Saturday, April 15, 2023

Nobody is singing about going ‘Downtown’ anymore

 (My new American Thinker post)

Back in our first year in the U.S., Petula Clark reached the top of the charts with a great tune called "Downtown":    

"When you're alone and life is making you lonely You can always go Downtown".

As a side note, my mother liked the song, but she could never understand why they called it "downtown" rather than the shopping district.  I think that she was thinking about Havana.

Downtown is in crisis these days because no one wants to go or work downtown anymore.  So get ready for lots of empty offices.  This is the story:   

Some Morgan Stanley financial analysts say the commercial real estate industry could be headed for a crisis worse than the 2008 great recession. This comes after businesses have left downtowns across the country with an increase in remote work and higher interest rates. 

Worse than the 2008 recession? I remember that one and it elected Obama.

The numbers are scary:   

According to CBRE Global Commercial Real Estate Services, in New York City there has been a 7.6% increase in empty office space since the pandemic. In Seattle, an 8.2% increase and in San Francisco, a whopping 25.4% increase. 

Empty offices translate into a few problems:  less taxes collected and the investment firms who own these buildings may not have enough money to pay off their loans to the banks.  Also, think of all those restaurants that feed employees at lunch time, or the flower shops where you pick up flowers for your wife, or the laundry that brings your pressed suits to your office before you go home and lots of other people who make a living because you go downtown.

My guess is that we won't be as impacted here in Dallas/Ft. Worth because many service businesses began their transition to satellite offices years ago.   It's true of banks that cannot get women to work downtown because they'd rather work at the branch in their neighborhood.

So get ready for the empty office version of economy.  

P.S.  Check out my blog for posts, podcasts and videos.

Happy Tax Day

We get to celebrate another Tax Day in the U.S.  Our return was submitted a week ago, so I won't be rushing to the post office today.  

Once again, I will remember that we need tax reform. We need to throw out the current tax code and replace it with a national sales tax or something that requires everybody to pay taxes.

In other words, the U.S. should be more like Texas or other states where the tax code actually helps the economy.

No income taxes and I'm marching with the spirit of George Harrison today.  

 "Let me tell you how it will be There's one for you, nineteen for me 

'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small

Be thankful I don't take it all

'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,

If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.

If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,

If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for

If you don't want to pay some more

'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

And you're working for no one but me." 

P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

2012 podcast: Let's talk a little tango with Leslie Eastman plus Georgina & Oscar from Argentina

 P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.




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