September 6th, 2017

Mayor de Blasio: you know you want the heavy hand of government, and so do I

Steven Hayward at Powerline calls our attention to an interview and quote from New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio. It’s quite revealing not just about de Blasio, but about the leftist mindset about the role of government, our legal system, and what people themselves want [emphasis mine]:

Q: In 2013, you ran on reducing income inequality. Where has it been hardest to make progress? Wages, housing, schools?

de Blasio: What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development…

…Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

It’s not reachable right now. And it leaves this friction, and this anger, which is visceral.

There’s an awful lot packed in there, isn’t there?

First and foremost, we have the fact that de Blasio feels comfortable enough to express these sentiments openly rather than hide them. My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that he really believes that most New Yorkers, and maybe even most people in the US, agree with him about the function of government and how much it should dictate their lives. Sentiments and goals that just a few years ago were only whispered in private by any politician hoping to actually get elected are now declared openly by the current mayor of New York.

Next we have the scope of his vision. De Blasio would like the government to control as much as possible, and not just about real estate development. He says “[People would] love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.” And if Bill de Blasio and his cronies have anything to say about it, that’s exactly what would happen—for your own good, of course, because you know it’s really what you want. When Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever,” it was a dystopian and horrific vision. De Blasio thinks it’s what we all secretly—and maybe not-so-secretly—want. And he thinks that he’s just the guy to do the stomping, only he’ll call it a love tap.

Next we have the idea that government is capable of doing this sort of regulation much better than the market ever could, and much better than free and autonomous human beings ever could. When he says that “[people] would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs,” he’s not only echoing Marx (“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”), but he’s also assuming that government is capable of figuring out what people’s needs really are and designing a world that meets them. Although it’s possible that he doesn’t really believe that and he’s just cynically saying it in pursuit of power, I actually think—based on many (not all, however) of the leftists I know—that he is most likely sincere in his belief and in his hubris.

Then we have the contempt for the rule of law and for hundreds and hundreds of years of protection of property rights under it. Does de Blasio have even the remotest understanding of why our system is designed the way it is, and why property rights are so protected? I doubt it. He seems to see it as a little thing, a mere anachronism that should be pushed aside in favor of the great beneficent government he wants (“That’s a world I’d love to see..”) put in place. And he knows that you want it, too.

Lastly is the ominous phrase “right now,” found in the next-to-last sentence of the quote. We’re not there yet, folks, but if the kindly de Blasios of the world have their way, we’ll be there some day soon.

65 Responses to “Mayor de Blasio: you know you want the heavy hand of government, and so do I”

  1. Alan Potkin Says:

    Better keep the green apple in front of your face for the time being, Ms. Neoneo.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Alan Potkin:

    Is that a warning, a helpful hint, or some beauty advice?

  3. Kyndyll G Says:

    Since I fall on the right-of-center in terms of political views, there are lots of things I don’t agree with the hard lefty set about, but for at least some of those things, there’s a basis in reality upon which I can consider two points of view and understand why a reasonable person might choose one side or the other. When it comes to this kind of unadulterated and terrifying garbage, I have to admit I simply do not understand how someone with a competent set of mental faculties can think this is a good idea, unless they either view themselves as being on the receiving end of stuff other people earned; or that they think they will be in the elite, living well while the serfs enjoy “equality” beneath them.

  4. blert Says:

    He’s a Menshivik.

  5. Ray Says:

    NYC can be the next socialist workers paradise. The last one of course collapsed. The socialist paradise of Venezuela is practically collapsed.

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    We all know the mantra; “the Socialist dream has invariably failed only because the people in power were not as intelligent, capable, and attractive as the current advocates. Next time will surely be different because…. ”

    I found the quote at Powerline earlier, and emailed it to my address list; with the personal observation that “history abounds with examples of misery, evenly distributed (except for the power elites, of course.)”

  7. M J R Says:

    This all encapsulates nicely why Noo Yawk City and I divorced each other irreparably half a century ago.

