Television personality Sean Hannity moved out of New York in 2014; President Donald Trump , a lifelong New Yorker who grew up straphanging on the city’s subway, moved out this year. Between these two poles, Governor Andrew Cuomo has presided over an exodus of residents. This is an exodus of talent, treasure and potential.
This struck a chord with me, because I watched my peers, born and raised on New York’s Long Island, Staten Island, and in Westchester County leave the Empire State by the handful. They graduated college and set out for the South, particularly Florida. With home purchases and families started, they aren’t coming back soon. Weather was not the issue. It was housing costs, traffic delays, career prospects, and taxes; overall cost and quality of living.
Immigration from around the world masks the effect of this exodus; it is the difference between New York’s resilient dynamism and Rust Belt decay. But New York has made large investments in its youth; to include college tuition in recent years. Why is the Governor so willing to see the future disappear? I would point to entrenched constituencies who believe that things are “good enough” under current leadership. The critical mass demanding better, the citizen voters who put Andrew Cuomo’s father out of office in 1994, have decamped for other states, taking their New York educations, pensions and real estate proceeds with them.