Forty years at Peter Cooper Village, USA
August 1st marked four decades of my having lived at PCV. The management (MetLife) was the owner and operator in 1975. Careful screening was done as the waiting list was about 15 years. At that time, all aspects of PCV/ST were perfect.
And the resident manager Bill Potter was one of the finest and most sensitive persons I have ever known. The residents were mixed and included the famous and the middle class. Maintenance was 24/7. Perfecto except that my late wife thought that it looked like a city project.
Then about 12 years ago CEO Robert Benmosche decided to convert the developments to upscale. (From about $1,500 to over $5K.) As Manhattan has become the hot place to live in the U.S…. more $$$! The only significant advantage was an upgrade for the elevators.
Well, you know the rest… Affordable housing was on its way out in Manhattan. So, people convergent in algorithms were replacing the middle class.
Why does my title include the USA? When President Ronald Reagan was elected it was clear that this nation was concentrating on the mantra: greed is good. During the past 35 years union membership is now one third of what it was and the middle class is being squeezed as Fox and friends concentrates on what is supposedly a war on Christmas.
The Judeo-Christian ethic has been replaced by outrageous materialism. And, what has been done to PCV/ST is just a mere microcosm of the morphing of our nation to a new Gilded Age.
And Murdoch, allies and the Koch brothers now through the Citizens United SCOTUS decision have made the election of our politicians according to how much money they can raise. Is this what our founders envisioned?
The changes in PCV/ST are congruent with the changes in our nation since the end of WWII. Or was this period where the middle class shared in the wealth a mere aberration? Who know? But, we do know how flawed the human condition is and the disastrous results it can bring.
David Chowes, PCV