RUSH: I was going to lead the program with something today, but I’ve now been forced because of the confluence of events, things that have happened since yesterday when I was deciding the content of today’s show…
You know, I’ve been warning everybody that I can for months that it ain’t gonna be the same ever in major American cities — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles. It’s not gonna be the same because of what people are learning. For example, you don’t have to live in New York City to work there. You don’t have to live in New York City to do a bang-up, stellar job there. If you are a company, you don’t need to rent out a bunch of floors in a skyscraper to put employees in because your employees don’t need to be there.
As a result of that, the restaurant industry is forever changed in New York. Broadway is not gonna open until next spring at the earliest. Do you realize that many New York restaurants literally make over half of their nut selling pre-Broadway show dinners? You’d be amazed. When I first got to New York, I’d show up at 5 o’clock thinking I’m getting into the restaurant where there’s nobody there. It’s jam-packed. The reason it’s jam-packed is ’cause everybody in there is going to the theater.
So they serve, they get ’em in, they get ’em out. It’s a massive amount of business that restaurants have lost. They’re never gonna get it back. And how can they stay in business with nobody in business through next spring? And who’s in charge? The one thing that hasn’t been attached to any of this is any accountability for the mayor of that city or the governor of that state.
But look, it’s a lot more detailed than that. And what it really involves is — you know, here, let me tell you what got me started on this. Sal Scognamillo is the owner/chef at Patsy’s. Patsy’s is one of my all-time favorite restaurants, period, and certainly one of my all-time favorite restaurants in New York, Neapolitan Italian. Just the greatest people. Everybody has their favorite restaurant and the thing that makes everybody’s favorite restaurant their favorite restaurant is the people that own it and operate it, and certainly it’s true of Patsy’s.
I went in there every night practically after Rush Limbaugh, The Television Show. Half the audience was in there. And Sal is one of these people, Patsy’s has been affected by Broadway being shut down, by a number of other things. The whole restaurant industry in New York, the hot dog carts. You know, Lincoln Center, the museums, shut down ’til next spring. You can’t find a hot dog cart anywhere. They’re gone. Are they ever coming back? Probably not. This is major, major stuff here.
I’ve been trying to warn people about it for months. And Governor Cuomo has ignored me until recently, and the mayor, even if I was talking to him face-to-face he still wouldn’t get it. So I got this email from Sal, who said, “Boy, it’s so great to listen to your show. You’re so upbeat, it makes me feel better.”
And while that was nice, I began to ask myself a question. Does Sal Scognamillo have anything to be upbeat about? His restaurant business, his pre-theater business, they’ve set up some tables on the sidewalk, but they can’t open because of COVID-19. They can’t do any business inside. So I was asking myself all day yesterday, have I done the wrong thing by being upbeat? Look, it’s my natural tendency, don’t misunderstand. And I’m a preternaturally optimistic person.
But have I been preternaturally optimistic at the expense of dealing with the reality that a lot of people find themselves in? It can’t be easy for Sal Scognamillo and millions, or thousands of other restaurateurs like him in New York and in Chicago. You know, wherever Democrats are running the show, folks, it is an absolute nightmare.
So I’m asking myself, have I — not let people down, but have I not shot straight with people on the circumstances that they find themselves? Don’t misunderstand. I mean, I was very flattered to get Sal’s reaction to the program. But he talked about how uplifting the experience was because there’s so much despair out there. And it got me to thinking, am I making a mistake by not focusing on the hardships that people are experiencing? In other words, does it sound, has it sounded like I’m out of touch?
Now, I don’t think so. I mean, I’ve not been falsely attached to a reality that doesn’t exist. I mean, I haven’t done that, but still, it’s a question I was asking myself yesterday and last night. Now, I know the immediate reaction. “No, no, Rush, you gotta say upbeat. People need inspiration right now.” But what if inspiration doesn’t quite get the job done?
