“Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don't take it all” – The Beatles
Long after the daily death toll of the coronavirus trickles down to zero in New York City, its impact will be echoing across the five boroughs for years.
Unemployment is soaring. Crime is on the rise. A mass-transit meltdown and municipal layoffs are on the horizon. And it’s an open question whether public schools will be able to open next week. So it’s not an overstatement to say that the coronavirus is New York City’s Pearl Harbor. More than 23,000 residents have already made the ultimate sacrifice in this fight. It’s not unreasonable to ask billionaires to sacrifice just a little, too.
For years, Governor Cuomo and some prominent business leaders have pushed back at raising taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents, saying they can easily pack up and leave. It’s a fair argument to make in ordinary times, but these times are anything but ordinary. It’s time to appeal to some very rich people’s sense of patriotism and civic pride – and if they still move out, then they will forever be remembered for walking out on a very large family that’s in need.
It’s never wise to depend on the kindness of strangers – or Donald Trump – but it should be a different story when it comes to your neighbor.