By 1975 the city was broke.
Nobody was picking up the garbage. Mental patients were let out
of the asylums, onto the street. The city couldn't afford to care, prevent
the growth of crime, or slow drug abuse. The mentally ill were known as
revolving-door mental patients. It was a policy. Free to
roam the streets until they did something the police had to pick them
up for; they'd be sent to Bellevue or jail, wherever, but let out again
the next day to save cost. (I could identify with a few of the gentler
of these souls). To help right the ship there was a big Save
New York City rally that filled Times Square in 1975 to hear
speakers like Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman and New York's most
famous citizens. After this, Mayor Beame turned to President Gerald
Ford, formally pleading for a federal bailout to tide the city over.
Ford's answer appeared in huge headlines the next day: Ford
to City: Drop Dead!
Trashed Man, W. 70s 1975