Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Brooklyn is better but will never be "back"

From City Journal:

The problem is that these boutique businesses have a limited impact on the borough’s total economy. For all their energy and creativity, Brooklyn’s young entrepreneurs tend to have few employees, and they’re not likely to be hiring large numbers in the future. The factories of the past employed hundreds, if not thousands; Dumbo alone once had three firms that each employed more than 1,000. Today, Etsy, one of the area’s more successful companies, has a staff of just 180. The old Brooklyn Navy Yard now rents space to 275 businesses, employing 5,800 people. That’s an impressive rise from 3,600 in 2001, true. But compare it with the Yard at its World War II peak, when it had 71,000 workers, or in 1959, when it employed “only” 15,000. Even Brooklyn Brewery has only about 50 employees, small potatoes when you consider that Schaefer Beer’s Brooklyn factory—now a luxury building called Schaefer Landing—once had 1,000.

There are numerous reasons for the disappointing employment stats. For one thing, Brooklyn’s young companies often appeal only to niche markets, usually people like their owners. For another, they benefit from the technology-improved productivity of manufacturing throughout the United States; it takes fewer workers to produce beer or chocolate than it did in the past. And if the firms do grow and hire a lot more workers, chances are that they’ll relocate. It’s extremely expensive and endlessly aggravating to transport raw materials into, and finished products out of, a borough strangled by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Young businessfolks also face the familiar hurdles of all New York City firms: high taxes and burdensome regulations. It’s enough to bum out even the most idealistic hippie-entrepreneur.

Brooklyn’s story, then, doesn’t lend itself to a simple happy ending. Instead, the borough is a microcosm of the nation’s “hourglass economy.” At the top, the college-educated are doing interesting, motivating work during the day and bicycling home to enjoy gourmet beer and grass-fed beef after hours. At the bottom, matters are very different. Almost a quarter of Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents live below the poverty line—in the housing projects of East New York, in the tenements of Brownsville, or in “transitional” parts of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, all places where single-mother poverty has become an intergenerational way of life. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of the area’s population on welfare did decline markedly, but the number of Medicaid recipients almost tripled, to nearly 750,000. About 40 percent of Brooklyn’s total population receives some kind of public assistance today, up from 23 percent a decade ago.

To make matters worse, according to Crain’s New York Business, Brooklyn’s unemployment rate doubled between 2008 and 2009, a considerably higher rise than in Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island. When manufacturing jobs do become available, they tend to require skills that high school graduates—and dropouts—lack. East New York and Brownsville also remain the highest-crime areas in New York.

And no one believes that’s transitional.


Anonymous said...

That's a mouthful but as far as new businesses vs old there is no comparisons - they are too vastly different. As far as public assistance is concerned, sure Medicaid has risen dramatically but if outright welfare has decreased for the right reasons then it's headed in the right direction. A big segment of the population simply does not vanish overnight and nor does gentrification solve problems. If businesses are smaller at least they are open and running. The industrial revolution and age long left Brooklyn as it should have - so the transition has been slow and painful. Yes no jobs are factory jobs anymore - thus skill-sets must be taught in public schools to address today's needs. Instead of focusing on learning English for foreigners in schools emphasis must be on learning Math and Sciences - English will get to speed quickly on own or get left behind. we are not here to teach students to adapt rather students attend schools to learn core studies. Languauge studies should be extracurricular so that school studies are effective.

georgetheatheist said...

Despite all its "Crap". I'd rather live in Queens. Wouldn't you?

The Bronx? No thonx.

Anonymous said...

About 40 percent of Brooklyn’s total population receives some kind of public assistance today, up from 23 percent a decade ago.

Yeah, thats sustainable....

FlushingRepresenter said...

Despite all its "Crap". I'd rather live in Queens. Wouldn't you?

NO way, I want bike lanes and organic coffee shops and Masturbation bros chocolate right across the street from the projects.

= )

Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time we razed Brownsville/East NY??? what a blight?? and to think 50 years ago these were nice neighborhoods..NYC has gone to the dogs, I'm getting outta here!!

Anonymous said...

Read Steve Job's Stanford speech and live in the future. Stop glorifying your verminary existence by elevating the trash you live in to human status.

Joe said...

What the heck are those idiots riding 10 speed bike wheels over cobblestones wearing ?
All that photo needs is a couple Laurel & Hardy hats and a soup line.
-What Crap !!

"NYC has gone to the dogs"
Yep those girls/women do look like dogs, homeless dogs !
A girl in one of these old raggy shop dress's, feathers and matching warn sandals asked me for money today.
She smelled musky like a Rastafarian or Ferret (take your pick)who hadn't a bath in weeks.

I told her: "Miss what you really need is a bath, new wardrobe, and hair stylist, heels so you can look for a paying job, jeez Miss get it together Jerry Garcia's been dead over a decade !
She replied with "OH F_ YOU ASSH*LE"


Anonymous said...

"Despite all its "Crap". I'd rather live in Queens. Wouldn't you?"

You bet George ! I'm just thinking more about the people who left Queens years ago and wondering if they wished they never left ?

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day Queens is far better than Brooklyn, but experience the same ills.

Auntie Invasion said...

what a red letter day for ya, Joe. a woman actually spoke to ya. how exciting.

Anonymous said...

Blame these fucking hipsters for trying to be Urban and claming culture when they only satisfy there small niche by acting like faggots.