The worst part about the squishy American politician who flirts heavily with socialism (besides the panic that comes with the knowledge these people are somehow elected to very powerful positions) is not knowing whether to laugh at them or feel sorry for them.
Take New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has recently made news because the people around him apparently don’t think he’s fit to be president.
A few skeptics in de Blasio’s orbit have gone public. “I believe Bill de Blasio has 100 percent the right message; I’m just not so sure he’s the right messenger,” the mayor’s former campaign and City Hall adviser Rebecca Katz said recently on a local politics podcast.
I mean, that’s brutal.
But his lack of fitness for the top job doesn’t mean he still can’t be an inner circle elitist useful in promoting and project-managing the redistribution of wealth American progressives still bewilderingly believe is crucial to economic success for the working poor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio ratcheted up his progressive rhetoric last week during his State of the City address. “There’s plenty of money in the world,” de Blasio said. “There’s plenty of money in the city—it’s just in the wrong hands.” The mayor sounded as if he were channeling his Sandinista heroes of the early 1980s. Pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper about what he meant, de Blasio reverted to a favorite history lesson about how everything went wrong in the election of 1980. “This has been an agenda from Reagan’s administration, right on through to Trump’s,” he explained, “to take money from working people and give it to the one percent.”
It’s extraordinarily weird to say Reagan took money from working people and gave it to the one percent — the entire concept of trickle down economics (or Reaganomics) worked in the opposite direction, in fact. Investment in the marketplace was intended to spur job creation by the one percent that then “trickled down” to working people in the form of employment opportunities, lower taxes, a larger marketplace, and less regulatory burden on entrepreneurs.
People can debate how well it worked (the 80s were a pretty prosperous time), but the concept is the opposite of “taking from the poor to give to the rich”. Alas, besmirching Reagan as a predecessor to the age of Trump has become all the rage (Google it).
But more to the point, de Blasio and squishy American socialists seem to be saying that they have some sort of secret knowledge about which hands wealth belongs in to make things run truly efficiently. And when that kind of statement comes out of the mouth of a politician, you can bet they’re talking about crony capitalism, government kickbacks, and general government intrusion into the market. Most of which serves to benefit the one percent and the politician making the statement, with whatever benefits that might float about on the wind up for grabs by the working class.
And anyway, de Blasio might be overstating his skill at determining just who has the chops when it comes to managing money. Working class people are leaving New York in droves and hightailing it to other states because the cost of living has become untenable (but the taxman is chasing them anyway). Amazon passed on helping ameliorate that problem because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wouldn’t check her socialist privilege. And de Blasio’s own wife has apparently all but lost nearly a billion in taxpayer dollars.
Oh, and also, he’s a hypocrite:
Scrap-metal queen Wendy Neu is a major de Blasio donor, as is deli-meat king Frank Brunckhorst of Boar’s Head Provisions. The financial industry, which de Blasio sees as society’s primary engine of inequality, has nonetheless funneled money to his campaigns. Hedge-fund mega-billionaire James Simons and his wife each “maxed out” in giving to the mayor’s reelection campaign, as did Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Herb Alpert, Facebook investor Sean Parker and his wife Alexandra, four members of the Chicago Pritzker family, restaurateur Drew Nieporent, and a long list of the “millionaires and billionaires” that de Blasio complains about as the cause of “anger in this country.”
Just like the 2020 presidential race, maybe you should sit this one out, sir.