“Point of no return” noun
: a critical point at which turning back or reversal is not possible
The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, lost her bid for reelection yesterday. This is a good thing. She was a truly awful mayor who did real harm to that city. The problem is that it made no difference if she won or lost. If you live in one of the larger cities in this country… it’s too late to recover. All the bigger cities are headed rapidly towards societal and economic collapse. There is nothing that can be done about it.
Rudy Giuliani managed to make a huge difference in New York during his tenure in the ’90’s. He did it via aggressive policing and prosecution. This was before the modern cell phone camera and instant social media. Officers were free to do their job without ten people filming their every encounter, just hoping some outrage will happen that can go viral. Today an officer has zero incentive to do anything other than write up a report after the latest mugging or smash and grab.
Work from home has decimated commercial real estate in big cities. Amazon and the big box stores have killed downtown shopping districts. Why go downtown to shop when you risk dealing with mentally ill homeless people and the chance of being mugged, when you can order online and have it delivered the next day?
Today, there is no mayor who would risk implementing the level of aggressive policing it would take to clean up a major city. No mayor or city council would approve pushing out the homeless and their camps or stopping panhandling. Even if there were, the city’s legal team would put a stop to it right away. The city would be mired in lawsuits from day one if they tried any of this.
Nope. It’s too late. I don’t care how much you love your big city. If you value your family, it’s time to get out. Like a drug addict who’s fallen off the wagon time and time again, at some point you have to recognize they can’t be helped. Things aren’t going get better. Homelessness is going to get worse. Crime will keep increasing. Your taxes will continue to increase. Sorry. That’s reality. The sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be.
It’s happening everywhere. My little city is rapidly becoming a medium sized city due to a massive influx from California and Washington. The signs of decline are starting to appear here as well. More panhandlers. Small homeless camps here and there. For the first time ever I’m starting to see graffiti and gang signs. Drugs are showing up. We have a very liberal mayor and city council, so there’s no way they’ll attempt to do anything to nip this in the bud.
Don’t get me wrong, I still live in a very safe city. I’m comfortable walking downtown at night. But as growth continues, that will change. It’s the broken windows theory. Visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder creates an urban environment that encourages more crime and disorder. If you don’t take steps to combat those minor crimes, the problem will get away from you.
Unfortunately, nobody has the appetite to honestly discuss building more prisons, prosecuting criminals, dealing with mental illness, or letting police be proactive again. Those topics have become the new third rail of politics. Until we’re willing to face reality… society will continue on a downward spiral.
I laugh at the socially liberal folks who honestly think if they just implement the right social program, pay enough money, and encourage people to just be more compassionate… the problem will magically fix itself. Nobody wants to be intentionally cruel or uncaring. But in the real world, a little tough love is the only solution that actually works.
It’s a little depressing to think about. But I managed to get myself out of a big city years ago. Fingers crossed, my little piece of the world won’t collapse in my lifetime. My family is in a good place. Take a long hard look at the city you live in. Whatever the condition it’s currently in – it’s going to get exponentially worse. When it does, do you still want to be there?