What if, for example, Sal and other restaurateurs like him, what if he’s never gonna be able to return to his business the way it was. And if that’s the case, how long can he hold out? Next spring? Broadway shows next spring? We’re not even into the fall yet. That won’t happen ’til September 21st. So it got me to thinking about all of the different changes that I have warned people about that New York City is undergoing right now.
And I don’t think whole lot of people have actually — because they’d rather stay upbeat, “We’re gonna beat this thing, we’re gonna beat this virus back, we’re gonna return.” Everybody wants to return to normal, as do I. There is nobody that wants to return to normal more than I do. And nobody wants to return to normal more for other people than I do.
So I have been thinking about this, and this was gonna be what I was going to lead the program off with. Now, it turns out I have led the program with it, but now I’m gonna put it off to the side and come back to it. All of the things in New York that have changed and maybe forever. For example, do you know how many college students are there in New York on a weekly basis?
How many college students? (interruption) It’s 600,000 — 600,000 college students who are not there. They’re doing remote learning. Now, just think of the ancillary impact of 600,000 students just not there. Buildings not open, education not happening, teachers not doing whatever they’re doing. And that’s just one tiny little slice of the eight million or so people the city swells to during your average workday — 600,000.
So, education. What’s gonna become of education in New York? Are those universities ever gonna open up again? You might say, “Oh, yeah, Rush. At some point we’re gonna have a vaccine. We’re gonna have therapeutics. We’re gonna…” Well, you would think so. But the longer this goes, the more people are going to adapt to how they’re getting things done now.
And the longer it goes and the longer it takes to adapt, the tougher it’s gonna be to change and go back to what was because people are going to adapt. This is what human beings do. We’re adaptable, and we are going to find ways to adapt to the things we can’t do because we want to do them. So we’re gonna find ways to get them done, and those ways are gonna be the ones that pass the test of time and experience.
And then one day, magically we’re gonna be told, “Okay. Virus is beat! Virus vaccine! Virus therapeutics,” maybe. “We can now go back to the way it was.” It just isn’t gonna be like throwing a switch and everybody going back. Because, folks, now people have learned that you don’t need to spend $4,000 for one half of a closet to live in in New York. You can live in your hometown of 20,000 people and have a huge place for half of what it was costing you in New York.
You don’t have to be in New York. The business owners don’t have to rent all the commercial real estate to house you and give you a place to work, ’cause you ain’t gonna be there anyway — and then what happens to all the restaurants that depend on that and all of the bodegas and all of the cultural centers that exist because they’re populated by people, various pockets of the city.
I think Cuomo is just starting to get an idea of the dramatic and major impact of all this. But I want to run through it by subject or by area — like education, food, restaurants, culture, any number of ways that this is gonna have an impact. And some of the change may end up being good. I don’t want to be misunderstood. Change happens all the time. Change is constant.
Even when you don’t think things are changing, they’re going to if they haven’t, and people adapt. Especially the ones who are flexible and open to it adapt first and sooner than others do. You’ve got some other people that resist the change, ’cause they were dialed in and they had it made. They had it figured out, and that’s what they want to go back to.
And they may not be able to. So, are they gonna be able to adapt? And this is true of Silicon Valley by the same token. You know, Apple just finished building a gazillion-dollar, spaceship-type building, and they earned a profit during their second quarter during a pandemic with nobody in the building! They don’t have to ever send people back if they don’t want to.
Now, they obviously will at some point send some back. But there any number of things that took place before the pandemic hit that we are learning were not necessary. We were spending money out the wazoo because we had it. The United States is an economic super engine, and it was creating wealth in ways that people… This is what so frustrates me about listening to Democrats now.
They haven’t any concept of the wealth that this country creates when it’s devoted to capitalism. Instead of that, we turn it over to Black Lives Matter and Antifa and so forth. We were creating and producing so much wealth that we were able to extract huge sums of money from people for their education, for their rent. If they wanted to purchase something, we were able to extract that money from them.