  8. Montage Says:

    I read the interview for a more complete picture and context is important. The key is when he says: “hundreds of years of history that have ELEVATED property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development”

    I capitalized the word elevated because he is not saying he dislikes the idea of property rights. He is saying that it has become elevated to the point that is ‘calls the tune on a lot of development.’

    In the context of his answer he is talking about affordable housing. In between your ellipses he says: “I was down one day on Varick Street, somewhere close to Canal, and there was a big sign out front of a new condo saying, “Units start at $2 million.” And that just drives people stark raving mad in this city, because that kind of development is clearly not for everyday people. It’s almost like it’s being flaunted.”

    In his view, it is the developers who are doing the boot stamping. He is not wrong. Developers do run the show in most cities. And most city governments go along with it just fine. As someone who lives is a very large city with insane real estate costs I can agree it’s annoying. Affordable housing is not a right and shouldn’t be but it would be nice to have some affordable housing. I do think a good number of people feel this way too.

  9. Bob Kantor Says:

    Mayor de Blasio has has just been endorsed by the NY Times for reelection. Why does such a newspaper still enjoy such prestige in some quarters?

  10. Brian Swisher Says:

    This goes along with Jerry Brown’s praise of “the coercive power of government” a couple of years ago. People like this should not be allowed anywhere near positions of power or influence.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Montage:

    Nice try at minimizing and whitewashing what de Blasio said.

    Property rights have not been elevated. They are basic. Take a look at this to see what’s going on here.

    And de Blasio did not limit his desires for government power. We’re not talking about a few subsidies for affordable housing, or anything like that. He made it crystal clear that he wants as much power and control as possible for both local and federal government over people’s lives. What part of “They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality” do you not understand?

    Good luck with your apologia for this pernicious and tyrannical crap.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist.” John Adams

    “Now what liberty can there be where property is taken without consent?” Samuel Adams

    “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” – Daniel Webster

    “A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.” Alexis de Tocqueville

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian Swisher:

    And yet people like that gravitate to “positions of power or influence.”

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    Nice Neo. I was going to try to take him on, and you did it very well.

    His context is explicit and clear; you cannot interpret his use of the word ‘elevated’ to mean anything positive.

    I will acknowledge that the problem of affordability in major population centers is rather acute; San Francisco being another awful example. On the other hand, ceding more power to DeBlasio, Jerry Brown, and other minor or major tyrants is a chilling thought.

  15. Brian Swisher Says:

    Neo:

    Yep, it’s a problem.

  16. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Been the argument of authoritarians since Biblical times. Of course, the leaders themselves couldn’t survive under their own rule, but that’s okay, because they fully intend to rule until the day they die anyway.

  17. Mike K Says:

    As someone who lives is a very large city with insane real estate costs I can agree it’s annoying.

    Did you vote for rent control ?

    Do you vote for zoning restrictions and high property taxes ?

    Of course you did. A new house in California has about $30,000 in fees before a spade of dirt is turned.

  18. Sharon W Says:

    Dennis Prager once stated that the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” proves the concept of “private property”. Jesus had a few parables that illustrate the point beautifully, as well. I’m always amazed that the SJW’s think they have the sanction of scripture on this matter.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Sharon W:

    There’s also “Thou shalt not covet.”

  20. Sharon W Says:

    You can make a good case that a lot of public policy and corresponding programs are based on or encourage coveting.

  21. blert Says:

    Mike K…

    In my burg, a single 2″ water service ( commercial ) is assessed $75,000 by the EID. ( the municipal water supply )

    That fee is the PERMIT.

    And just the permit.

  22. Montage Says:

    Neo

    Thanks for the link. I’ve read many views of what the founders wanted including the right leaning article. The question is does it matter what the Founders intended and wanted when 230 years later our needs and wants are different than they were an 18th century agrarian society? The issues we have today are not exactly the issues we had then. Therefore, solutions to these problems may have to be unique as well. That does not discount what the Founders said or did or put on paper. It means we have to learn to adapt our needs to the Founder’s needs. Both political parties have accepted this through the years. I mentioned Social Security earlier. In principle it is not something the Founders envisioned. Who really wants to get rid of it now? Very few.

