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A Fairytale of Two Cities: Contra Bill de Blasio, the real divide is between those who pay...
City Journal ^ | 7 October 2013 | Myron Magnet

Posted on 10/09/2013 12:08:23 PM PDT by neverdem

Contra Bill de Blasio, the real divide is between those who pay taxes and those who live off them.

As its very name suggests, mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s tale of two cities is pure fiction, a myth that formed the intellectual basis of leftist politics long before Marx turned it into “science.” Its key idea is that the rich are rich because they have somehow extracted their wealth from the poor, causing their poverty. Thomas Paine said it in 1797: “The accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labour that produced it.” Thomas Carlyle said it in 1843, almost a generation before Das Kapital: “‘My starving workers?’ answers the rich mill-owner: ‘Did not I hire them fairly in the market? Did I not pay them, to the last sixpence, the sum covenanted for? What have I to do with them more?’”

In the early days of industrialization, when nearly naked children pulled carts of coal through mine shafts and factory workers got ground up by unfenced machinery, this tale had a core of truth. But what should we say about New York’s early-twentieth-century sweatshop workers in the mass-produced-clothing industry that other Jewish immigrants had just invented? Would they really rather have been back in the shtetls from which they came, and did they really think that giving their children the opportunity that America offered didn’t make it worthwhile? As for New York’s poor of today, there is not a scintilla of truth in the notion that the co-op dwellers of Fifth and Park Avenues have caused their poverty—not even if you believe that Wall Street hanky-panky is the cause of the deep unemployment America suffers five years after the outset of the financial crisis.

The trouble with the two-cities narrative is less that it is false and more that it has become a cause of the very poverty it pretends to explain—especially in the case of the minority poverty so prevalent in New York. The belief that people are poor because they are victims of economic injustice, and that the nation owes the African-American poor, in particular, some kind of reparation for the slavery and racism that supposedly has kept them perpetually poor, led to a War on Poverty that began half a century ago and that resulted in a welfare system that today, together with food stamps, public housing, and other benefits, provides its recipients with more income than a minimum-wage job, vaporizing the economic incentive for going to work. Worse, the elite mindset that conceived the War on Poverty permanently transformed the nation’s culture in ways that entrenched the poor in their poverty. Thanks to the elites in the press, the government, and the universities—thanks to the writers, preachers, and teachers who have made “social justice” the reigning orthodoxy—the once standard belief that it’s dishonorable and unmanly not to work, at however menial a job, to support your family has given way to the view that there’s no shame in accepting reparations for victimization. Combine these economic views with the change in elite views about sexuality that, also about 50 years ago, destigmatized casual sex and out-of-wedlock childbearing, and you have a sure-fire recipe for a caste of perpetually poor people, disproportionately minority, who rarely work or marry, and who form families headed by young, inexperienced, and ill-educated single mothers, poorly equipped to give children the moral and cognitive nurture, the thirst and drive for education they need to succeed in an increasingly skills-based global economy.

If you were going to divide New York into two cities—one rich, one poor—this would be the poor one: female-headed families living in housing projects or Section 8 apartments with flat-screen TVs and refrigerators stocked with food-stamp plenty, for generation after generation, whose unmotivated kids learn little from bad schools that cost more than almost any other public schools in the country—schools that only the most determined manage to learn enough from to escape the government-financed ghetto, leaving behind the average, ambitionless mass to become the parents of the next generation. The rich New York would be exactly the opposite: people who get married and mostly stay married, who work hard to give their kids the best educational credentials and enrichment programs they can afford (alas, with a full measure of social-justice ideology and resume-burnishing social-service summer internships), who worship the work ethic, and who pay the taxes that support the other New York.

An observer from another planet would ask, Why does such a bizarre system go on, seemingly without end? Why does the rich New York keep supporting the poor New York, and why does the poor New York not improve its lot? Why are these the Americans who won’t do the jobs that Americans won’t do?