We might have called it student loans, we might call it FHA loans, but we were still able to get the money from ’em. By “we,” I mean, the culture, the society was able to extract. But now people have learned, or in the process of learning, that it really doesn’t cost as much as they were spending for a lot of things.
RUSH: This Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Ryan. Great to have you, sir. Thank you for waiting. I appreciate it.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my call, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Suffice to say I’m about as far from either coast as you can be, and I grew up here, so I’ve never lived in New York or LA and I think maybe that’s why I might have a little bit of a unique cynical take on what’s going on over there. I think that what you’re witnessing in New York City is nothing short of a desperation move that’s been going on for months, of Democrats to try to weaponize the economy against Trump. They’re willing to torch what had been considered major cultural and culinary centers in order to find something to blame on him, blame him on. It’s not working. I think the polls that are out today are evident that it’s not working for them.
RUSH: Well, I think there’s evidence for that. Again, I don’t disagree. My point was not why they are doing what they’re doing in New York and Los Angeles. My point was what they are destroying that they may not know, that they may not see. You’re right. The reason they’re doing this, the reason that they are staying locked down and shut down is because it’s the easiest thing they think they can do to keep the economy from recovering.
New York and California, the two big states, are needed for an economic recovery. And if they stay locked down, essentially, if nothing’s open, then the massive economic growth that Trump is promising may not happen, although I’m not sure that’s gonna either happen for the Democrats.
No. My point about this is whatever is the motivation, they don’t have the slightest idea — they may just now be starting to get an inkling of the snowball from hell they have put in motion. You know, since these are a bunch of liberal Democrats who hate capitalism and thus don’t really understand it — and don’t dispute me on this — and because of their self-aggrandizement of their own political talents and abilities, they think they can turn an economy on by flipping a switch whenever they need to just by having government do something.
They believe that government is magic, can turn on economic activity like that. They’re gonna find out they can’t. And I don’t believe that they had the slightest idea the massive cultural, political, and economic changes they were ushering in. It is those changes that I am going to mention, expand on, put into perspective for people, because it is destroying — New York City is being changed forever in a bunch of key ways that I don’t think Andrew Cuomo yet realizes.
Now, he does realize that too many rich people who moved out may not be coming back, so he’s trying to beg them, entice them to come back and bring their tax revenue with them. But he’s still mostly joking about it rather than dealing with it seriously. But it is a devastating series of things that — you’re right. The purpose of this is to deny Trump any good news, to deny the country an economic recovery. That’s the sole reason for this.
The reason they’re letting Black Lives Matter riot in Seattle and Portland, the reason they’re letting Antifa riot is to make sure that they’re given all that chaos to televise to blame on Donald Trump. People are being knocked conscientious, being beat up and Tasered by Antifa and Black Lives Matter. I saw a videotape of a guy getting stomped in the head and knocked unconscious — I think it was in Seattle. He looked like he was in a Ford Bronco.
They forced his SUV off the road and to crash, and he was livid. He got out of the car, started pointing fingers at ’em, what the hell, and they just knocked the guy unconscious and came close to killing him. Shouting at him, calling him vulgar names. He’s a white guy. Everybody else in the picture’s black. And they hope that Trump is gonna end up being blamed for all of this.
And these mayors and governors are allowing this to happen in their states and in their cities precisely because it’s part of what they think is the equation of defeating Trump.
RUSH: Now, let me get back to what I originally was gonna start the program with today. One of my good friends, Sal Scognamillo, is the chef at Patsy’s in New York on 56th between 8th and Broadway. Great family, the Scognamillo family. They’ve run Patsy’s for 50 plus years, maybe longer now. I used to go there after Rush the TV Show three nights a week, the audience, half the studio audience went there. They were just fine, fine people.
And Sal wrote an email recently to me. You know, he’s like everybody else. Sal Scognamillo, Patsy’s, had a very, very successful pre-theater dinner business. A lot of New York restaurants do. You know, the theater kicks off at 7, curtain goes up, 7, 7:30, people don’t want to wait ’til 10 o’clock to eat, especially out-of-towners, so they go to restaurants that are serving class, quality, five-star meals, they go at 5 in the afternoon so that they can take their time and have a really nice meal and still get to the Broadway show they’re going to with plenty of time.
