EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 19, 2014

Column: New York's left turn could lead to crash

New York City is a cultural center, a commerce center, a finance center, a media center and every now and then an ideological inanity center. Its voters proved as much in electing as mayor Bill de Blasio, an income equality kind of guy who just could become the next John Lindsay, a mayor who helped make a great city a sad city until other mayors, after a long, hard climb, finally made it great again.

“Some on the far right continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics,” he said in his inaugural speech. “They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else.”

What utter buffoonery this is. What defenders of free markets preach is the virtue of freedom that helps create prosperity while giving us all more of a chance to pursue the kind of life we want. It is the left that preaches a trickle-down theory by which an ever bigger, ever more coercive government grabs money from taxpayers and passes it on in welfare programs that would be less needed if there was less intervention in the first place. What’s most vitally needed to help the poor are such cultural changes as far fewer fatherless homes and political changes that unleash the saving power of the market place.

Governmental trickle-down, however, is the de Blasio theme. Whichever direction the rich or the unwary turn, he wants to take their cash and sprinkle it on someone else, sometimes the poor.

To finance more prekindergarten programs in the city, he wants higher city income taxes on those making more than $500,000 a year. He wants to take money from charter schools, which are not rich, to spend on other schools. I am not sure how he’s going to finance it, but I’ve also read in a roundup of promises that he wants to do sweet-deal favors for the city’s unions. On top of that, he apparently wants to swipe money from park programs financed privately to spend on other park programs, and he wants a minimum wage hike.

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