How De Blasio Can End The Inequality Crisis

And his own hypocrisy.

The new mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has proclaimed what he called in his inaugural address “an inequality crisis,” pronouncing, “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.” 

Meanwhile, an article in Politico about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign-in-waiting reports that Clinton “is also being advised to address income inequality.” Nor are the national Democrats waiting until 2016 on the issue: another Politico article, headlined “Dems seize on income inequality for 2014,” reports “The inequality campaign will intensify later in the year with a push in the Senate to raise the federal minimum wage that will be synced with President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, which is expected to dig heavily into the issue of economic disparity.”

De Blasio, characteristically, is leading the debate by deliberately not limiting the campaign against inequality to the narrow question of income. Indeed, broadening the definition of “inequalities” to social matters, and even beyond, may prove helpful in clarifying the issues involved.

Start, for example, with vote inequality. That’s how de Blasio got elected in the first place, by amassing about a half million more votes in the November mayoral election than did his Republican opponent, Joe Lhota. That’s not equal at all. If de Blasio really wants to fight inequality, his first step really should be to give Lhota some of those votes, so that Lhota has the same amount of votes as de Blasio. That way rather than winning the election, de Blasio would have tied.

Or what about height inequality? The New York Times reports that at six feet, five inches tall, “the gangly de Blasio… is the tallest to hold the office in at least a generation.” Perhaps de Blasio should consider having his feet or his head amputated so that his height is exactly average and so that he doesn’t enjoy an unequal advantage when it comes to playing basketball or reaching books on high-up library shelves.

How about housing inequality? The Real Deal, a paper that covers the real estate industry, reports that de Blasio “owns a pair of two-family homes on 11th Street in Park Slope that are valued at more than $1.1 million apiece.” Plenty of Americans can’t afford a single million-dollar home, let alone two of them. If de Blasio really wants to “put an end” to economic inequality, he should sell both houses and distribute the proceeds to everyone else. 

Speaking of housing inequality, Secretary Clinton splits her time between a $2.8 million mansion in Washington that later underwent an expansion and upgrade that cost an additional $900,000, and a $1.7 million, 5-bedroom house with a swimming pool in the town of Chappaqua, New York. If she really wants to tackle inequality, she’s going to need to move to a more humble residence, too. Clinton earned a reported $8 million advance for her memoir of her years as first lady; if income inequality is a concern to her, perhaps that money, too, should be taken away and redistributed to the many other authors who earn less.

Then there is the matter of vacation inequality. President Obama vacations on Martha’s Vineyard on a $20.35 million, 28.5 acre estate with a swimming pool, an apple orchard, a golf practice tee, and basketball court, and in Hawaii in a $7.9 million, 6,000-square-foot, five bedroom, six bathroom oceanfront villa. Plenty of Americans can’t afford such luxurious vacations. Perhaps Obama should combat inequality by taking day trips with his wife and children from the White House, or by booking a motel room somewhere near the beach in Maryland, Virginia or New Jersey. The money saved on the Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard rentals could go to subsidize vacations for families who can’t otherwise afford them.

The reason that de Blasio, Clinton, and Obama don’t live more modestly to reduce the level of inequality isn’t just that they are a bunch of hypocritical phonies, though they may be that, too. It’s also because despite all their rhetoric, they probably understand on some level, as most of us do, that what’s really troubling isn’t inequality of outcome, it’s inequality of opportunity. And even then, what’s really troubling isn’t inequality of opportunity, but poverty with little to no chance of escape, that is, the absolute (not merely the relative) lack of opportunity. It’s something to remember the next time some politician starts hyperventilating about an inequality crisis.

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  • Jon Lester||

    So of course de Blasio's first act as mayor is to further enrich top donor and real estate tycoon Steve Nislick by banning the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. Real man of the people there.

  • Black Liberty Unchained||

    Will the gang in blue mounted on horses also be banned? Since it's all about taking care of these poor animals.

  • PapayaSF||

    Ah, progressives. Set up welfare systems that trap tens of millions of people in multi-generational poverty. Turn the public schools over to self-serving unions with unfireable teachers. Hobble the economy with thousands of taxes and regulations. Open the borders to tens of millions of Third World peasants. Then complain about income inequality.

  • OneOut||

    Bingo !