And a lot of New York restaurants made a lot of their daily nut catering to that crowd. Well, Broadway has been shut down since the city and since the country was locked down. And the people that run the show say it’s not opening, Broadway is not opening until the spring of 2021 at the earliest. So these people in the restaurant business, it’s just them. They’ve got nothing. They can’t serve dinner anyway because the city is still locked down.
They’ve set up, you know, a few tables on the sidewalk outside, but it doesn’t come close to replicating the actual capacity of the restaurant. Anyway, so Sal sends me this note thanking me for being so uplifting, talking about how uplifting the experience of listening to my show is because there’s so much despair out there.
And it got me to thinking. The despair is real. The despair is genuine. And I asked myself, am I making a mistake by not focusing on the hardships that they are all experiencing and facing? Which led me to ask, am I sounding like I’m out of touch? And, you know, it’s not hard to do that, if people are in the midst of despair and I’m sounding all up and happy and optimistic, it may be tough for people to relate to.
See, I don’t have a business like theirs. The COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns haven’t affected my business. I’m aware of all the businesses that are affected. The restaurant business, but there are countless others. So what if all this upbeat inspiration from me is missing the boat? What if, for example, Sal is not gonna be able to return to his business model because the business model is going to have to change? I mean, if his business model depends on the pre-theater crowd, and he’s already being told spring, what does that mean?
Spring runs from March to June. If he’s already being told spring at the earliest, that means he’s looking at six months before he can start recouping any of that business. Is New York City, is Los Angeles, Chicago, any of these places, are they ever gonna resemble the recent past? I have warned about this very real possibility countless times.
So I ran across a story — this is what reminded me of Sal Scognamillo’s email. I ran across a story that was reprint from a guy who does a podcast. His name is James Altucher, and I have no idea if I’m pronouncing it right. It’s A-l-t-u-c-h-e-r. And he’s the founder of The James Altucher Show podcast. And he’s got a story here, I printed it out, five pages, “NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why.”
And he goes through the various categories he uses to make a these assertions — business, culture, food, commercial real estate, colleges, and education in general. And it’s hard to disagree with.
RUSH: Now, there is one reason — and are there many reasons — but there’s a big reason why cities like New York and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago don’t have much of a prayer of rebounding. And it’s bandwidth, folks. Bandwidth. The cheapness of high-speed internet. This is what enables people to not have to be in these cities. This is what enables people to live where rent is reasonable, a smaller town, safer town.
It enables businesses to let you work remotely without having to go out and pay exorbitant rent for an office tower or a floor or two in an office tower. And since that happens, what’s the next shortage that New York City and other places are gonna have? Why, it’s people. You need, for New York to recapture what it was — and Cuomo, they’ve already blown this in their zeal to do damage to Donald Trump, in their zeal to do damage to the American economy, they have thus rendered it sensible and reasonable to not return to the city.
And without the people, without the eight million bustling citizens coming into that town every day using mass transit, paying the taxes, without the people engaging in the daily effort to get into the city, to live in the city, to work in the city, to eat in the city, then to get out of the city at the end of the day, without that the cities have no prayer. They’re not gonna have the workforce that will justify exorbitant real estate prices.
It’s stunning. And that’s why this change that these people are affecting is going to be likely permanent. Bandwidth. The ability to furnish high-speed connectivity at really affordable prices. That is what enables everybody to not have to live in these cities and do the work, same work they were doing when they did live there.
RUSH: Now, folks, I wasn’t gonna read this whole five-page story to you — and, even if I was, I don’t have time to do it now. But we’re gonna link to it at RushLimbaugh.com. You really need to read it — and not all of it, but you need to get some idea of it, because it really is… The reason it caught my attention is it’s exactly… You know what this is? It’s exactly what I was saying about all this without the emotion.
