The Decline of America’s Major Urban Centers

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The Decline of America’s Major Urban Centers

Metaphorically, America’s cities are burning.  These major urban centers, which were already losing population before the pandemic, have provided the ideal kindling for a “social conflagration” in the form of massive unemployment, closed businesses, and already rising crime rates.

The forms of disintegration recently unleashed, vary.  In overwhelmingly white cities like Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Minneapolis, violence has featured white radicals endorsing the extreme agenda of the neo-Marxist Black Lives Matter movement.  In more diverse cities, such as Chicago and New York, protests have devolved into basic “thuggery” as law enforcement was curtailed and large portions of the prison population were released.

But at a time when even The New York Times is suggesting that density and packed transit lines worsened the contagion, some so-called experts continue to embrace high-density orthodoxy despite the data.  And certain “die-hards” even advocate greater density, more crowding in cities, and more mass transit.  Fortunately, people tend to be less ideological when making their own locational choices.  Therefore it’s not surprising that according to The New York Times 420,000 people left New York City between March 1 and May 1.  According to demographer Wendell Cox, that nearly equals the city’s total 70-year net population increase from 1950 to 2019.

So, what’s going on?

The impact of dense conditions on the pandemic is clear.  Overall, high-density locations have suffered three times the COVID-19 fatality rate of less dense, generally suburban areas and eight times those of more rural environments...

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