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New York: Saturday, April 13, 2024
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POLITICS: Mayor Adams’ NYC is a blunderful life – and getting worse

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To judge from the happy talk coming from City Hall and Albany, these are Gotham’s golden days. The pols point to sky-high budgets — investments, they call them — as proof they are fighting to make New York better than ever.

To which the public responds: Liars, liars, pants on fire!
New Yorkers, it turns out, see life in the five boroughs as bad and getting worse. Much worse.

That’s the resounding message from a huge survey of city residents conducted by the private Citizens Budget Commission.

The findings amount to a thumbs-down response to our government overlords by painting a dismal view of the quality of life.

Even allowing for the fact that New Yorkers are renowned world-class complainers, the survey offers almost nothing for elected officials to cheer.

No matter how you slice it, it’s not a pretty picture. 

‘Good’ grief 

A few highlights, er, lowlights: 

  • Only 30% of respondents rate the quality of life as excellent or good, down from 51% in 2017 and 2008.
  • Only 24% rate the quality of government services good or excellent, down from 44% in 2017;
  •  Only 11% believe the government is spending tax dollars wisely, down from 21% in 2017.

How low must it go before the political establishment wakes up?

The conclusions are bad enough in the absolute sense, but are even worse in reflecting a sense of continuing decline over time.

A telling example is the response showing New Yorkers feel only marginally safer riding the subway during the day now than they felt on the subway at night in 2017.

Yikes.

The commission sent detailed questionnaires to a random sample of 125,000 households late last year to get meaningful participation from every borough, neighborhood, income level and racial and ethnic group.

It said the questions were consistent with a survey it conducted in 2017 and one the city conducted in 2008.


Only 30% of respondents rate the quality of life as excellent or good, only 24% rate the quality of government services good or excellent and only 11% believe the government is spending tax dollars wisely.

Although only about 6,600 households responded, organizers say the results are statistically valid, with some margins of error calculated at plus or minus 1 percentage point.

The commission, a private nonprofit founded in 1932, is widely respected for its budget and economic analyses of both city and state government. Although it carefully steers clear of partisanship, there is no way to ignore the political reality driving its findings.

It confirms a fact, repeatedly confirmed over time, that big, expensive government policies in deep blue cities and states hobble the economy and make public safety a dicey proposition.



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