The answer is that the real division in the city is between the wealth creators who pay the taxes and those who live off them, a class that includes not just the welfare poor but the vast army of city employees whose jobs exist supposedly to ameliorate their condition but who actively perpetuate it—the Housing Authority administrators, the public school teachers purveying a curriculum of social justice and an ideology of victimization, the domestic-violence counselors trying to fix unfixable families, the welfare workers on whose watch some poor child is horribly killed every year, the Public Advocate who apparently is supposed to promote some public concern that the City Council has failed to grasp, the civil rights commission on the lookout for racial abuses that the state and federal civil rights commissions have somehow missed, the tax-funded social-service agencies that wouldn’t exist were there no social pathology to address—in short, the Bill de Blasios of the world, constantly spewing out their myth of two cities that justifies their existence, feeds their self-righteousness, and keeps the votes and money pouring in.

The intergenerational poor are not a problem to be solved but a resource to be exploited—at least as long as the shrinking numbers of taxpayers, from rich Wall Streeters to ink-stained journalists, whose jobs technology is changing and inexorably shrinking, are still here to pay the bills.

Myron Magnet, City Journal’s editor-at-large and its editor from 1994 through 2006, is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. His new book, The Founders at Home, will be published by Norton in November.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: deblasio

1 posted on 10/09/2013 12:08:23 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Since the very wealthy in the big Cesspool vote Democrat and control the Democrat media why shouldn't they be absolutely gouged for taxes? That seems only fair and right to me.
2 posted on 10/09/2013 1:43:23 PM PDT by amnestynone (Lindsey Graham is feckless, duplicitous, treacherous, double dealing backstabbing Corksucker.)
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To: neverdem

New York City to the rest of America: COME TOGETHER ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM

New York City’s Marxist Power Couple
“You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” Nikita Khrushchev.


by Cliff Kincaid

“De Blasio opens up to Baldwin” is how MSNBC described Alec Baldwin’s show with New York City’s Obama-backed Democratic “progressive” mayoral candidate, Bill De Blasio. “I was an early supporter of de Blasio’s,” Baldwin acknowledged.

Having been a virtual arm of the Obama White House for years, MSNBC is now turning into an arm of the de Blasio campaign. De Blasio, a former aide to socialist New York City Mayor David Dinkins, faces law-and-order Republican candidate Joe Lhota on November 5.

De Blasio’s support for communist regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua, and his embrace of Islam as an emerging political force, were highlighted in a recent New York Times article. The paper also noted his illegal “honeymoon” to Communist Cuba. However, the mysterious trip occurred in either 1991or 1994, depending on which paper you read, and much about the nature of the travel remains unknown.

Our review of documents concerning de Blasio’s involvement in the communist-front Nicaragua Solidarity Network confirms that notes of one meeting in 1991 say that he stated that Islam was an emerging “power,” and wondered if there were “progressive elements” in Islam “we can work with.”

Marxists like de Blasio who were sympathetic to the Sandinista “liberation” struggle in Nicaragua were typically active in support of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a Soviet/Cuban-backed terrorist group. Indeed, anti-Israel and pro-PLO material was found in the archives of the Nicaragua Solidarity Network.

Another document regarding the “vision” of the group says, “End world capitalism and replace it,” and next to de Blasio’s initials are the words “democratic socialism.”

Baldwin’s comments during his MSNBC de Blasio interview included such observations as, “You seem to have a very warm positive healthy home life.” De Blasio, who is white, married a black woman and former lesbian, Chirlane McCray, and they have had two children together.

Modern-day progressives usually consider it wrong to even discuss the option of voluntarily leaving the homosexual lifestyle, but they have let the matter of McCray’s rejection of lesbianism pass without critical comment.

De Blasio says one of his wife’s poems about “growing up as a young African-American girl in a racist society” helped him to fall in love with her.

There is no indication that McCray abandoned Marxism after living in an enclave known as the Combahee River Collective.

The Combahee River Collective had issued a “revolutionary” 1977 statement saying, “We realize that the liberation of all oppressed peoples necessitates the destruction of the political-economic systems of capitalism and imperialism as well as patriarchy. We are socialists because we believe that work must be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create the products, and not for the profit of the bosses. Material resources must be equally distributed among those who create these resources.