    I’ll completely agree private property rights are important and an important part of what makes America great. Some on the left hate and disrespect the concept of property rights and I oppose that view completely. If de Blasio truly is 100% against property rights I oppose him on that. But I don’t believe that he is. I think he is making a case for government helping bring housing costs down. If he showed his hand as being a Marxist at heart then let’s see someone better run against him and get the votes. I’m all for what works regardless of it is left or right or center. [I prefer the center to be honest].

  23. Thucydides Says:

    Hey, Bill.

    If you’d like to see how your sort of government would work out, look at Venezuela or the DPRK. Fantastic examples of what happens when governments control the usage of “every plot of land” and set wages, rents and so on.

    What’s that? You don’t *want* to see?

    This is my surprised face.

  24. John Fembup Says:

    “if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed”.

    Because graft.

    Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    DeBlasio seeks absolute power over your property because, well, he’s already corrupt . . . just not absolutely.

    Not right now. Not yet.

  25. Oldflyer Says:

    Mike K–at least. My daughter lives on six acres that we own in rural California. I speculated that we might build a small additional home on the property so should could look out for us in our old age. The permits alone would run around $50k. I can only imagine what they would cost in a metro area, with city requirements tacked on.

    I used to marvel at how many California additions, and improvements, built beyond the immediate gaze of the authorities, are un-permitted. Defeats the original purpose altogether; but, I guess that when government becomes overbearing, people will figure out a way to circumvent it.

  26. McG Says:

    I don’t know about the rest of us, but between Groundhog Killer and the Big Gulp Kid before him, New York City has been getting the government it deserves for years.

  27. stu Says:

    Much of the left’s worldview is based on the belief that human nature is malleable. It is thus to their disappointment when these “utopian” images end up in actual hellholes such as Venezuela, North Korea and the late unlamented Soviet Union. I’ll stick with the notions of our wise founders as expressed in the Declaration and our constitutional structure. These wise men understand the potential for evil when too much power is placed in the hands of the few, as they had a more realistic view of humankind.

  28. Chester Draws Says:

    Affordable housing is not a right and shouldn’t be but it would be nice to have some affordable housing.

    Simples, move to a smaller cheaper city. I have followed this advice myself.

    People can’t all want to live the in centre of the big cities and simultaneously want property to be cheap. It’s not possible because the two contradict each other. The Soviet solution was to 1) have only people with the right connections get the nice houses and 2) everyone else lived in shoeboxes. They still couldn’t give everyone nice cheap houses in the centre of cities.

    “It would be nice” if we eradicated all disease and had world peace too.

  29. gbear Says:

    Mr. Wilhelm should move to Moscow or Havana.

  30. Montage Says:

    Chester Draws

    Wanting affordable housing is not the same as wanting a Soviet solution. LOL. City planners have been dealing with affordable housing issues for decades. Moving to another city is not always the easiest solution for a good many people. I’m glad it worked for you.

    Eradicating all disease is not possible. World peace is also not possible but in each case we do at least attempt to find a solution. Right? So why can we not attempt to find a solution bring the cost of housing down or build affordable housing? This is not only an issue the Democrats attempt to tackle.

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Much of the left’s worldview is based on the belief that human nature is malleable.” stu

    Much HALF of the left’s worldview is based on the belief that human nature is malleable. The other half is based on denial of key aspects of the external reality within which we all exist.

    Which is why an argument can be made for the proposition that modern liberalism is a mental disease…

    ““It would be nice” if we eradicated all disease and had world peace too.” Chester Draws

    But we can! IF we just want it bad enough and we get the ‘right’ people in charge.

