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New York Mayor to Property Owners: Drop Dead

De Blasio literally wants to tell people what to do with their land.

De BlasioAlbin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA/NewscomIt shouldn't come as surprise that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who campaigned on fighting income inequality and wants to tax the rich to pay for public transit improvements, has a fairly dim view of private property rights. But "dim" is apparently a bit of an understatement. De Blasio flat out does not believe in the right to private property.

That's highlighted in its starkest terms in a New York piece out this week. Here is de Blasio's response when asked about efforts to fight income inequality:

What's been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there's a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that's the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development....

Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That's a world I'd love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They'd love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

Reason editor Katherine Mangu-Ward called de Blasio a perfect Ayn Rand villain for good cause, people!

There are no doubt a number of people in urban environments who want exactly what de Blasio says. But what they really want is to control what other people do with their property, to make them match their vision of what their community should look like. And since no two people actually agree on what every single piece of property should look like, the decision-making role would actually fall to the government and de Blasio. That is clearly what he wants: He tries to sell it by invoking the "needs" of the "community," but government officials ultimately get to decide what those needs are and how to meet them.

How does that work out in real life? Terribly, of course! Government officials are no more pure of heart than those wealthy property owners. In fact, they are often the wealthiest of property owners. When government takes control of property development, it's the poor and downtrodden who very frequently take it on the chin. Government control over property inherently creates a dynamic where the most influential and powerful constituencies decide what happens. It's a recipe for collusion between government and developers, and also for NIMBY behavior that keeps the poor from having access to housing and cheap retail and services.

When government doesn't respect private property, you get situations like the one in Pleasant Hill in Charlestown, Indiana. There the mayor stands accused of colluding with developers to drive working-class citizens and retirees out of their homes so that the properties can be razed to build something bigger. The town has reportedly abused the code enforcement rules to saddle these people with fines and essentially force them to sell their homes. Imagine if the mayor could just decide to boot all these people out because he wants to build something bigger and better. That's the society De Blasio is openly calling for.

Or come on over here to California, where wealthy homeowners abuse environmental regulations to stop more housing from being built. Basically, they're using the government's control over development to keep "undesirable" people—read: poor people or minorities—out of their neighborhoods. And they're not afraid to vote against politicians who don't cooperate. An environment where elected officials have control over property development is an environment that favors entrenched, established interests. It certainly would not help de Blasio's alleged fight against income inequality.

Unsurprisingly, cities like New York and Los Angeles—the ones with the tightest controls on property development—are the ones that struggle to build affordable housing. The problem isn't property rights; it's rules that drive up the cost of building homes. Why would anybody build for low-income people if regulations make it impossible to do so and still make money?

For a look at the real explanations why New York has a housing crisis, check out real estate attorney Joshua Stein's article in the upcoming November issue of Reason, which will start hitting the stands next week. Spoiler: Mindsets like de Blasio's are the cause of the problem, not the solution.

Photo Credit: Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.

    And then when that same government buttfucks those same people, said people will have the nerve to act surprised.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    No, they'll just blame the nearest Republican they can find. See: Flint, MI.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I would enjoy seeing this guy executed as a communist traitor. There must be some federal law we can find to at least put him in prison. Can we dust off the Smith Act or something?

  • MarkLastname||

    Democrats: the anti-authoritarian party. Lol.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Totalitarian socialists are totalitarian and obviously anti-authoritarian.

    Authoritarians seek to control what people do; totalitarians seek the control what people think.

  • Mark22||

    Authoritarians seek to control what people do; totalitarians seek the control what people think.

    Why do you believe that making up new definitions like that is a good idea? Why don't you simply look up what "totalitarian" means and where it comes from?

  • MarkLastname||

    De Blasio sounds like a right wing caricature of a left wing politician. Has New York really gotten this bad?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    He got 73% of the vote in a contest against a pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, anti-Trump Republican.

    So, yes, it is that bad.

  • CharlotteHaze||

    Yes, but only like 23% of eligible voters bothered to vote. The local lefty media cultivates voter apathy by proclaiming that their preferred candidate's win is a forgone conclusion, months in advance of election.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    New Yorkers are filth. I'm so tired of hearing how great they are since 9/11. They're not. They are the worst socialist pigshit ever. Cunts like them make monsters like Hillary Clinton presidential contenders. This country would be so much better off without them.

  • Principal Spittle||

    They used to say "if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere", obviously that has been turned on it's head and if you can't make it in New York you can take it from anywhere.

  • JFree||

    Spoiler: Mindsets like de Blasio's are the cause of the problem, not the solution.

