Armstrong Economics Blog/Migraction Re-Posted Nov 17, 2020 by Martin Armstrong
It is fascinating to me personally how our computer could forecast that real estate would be declining in the major urban centers and rising in the suburbs three years in advance, and then suddenly it unfolds far beyond what even I could have guessed years ago. The trend is significant, and it has been taking place from Los Angeles to New York City and even in Europe as people flee London to the suburbs.
It is now confirmed in the news that more than 300,000 New Yorkers have embarked on an exodus from the Big Apple in the last eight months. City residents filed 295,103 change of address requests from March 1 through Oct. 31, according to data The Post obtained from the US Postal Service under a Freedom of Information Act request (see NY Post).
Rome’s population peaked at more than 1.4 million during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD). There was a great plague known as the Antonine Plague (165-180 AD), which killed 2,000 people a day according to contemporary sources. This was also a period where the climate changed quite cold, where even Marcus sent his children back to Rome because it was far too cold in northern Europe to bear.
Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) died in 180AD, and historians agree that he was one of the best emperors in Rome’s history, marking the end of Pax Romana. Marcus’ co-emperor, Lucius Verus (161-169 AD), most likely died of the plague. His son Commodus (176-192 AD) was a madman and was eventually assassinated. He had been co-emperor since 176 AD, assuming full imperial power upon his father’s death. Rome’s population peaked during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and began to decline as people started to flee Rome, at first because of the plague. However, under Commodus’s reign, who persecuted his father’s former supporters, the mass exodus from Rome shifted to corruption, becoming perhaps the major cause of abandoning urban life. Within about 100 years, Rome’s population was only a fraction of its peak when the Aurelian Wall was completed in the year 273 AD. Estimates state the population at that time had fallen to just about 500,000.
It is ironic that the mass exodus from major cities has been set in motion once again by a plague — COVOD-19. Perhaps not because 2,000 are dying per day, but because of the insane regulations and lockdowns. There is no question that the “new norm” will be masks and social distancing from here on out.