  32. Cornflour Says:

    Especially in big cities governed by Democrats, the state has subsidized demand (e.g. homeowner tax deductions, rental assistance programs) and restricted supply (e.g. zoning, building regulations).

    Not all of these programs are without virtue, but all have the effect of raising housing prices. Increase demand and decrease supply, the result is inevitable.

    Unfortunately, these programs also increase government authority — both legitimate and not (e.g. graft, bribery). We’re left with a witch’s brew of the corrupt and the ideologues, who scream for more government and the abolition of private property. And they tell us that’s what we want. In New York, at least, they appear to be right.

  33. mikesixes Says:

    Montage,
    The reason that the founders’ priorities matter is that the constitution is a contract between the states, and the understanding of that contract that people had when they signed the contract is the law that we live under. If we decide to change the definition of rights because the majority wants to take control of the minority’s property we have substituted the will of the majority for the rule of law. This tyranny of the majority was a major concern of the founders, and the adoption of the bill of rights was meant to guarantee that the individual’s rights could never be taken, no matter how large a majority might wish to do so.

  34. Song For the Deaf Says:

    This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. De Blasio got his political start as a fundraiser for the Sandinistas in the ’80s.

  35. Responses to Montage Says:

    A couple comments on Montage’s statements:

    Montage wrote: “In his view, it is the developers who are doing the boot stamping. He is not wrong. Developers do run the show in most cities. And most city governments go along with it just fine.”

    No – de Blasio *is* wrong. Developers work within the context of the regulations where they are developing. They don’t run the show – the politicians do. Most city governments go along with it because they have somebody, somewhere, who can do math. Such as: “what will generate more property tax revenue? One hundred units starting at $2 million or 100 units starting at $100,000?” Add into that, as others have pointed out, the up front, unavoidable costs of compling with development and zoning regulations and those $100,000 units are no longer feasible to build.

    Montage wrote: “I mentioned Social Security earlier. In principle it is not something the Founders envisioned. Who really wants to get rid of it now? Very few”

    Count me among the ‘very few’. I’m almost into my mid 50’s. I would still voluntarily give up any claim to social security benefits in perpetuity and all of the previous money contributed to date on the condition that my employer’s and my contributions from this day forward were delivered to me to invest either in my 401(k), an IRA or other financial instrument. Hell, even if I put that money into a savings account paying 0.25% annual interest, just having the ability for my family to be my beneficiaries and receive that money upon my demise is a better deal than Social Security currently provides me (and them).

    Montage wrote: “If de Blasio truly is 100% against property rights I oppose him on that. But I don’t believe that he is. I think he is making a case for government helping bring housing costs down.”

    I think what people are trying to tell you is that government involvement drives housing prices up, not down. It is not the nature of government or government involvement to to drive costs down. I would be interested in seeing recent instances where government policy actually helped to bring housing costs down (that didn’t involve subsidizing ‘affordable housing’ by throwing money at developers). Is there *any* sector of the economy where government involvement has driven costs down?

    Montage wrote: “City planners have been dealing with affordable housing issues for decades.”

    True. But there is not much to show in the way of success in dealing with affordable housing, is there? How many more decades need to pass before you realize that city planners are part of the problem, not part of the solution? City planners add to the burdensome regulatory costs and costly, time-consuming development approval process. Not to mention their ludicrous vision of how people should live – which brings us back to de Blasio’s comments…

  36. pst314 Says:

    de Blasio: “Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed.”

    Montage: “l’ll completely agree private property rights are important and an important part of what makes America great. Some on the left hate and disrespect the concept of property rights and I oppose that view completely.”

    If government fully determines (decrees) how property will be developed and used, then there is in effect little left of property rights. And, in fact, that is very much in the tradition of the fascist branch of socialism.

  37. pst314 Says:

    “De Blasio got his political start as a fundraiser for the Sandinistas in the ’80s.”

    Definitely a Communist:
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2592

    If he sometimes pretends to be something less evil, it is only for tactical reasons. (And isn’t it instructive how many people support commie scum like de Blasio while pretending to be “democratic” socialists or “pragmatists” or what have you.