  • Brian||

    De Blasio, characteristically, is leading the debate by deliberately not limiting the campaign against inequality to the narrow question of income. Indeed, broadening the definition of “inequalities” to social matters, and even beyond, may prove helpful in clarifying the issues involved.

    Bill de Blasio gets to be mayor of NYC. I don't get to be mayor of NYC.

    I want to be mayor of NYC.

    Fix it, Bill de Blasio, you asshole.

  • The Last American Hero||

    You can be mayor of NYC. Me, I'm aiming for hypocritical moral crusader attorney general.

  • Juice||

    I watched this PBS special about the support staff at the White House (chefs, butlers, event planners, etc.) I had no idea that the first family and those around them lived so opulently. I mean, you think that surely they're living like rich people, but I didn't realize that they were living like sultans. It was way over the top. The tone of the whole thing was "aren't these great people and isn't the White House great?" but the whole thing made me sick.

  • Juice||

    Ah, it wasn't PBS. It was the Smithsonian Channel. This is the doc.

    http://www.folkways.si.edu/whi.....mithsonian

  • IDPNDNT||

    OT:

    Michael Bay has a mini meltdown and walks off stage.

    http://theverge.com/2014/1/6/5.....age-at-ces

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    “We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.”

    Just off yourself.

    New York sucks.

  • RishJoMo||

    These ghuys seem to know whats going on over there. Wow.

    www.GetzDatAnon.tk

  • flashgordon||

    I like to talk about exercise inequality because I think it speaks well to the issue. Take fitness from those who have it and give it those that don't have it. And I think it's more "unfair" to take money from people who earn it than to take fitness from people who work out. Working out has some fun component. You get to be outside, playing sports is fun. Earning money can mean putting up with difficult people, working late because some task is time critical, and besides they call it "work" don't they? It's not fair that some are fat and some are fit. It's not fair that some prepare for life's bad events or spend 100's more hours working on their house and it looks better or has better features than someone who didn't.

  • mtrueman||

    "what’s really troubling isn’t inequality of outcome, it’s inequality of opportunity"

    Is this a joke? At least with inequality of housing, height and votes we have a yard stick to measure, whether in dollars, inches or ballots. How do we begin to measure and compare equality in opportunity? Yet the author finds this notion 'really troubling.' How does he hope to measure such an airy concept? Let alone do something to remove it.

  • XM||

    What about color inequality, the most oppressive inequality of all?

    It's not enough that his wife and son are black. If he cared about correcting the injustice of his predecessors being most white, he should undergo a skin surgery to darken his skin color. Whoever turned Michael Jackson white can just do the reverse, right?

    All white liberals would choose to be black or (non European) Latinos if they could.

  • BigT||

    Bloomberg is the most unequal of all - start by taking his money, house, pension, cars and put him in a Brooklyn tenement, if you're serious about this shite.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Clinton earned a reported $8 million advance for her memoir of her years as first lady; if income inequality is a concern to her, perhaps that money, too, should be taken away and redistributed to the many other authors who earn less.

    As an author who earns less, I don't want filthy redistribution payments, I just want people to buy and enjoy my work.

    *I know, the article is loaded with rhetorical devices and non-serious suggestions.

  • Black Liberty Unchained||

    We will all be equal in Muri Buri land!

    Tiger will befriend the deer in Muri Buri land!

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    I got one! Mayor Wilhelm should have his son embrace afro-equality! I mean, have you seen how many black dudes are as bald as chocolate Easter eggs? If his son would only take some of that "statement" of a hair-do, and spread it among the myriad of hairless NBA players - well, an overwrought 70's hair-do is a terrible thing to waste.

  • sflorman||

    I vote for amputating his head. That way, he won't be losing anything he's actually using.

  • Will4Freedom||

    The author starts down the road to reality by talking about opertunity inequality, but fails to bring it to it's conclusion.

    The reason for opertunity inequality is government. Why can't anyone open a business out of their garage and build it into a profitable business?

    Why can't anyone open a bank or bakery or health insurance company? Regulations, etc.... all imposed by government in order to favor some at the cost of competition.

  • PaulinePhelpsmee||

    up to I saw the check of $8495, I did not believe ...that...my best friend actualy earning money part time from their computer.. there friend brother started doing this 4 only fourteen months and as of now cleared the dept on there appartment and got a top of the range Ariel Atom. website here
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    http://www.tec30.com
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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