Advice for the New Mayor
Savas, E. S.
Heinemann, H. Erich
Wriston, Walter B.
Walter Wriston former Chairman, Citicorp
Delta Airlines' announcement that it was moving its reservation center, together with hundreds of jobs, out of New York City is just one of the latest of such events to make the papers. Modern telecommunications make it almost immaterial where such functions are located, since all a customer cares about is a seat on a plane and the company knows that communication costs today are an insignificant component of total business expense.
The advent of the Information Age makes capital even more mobile than in the past; it will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well-treated. It will flee onerous regulations and high taxes. Since capital, both financial and intellectual, is what produces jobs, New York has to create a climate to attract capital. The high-tax, overregulated environment you inherited repels capital. It is no solution to cut a few special deals for favored big companies at the expense of the rest of the taxpayers.
For years, many Latin American countries motivated even their own citizens to employ their capital abroad, not at home. Today, our neighbors to the south have opened their borders, adopted free-market ideas, reduced unnecessary regulations, and caused the process to reverse-capital is now pouring into Latin America and economies are booming. New York should take a leaf out of their book and start disassembling the apparatus of what is becoming the last remaining center of socialist economics in the world. This is the only way to reverse the loss of jobs and give people hope.
These problems are being attacked in other, smaller cities. The mayors of Philadelphia, Jersey City, and Indianapolis are working to attract private capital and reduce the size of government. Yours is a great opportunity to lead New York out of its self-inflicted problems and make New Yorkers proud again.