  38. Song For the Deaf Says:

    Two questions:

    De Blasio met his wife when they were both working on Dinkins’ campaign. She was a self-declared lesbian when they first met and, apparently, he pursued her.

    1) What sort of white guy pursues a black lesbian for marriage?
    2) Is De Blasio a bigger dork than he is a doofus, or a bigger doofus than he is a dork? I have a hard time telling.

  39. Montage Says:

    pst314

    > If government fully determines (decrees) how property will be developed and used, then there is in effect little left of property rights.

    The key I think is your use of the word ‘fully’. I would hope most would agree that sometimes it is best not to let developers build anywhere they want with buildings of any size or shape and without regulation. Wanting sensible building plans from developers is not socialism. It can be if taken to an extreme. But the opposite, which is letting developers run rampant is not pleasant either. I like going to National Parks for instance and not seeing condos everywhere.

  40. Michael Says:

    “de Blasio feels comfortable enough to express these sentiments openly rather than hide them. My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that he really believes that most New Yorkers, . . . agree with him about the function of government and how much it should dictate their lives.”
    Well, most New Yorkers voted for him, and most of them are going to do it again, regardless of who runs against him, so it would seem to be a reasonable belief.

    “Does de Blasio have even the remotest understanding of why our system is designed the way it is, and why property rights are so protected?”
    Of course, to create and maintain white supremacy. Amirite?

  41. Taylor Benson Says:

    All good Neo Neo!

    The real tragedy is that the Communist/Progressive/Liberal/Left-Wing/Democrats no longer have to cloak their subversion in front groups, feel good talking points and policies. They can now come forward unashamedly like Bernie Sanders and Bil DeBlasio and appeal to a the clueless voter.

    God help America if we go the way of Vermont and NYC!

  42. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    mikesixes, The Bill of Rights are the first 10 AMENDMENTS to thew Constitution. Amendments can be rescinded.

  43. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Communist/Progressive/Liberal/Left-Wing/Democrats no longer have to cloak their subversion in front groups, feel good talking points and policies. They can now come forward unashamedly like Bernie Sanders and Bil DeBlasio and appeal to a the clueless voter.” Taylor Benson

    Here’s why:
    “New Poll: A Third of Americans Support Tech Companies Using SPLC ‘Hate Group’ List to Blacklist Conservatives”

    Useful idiot liberals are supporting the fashioning of the chains of their own future enslavement.

  44. AesopFan Says:

    Sharon W Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 6:27 pm
    You can make a good case that a lot of public policy and corresponding programs are based on or encourage coveting.
    * * *
    Indeed; and the appeasers of the coveters do it with someone else’s goods.

    Read F. S. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” for a look at HOW DeBlasio’s great vision will have to be enacted.

  45. AesopFan Says:

    Chester Draws Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 7:45 pm..

    People can’t all want to live the in centre of the big cities and simultaneously want property to be cheap. It’s not possible because the two contradict each other.
    * *
    A lot of the wish-list of the Left is like that.

  46. AesopFan Says:

    Oldflyer Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I used to marvel at how many California additions, and improvements, built beyond the immediate gaze of the authorities, are un-permitted. Defeats the original purpose altogether; but, I guess that when government becomes overbearing, people will figure out a way to circumvent it.
    * * *
    One of Victor Davis Hansen’s litany of the illegal immigration disaster is that the authorities put on blinders about manifestly illegal and dangerous violations of health and safety codes.

  47. AesopFan Says:

    Responses to Montage Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 9:01 pm
    A couple comments on Montage’s statements:
    * *
    Well done.

  48. Song For the Deaf Says:

    Aesopfan,

    I read in VDH’s ‘Mexifornia’ that the crime rate among illegals in central California’s sky-high, primarily via drunk driving, but the elected officials and police officers, all Mexican themselves, let all slide without reporting it.

