What really matters is the everyday stuff: Do the subways work? Do they leave and arrive on time? Do they smell like port-a-potties? Is the garbage piling up? Are the streets clean, safe and orderly? Can you get around town to do business and live your life, or is it an ordeal every time you set foot outside of your own neighborhood? Can you get to the airports easily? Are the schools worth a damn?
That’s the real challenge for New York City — and it’s a tough one. There isn’t one simple thing you can do to fix it, because it isn’t one simple thing that’s wrong. It’s a lot of complicated things, and Bill de Blasio’s cheap moralistic theatrics aren’t going to get it done.
It would be great if New York City were more affordable. But even though its taxes are very high, there isn’t any tax cut that is going to make New York City affordable enough to offset the dysfunctional transit system, the crumbling infrastructure, the awful schools and occasional bouts of municipal chaos — not when the alternatives are increasingly attractive on their own merits.