Magazine August 16, 2021, Issue

Bill de Blasio and the Decline of New York City

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The next mayor will have to contend with a legacy of wreckage

New York City is shrinking. Or rather: It was shrinking. Quite a while ago. Then it started to grow. Then it grew dramatically. But after eight years of Bill de Blasio as mayor, it is contracting once again, as the economic and population surge that took the city from the slough of despond to new heights over the course of four decades has been reversed. This is not the result of COVID. It is the result of a disastrous mayoralty and the ideas, prejudices, and idiocies that have animated it. De Blasio’s legacy as he prepares to leave office is

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