I’ve bookmarked this page and we’ll return to it two years hence

As brought to you by Occupy Wall Street

As brought to you by Occupy Wall Street

Predictions on what deBlasio’s election next week will mean to NYC from the WSJ’s editors

Mr. de Blasio’s agenda threatens that achievement, and before next Tuesday’s vote any serious New Yorker, Democrat or Republican, should understand what his intentions are. Herewith, a summary:

• Daily security. The city’s murder rate is at its lowest since the 1960s. This plunge is the direct result of police reforms begun under Mr. Giuliani, including current police commissioner Ray Kelly’s stop-and-frisk program to reduce violent street crime. Mr. de Blasio repudiates these police practices, and he says he won’t appeal the August ruling by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin that called them unconstitutional. This threatens public safety.

• Taxes. Incomes above $500,000 in New York City are subject to city, state and federal taxes that take the combined top marginal rate to more than 50%. Mr. de Blasio wants more. To finance a new pre-K education program, he wants to raise the city’s income tax rate of 3.876% to 4.41%. Given his spending agenda, he’ll have to raise property taxes, too.

• Philanthropy. New York is the philanthropy capital of the world, supporting everything from the arts to food-distribution networks. Bill de Blasio wants even charitable money to start flowing through him, too. He’s proposing that private park conservancies with operating budgets over $5 million give 20% of it for redistribution to other parks. The conservancies were established precisely because the city didn’t maintain the parks. Many donors would stop giving.

• Schools. Under Mayor Bloomberg, the mayor’s office took control of public schools from the union-dominated school board and the cap on independent public charter schools expanded to 200, most in the poorest neighborhoods. Aligning himself with the teachers union, Mr. de Blasio will reverse this growth. “There is no way in hell that Eva Moskowitzshould get free rent, okay? They should have to pay rent,” he has declared.

Eva Moskowitz is a leading reformer who has helped charter schools “co-locate” in public-school buildings to avoid New York’s sky-high rents. When Mr. de Blasio charges them rent, the charter schools in New York, slowly but without doubt, will start to wither. Some 20,000 inner-city parents and their children recently marched across Brooklyn Bridge in opposition to the de Blasio schools agenda.

• Union contracts. Nearly all of the city’s major union contracts have expired and need to be renegotiated, a major Bloomberg failure. Mr. de Blasio says unions deserve at least partial retroactive pay increases (which would reward union recalcitrance) and he has laid out no reforms in pensions or work rules. As pensions grow as a share of the city budget, this would lock in spending commitments for years and increase pressure for higher taxes.

• Jobs. Mr. de Blasio wants a mandated “living wage” of $11.75 an hour on all city or city-subsidized projects, including retail stores. And he wants to make New York the first city in the U.S. that mandates paid family leave of 12 weeks. The most left-wing city council in years will pass both. Job creation will decline.

• Housing. He promises to build or preserve 200,000 affordable-housing units by various means, including mandates on developers, a policy that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock recently called a failure there. Mr. de Blasio also proposes to tap the city’s pension funds to invest in this housing, and he wants to strengthen rent controls. These policies would cause the city’s housing stock to diminish and deteriorate.

***

[W] hat’s striking about Bill de Blasio is how unreconstructed a man of the left he remains.

In the 1980s he romanced the revolutionary Marxism of Nicaragua’s Sandinistas, Castro’s communism and even Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Even now he praises their idealism, including that hoariest of clichés that Cuba has a model health-care system. South Bronx residents would picket City Hall if they had Cuba’s health care.

The city’s Public Advocate has held no real job, but Mr. de Blasio purports that he can run the most complex city in the U.S. guided by a wish list that would make Al Sharpton blush to propose it. It’s a sign of his Occupy ambition that New York optimists say they are counting on Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo to rein in Mr. de Blasio. You know you’re out on a limb when you’re counting on Albany for rational governance. New Yorkers are resilient, and if they elect Bill de Blasio the odds are they will have to be.

The scary part of all this is that, for now, productive people can just leave New York and escape; Obama and his crowd are working to impose deBlasio’s “progressivism” nationally so there will be no way out.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “I’ve bookmarked this page and we’ll return to it two years hence

  1. Anonymous

    Good for Greenwich real estate. The private schools in town are already planning to market themselves to rich Manhattanites (potential big ticket donors) who may move.

  2. Good for greenwich home prices and possibly hedge funds or other businesses moving here from nyc. Yeah for us?

  3. Anonymous

    From the comments section of the WSJ article:

    ” “South Bronx residents would picket City Hall if they had Cuba’s health care.”
    Looks like we’re fixing to find out if that’s true ”

    Also numerous comments about NYC refugees, including folks from Texas, Florida, and even Vermont saying they don’t want anymore New Yorkers.

    For Connecticut: “Dollars are refugees too.”

    For the cheering Commies, just remember: you can’t spell douche without “Che.”

  4. “Obama and his crowd are working to impose deBlasio’s “progressivism” nationally so there will be no way out.”

    Chris: I’m not sure you’re right. From Jonah Goldberg’s story linbked to below, but omitted from your quotation:

    All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it. . . . I’m infuriated because I was lied to,” one woman told the Los Angeles Times, as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of Obamacare.

    And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president.”

