On Jan. 10, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went “full-on communist” in his State of the City speech at Kings Theater on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. There is no other way to describe the hour-long, anti-free market, forced wealth redistributionist, power-grabbing diatribe.
The New York City mayor visited the Soviet Union in 1983 at the height of the Cold War. This was followed in 1988 by a trip to support the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. De Blasio shared the Kings Theater stage with his wife, Chirlane McCray, a founding member of the Marxist-Feminist Combahee River Collective. The couple honeymooned in romantic communist Cuba in 1994.
Also appearing on stage with the good mayor was de Blasio’s mentor and one-time boss: former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, a member of the United States’ largest Marxist organization—the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—and arguably New York City’s worst mayor of the 20th century.
During Dinkins’s 1989–1993 reign, New York City was well on its way to becoming an under-policed, crime-ridden, run-down, sleazy cesspool. Only the election of pro-business, tough-on-crime Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1993 stopped New York City from sliding into a Detroit-style social collapse.
It appears that de Blasio wants to out-do even Dinkins’s disastrous socialist experiment. Below are some lowlights from de Blasio’s speech, with commentary from this writer.
De Blasio: “This is an amazing fact I’m going to tell you. Last year, the NYPD made 140,000 fewer arrests than the year we took office. Fewer and fewer arrests, and crime goes down and down. That’s something to thank the NYPD for.”
Would fewer arrests be connected in any way to pressure from the mayor on police to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public? Additionally, New Yorkers who avoid paying for the subway by jumping the turnstile or coming in through an exit door are no longer arrested. Police officers no longer engage in “stop and searching” in crime-ridden neighborhoods.
A New York Times report from June 2017 might also give a hint as to why fewer arrests are taking place: “Spurred by Ken Thompson’s efforts as Brooklyn district attorney, the police and prosecutors have greatly reduced the number of people prosecuted for low-level marijuana arrests. And the City Council passed a law last year creating civil tickets for minor offenses that used to lead to criminal summonses under municipal law, like public urination.”
In the case of New York City, does making fewer arrests really mean less crime?
De Blasio: “Today, the population in our corrections system has dropped to less than 8,000 people for the first time in almost 40 years. The era of mass incarceration did not begin in New York City, but it will end in New York City. And we are getting closer every single day to that great day when we will close Rikers Island for good.”
Is turning people with convictions back onto the streets an accomplishment? What about their victims? What is the recidivism rate in New York City? Will emptying the prisons make the citizens of New York City safer?
De Blasio: “Now, last year, I pledged that we would not only be the safest big city in America, but we would also strive to be the fairest big city in America. And that’s why in 2018 we built and protected more affordable apartments than ever, than ever. The most since our housing department was founded. I want to thank our friends in the city council because they played a crucial role by passing the Access to Counsel Law, which has made such a difference. Because of our work together, tens of thousands of tenants now have their own lawyers, lawyers paid for by the city who stop illegal evictions.”
Property owners make a substantial investment by purchasing housing in New York City. When landlords are thwarted from evicting irresponsible, non-paying, or criminal tenants, they will be disincentivized to continue investing in property. The natural result of these policies is that landlords will quit the market creating a housing shortage, raise rents on good tenants, or both.
This will exacerbate the “housing crisis,” leading for calls to build more public housing—using taxpayer dollars, of course. Socialists understand this cycle and make “tenant’s rights” a major priority. Once the property owners flee, socialists blame “capitalism,” then raise everyone’s taxes to “fix” the crisis their policies created.
De Blasio: “My fellow New Yorkers, when a landlord tries to push out a tenant by making their home unlivable, a team of inspectors and law enforcement agents will be on the ground in time to stop it. We’ll use every tool we have. We’ll fine the landlords. We’ll penalize the landlords. But if the fines and the penalties don’t cut it, we will seize their buildings.”
The mayor of New York City just said, “We will seize their buildings.” Sure enough, it is now being reported that officials are currently considering the seizure of up to 40 structures.
