And literally nobody is noticing.
I think it's an urban vs suburban issue, and much of it is caused by continued WFH. All dense urban areas need lots of people for them to work, in particular rich office workers. At least in Seattle, few if any tech companies or other firms are requiring people to come back. Amazon is attempting to incentivize people to come back with free coffee, free parking etc. but the uptake is low.
While crime and homelessness were always problems, heavy foot traffic somewhat kept them at bay. Moronic city governments plus little traffic has caused the issues. If companies somehow get everyone back in the office (which they are still trying, though continually delay) there will be a bounce back, probably not to 2019 levels but better. The longer they put off any return, the more likely the areas end up abandoned.
Urbanspace Vanderbilt off Grand Central is a shadow of its former self. Just mentioning because I was there yesterday for the first time since Covid started. Sad.
I agree, feel like these are part of larger demographic and economic trends that will continue. The hollowing out of the US economy is almost complete.
How long does it have to go on until by definition it is no longer transitory? Gotta love Pelosi's SF slum
"And literally nobody is noticing"; LOL. You noticed. So have millions like you. You're not alone. About 15 years ago an uber democrat once shocked me by sharing how his high school has become "objectively stupider". That insult can be safely applied most broadly today. I'm not positive I understand everything you wrote but I agree with your overarching theory that this is a bad trend.