Did you know that an ordinary family could buy a home in Brooklyn, NY for only $80,000?

I’m not normally very taken with the “gotcha”” questions to politicians of “how much is a dozen eggs?” or “what is the price of milk?” Or (in the right locale) “what is the current price of soybeans?”  I’m not surprised or upset that HW Bush didn’t know what a supermarket scanner was, or even that Mitt Romney seemed genuinely stumped by the notion of a doughnut.  I mean, who’s kidding who here?
But I thought this question to two candidates for NYC mayor was really notable:  “What is the median price for a home in Brooklyn?”

McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, guessed that homes in the borough cost “somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range.”  Donovan, who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, replied “around $100,000.” 

I read this and thought: $80, 90, 100 thousand?!?  Holy shit!  The article continues:

The actual median home price in Brooklyn is around $900,000, according to real estate appraisers.  

Wow, that’s really being out-of-touch.  I suppose one could argue that not knowing the upper-range – a median price close to $1 million – reflects a failure to appreciate gentrification and (I dunno) could be defended in some narrow sense.  But to think that a typical person in NYC is buying a home for $80K or $100K?!?  That is spectacularly disconnected.  It is beyond disqualifying.  As my brother observed, it would not have been worse if they guessed $5. 
It is always interesting to realize that we usually are electing someone who is as close to the local community as was Pontius Pilate.
  • May 12, 2021