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How Trump will affect NYC economy, health care, civil rights, more

Donald Trump’s shocking election win has left New Yorkers on edge.

Will he follow through on promises to deport the undocumented immigrants living in the city, completely repeal the Affordable Care Act or take away women’s health rights? Will the reports of harassment against groups Trump insulted continue? Would he put his New York heritage aside and deprive the city of money needed for our trains, security and infrastructure?

amNewYork spoke with experts across various fields to see what the short and long term effects of a Trump presidency will be on the city. Many experts said the president-elect’s proposals lack details needed to make an accurate prediction, but they had confidence that New Yorkers would handle whatever comes our way.

“I don’t think it’s wise to panic. I say it’s wise to make a plan and be informed about options,” said Ted Henken, an associate professor of sociology at Baruch College.


During the campaign, Donald Trump made many vague
Photo Credit: Getty Images North America / Spencer Platt

During the campaign, Donald Trump made many vague statements and generalities. But he has laid out several economic policies, including lowering the business tax rate from 35 to 15 percent and dismantling the Dodd-Frank act (regulations passed for Wall Street transparency following the recession).

Trump said on his transition website that "bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates are not the answer" to economic growth.

But Trump has shied away from specifics in many cases, making this a very unusual President-elect transition, said Ken Goldstein, an economist with The Conference Board, an independent business membership and research association.

"One of the big shocks is running a business and running a $17 trillion economy is not nearly the same thing. He's going to depend on his advisers and the people that he appoints to various cabinet positions to give him proposals," said Goldstein. "On that side, it's more unusual than is typically the case."

For New Yorkers, Goldstein said tax cuts and peeling back Dodd-Frank could result in freeing up capital that people can use for entertainment, like restaurants and Broadway shows.

"That's money earned downtown, spent uptown," he said, but added it is a "boatload of if's" at this point.

Another of Trump's promises, renegotiating trade deals, could have an even bigger impact on New Yorkers, said Lawrence White, a professor of economics at NYU's Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

"He thinks it's a one-way street that 'oh we'll just cut back on what we'll buy and that won't affect what we sell,' but sorry the world doesn't work that way," White said. "For one thing there will be retaliation. Even in the absence of retaliation, if we buy less from abroad there are going to be adjustments in the exchange rate, which will then make it harder for us to sell abroad."

While White said it won't devastate the city's "very robust economy," it also won't be very beneficial.

Health care

New Yorkers are sure to see big changes
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

New Yorkers are sure to see big changes under the new administration when it comes to health care, according to Dr. Michael Sparer, chair of the department of health policy and management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Although Trump has said he might not completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, he and the GOP congressional leaders are expected to drastically alter it, according to Sparer. Medicaid funding for New York state is likely to take a big cut.

"This is a risk for a state like New York which is a high cost Medicaid state. [New York] would have to reduce Medicaid eligibility levels," Sparer said.

A Medicaid reduction would also mean fewer dollars paid to the city's public and private hospitals which have been struggling to meet both operational and real estate costs, according to Sparer.

When it comes to health plans, Sparer didn't have a clear picture, since it will be complicated to remove coverage from the 20 million people who gained health insurance through the ACA and insurers' policies are deeply woven into the law.

Although Sparer predicted it could take months for the government to make any major changes to the ACA, he advised concerned New Yorkers to see their physicians soon.

"In the new political environment, no one has a sense of what's going to happen," he said.

Civil Rights

Trump and the GOP Congress's controversial rhetoric on
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Trump and the GOP Congress's controversial rhetoric on immigration, women's rights, LGBT rights another social issues has caused the most worry among women and minorities.

There will be a significant battle between the federal and state and local governments should a Trump administration try to infringe on equal rights protections, said Alan A. Aja, the acting chair in the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College.

"You will see a hunkering down from local electeds to make sure that there isn't an infringement on social issues," he said.

Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have reiterated they would fight any plans to take away the rights and protections of immigrants, both legal and undocumented. Some New Yorkers said they were confident their leaders would protect them.