This guy has plenty of emotion in the story ’cause he loves New York. He is a New Yorker, an entrepreneur, an angel investor. He owns 17 companies, or started 17 companies — no, 20 companies; 17 have failed. One of them is a comedy club that he opened. He’s written a best-selling book. He loves New York but has left. He lives in South Florida, and he thinks, whereas New York recovered from the financial crisis of ’08, and recovered from 9/11, recovered from the financial crisis of the seventies, that it’s finished.
New York is finished now. Now, he doesn’t say it’s bandwidth, but, as you read it, bandwidth is one of the central reasons why. It enables people to work there without being there — and, if they’re working there without being there, there’s nothing they’re doing there. They’re not eating there. They’re not using cabs. They’re not spending any money there at all.
They don’t live there. They don’t patronize anything. They’re probably gonna be happier. They’re gonna be paying smaller taxes, any number of things. The culture isn’t gonna be the same because the people aren’t gonna be there. So let me give you just a couple of pull quotes to give you an idea. “Now [New York City]’s completely dead. ‘But NYC always, always bounces back.’ No. Not this time. ‘But NYC is the center of the financial universe. Opportunities will flourish here again.’
“Not this time. ‘NYC has experienced worse.’ No it hasn’t,” and then he starts. Let’s look at “business. Midtown Manhattan, the center of business in NYC, is empty.” Mr. Snerdley was just there. Fifth Avenue stores are boarded up, and they’re not just boarded up to protect from looters. They are boarded up because they are closed. Fifth Avenue is Billionaire’s, Millionaire’s Row in New York. That’s where the most expensive retail outlets in the world are.
They’re boarded up.
If people don’t return to the city — and I guarantee you, the longer this goes on, the more people are gonna adapt to not being there. Human beings are very, very predictable, and once you adapt — and the adaptations necessary are gonna be preferable to being there. “Even though people can go back to work, famous office buildings like the Time-Life skyscraper is still 90% empty. Businesses realized that they don’t need their employees at the office.”
It’s not just the employees that realize they don’t have to be there. The employer realizes he doesn’t need ’em there. “In fact, they realize they are even more productive without everyone back to the office. The Time-Life building can handle 8,000 workers. Now it maybe has 500” are in there. “‘What do you mean?’ a friend of mine said to me when I told him ‘Midtown should be called ‘Ghost Town’, ‘I’m in my office right now!’
“‘What are you doing there?’ ‘Packing up,’ he said and laughed, ‘I’m shutting it down.’ He works in the entertainment business. Another friend of mine works at a major investment bank as a managing director. Before the pandemic he was at the office every day, sometimes working from 6am to 10pm. Now he lives in Phoenix, Arizona. ‘As of June,’ he told me, ‘I had never even been to Phoenix.’
“And then he moved there. He does all his meetings on Zoom. … Now a third wave of people are leaving. But they might be too late. Prices are down 30-50% on both rentals and sales…” They may never get their money back. They have waited too long to try to sell. “[N]o matter what real estate people tell you … rentals [are] soaring in the second and third-tier cities,” like Nashville and other cities of similar size.
Rentals are soaring. “Businesses are remote and they aren’t returning to the office. And it’s a death spiral: the longer offices remain empty, the longer they will remain empty. In 2005, a hedge fund manager was visiting my office and said, ‘In Manhattan you practically trip over opportunities in the street.’ Now the streets are empty.”
His next subject is culture. “Broadway is closed until at least the Spring. Lincoln Center is closed. All the museums are closed. Forget about the tens of thousands of jobs lost in these cultural centers. Forget even about the millions of dollars of tourist and tourist-generated revenues lost by the closing of these centers.
“There are thousands of performers, producers, artists, and the entire ecosystem of art, theater, production, curation, that surrounds these cultural centers. People who have worked all of their lives for the right to be able to perform even once on Broadway whose lives and careers have been put on hold. I get it. There was a pandemic.
