New York is greeting the exodus of its wealthy citizens with a shrug. The local elite seems a bit too sure that Manhattan is, and always will be, the gravitational centre of the cultural universe, or that the city is better off – as a professor recently put it to me – without all the “rich douchebags migrating to Miami”.
But complacency this deep could undo even the world’s greatest city, especially now. The pandemic has shown that remote offices can work full time, making it easier for anyone to relocate and magnifying what I call the cracked mirror effect. Cracks in New York – high taxes, surging crime, simmering anti-capitalist hostility – are reflected in the flight to no taxes and a warm welcome in Miami.