"In New York City, I am not that concerned. I'm more concern outside of New York," said Riyaz Shaikh, 33, a Manhattan web developer.

Although there have been reports across the city of harassment against women, minorities and others that Trump has ridiculed during his campaign, experts predicted those voices will die down. Benjamin Shepard, an assistant professor of human services at New York City College of Technology, cited the protests over the last few days, where nearly 25,000 people have marched to decry his rhetoric and controversial social policies, as an example of New York's robust inclusiveness.

"We've had McCarthyisms before, we've had red scares before," he said. "We look out for each other."

Police and security

The President-elect has made no secret of his
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

The President-elect has made no secret of his desire to bring back "law and order" to police departments throughout the country, specifically mentioning the city's controversial practice stop-and-frisk, which was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

But experts say Trump could try to bring it back.

"If Giuliani and Bernie Kerik and Chris Christie remain close to him, this is the kind of thing that they would urge on him. I think that's where his instincts are," said Kenneth Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Hunter College.

According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, police performed 22,939 stops in 2015, a nearly 50 percent decrease from the year before when they stopped 45,787 people. In the first half of this year, police stopped 7,636 people.

And while Mayor Bill de Blasio has been a staunch opponent of the practice, Sherrill said it's possible he could accept some strings-attached money if he had a say in how it was ultimately implemented.

Funding for national security, like the Urban Area Security Initiative, which grants about $600 million nationwide, could go arm-in-arm with Trump's hands-on approach to the NYPD and his desire to bring back a form of stop-and-frisk, said Patrick J. Brosnan, CEO of Brosnan Risk Consultants and a former NYPD detective.

In August, de Blasio and former-Commissioner Bill Bratton called on Congress and the White House not to cut the terror funding.

"I think he's going to take a very keen interest in New York, it's natural. You get the home court advantage," Brosnan said. "My sense is there will probably be a horse trade of some sort, there would be a negation."

Real Estate

Trump's history as a real estate mogul creates
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Trump's history as a real estate mogul creates an interesting situation for the city's housing market.

He's been in favor of deregulating laws to help big residential and commercial developments, like his various buildings throughout the city, but he hasn't released any specifics on what he could do once in office, according to Krishna Rao, an economist for StreetEasy. One area to watch is how Trump and the GOP congress will change the amount of funding for affordable housing programs, since NYCHA and section 8 vouchers are dependent on federal money.

"There are pretty big questions when it comes to public housing," he said.

Rao added that plans to add more affordable housing stock, one of the mayor's top goals, could be in jeopardy if the economy takes a negative turn and federal funding is cut.

Trump's effect on America's reputation, however, wouldn't make New York less of a enticing place to live or invest in, according to Rao.

"New York is a global city and a large amount of New York's real estate is international buyers looking for this cultural center," he said.


Trump vowed during his victory speech to
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Trump vowed during his victory speech to "rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals."

"We are going to fix our inner cities," he said. "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."

Though details have been scant on how and where Trump would do so. This fall, the Trump campaign team released a 10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would rely heavily on privatizing projects to "streamline permitting and approvals" and cut "wasteful spending."

But on a presidential transition website that launched last week, Trump's administration said it would invest $550 billion for future transit and infrastructure projects without much information.

Transit experts in New York City that have watched massive infrastructure projects suffocated through the lack of federal funding are open to looking into new funding methods.

A plan for privatization "represents a departure from typical government-financed projects or even increasingly common public-private partnerships, but there seems to be an appetite for both road pricing and new funding models in the region," wrote the Tri-State Transportation Campaign in a recent blog post.

Robert Cherry, Prof. of economics at Brooklyn College, said infrastructure will be an important platform for Trump, considering the construction jobs it could produce. Though experts speculate whether Trump the New Yorker would look to improve cities' mass transit or focus on projects in regions like the Rust Belt, where voters carried him to White House.

"There's his infrastructure construction proposal, which I tend to think he will definitely do because that's the one set of his policies that will speak to this white working class," Cherry said. "It depends how it's distributed. It will help the city a bit. It depends on how the allocation is done."


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