Welcome to New York, Mr. President. I will be your guide.
I am the ghost of America future.
You have already been visited by the ghost of America past. She showed you a nation that led the world in liberty, morality and prosperity, and which was on the cutting edge of science, medicine and the arts. A nation that went to war not for conquest, but for liberation, which gave of its treasure and blood to free Asia from the Japanese, Africa from the Italians and Europe from the Germans. A nation that led the world into peace, freedom and modernity.
Likewise, you have been visited by the ghost of America present. He showed you a nation divided down the middle, between a group you call the selfish haves and another group you call the entitled have nots. A nation suffocating in debt and cancerous mismanagement. A nation that has outsourced its industries and spent itself into poverty. A nation whose people are increasingly fettered by government command and rigid political correctness.
But now, I will show you America’s future.
You will see it out the window of your bus.
As you land today in Buffalo, and then drive to Syracuse before spending the night and driving on to Binghamton tomorrow. All you need to know about the future of America will be visible as you drive down the road.
That’s because New York has already spent decades living the policies you and your party advocate. What you propose, New York has long since done. The progressive America you envision is presaged by the New York through which you will pass. The impact of your policies is writ large across the Empire State.
Or rather, what used to be the Empire State.
No one can use that phrase with a straight face anymore. Unless it’s a Star Wars reference that I don’t quite get, there is no empire whatsoever in this state.
In Buffalo, your first stop, you will find a decayed waterfront through which once passed the bulk of America’s Midwestern vitality. You will see beautiful buildings that mostly sit empty, and hulks of factories that are now nothing more than homes to hobos and pigeons.
When you drive past the Rochester exit, you will be bypassing the city that gave birth to Kodak, Xerox, IBM, Bausch and Lomb, and other companies ranging from French’s mustard to Ragu.
Today, Kodak is in bankruptcy and the others are in the wind. The last truly successful business started in Rochester processes paychecks for people who overwhelmingly don’t live in New York.
At your final destination for today, in Syracuse, you will find a city that peaked in the 1890s, cruised comfortably until the 1970s and has since crashed and burned. Syracuse has Jim Boeheim and a big mall, and that’s about it.
As you visit New York today, you will be driving through some of the most economically depressed areas in the country. Great weather, rich topsoil, well-educated people, and the place has turned into a crap hole.
The highest combined state and local taxes in the country. The greatest net loss of House seats of any state in American history. The highest expenditures per pupil in American education matched with some of the lowest rates of academic achievement in America. The highest per capita rate of welfare dependence of any state in the nation. The highest paid government employees in the country and the highest number, per capita, of government employees in the country.
New York is the most pro-union state, the most reliably Democratic state, it is arguably the progressive capital of America.
And it is in ruins.
As reflected by the fact it has the highest rate of move out of any state in the nation. More people leave New York, and take their money, than any other state, as a total number or as a percentage.
That’s what progressivism does.
That’s what you’re preaching will accomplish.
That’s the future you are building for America.
In New York, a fundamentally dysfunctional state, you have a case study – a pilot project in progressivism.
And the place is a mess.
Just like America will be.
If we follow your policies.
I am the ghost of America future.
And I have given you your warning.
Welcome to New York.