Breslin Q&A: 'Everybody's going broke'
Jimmy Breslin is an iconic New York journalist. The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist has covered everything from sports to civil rights. Breslin, now 78, worked for several newspapers, including Newsday and the New York Daily News.
amNewYork discussed the current economic crisis and how its effect on New York might compare to the tough times the city endured in the 1970s.
Is the city heading in the same direction it went in the 70s?
You didnt have the [expletive] kids from Washington Heights getting killed in a war with Iraq. Thats the first thing.
Youve got unemployment. You just had three big auto companies going broke. Banks folding. Who ever heard of a bank bouncing? Checks did, but the banks never did. It was nothing like this. You could go get a loan in the 70s. You cant get a loan today. You cant do anything.
Everybodys going broke. Thats why this is worse than anything weve had.Will the current economic crisis impact the quality of life in the city?
I dont know about the quality. Its always been good. Its a big, crowded city. Its great. I think the condition of the people in it is getting tough.
Youre talking about financially?
Money! When theyre broke, theyre a joke.
And what will that mean for New Yorkers?
When you go broke, anything could happen. Its all money. Theyre trying to fight a war and have a good economy at home. The problem with that is that it cant be done, and they dont want to even discuss this or admit it.
Franklin Roosevelt said you cant have guns and butter. Thats 60 years ago. And were trying to have super technology and splendor at home. What happens is the splendor drains out of life.
-- Ryan Chatelain