I was in Target the other day and noticed their motto: “Expect More, Pay Less.” That sure is a hell of a lot different from New Yorkers under the age of 60, and in particular under the age of 40, will be paying into and getting from the federal, state and city governments over the next 20 to 40 years. At the federal level because of four decades of future selling by Generation Greed that have left us with a massive national debt and underfunded old age benefits – underfunded despite later-born generations already being required to pay in more while being promised less. At the state level because New York City shares a tax base with Upstate cities and rural areas with extensive needs and dwindling resources, and suburban areas with more power and greater entitlement. And at the city level because one politician after another has cut deal after deal to cash in the future, to further benefit already-advantaged unionized public employees and contractors, who are cashing in and moving out.
The theft has occurred, the money is gone, and “Expect Less, Pay More” is inevitable. In fact a New York City in the 1970s-style institutional collapse is highly likely, and not just in New York City. So what will our “leaders,” still beholden to the same interests and generations and still promising to hand them even more, say about this? I want them to be forced to admit the truth. And let me tell you what I don’t want to hear.