  49. neo-neocon Says:

    Montage:

    No one here is suggesting that having any building codes at all or regulations with which developers must comply is socialism.

    But—and this is the last time I will say this, because if you don’t get it by now I don’t think you’ll ever get it—some reasonable building codes is not even remotely what de Blasio is suggesting in the interview. He’s suggesting a great deal more—nay, he’s embracing a great deal more.

    To refresh you memory:

    …I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, WHO GETS TO LIVE IN IT, WHAT THE RENT WILL BE…

    ….if I had my druthers, the city government would determine EVERY SINGLE PLOT OF LAND, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have A VERY VERY POWERFUL GOVERNMENT, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

    .

    A completely government-controlled housing market, including complete rent control and government determination of who is allowed to live where.

  50. The Proper Role of Government — GraniteGrok Says:

    […] While our Founders made the protection of Private Property a towering Pillar of our Republic, we now see Progressives complaining that instead of being a lofty goal of government, they see it as an outright impediment as to how they want to remake you and I into the image THEY demand us to be. See Kerrie Diers, below, for a NH example.  In the same vein, here is self-avowed communist, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: […]

  51. Johd D Says:

    To some of the commenters above: You do understand that housing costs in the big cities (most of the suburbs too) are entirely due to the rules/regulations/roadblocks/corruption brought about by the “affordable housing” advocates?

    It is and always will be about what favors politicians can dole out to their supporters, to be extracted from their opponents. With everything flowing through their hands and only a little bit diverted into their pocket.

  52. Song For the Deaf Says:

    You do understand that housing costs in the big cities (most of the suburbs too) are entirely due to the rules/regulations/roadblocks/corruption brought about by the “affordable housing” advocates?

    It’s the upper and lower classes versus the middle, and the middle’s getting its ass kicked.

    Either de Blasio has lived all his life in New York and doesn’t know that affordable housing policies are what make it so expensive to live there, in which case he’s retarded; or he does know and doesn’t care because those policies allow for extensive government control over housing, in which case he’s a statist.

    Based on what we’ve seen in the OP, he looks to be both.

  53. Montage Says:

    Neo
    I agree with you that de Blasio’s actual words on the subject are problematic. I was simply trying to provide wider context. Let’s say I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t view him as far left though.

    My other comments were not directly related to de Blasio. I was making a point to pst314 that his/her slippery slop argument against government regulation can also be applied to an argument against deregulation. The larger point being that IMO the government and developers work together and we have a fairly good system that does not involve slippery slopes at all. What de Blasio wants (if we take his view literally – we are in the age of Trump and exaggeration) will likely never happen. Thanks.

  54. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    ‘There are none so blind as they who will not see’

  55. Harry the Exremist Says:

    Montage:
    “What de Blasio wants (if we take his view literally – we are in the age of Trump and exaggeration) will likely never happen. Thanks.”

    It seems to me what De Blasio was quoted as saying came from his own lips with Donald Trump not having a blessed thing to do with it. De Blasio’s words speak for themselves and to most people, not actively trying to pretend they didn’t have the meaning they actually convey are very frightening for an American politician to make.

  56. pst314 Says:

    Montage: “I agree with you that de Blasio’s actual words on the subject are problematic.”

    “Problematic” is a gross understatement. You are evading the truth.

    “I was simply trying to provide wider context.”

    What context could be wider than his actual words, laying out very clearly just how extreme his ambitions are?

    “Let’s say I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t view him as far left though.”

    To a Stalinist he might seem moderate. I will not agree that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt. Rather, you are evading the truth in the service of a full-Communist totalitarian ideology that you will not admit to following.

  57. F Says:

    Let’s see — could we find examples of the state controlling prices vs. the market controlling prices, free of extraneous details?

    Probably not: even when the market largely influences prices, the state manages to insert itself into the bargain with things like permit fees, tax rebates, etc.

    But a starting point might be divided countries, like, say the two Germanys or the two Koreas. Those are recent and current examples of how state intervention makes peoples’ lives better.

