Sunday, November 20, 2005

Abandoning Manhattan

There's a lot of talk today--including on tonight's 60 Minutes--about how the country can't afford to support New Orleans and the city should be abandoned. It is an argument that could be made about a number of US cities: Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami. But most of all it can be made regarding Manhattan. Imagine the money that could be saved and the economic bump other cities would receive if only we shut down Manhattan and forced relocation on all of its citizens and businesses!

Some other points to consider:

1. Manhattan is an island, which makes mandatory evacuation impossible. This is compounded by the fact that many of the citizens mysteriously do not own cars and depend on public transportation.

2. With its dense population, thousands of people will die and even more will become homeless after the next, inevitable terrorist attack.

3. When the original settlers chose the small Manhattan island, they had no plan for the future growth of the city. Via highrises and boroughs, Manhattan has overgrown its natural boundaries.

4. The ongoing cost--in cash as well as various taxbreaks--of protecting Manhattan should not be placed on the burden of taxpayers. This is money that would be better spent elsewhere.

5. The inflated cost of living in Manhattan trickles down to consumers across the nation. Imagine how much more affordable clothes would be if the fashion industry were relocated to Iowa!!

Of course, these points are idiotic. Yet they are pretty much the points being made by some Boston professor desperate for some attention. Imagine saying the same things about...Africa. Yet the main difference between New Orleans and other cities is this: it is Southern, it is mostly African American, and itis demographically poor. So lets dismantle Manhattan first. There must be a fair way to divide up its resources and spread them across the country--and in the end we'll all be stronger because of it.

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