"The 1970s—in New York and around the country—saw the dawning of a new era of austerity, as the earlier assumptions of economic growth faded. The contraction of the state also meant the shrinking of the social imagination. The stern dictums about the necessary limits of political dreams contrasted sharply with the new populist utopianism of the free market, where anything might be possible. We still live today in a society defined by these two poles: the harsh limits of the political sphere and the delusional boundlessness of the market. Although it wasn’t solely responsible for bringing the city into this new age, New York’s fiscal crisis marks the boundary between the past and the present we still live in today."
Kim Phillips-Fein in The Nation connects New York City's fiscal crisis of the 1970s to the city of today.