonstration of what those impulses actually produce: debt, decay, and bloat.
THE LAST DAYS OF NEW YORK: a reporter’s true tale is a history of New York City from its recovery from the recession of 2008-2009 through the triple disaster of the pandemic, civil unrest, and collapse in revenue of 2020. Mayor Bill de Blasio, now widely appreciated as the WORST mayor in the history of the city, is presented as the instrument of decline: a key symptom of the rot that expedited the city’s downfall.