All posts tagged: lowest levels

The Urban Doom Loop Hasn’t Happened—Yet

The Urban Doom Loop Hasn’t Happened—Yet

The pandemic was supposed to be the death of the great American city. The rise of remote work unleashed an exodus to the Sun Belt and suburbs, leaving behind empty subway cars, abandoned offices, and desolate downtowns. Violent crime spiked. Suddenly, so-called superstar cities—such as New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, which boomed throughout the 2010s—were facing what experts called an “urban doom loop.” The more people moved away, the worse things would get; the worse things got, the more people would move away; and so on, in an endless spiral that would do to superstar cities what the decline of the auto industry did to Detroit. But that hasn’t happened. Twenty-five of America’s 26 largest downtowns have more residents today than they did on the eve of the pandemic. Meanwhile, both violent and property crime plummeted in cities across the country in 2022 and 2023 (Washington, D.C., was a notable exception), and some other threats to public order, such as shoplifting, appear to have been overstated. In fact, the biggest problem that superstar cities …

The Great Normalization – The Atlantic

The Great Normalization – The Atlantic

America entered 2023 with two big problems and two leading theories about what was causing them. Over the preceding three years, the murder rate had reached levels not seen since the mid-1990s, which was widely attributed to reductions in policing following the protests over the murder of George Floyd. The inflation rate was even worse, by historical standards, peaking in 2022 at 9 percent, the highest number since 1981. This, in turn, was believed to be the result of Congress and the Biden administration pumping too much money into the economy. Each theory implied a solution to its respective crisis. To bring crime back down, America’s cities would have to empower their depleted and demoralized police forces. To tame inflation, the Federal Reserve would have to crush consumer spending by triggering a recession. Both theories now appear to have been wrong. Over the course of 2023, police forces kept shrinking, yet overall violent-crime rates plummeted to their lowest levels since the 1960s. And the economy boomed even as inflation came just about all the way …