Ben Weingarten

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Bill de Blasio

Heather Mac Donald on Corrosive Identity Politics, Multiculturalism and Unjust Criminal Justice

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My Guest

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal and author most recently of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe.

Mac Donald, the archetype of an unassuming academic, makes for an unlikely counter-cultural figure. She draws protests and outrage on college campuses across the country because she has the gall to challenge the prevailing progressive orthodoxy about subjects like identity politics, multiculturalism and criminal justice.

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This is What (de Blasio’s) Democracy Looks Like!

Progressivism: Progress for the politically connected and woe for everyone else.

Here’s what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s politburo looks like, per the New York Post:

Mayor de Blasio’s patronage mill is churning out junk jobs funded with taxpayer money for longtime pals, campaign grunts and acolytes.

In addition to creating a $150,000 post for Stephanie Yazgi — the longtime girlfriend of his top strategist, Emma Wolfe — de Blasio has created positions to amp up his progressive agenda and national profile and spread propaganda touting his “transcendent” accomplishments.

The city’s television station — led by de Blasio buddy Janet Choi — devotes much of its taxpayer-funded $5.7 million budget to broadcasting his ribbon-cuttings, announcements and features about his friends, including his wedding singer.

His $105,000 digital director, Jessica Singleton, shapes his social-media image while his $69,000 media analyst, Mahen Gunaratna, measures the influence of his messages.

New York’s Community Affairs Unit is the biggest draw for de Blasio cronies:

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The Progressive Cult of Victomology’s Tears for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Have you noticed that the passive voice — as in “Mistakes were made,” or “The YouTube video caused the attack,” — has become ubiquitous in American political discourse?

Leave aside instances in which its usage reflects an unwillingness or inability for individuals to take responsibility for failure. There is another set of circumstances in which it is used to pernicious effect.

Exhibit A comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, in an article written about the declining popularity of Warren Wilhelm, aka New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Dear Mayor de Blasio: Don’t Condemn New York to Detroit’s Fate

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

In your inaugural address you called for an end to economic and social inequality in New York. You said you wanted to improve education and build a strong economy, taking dead aim at the “Tale of Two Cities” of New York. The antidote for the ailments you say plague this city is to follow progressive principles not seen since the Dinkins administration. However, such a path will inevitably lead to greater inequity and economic deterioration in New York, harming most those who can afford it least.

More instructive than the rhetorical fiction found in the “Tale of Two Cities” is the real-life tale of two countries (Hoppe, 48-52). There were once two countries that sat side by side. Their people shared the same ethnic background, language, history and culture. Many of their citizens were not only related by a shared heritage, but by blood. In fact, the two countries were once one big country.

One country practiced what you referred to as “trickle-down” economics, which is less pejoratively referred to as free market or laissez-faire capitalism. In this country all people were guaranteed freedom of movement, trade and profession; existing price controls were abolished with a single pen stroke. The other country instituted a full slate of progressive policies, consisting of governmental control of all sectors of the economy, and driven by an underlying devotion to egalitarianism – i.e. a focus on reducing economic and social inequality, as you intend to do.

The wall between East and West Berlin was heavily guarded from the 1940s until 1991. Photo Credit: www.boston.com

The country that practiced free market capitalism in the ensuing decades developed the highest standard of living on its continent. Its progressive neighbor lagged behind – so far behind in fact that despite wealth transfers from the free market country to the progressive country, people sought to flee the progressive country. They did so to such a degree that the leaders of the progressive country had to establish strict border controls just to keep their citizens from emigrating en masse. When border policies failed to stem the exodus of citizens, the progressive country ended emigration altogether by building a physical barrier between the two countries, consisting of walls, barbed wire fences and even land mines.

The ending to this tale of two countries is bittersweet: East Germany did ultimately shed the yoke of socialist control imposed by the Soviet Union, but more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, its denizens have yet to recover from this experiment with progressivism. And West Germany, the country whose citizens miraculously recovered from and prospered under a free market system following the Second World War has, to its own detriment, increasingly implemented progressive policies over the years that have retarded its growth. Yet by practically every economic measure, the gap between East Germany and West Germany persists.

So my question is this: Why will it be different this time? Have not little “East Germany’s” sprung up all over the United States in recent decades, with cities implementing progressive policies with the same disastrous results over and over again — failed education systems, mass unemployment, sky-high crime rates, bankrupt governments, and perhaps most cripplingly, the destruction of nuclear families? If the progressive policies you support have consistently wrought destruction from Detroit to Newark to Chicago, why are you so dead-set on condemning New York’s most at-risk citizens — minorities, single mothers and the poor — to the same tragic fate?

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