    Odds are very good that the quoted woman was an Obama voter in 2008 and 2012. Now she’s infuriated, as are – or soon will be – myriad more such voters once they come to the realization that they have been suckered. When a betrayal of the magnitude Obama inflicted with his “You can keep your Doctor” lie is finally felt by a huge number of prior supporters, then the liar is permanently and irredeemably damaged in the eyes of those he deceived.

    I now believe that America has finally just awakened from five years of pestilent hypnosis and she will take her vengeance out on the Democrats in November 2014.

  5. Publius

    Having been born, raised and educated in NYC now a resident of CT, with family in NYC and my little (big) brother FDNY, I fear for them. As an accident of birth (1959) and cursed/blessed with a pretty good memory, I can recall even today the decline of NYC beginning in the the mid to late 1960’s that continued until the bottom of the Dinkins Administration. Decades of Progressive leadership stretching all the way back to the incorporation of the City in the late 19th century was temporarily suspended due to financial constraints in the 1970’s and 1980’s and the past 20 years of adult supervision (Neither Guiliani nor Bloomberg were/are perfect btw). The only encore of late was the Dinkins 4 year run that reminded New Yorkers that going along to get along was a recipe for disaster.

    Behold a new class of New Yorkers whom were either not around for that era or have decided to rewrite history in order to romanticize a period of absolute physical and civil decay. I do not forget and there was nothing good about it. Ironically, the past 20 years of relatively positive advancement interrupted by 9/11 laid the foundation for New Yorker’s desire to experiment with Progressive/Social leadership. I see nothing good to come of this.

    New York City for all its new found spit and polish is really just a veneer, with much rot underneath the surface invisible to the low information resident. The burdens of pension and health care costs for civil servants is a growing cancer that is now starting to squeeze other City services. Every major union in NYC is working without a contract and they have not accepted Bloomberg’s terms because they know that in a matter of months (Inauguration for NYC mayor is Jan 1) their sugar daddy will be manning the ship. This is exactly the situation that faced Dinkins when he took office and we know how that turned out.

    I am a huge proponent of Mencken’s ideal that democracy is what people vote for and they should get it good and hard, but having been a mouse in the lab of Progressive governance, I would not wish the same on the current population, however misguided their intentions. I am also usually a proponent of once warned, advice ignored, take advantage of the idiots approach, but it is difficult to be a cheerleader for higher real estate prices in surrounding suburbs because having personally experienced an almost complete cycle of a great city, I loathe to see it happen again. I guess I am just getting squishy in my advancing years. Damn it!!!

  6. Joey

    It seems to me that going back to the “Good Ole Days” of NYC progressive politics is not good. But are there any poor/middle class people left in NYC? It seems to me that they all left for NC, SC, GA and FL long ago. Does this mean the rich guys are voting for de Blasio? They must be given his lead.

    In the short-term this might be good for the Greenwich real estate market but a sick NYC is definitely not good for the house prices long-term.

  7. FF

    Of course, this is just fantasy supposition and odd, somewhat unhinged hope. I’ll bookmark this page too for revisiting in two years.

    • The odd, unhinged hope is that which thinks deBlasio can implement his plans and keep New York healthy.

    • Cos Cobber

      FF, you have to admit, there isn’t one policy item on the DeBlasio agenda that would spur you to invest in NYC.

    • Hey Frank, you do that. If I’m proved right about your brown god’s adoration factor cratering and your horse-thief party getting crushed in 2014, you should buy me lunch and dinner for a week. In the meantime though why not do something really useful like commission an iPhone app I can use to scan my lotto ticket and see if its a winner instead of making me drive to an outlet to check it.

  8. Just another fascist, following in the footsteps of his leader, Bammie! Bringing down America is their cause!!!! What a better way than starting with NYC! Gosh New Yorkers are seriously stupid!

  9. CatoRenasci

    There is increasingly little reason for the financial sector to be headquartered in New York, and if the industry moves away, ultimately it harms Greenwich and lower Fairfield county. One of the reasons Greenwich and Stamford are so popular with financial types is proximity to NYC for both business and culture. When it’s no longer needed for business, and when it’s less and less safe to go into the city, The charm of our little corner of Connecticut will pale, too.

    • I’ve been pointing this out for years, especially to homeowners and realtors who cheer the comeuppance being doled out to the financial industry. There really is very little point to living in this area except the feedstock supplied by Wall Street and you’re right: in these days of high capacity connectivity, there’s no particular reason, other than habit, to stay here.

      • Well, unless it migrates to Stamford, then all will remain nice for a bit. If the industry decentralizes its Brick and Mortar to more multiple more appealing climes, then the whole N.E. will shrivel and die.

      • Anonymous

        All the big banks have been gradually outsourcing some operations from the NYC area. Goldman Sachs and Royal Bank of Scotland have large operations in Salt Lake City where many of their operations people now work. Deutsche Bank has gone a step further and has opened offices in Jacksonsville Florida and Birmingham in the UK where they are moving some of their middle market front office investment banking and sales and trading businesses. I see the trend continuing but having a greater impact on middle class finance jobs that did not ever pay enough to live in most parts of Greenwich. That being said I do not expect the hitters at any of these banks to move their head office to Baltimore or Oklahoma any time soon. The main reason that UBS is leaving Stamford is that many of the senior (well paid) staff wanted to be in New York City, and also because they believe that recruiting is easier in NYC than Stamford. These banks and HFs will keep their main offices in NYC for a long time, but they will employ less people in aggregate and probably pay them less than in the last decade.