Because of George W. Bush and his economic non-strategies, America is for sale – again.
I distinctly remember in the late 1980s when the Japanese started to purchase significant amounts of American real estate in Hawaii. The yen had improved and the US economy was struggling and Hawaii saw a substantial increase of Japanese tourists and subsequently Japanese investors. It got to the point where local home buyers and investors in Hawaii were competing for the limited supply of real estate with investors from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Canada. Once the Japanese investors bought up Honolulu and The Big Island, they set their eyes on the “The Big Kahuna”. They came to Manhattan and purchased Rockefeller Center. New Yorkers were up in arms! Shocked! Livid!
It was a matter of pride with New Yorkers and most Americans. The very idea that the center of journalistic and architectural modernity, Rockefeller Center, should belong to another country was beyond comprehension. Things were THAT bad in America.
Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who leased the space from Columbia University in 1928 and developed it from 1930. It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. Construction of the 14 buildings in the Art Deco style began on May 17, 1930 and was completed on November 1, 1939 when he drove in the final (silver) rivet into 10 Rockefeller Plaza. Rockefeller Center is a magnificent complicated beauty. Radio City Music Hall is a part of it. It’s the home of NBC and it’s where Saturday Night Live broadcasts from. It is the home of the iconic Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink which we see in the background of so many movies. It is where thousands gather each December to watch the lighting of “The Christmas Tree”.
In the late 80s, sadly, the Japanese purchased a major slice of America’s apple pie.
Here we are in 2008, 20 years later and the Chrysler Building is for sale; the world’s tallest brick building is now owned by the United Arab Emirates. Another beautiful Art Deco building being purchased by a foreign country, this time the super-rich Abu Dhabi Investment Council is negotiating an $800 million deal for a 75 percent stake in the Art Deco treasure that has defined the Midtown skyline since 1930.
Last month the GM Building was sold with three other Macklowe/Equity Portfolio properties for $3.95 billion to a group of investors including the wealth funds of Kuwait and Qatar and Boston Properties.
Boston Properties closed on its purchase of the GM Building on Monday with investment partners Kuwait and Qatar, and will complete the purchase of three other former Macklowe properties over the next few months.
Developer Harry Macklowe was forced to sell the assets after taking a personal loan on the GM Building and other family assets to raise nearly $7 billion to buy a city package of former Equity Office buildings. The credit markets tanked right after completing that deal in July and Macklowe was unable to refinance the short-term debt causing him to sell the four buildings to Boston Properties and return the Equity portfolio to lender Deutsche Bank.
And so it continues. Spurred by the weak dollar and the strong euro, European travelers to the U.S. have been lapping up everything from inexpensive ‘unmentionables’ to designer clothing in Manhattan to luxury condos in Palm Beach.
The latest casualty is the breathtaking and historic Flatiron building in Manhattan. It was sold to a top Italian real estate investor. Built in 1902, the 22-story Flatiron is instantly recognizable for its triangular shape at the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street. The Flatiron is featured in the opening credits of the David Letterman show and serves as the fictional headquarters for the Daily Bugle in the recent Spider-Man movies. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1989. The Flatiron’s falling into foreign hands carries symbolic weight as international investors once again take advantage of the upheaval in the real estate market and weakness of the U.S. dollar.
Foreign companies were the buyers in four of the top 13 U.S. commercial real estate deals in 2007, according to Real Estate Alert newsletter. Another foreign acquisition of notable Manhattan real estate was the Dubai-based Jumeirah group’s 2006 purchase of the Essex House on Central Park South.
America’s for sale – again. Very sad but true.
During the economic crisis of the 1980s, when the selling of America began, Ronald Reagan was President 1981-1989.
Then came George H.W. Bush, he was President 1989–1993.
Then came a democratic President, Bill Clinton. He was President from 1993 to 2001 and he corrected our fiscal problems and left office with a surplus budget of $559 billion.
Then came George W. Bush and once again, American is for sale. Sad but true.
The Congressional Budget Office has announced the deficit for fiscal 2008 is going to hit almost $220 billion, maybe more — not counting war spending or an economic stimulus package. That brings the deficit estimate to approximately $3 trillion dollars.
John McCain’s current fiscal plan would recklessly continue the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration. McCain’s economic plan — which includes a corporate tax cut and an extension of the Bush tax cuts — would leave a debt of $12.7 trillion, the HIGHEST SINCE 1951 when America was still holding debt from World War II. As impossible as it may seem, John McCain’s economic irresponsibility would be WORST than George W’s.
If we stay on this path, and continue to do the same stupid things; if we continue to elect Presidents who only care about their self interests. If we continue to elect republicans, before we know it, the White House will be for sale.
Look at the facts, the republicans have left the economy in shambles each time they held office over the past 27 years. With a republican President Americans got poorer even though republicans got richer.
Think about it, do you want to be doing better four years from now?
If the answer is ‘yes’, vote democratic. Look at the facts, think about it.
America should not be for sale!