Angry New Yorker

Monday, November 10, 2003
Should NYC be more like Houston? Why not? I've said it before and I'll say it again, the knee-jerk jingoism that New York is "the capital of world" serves us poorly. It closes our minds to ideas from outside and instills a "we don't need to improve, we're the greatest city in the world" mentality. Think I'm crazy? Consider:

Model Cities
By Joel Kotkin
available at

"New York’s economic policymakers probably don’t spend a lot of time sitting around lamenting, “Why can’t we be more like Houston?” But maybe they should.

New Yorkers are not known for their willingness to look outside the City Limits for edification, but sometimes the experiences of other cities have important lessons for us.

Like New York today, Houston in the late 1980s and Los Angeles in the early 1990s were suffering from massive corporate downsizing and a devastating loss of civic direction. Yet under the leadership of strong, business-oriented mayors--Bob Lanier in Houston and Richard Riordan in L.A.--these two cities were able to stave off collapse by drastically remaking their economies. Today, even amid a stubborn national recession, both cities have been able to use their now highly diversified, small-business-oriented economies to stay on an even keel."
[read the entire article here, or as a PDF here]

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