We are not convinced, however, that a socialist revolution that is not also a feminist and anti-racist revolution will guarantee our liberation.”

The “collective” has been depicted by the media as a respectable group of feminist intellectuals, who were merely “radical” in some of their thinking.

The Combahee River Collective “statement” was favorably cited by Harvard Professor Richard Levins in a Monthly Review article called, “Continuing Sources of Marxism: Looking for the Movement as a Whole.”

In discussing the emergence of the Combahee River Collective and other such groups, he wrote, “In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels state that what distinguishes communists from other socialists is internationalism and looking for the movement as a whole. ‘Looking for the movement as a whole’ is a fluid concept that expands to embrace ever more inclusive struggles against capitalism and for a just and sustainable world. Increasingly, a movement centered on the working class has to champion the entire cause of the species.”

He mentions the Combahee River Collective after noting that a “core of strong proto-feminist women [had] emerged in the Communist Party USA just at the time when McCarthyism was making all red organizing difficult.”

He went on, “Groups such as Redstockings, the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, and the Combahee River Collective and publications such as Sojourner developed a stance against the whole system of oppression. Within feminism, Marxists have played a leading role in insisting on a class analysis that showed that ‘women’ cannot be treated as a homogeneous mass with common interests, and also struggled against racism within the feminist movement.”

Bringing the situation up to date, New York magazine ran a story declaring that Chirlane McCray “would be a First Lady in the mold” of Hillary Clinton.

On a Spanish language New York radio station, WADO 1280 AM, de Blasio was asked about his Cuba trip and he proved evasive: “What did you see in Cuba, what is your impression going on your honeymoon in a country that hasn’t had free elections in the last 50 years. What did you get from the trip?” The radio host went on, “If I can ask you one thing you came back from Cuba with, what was that thing?”

As noted by the New York Daily News, de Blasio dodged the questions and replied, “I didn’t go on a trip to fully study the country, I don’t pretend to have full perspective on the country. I have a huge critique of the current government there because it’s undemocratic.”

But it was just as undemocratic then as it is now. So why did he visit the communist-controlled island, and what did he see and do there?

De Blasio’s opponent, Joe Lhota, has said that de Blasio “needs to explain himself—and explain himself now—to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who escaped Marxist tyranny in Asia, Central America, and from behind the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.”

Lhota noted that de Blasio’s involvement with the communist Sandinistas “didn’t happen in 1917; it happened 70 years later when the cruelty and intrinsic failure of communism had become crystal clear to anyone with a modicum of reason.”

He added that de Blasio, who promises to tax the rich and spend more public money, is pursuing a “class warfare strategy” that is “directly out of the Marxist playbook.”

The new MSNBC show, “Up Late with Alec Baldwin,” did include some legitimate news reaffirming de Blasio’s controversial announced intention to crack down on police surveillance of terrorists and criminals. De Blasio opposes the stop-and-frisk practices of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and wants to replace Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who has authorized surveillance of radical Muslims in order to thwart terrorist attacks.

“There have been 16 known terrorist plots against New York City since September 11, 2001,” the NYPD says.

The current mayor is Michael Bloomberg, a liberal who has nevertheless been a strong supporter of aggressive police tactics against potential criminals and terrorists.

Bloomberg says, for example, that overturning stop-and-frisk would turn “over the streets to the criminals.”
Mike Long, the chairman of the Conservative Party of New York, told Emily Miller of The Washington Times, “I don’t often agree with Mike Bloomberg, but stop and frisk has made New York City that much safer. It has clearly saved the lives of people of color and is absolutely an important tool for making New York City one of the safest cities in the country.” Long said that without this enforcement mechanism, “we will be like Chicago in very short order.”

But the liberal media are betting that Lhota’s “Republican” label will be more objectionable than the communist sympathies of de Blasio and his wife, sympathies that are being played down by most reporters.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism.

3 posted on 11/04/2013 4:55:16 PM PST by Dqban22
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