Consider this scenario: A property owner invests millions of dollars into building or buying a residential investment property. A group of tenants and their socialist representatives working in collusion with a crooked housing inspector could destroy that investment. Once de Blasio starts “seizing” buildings, expect a massive disinvestment from NYC residential property—followed by a huge demand for “public” housing. Socialization through expropriation and intimidation is the epitome of Marxism.
De Blasio: “A new arm of city government that will root out the worst landlord abuse, a force that will hold every city agency, as well, accountable for protecting tenants. I’ll be signing an executive order to create this new office. In fact, I think I’ll do it right now.”
He did—with all the flourish and glee of Stalin signing an execution order for some rebellious “petit-bourgeois” kulaks.
De Blasio: “Now, last year I promised we would create more good jobs, and we would raise the floor for working people. Well, let me tell you what we’ve done. We’ve more than doubled the number of certified minority and women-owned businesses and awarded them more than $10 billion in city contracts.”
Some call this “crony capitalism.” This author refers to it as a recipe for corruption known as “minority Marxism.” Awarding city contracts based on skin color or gender is a sure-fire way to waste huge amounts of money, encourage scam artists, and discourage legitimate entrepreneurs. Melanin or genitalia should not be a factor in any government grant or business contract.
De Blasio: “After years of laying the groundwork, our technology community, our tech community reached a turning point. New York City is now one of the world’s premiere tech hubs, and all those jobs are now here for the people of New York City. The major new announcements from Amazon and Google show that the world’s most innovative companies want to be here, and they want to hire New Yorkers.”
Amazon is getting $3 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives to set up in NYC. How much more business activity would that money generate if left in the hands of New York’s much-abused entrepreneurs and wage-earners? This approach is typical Marxism—take from struggling small businesses desperately in need of capital to give to industry giants with money to burn.
De Blasio: “This is a city where we expanded paid sick days to half a million more New Yorkers. This is a city where we require businesses to provide a fair workweek to more than 300,000 people. Where we fought and won a $15 minimum wage.”
NYC is doing well right now because of the deregulation and increased business optimism under President Donald Trump. That could turn around very quickly depending on the 2020 elections or even before.
Human labor is subject to the law of supply and demand as much as onions or Porsches. If the price of labor is artificially forced above what the natural law of supply and demand dictates, employers will simply use less of it. Businesses will either close their doors, mechanize, or squeeze even more production out of their existing workforce.
Minimum wage laws and oppressive regulations simply increase the cost of doing business, lower profit margins, and inevitably increase unemployment. The way to increase employment and raise wages is to reduce regulations and lower taxes and compliance costs.
The $15 minimum wage push is a DSA/Communist Party USA campaign. If implemented, it will increase unemployment, especially among young and unskilled workers. But that’s OK, the socialists will simply blame “capitalism” again, recruit the unemployed workers, and devise some more welfare programs. It’s a commie “win-win.”
Taking on Big Business
De Blasio: “Some people said to me it’s going to be a fight. It’s going mean taking on big business. Well, we took on big business. They sued us. And we won in court. And now Styrofoam is banned in New York City. And let’s ban plastic bags and plastic straws while we’re at it.”
What’s next? Why not ban sugary sodas, fatty meats, fast foods, and disposable diapers? If you can ban things, why not thoughts? Where does this all end? Answer: It doesn’t.
Free peoples argue against those things they disapprove of. They try to persuade. Socialists just ban them.
De Blasio: “Next, we took on Big Oil. We’re divesting $5 billion of our workers’ hard-earned retirement savings, taking that $5 billion out of the fossil fuel companies that are destroying this planet. And we’re putting billions where it belongs: into renewable energy that will save us all.”
Good one, Bill. Let’s pull our money out of the energy source that has given hundreds of millions of people unparalleled mobility and prosperity and put it into windmills. Fair enough. After all, NYC did start out as a Dutch colony 400 years ago.
De Blasio: “Now, we’re not afraid in this town to take on the big corporations. So, we sued the big pharmaceutical companies for peddling addiction, for helping to create the opioid crisis.”
