Citizens of New York state are New Yorkers, but an odd breed of beings are New York Citiers. This has always been the case, noted during the American Revolution and through the Constitutional period. Three examples provide this distinction – the separation of New York Citiers from other Americans – and tell that New York Citiers are selfish, irrational, duplicitous, depraved and unreformable.

In 1775 New York Citiers were conflicted about the Britain and King or Americans and freedom. No one wanted to stand in one camp or the other: “…it had to receive the rebel generals on the same day that it must welcome back from a visit to England its royal governor…Fortunately, they landed there several hours apart, so that “the volunteer companies raised for the express purpose of rebellion,” as the loyalist judge, Thomas Jones, put it, “the members of the Provincial Congress….the parsons of the dissenting meetinghouses, with all the leaders and partisans of faction and rebellion,” would meet the generals at four in the afternoon, and conduct them to Leonard Lispenard’s house, “amidst repeated shouts and huzzas,” and, at nine o’clock, “the members of his Majesty’s Council, the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General…the Clergymen of the Church of England,” and so on, all the dignified, respectable, highly placed officials, “with a numerous train of his Majesty’s loyal and well affected subjects,” could meet the Governor and conduct him, “with universal shouts of applause,” to the residence of Hugh Wallace, Esq. “But strange to relate… those very people who attended the rebel Generals in the morning… and now, one and all, joined in the Governor’s train and with the loudest acclamations… welcomed him back to the colony…What a farce! What cursed hypocrisy!”

Christopher Ward, The War of the Revolution, NY, MacMillan, p. 102.

New York City was the last place on the original 13 states that the British occupied. The British liked the place and left their mark, concealing the abhorrent, sinful and arrogant attitudes and moods of the people existing in that place. I often wonder whether the negotiators of the 1783 Treaty of Paris did not make a mistake: Leave the British in possession of New York City in exchange for giving the United States of America Canada.

Of course, no one would trade New York City for twenty-five cents, so neither the Canadians nor the British would go for it today. New York City has one major drawback, its people:

“With all the opulence and splendor of this city, there is very little good breeding to be found. We have been treated with an assiduous respect. But I have not seen one real gentlemen, one well-bred man, since I came to town. At their entertainments there is no conversation that is agreeable.

There is no modesty, no attention to one another. They talk very loud, very fast and all together. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer, they will break out upon you again, and talk again.

Page Smith, John Adams, NY, Doubleday, 1962, vol. 1, p. 166.

As stated, the primary economic activity of New York Citiers is talk, from any man or woman from that place. Americans get to experience New York City on TV every minute of every day. Almost every New York City journalist asks a very imperfect question and the interviewee guesses at the desired answer. The journalist, in New York Citier fashion just like John Adams reported, interrupts and sometimes answers his own question while arguing with the interviewee and asking another imperfect question. In that process a few dozen cliches, slogans and homilies, are spit out in an attempt to direct the interviewee onto the politically correct answer. New York Citiers are obviously eager to tell their individual stories to captive audiences and interviewees, silent and not heard. Any interviewee who doesn’t comply with these broadcast rules is never interviewed again.

But talk is cheap, especially today when mouths are disconnected from brains frequently addled by chemicals or sheer ignorance. Excessive jabbering on TV comes from great insecurity, much like rulers of a totalitarian society: “…no matter how enlightened, [they] will never surrender – a constantly exercise – their power to hector, warn, and admonish, in brief to pester and bore their helpless subjects.” (Adam Ulam, The Fall of the American University, N.Y., The Library Press, 1972, p. 170.)

Other than what New York Citiers chatter about incessantly today, like each of them is living in a Woody Allen movie, they were obsessively nonsensical in the 1780s. James Madison wrote George Washington a letter discussing the suitability of New York City as the capital of the United States, but he kept referring to the people of that place:

It seems to be particularly essential that an eye should be had in all our public arrangements to the accommodation of the Western Country, which perhaps cannot be sufficiently gratified at any rate, but which might be furnished with new fuel to its jealousy by being summoned to the sea-shore & almost at one end of the Continent. There are reasons, but of too confidential a nature for any other than verbal communication which make it of crucial importance…

The extreme eccentricity of [New York City] will certainly in my opinion being on a premature and consequently an improper choice. This policy [Capital of New York City] is avowed by some of the sticklers for this place, and is known to prevail with the bulk of them. People from the interior…will never patiently repeat their trips to this remote situation…

Papers of James Madison, vol 12, p. 343, August 24, 1788.

Madison is not the sort of person to come out and complain in a letter. He’s willing to voice reasons and reactions to New York City in a personal meeting, but he couldn’t avoid noting the extreme eccentricity present in 1788. It’s more true today. It is a place that derives all the benefits of having 33,000 police officers on its force. How have those cops done? Street crime is down, but in New York City white collar crime is unknown. Did Wall Street executives always comply with all laws, from 2005-2010?

If New York City is the center of journalism, what did journalists do over the last ten years to uncover and report the greatest financial crimes committed since the 1920s? Have any articles examined or explained high speed trading strategies, and how those programs are analogous to “pooling” arrangements made by Wall Street traders 90 years ago? Has anyone ever noticed that in his book on the Great Depression, John Kenneth Galbraith has a chapter entitled, “In Goldman Sachs We Trust,” and why is anyone trusting that institution and those people these days? New York City may be the center of advertising, but does anyone want to watch ads today? Larry and Darin did a lot better than the guys on “Madmen.”

In the early 1970s Richard Nixon brought the country to its knees by depleting trust and confidence in government. In the last ten years through Wall Street New York Citiers have attacked America and Americans, and afterward seeking protection in security laws, in privilege and immunity, in trade secrets and confidence as well as a financial mafia pledged to silence. Trust and confidence nationwide remain uneasy. Any investor would have been better off investing with the mob, than with most institutions on Wall Street. New York Citiers turned their private exposure into public obligations through the obscenely wild expansion of debt and using the Federal Reserve balance sheet. This is the status of New York Citiers, nothing to applaud and everything to detest – pride and arrogance in their insularity. It has been a problem for this country since the founding.


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