- Jerry Seinfeld slammed a recent obituary for New York City by hedge fund manager James Altucher.
- But the superstar comedian can’t possibly relate to most New Yorkers, or how they weigh the pros and cons of staying in the city.
- High taxes and regulations have strangled it for decades. Now with pandemics and shutdowns, people aren’t getting what they’re paying for.
Jerry Seinfeld slapped professional business nerd James Altucher around a bit Monday in a New York Times opinion piece. In case you don’t know Altucher, he’s like the Bill Nye of business and technology. He’s had a lot of success.
Altucher caught quite a lashing from Seinfeld for a blog post grieving the death of New York City.
In it, Altucher argued that New York is dying and will never bounce back.
Coronavirus is hastening a trend of people moving out in droves to work remotely from suburbs and the country. Away from the city, they’ll have plenty of distance from others. But New York City will never be the same again.
New York City has seen new leases decline by more than ever in history. Watch the video below.
Jerry Seinfeld Talks Like A Tough New Yorker
Seinfeld was not happy with that take at all and had a total public meltdown over it in the New York Times.
In his Times op-ed, Seinfeld told Altucher to “shut up,” and said he’d be an unreliable partner in war. He told Altucher to “wipe [his] butt,” potentially suggesting that Altucher is not potty trained. Or maybe that he is such a coward that New York City’s recent challenges have caused him to void his bowels in fear.
The comedian scoffed at the notion that any place could compare to New York City for someone to live:
He says he knows people who have left New York for Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, Indiana. I have been to all of these places many, many, many times over many decades. And with all due respect and affection, Are .. You .. Kidding .. Me?!
He argued that the remote economy is a fad, and said the network effect will always preserve the dominance of cities like New York and Silicon Valley. He capped it off with this spicy swipe at Altucher and all Floridians:
You say New York will not bounce back this time.
You will not bounce back. In your enervated, pastel-filled new life in Florida.
In reply, Altucher quipped that he’s glad he “inspired Jerry Seinfeld to finally write new jokes.” He also offered more evidence of New York City’s imminent doom.
But the Superstar Comedian Doesn’t Know What It’s Like
Seinfeld’s painting Altucher all soft, but how much energy does it take to be a New Yorker when you’re making the kind of money these two make?
Seinfeld was the second-highest-paid comedian in the world last year. Most people living in New York City aren’t that resourceful.
It’s expensive to live in New York. People are paying extra, including unreal state and local taxes, for that network effect Seinfeld’s talking about. They aren’t getting what they’re paying for, so why would they stay?
Especially when you can work from home more easily than ever before. You can also buy anything you can think of online and have it shipped to your door. Home entertainment systems are booming at a cost-effective scale. So, why go out to clubs or the movies? Hello, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The cities were already losing their allure before coronavirus. That’s from the New York Times. Now why stick around and catch a virus that will cut your grandmother’s life short? She’ll miss your niece’s graduation.
The pandemic and the heavy-handed response of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are the final straw for New Yorkers on the fence. The cost-benefit analysis has tilted way over for many Americans living in big cities.
Seinfeld doesn’t know what it’s like for most New Yorkers. He can’t possibly relate to how that calculus maths out for them.
Of course, he’s going to stay there. It’s the middle and bottom that get squeezed by confiscatory taxation, burdensome regulation, and rising costs. New York State has consistently ranked lowest on the Cato Institute’s state freedom index.
The only way New York City is bouncing back is if New York learns something from states like Florida and Tennessee. People are voting with their feet in droves.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.