The following appears in the October 25-31 2013, issue of the Long Island Business News:
The New York City mayoral candidacy of Bill de Blasio has been driven by two issues: First, he wants to handcuff the police by ending stop-and-frisk practices. Second, he wants to raise taxes on the so-called 1 percent.
These are his public positions. God only knows what other deep-rooted, extreme left-wing ideological schemes he has in mind.
Let’s face it, the man who championed and happily spent time with the leaders of the oppressive Sandinistas regime in Nicaragua and freely chose to spend his honeymoon in Cuba – a Marxist totalitarian state that has imprisoned and executed tens of thousands of innocent political prisoners, has driven out over 2 million people from a population of 11 million, and whose people earn, on average, $19 a month – isn’t a mainstream politician.
Despite this background and his radical views, public opinion polls indicate that de Blasio is running away with the election. My explanation for this phenomenon: no historical memory.
Few members of the general public remember how the city went downhill when John Vliet Lindsay, the 1960s darling of the left, was mayor of New York.
Lindsay’s tax-and-spend and social-justice policies turned the city into the welfare capital of the nation and unleashed the worst crime wave in New York history. Even leftist journalist Jack Newfield quipped that Lindsay “gave good intentions a bad name.”
Lindsay proved that big, expensive, activist government not only failed to achieve expected social and financial equality but also created a permanent underclass – and bankrupted the nation’s largest city.
The Lindsay debacle haunted New Yorkers until the 1990s, when the Giuliani administration tackled the fiscal mess and successfully implemented social philosopher James Q. Wilson’s “Broken Window” theory, which holds “that maintenance and monitoring urban environments in a well-ordered condition may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime.”
Because of the precipitous drop in crime during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, New York experienced economic and real-estate booms. Housing in Brooklyn and Bronx neighborhoods that couldn’t be given away in the 1970s and 80s is now selling at exorbitant prices because people felt it was safe to move back to these areas.
Here’s what could go wrong in a de Blasio administration: If he emasculates the police department and crime begins to spike in the city’s revitalized communities, people who have paid high six and seven figures for homes and apartments will watch the values of their real estate drop like a rock. Their equity will be wiped out and they will be stuck with upside-down mortgages. Crime epidemics also spread, so expect the suburban counties surrounding the city to be impacted.
If de Blasio raises taxes on the 19,000 people who earn over $1 million and presently pay 41 percent of the city’s income taxes, a significant subset will move to tax-friendly states like Florida. Others could move to neighboring Connecticut, where the top income tax rate is 6.5 percent. Compare that to combined New York state and city income tax rates, which would hit 13.23 percent if de Blasio gets his way.
Wealthy entrepreneurs who vote with their feet will not only take their families with them but their businesses, too. This means some people who live in the NYC metropolitan region will lose their jobs and others will relocate with their employers. The number of young people who are leaving Long Island in search of employment opportunities, which is already high, will escalate.
Bill de Blasio’s Marxist wealth redistributionist agenda will be a nightmare for all New Yorkers. If implemented, it will further bolster the Empire State’s reputation as the nation’s tax capital.