by Simon Black
In the 1650s, European rivals like England and France were busy dividing up the New World in North America.
France settled much of modern day Quebec in Canada, and England initially settled colonies in the mid-Atlantic.
The English and French didn’t have much in common, and they were bitter rivals. But one thing they did agree on was their mutual hatred of Jewish people.
This was part of a long tradition in Europe. Jews had been expelled from England in 1290. France kicked out all its Jews on at least three occasions from 1192 to 1394.
Spain expelled its Jewish population the same year Columbus sailed for the new world, and Portugal followed a few years later.
And still in the 1650s, Jews were banned from the French and English colonies in North America.
The Governor of the Dutch colony, “New Netherland”, also tried to turn away a group of Jewish refugees in 1654.
But the West India Company, which essentially founded and ran New Netherland, intervened, and convinced him otherwise.
It’s not that the West India Company was into “celebrating diversity.” It simply came down to economics. They wanted productive, talented people to settle their colony.
So the West India Company gently reminded the Governor that a large portion of the colony’s capital had come from Jewish investors.
A small settlement on the tip of Manhattan called New Amsterdam was especially tolerant.
It even welcomed free black men, which was sadly radical, forward-thinking back then.
This was a time in history when the Catholic Church was suppressing science and philosophy across Europe, claiming all free thought to be heresy.
The Ottoman Empire, in modern day Turkey, did the same thing in the name of Islam, going so far as to ban the printing press.
It was this type of restriction that screamed opportunity in New Amsterdam. And it’s estimated that the settlement produced about half of all books published in the 17th century.
This included works from Galileo, who spent the last decade of his life in the mid-1600s under house arrest in Italy, convicted of heresy by the Catholic church for his scientific theories.
A remarkable number of wealthy people in the early days of New Amsterdam started from nothing. They were the original self-made men and women of America.
New Amsterdam was later renamed New York, but it kept the free-wheeling, entrepreneurial culture.
It was these values of freedom, tolerance, and a full embrace of capitalism that made it the wealthiest city in the world.
Today, New York City has totally reversed course. The city’s leadership openly attacks talented people and productive businesses, and its politicians have embraced Marxism.
Just think back to what happened last year with Amazon’s headquarters, which would have brought 25,000 high paying jobs, and half a billion dollars in yearly tax revenue to the city.
Amazon was chased out of town by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her merry band of Bolsheviks. And they celebrated as if it were a victory.
It wasn’t just Amazon either– New York has been losing residents for years.
And that was before Covid-19. Then NYC became one of the worst places in the world to be locked down.
No freedom, no movement, and ridiculous rents for a shoebox apartment that you couldn’t even leave.
Now the city says it will not allow large events until at least October. Of course, that ban won’t apply to protesters and rioters– another great reason to get out of NYC.
Many people are working from home now anyway. So any work-related reason for staying in New York City has evaporated.
According to data from the New York Times, the richest neighborhoods in New York City saw an exodus of about 40% of residents since the pandemic hit.
(That’s compared to lower and middle income neighborhoods, where fewer than 10% of residents have left.)
Overall about 5% of the NYC population– over 400,000 people– have left since the coronavirus lockdowns began– and most of those were high-income earners.
Manhattan housing vacancy is at a 14 year high, and new leases are down 62% from this time last year.
This is a major emerging trend. And not just for New York City.
Data from the real estate website Redfin does show that New York City is the number one destination people want out of right now. But San Francisco and Los Angeles aren’t far behind.
Redfin also reports record numbers of people searching for real estate outside of their current metro area. They’ve seen an 87% increase in people searching for homes in suburbs with a population smaller than 50,000.
Of course, a lot of these people are still on the fence. They are thinking and dreaming of escaping to a sunny state with no income tax, like Florida or Texas.
All it would take is a second wave of lockdowns to push them over the edge.
Right now, it makes a lot of sense. Anyone who can work from home is highly mobile. And moving to a new state can bring huge savings– lower taxes, lower cost of living, etc.
And don’t forget about Puerto Rico, where qualifying residents can be entirely exempt from US federal income tax, and reduce their total tax rate to just 4%.
I’m sure these New York politicians like AOC will celebrate that their Bolshevik policies continue to chase out productive people and businesses.
But it just so happens that the richest 5% of New York City’s population pays over 60% of income taxes in the city.
Just one of these high earning New Yorkers paid about as much taxes as 196 median-earning New Yorkers… and thousands of lower-income residents.
So, go figure, these politicians seem completely clueless that they’re chasing away more than half of their tax base. It’s another victory for American Marxism!
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