Bloomberg, De Blasio, and the decline of New York City

NYC Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio Campaigns In BrooklynWith newly-sworn in New York Mayor Bill De Blasio taking office, it’s being reported that the former Sandinista-supporting pol’s first act was to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city’s Central Park.

Huh?

Am I missing something here? In a city with a left-authoritarian political class that is clamoring for policies to address the inequality caused by policies that this same class supports (high property taxes, occupational licensing, land-use restrictions, and generally putting as many barriers to employment as the bureaucrats can think of), this is really what needs to be done? To further assault people’s liberty to be nostalgic about the 1870’s? Welcome to New York: Where the people envy the animals.

But sadly Mayor De Blasio is just the latest government-loving installment in the series of anti-libertarian chief executives at City Hall.

It’s hard to fathom how anyone can top Mike “You’ll Have No Fun or Rights on My Watch” Bloomberg. After all, this is the guy who believed public enemy #1 was bar/restaurant owners choosing whether or not they’d allow smoking–a close second being rogue 7/11s selling illegal Big Gulps to impressionable citizens not patriotic enough to go along with the billionaire mayor’s health department doctoring photos for its “public health” campaign.

Even before the midget mayor, though, much of this anti-liberty template for mayor can be blamed on the police-state worshiping sage of the 90’s with a mob boss father, Rudolph Giuliani. The man who ushered in the “broken windows” theory of policing (centered around implementing harsher penalties toward previously ignored “crimes” like the famous squeegee men and public but peaceful drunkenness) taught New Yorkers that civil liberties were no big whoop when there was post smokers to arrest and nonviolent black men to murder by the NYPD.

I bring all of this up because one of my favorite documentaries is Rick Burns’ “New York: A Documentary Film,” which traces the history of the city from Henry Hudson’s discovery of Manhattan Island in 1609 to the 9/11 attacks, shines a light for non-New Yorkers on what a fun (and affordable!) place to live for the whole world to live. Art, theatre, music, movies, dancing, baseball, jazz, markets, vendors, tenements, languages, food, and the general revolutionary reorganization of the island metropolis inspires every viewer.

This does not seem to be the case anymore. New York appears to have settled into a soft-authoritarian, nanny-state, surveillance-loving bastion for freedom-hating Progressives like Giuliani, Bloomberg, and De Blasio.

This new mayor may seem in rhetoric to take a different path (supposedly he’s anti-stop and frisk and wants to enact policies that can make the city more affordable) but make no mistake, unless New Yorkers rekindle their love of liberty and revolutionary disruptive capitalism, they’re best days are behind them.

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