It was reported by CNN way back in February 2016 that “abuse of prescription opioids has been decreasing in recent years.” The poorly named and misleading “opioid crisis” is not about doctors over-prescribing pain medication—it is about individuals who are abusing illicit heroin and/or fentanyl that largely comes from China and is distributed by Mexican drug cartels.
In de Blasio’s New York City alone, Vice News reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration “seized a record 193 kilos of fentanyl in 2017—enough to kill the city’s population 11 times over.”
De Blasio: “Remember early in his administration when Trump tried to force us to ask New Yorkers their immigration status? And he thought he had us, because he threatened to block our law enforcement funding, the very money we use to keep New Yorkers safe. Guess what happened? We took him to court, and we won.”
Who cares about securing the border and stopping illegal immigration when the vast majority of those illegal aliens can be co-opted to vote Democrat? Who cares about a few thousand dead middle-class kids, with millions of new votes at stake?
De Blasio: “We didn’t just sit still and watch what Donald Trump was doing to our city and to the rest of this country. We took him on. We sent lawyers to the border to fight the inhumane detention of children.”
So now even more families will drag their tiny children across burning deserts. Or turn their teenagers over to murdering and raping human smugglers, because people like de Blasio have given them more incentive to do so. Evil or what?
And there’s more to come.
Health and Welfare
De Blasio: “These ideas, the things we did in 2018, they cut against the grain of conventional wisdom. You know how I feel about conventional wisdom. These ideas were considered too radical or too costly or—shudder—too progressive. But we heard the voices of the people, and we answered the call. So, the lesson now isn’t to rest on our laurels. The lesson now is to go bigger, be bolder, aim higher. There’s more to do in this town.”
And it all involves redistribution of wealth.
De Blasio: “Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands. … And so this year, this year in New York City, we will guarantee health care for all our people. We will become the first city in the nation to require two weeks’ paid personal time. … We’ll create a universal retirement system in our city, because if you’ve worked for decades, then you’ve earned the right to retire in peace. … 600,000 New Yorkers still don’t have insurance, we’re going to fix that, for a very simple reason—we believe health care is a human right. …
“We will literally guarantee health care for every single New Yorker. Let me tell you how it works. If you don’t have insurance, it’s going to be simple. If you’re eligible, we’ll get you enrolled in the City’s public option, MetroPlus, and get you a doctor.
“We’ll get you a doctor at one of our 70 public health centers. And if you’re not eligible, like hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, including our undocumented neighbors, we’ll take care of you too.”
Or good old-fashioned coercion.
De Blasio: “And we’ll get tough on the bad guys. When the city’s worst landlords cheat their tenants, we will take their buildings away from them. …
“I am expanding the mission, and in fact, the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs. It will now be the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.
“They’ll continue to enforce city laws like paid sick leave and will undertake a new mandate: to protect the most vulnerable workers in our economy. When a home health care aid—when their pay is withheld or any worker is mistreated, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection will intervene. …
“New York City will become the first city in the nation to mandate paid personal time for all our workers.
“Full-time or part-time, you will earn up to ten days of paid personal time every year.
“We’ll work with Speaker [Corey] Johnson and the city council to pass a local law that makes it mandatory for employers to provide it, just like they do paid sick leave and overtime pay.”
Especially in education, where de Blasio goes full-on Stalinist:
De Blasio: “And lastly and most importantly, for the 1.1 million kids in our public schools, we’re going to fight to extend mayoral control, so there’s real accountability every day.”
Imagine the outcry from the left if Trump decided “to fight to extend presidential control” of the nation’s education system. The mayor finished his speech with an appeal to good old-fashioned Marxist class hatred.
De Blasio: “This country has spent decades taking from working people and giving to the 1 percent. This city has spent the last five years doing it the other way around. We give back to working people the prosperity they have earned. And we are just getting started.
“My friends, these goals are not utopian. They are not unreachable. They are achievable here in New York City.
“Never, ever underestimate New Yorkers. Never underestimate us and what we can do. Never underestimate the change we can make together. Never underestimate the greatest city on earth. We can do it. God bless you. And God bless New York City. And God bless America.”
God save New York City from Mayor de Blasio’s Marxist madness.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.