New York to Business Owners: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

One of my favorite television shows was “Frasier.” I’ve always liked Kelsey Grammer, and the cast and acting were always outstanding. In one episode, Frasier and his brother Niles are in the midst of an argument, and Niles tells Frasier to face the fact that he lost. While acknowledging that fact, Frasier says words to the effect of, “It’s going to take a while to get off this particular high horse.” The trouble with staying on a high horse, especially a bucking one, is that you eventually have to dismount. Sometimes forcibly. And I know from past experience that can hurt.

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But Leftist bastions such as California and New York seem to want to continue to ride that high horse until they are finally thrown off and end up with a broken bone or two or covered in the cowboy version of “Grey Poupon.” Or both. Of course, given the state of New York City or any major municipality in California, the smell of bovine excrement may be a marked improvement to those respective environs.

Not only are their residents fleeing in droves to safer, saner, cleaner states, but businesses are also hightailing it out of California and New York toward the eastern and southern horizons, respectively. Fox Business notes that New York and California have lost an estimated $1 trillion apiece in assets as various financial firms have pulled up stakes and moved on.

But it would appear that for New York City, the misery has not reached the threshold level of left-wing satisfaction, and the city has found new hunting grounds where it can satisfy its fetish for overregulation. You see, leftists are never satisfied until everyone is playing the game. And if that means dragging you kicking and screaming to the dining room table to play some version of Monopoly-from-Hell, so be it.

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Exclusively for our VIPs: New York Times: No More Fun of Any Kind

Airbnb is the latest deer in New York City’s headlights. Or, more appropriately, sights. It would seem that the city is suspicious of people who make a little extra money renting out space to tourists and travelers. Someone in the mayor’s office must have sniffed the air and said, “Hey, I smell business being transacted. Wait — is that profit? Unleash the flying monkeys!”

According to a piece by Allison Pohle in The Wall Street Journal, thousands of Airbnb listings in New York City are getting yanked off the market ahead of Sept. 5. That is the day that the city will start enforcing short-term rental rules more aggressively. Hosts in New York City must register with the city and are prohibited from renting out an entire home or apartment. Hosts must also be present during short-term stays.

The fight between the city and short-term rentals has been going on for some time, and NYC adopted regulations for short-term rentals last year and finalized the rules in February. Pohle notes that to Airbnb owners, this time around, something is different. In addition to people taking their rentals off of the market, those who depend on the rentals to pay for their own housing may soon lose that option.

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From the piece:

Kareem Fahmy, a 46-year-old director and playwright, rents his two-bedroom Harlem apartment on Airbnb while traveling for work. Doing so, he says, allowed him to leave a full-time job in physical therapy and pursue his artistic career.

He says most visitors are families who can’t afford multiple hotel rooms. The regulations mean he can’t list his apartment and will likely lose half his current income. He says he might need to move out of the apartment.

“It’s a very significant change in my future, once they start enforcing this regulation,” he says.

The piece said that the city, which claims that there are 10,800 illegal short-term rentals in the Big Apple, says the crackdown is needed to help address the housing shortage. Some residents apparently agree. How one resolves a housing crisis by threatening more people with losing their homes is beyond me. And then there is the little matter of the influx of illegal aliens, which New York City is also struggling to house. One must wonder if that problem factored into the impending crackdown.

If you are interested, you can read all of the rules and regulations here.

And here I thought Eric Adams and his administration would be worried about empty office buildings, drug use, the homeless population, and people getting beaten and shivved on subway platforms. But of course, as any economist worth his or her salt will tell you, all social ills start with unregulated Airbnbs. Once this problem is addressed, I am sure that the tourists, businesses, potential renters, and home buyers will come flooding back into the city. That is, if they can get past everyone moving out.

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