“But the question now is: what happens next? And, given the uncertainty (since there is no known answer), and given the fact that people, cities, economies, loathe uncertainty, we simply don’t know the answer and that’s a bad thing for New York City.” Then he goes into food and what’s happening to restaurants, which I’ve covered.
He makes some interesting observations, by the way. He says, “Someone said to me, ‘Well, people will want to come in now and start their own restaurants! There is less competition.’ I don’t think you understand how restaurants work. Restaurants want other restaurants nearby. That’s why there’s one street in Manhattan (46th St between 8th and 9th) called Restaurant Row.” It’s in the Theater District, and it’s one restaurant after another.
“It’s all restaurants. That’s why there’s another street called ‘Little India’ and another one called ‘Koreatown,'” and Chinatown and Little Italy. There are restaurants everywhere, right next to each other! “Restaurants happen in clusters and then people say, ‘Let’s go out to eat’ and even if they don’t know where they want to eat they go to the area where all the restaurants are” or where the cuisine they want is.
“[W]hat happens to all the employees who work at these restaurants? They are gone. They left New York City. Where did they go? I know a lot of people who went to Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, upstate, Indiana, etc. — back to live with their parents… They are gone and gone for good.” They’re not coming back any time soon ’cause the city isn’t opening up any time soon.
“And what person wakes up today and says, ‘I can’t wait to set up a pizza place in the location where 100,000 other pizza places just closed down,'” i.e. in Manhattan. “People are going to wait awhile and see. They want to make sure the virus is gone, or there’s a vaccine, or there’s a profitable business model.” All of this is gonna take time, and they’re gonna adapt to not being there. Governor Cuomo, I’m telling you, doesn’t even now have the slightest idea what is happening in his own city.
The mayor certainly doesn’t. And they’re acting like they actually don’t care, which is even worse. Then there’s the other topics here he discusses, commercial real estate, colleges, and the city itself, it always comes back. But here’s the one thing that this piece is missing, my friends. Who shut these places down? Who did this? Not the people who left. The people who left New York had no choice.
Their city was shut down and it wasn’t the virus. You can say all day long it was the virus. But the virus was everywhere. All these people who voted for Cuomo and all these people who voted for de Blasio, they are moving. They have left. They’re moving to where normal people live.
And this guy that writes the piece, Mr. Altucher, never mentions the botched leadership, never mentions the mayor, never mentions the governor. He gave ’em a complete pass, in fact, when he says, “This is not to say what should have been done or should not have been done. That part is over. Now we have to deal with what IS.”
Well, I’m sorry. These people are gonna come up for reelection at some point. It does matter what they did and why. They shut down this city ostensibly to protect the population. It wasn’t that. They shut down the city to do their part for the Democrat Party in doing damage to the U.S. economy in order, theoretically, to hurt Donald Trump. They get a pass in all this. When instead what’s needed here is some accountability.
These are the two people that have supervised and presided over the destruction of what many say is the greatest city in the world, and they accomplished that in two months, just like a bunch of other people accomplished the slowdown of the U.S. economy in two months. These people did it to New York and then the governor and mayor out in California and Los Angeles, San Francisco.
Now, when you talk about bandwidth, there’s one other thing I’ve gotta mention. Bandwidth, high-speed bandwidth, which enables all of this remote working. It enables Zoom. It enables FaceTime, FaceTime audio, whatever the communication mode that you are using online, it is affordable bandwidth. Have you ever lost your internet connection or have you ever suffered a slowdown? Have you ever suffered throttling?
Has your phone company or your internet service provider ever slowed down your connection speed for whatever reason? Do you know how frustrated you get? Do you know how frustrated you get when your internet is down? Do you realize how much you would pay to get it back? It is such a part of everybody’s life. Having the internet available whenever you want it, whenever you need it, at reasonably fast speeds.
So how vulnerable does that make us to a bunch of bad guys like the ChiComs or the Russians who want to come in and start, if not shutting down the internet, throttling it and making it really slow, and then demanding ransom to speed it up. And ransom may not be money. Ransom could be political things.