    Oh, what’s that you say? They didn’t do it right? Oh, Ok, de Blasio and Bernie Sanders (or Elizabeth Warren) will certainly do it right. I get it.

  58. F Says:

    To my previous examples, there are also the two Cubas: the one governed by Havana and Raoul Castro, and the Cuba in Florida.

    I guess the question that would reveal real intent when people talk like de Blasio is: “if we institute this reform, would you agree to give up your current position of influence and step to the back of the line?”

  59. Cornflour Says:

    This is a little off-topic, but I’m adding this comment to offer some hope that there’s not only widespread opposition to the new American socialism of Sanders and de Blasio, but there’s even support for the drastic reduction in the size and scope of government.

    A paper recently published by Stanford University’s graduate school of business (“Wealthy Elites’ Policy Preferences and Economic Inequality: The Case of Technology Entrepreneurs” https://tinyurl.com/y9qv2w65) includes a survey that records responses to the following statement:

    “I would like to live in a society where government does nothing except provide national defense and police protection, so that people could be left alone to earn whatever they could.”

    Percentages who agree with the statement:
    Technology founders 23.5
    Democratic donors 5.1
    Republican donors 68.4
    Democrats (public) 43.8
    Republican (public) 62.5

    The low percentage for donors to the Democratic Party are unsurprising, and I found the other numbers to be very encouraging.

    Of course, there are other polls that seem to provide conflicting results, but that’s the nature of surveys. I’ll take my good news where I can get it.

  60. DNW Says:

    Bill de Blasio: Our (not so) Young Stalin, and his new vision for America.

    They even both changed their names for political purposes.

  61. DNW Says:

    “I used to marvel at how many California additions, and improvements, built beyond the immediate gaze of the authorities, are un-permitted. Defeats the original purpose altogether; but, I guess that when government becomes overbearing, people will figure out a way to circumvent it.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_tax

  62. DNW Says:

    “Stu Says:
    September 6th, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Much of the left’s worldview is based on the belief that human nature is malleable. It is thus to their disappointment when these “utopian” images end up in actual hellholes such as Venezuela, North Korea and the late unlamented Soviet Union. …”

    It probably is malleable if you mean it species-wise and selectively kill off enough of the population, or reduce their ability to procreate, over a long enough period.

    The problem is, is that you cannot maintain a functioning developed economy – which is what a socialist, energy redistributing system requires by Marx’s own theory – long enough for a termite race of humanoids to develop and keep it functioning.

    A few genocidal gestures here and there, a few decades of reeducation and terror, won’t suffice to make such a life seem worth living for most of present humanity or for their survivors in the event of only a “modest” culling.

    I suppose a new socialist man could be built, but it would take even greater atrocities than the even the most ardent of the failed attempts of the past were able to produce. Such a socialist man would not really be a man at all. It would be something else and quite alien to Western man considered as a social type, and probably psychologically and morally alien to much of the rest of humankind as well.

    So much then for successful socialism equating to “humanism” as Marx proclaimed.

  63. pst314 Says:

    “Much of the left’s worldview is based on the belief that human nature is malleable.”
    Agreed!
    It is also partly based on the perverse pleasure that some people take in running others’ lives, people who enjoy what amounts to playing Catan or City with but with real human lives. A rationale can be found for mandating every niggling little thing in life, but a proper humility restrains the normal person from seeking such power.

  64. richard40 Says:

    I never thought I would say that I miss mayor Bloomberg, but compared to DeBlasio he looks pretty good. At least Bloomberg only wanted our guns and sodas, DeBalsio wants the gov to grab everything.

  65. Donald Trump, symbole du peuple américain contre le « deep state » ? | Contrepoints Says:

    […] divergent irrésistiblement de l’intérêt général. Selon le maire (Démocrate) de New-York, les gens « adoreraient avoir un gouvernement très, très puissant, directement impliqué dans leur vie […]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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