Great news, guys—the rich are getting richer and New York is one of the safe havens where the global billionaires will be stashing their fortunes in the coming years. While this might make New Yorkers who don’t number among the financial elite fret over things like the city’s growing income gap, affordable housing and public education, the developers of luxury real estate developers are totally stoked.
These are good times to cater to the ultra high net worth individuals of the world, according to a recent study about the very bright futures of the filthy rich and the multiple trophy properties they’ll be amassing in coming years.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
The opening shots of Park Avenue: Money, Power and The American Dream show the famed avenue in all its moneyed glory: idling Mercedes, impeccably coiffed society women and stern limestone facades with white-gloved doormen stationed outside like sentries. It is a vision so lofty that it is almost otherworldly—can the vast majority of Americans even conjure this up as the apex of the American dream, let alone attain it?
It’s a question that director Alex Gibney revisits repeatedly in his documentary about the growing gulf between the rich and poor and how that gulf has been widened by the political manipulations of the country’s wealthiest citizens.
The rent is too damn high
The Bloomberg administration has a mixed record on affordable housing. It was one of the Mayor’s signature initiatives when he took office, but the market has subtracted units faster than he has added them and across the city, the percentage of income that New Yorkers spend on rent—an apartment is considered ‘affordable’ if it consumes less than 30 percent of its inhabitants’ annual income—has risen sharply.
But perhaps new evidence that the high cost of housing and income inequality impede economic growth might make Mayor Bloomberg, or at least his successor, take note.
ILL-ADVISED EVENT PLANNING
Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs is holding their “First-Ever” (!) salon, entitled “Inequality: The 1% vs. The 99%.” It is an opportunity for “networking and discussion” in a “casual setting.” Like a room with a punch bowl? Try a West Village bar with pricey cocktails!