    Spoiler: Mindsets like deBlasio's are not the cause of the problem - they are a symptom of the problem and arise when FYTW is proposed as 'the solution'. Blasio and ilk are just filling the vacuum.

  • Huzzah||

    I think you have that exactly backwards.

  • MarkLastname||

    Having it exactly backwards is his shtick.

  • Mark22||

    I thought that was Tony's shtick.

  • JFree||

    Blasio didn't create any of the ways that NYC property owners have gamed the system there. Blasio wasn't the one who wrote - Civil government in so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.. Blasio isn't the one who perverted that Adam Smith observation into a FYTW defense of a rentier system.

    Blasio doesn't give a shit about solving the actual problems - but that's just fine with the rentier crowd too cuz the last thing they want to do is solve the actual problems. Not one thing he advocates is a threat to rentiers. So why hyperventilate about the irrelevant?

  • MarkLastname||

    "Blasio didn't create any of the ways that NYC property owners have gamed the system there..."
    Actually, yes he has; and leftists like him are primarily responsible for creating the problem with land use and building regulations, rent control, housing subsidies, etc. that drive up property costs and costs of living.

    Stop with this bullshit that central planning is just a symptom of the problem. No, it is the problem. It creates and exacerbates the "problem" of the finitude of resources that it purports to exist to solve.

  • JFree||

    So if the Blasio leftist types created the problem - what did NYC housing look like before they created the problem? Like when John Jacob Astor III owned the Lower East Side where Jacob Riis took his photos and wrote How the Other Half Lives - http://bit.ly/2wQaPe1

    Did the leftists create that? Or did the inhabitants there just vote for whoever promised to make things better? And if you want to sell the notion of liberty in those rare situations where it is zero-sum and may also require coercion (slave v slaveowner being another), then who's your audience - Astor or those folks in those photos?

  • Sevo||

    JFree|9.8.17 @ 3:52PM|#
    "Blasio didn't create any of the ways that NYC property owners have gamed the system there."

    Exactly what are those ways?

  • JFree||

    NYC has been the center of rentier land speculation since Hamilton stuck his bank there and two 1790's land bubbles/crises resulted. And since the local landowners got the 1811 street grid system paid for via general taxes on others v paying for the improvement themselves.

  • Mark22||

    Blasio isn't the one who perverted that Adam Smith observation into a FYTW defense of a rentier system.

    Stalin didn't invent socialism either. So what?

    Blasio doesn't give a shit about solving the actual problems - but that's just fine with the rentier crowd too cuz the last thing they want to do is solve the actual problems.

    The "rentier crowd" is interested in solving their own problems. They aren't interested in solving other people's problems. That is, they behave like rational human beings should in a free society.

  • JFree||

    they behave like rational human beings should in a free society.

    And that is why the state should not be protecting the monopoly that they only have because the state granted it to them.

  • Mark22||

    And in what way do NYC landlords have government-granted monopolies?

  • Jerryskids||

    It's like with the minimum wage - it just sounds so nice that it's hard to say no to. You know there's gotta be plenty of people gullible enough to keep clicking on the hinky e-mails and pop-ups and too-good-to-be-true offers and to hell with what Lincoln said, if you can fool some of the people some of the time that's good enough for government work.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I'm thinking, in this case, it's some of the people all of the time. Just look at the well known bell curve. Half of the population are certifiable dumb fucks, 24/7/365/

  • Microaggressor||

    Lincoln objected to the idea of "You work; I eat". This is the essence of property rights, and the reason slavery was abolished.

    Is it any surprise De Blasio sits comfortably on the side of slaveholders?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    As long as he gets to hold the whip, why not?

  • Mickey Rat||

    If I had my druthers, de Blasio would end up strung up from a lamppost by his heels like a certain other Italian pollitician who believed in powerful socialistic government.

  • Hugh Akston||

    De Blasio can't even make the trains run on time.

  • Huzzah||

    If you've ever taken a train in Italy, you know how big a deal that is.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Even to this day. Il Duce's legacy lives on.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Another reason he only gets to control NY city and not the rest of New York State.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Cuomo is only better on a relative scale. Cuomo coukld not get the legislature to raise the minimum wage, so he created and packed his own legislature to do it for him

  • esteve7||

    ?

  • Mickey Rat||

    The increase in the NY minimum wage was put in place by a labor board appointed by the governor.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    I was gonna say the folks Upstate have more guns, but then I remembered about the ghetto.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    New York Mayor to Property Owners: Drop Dead
    De Blasio literally wants to tell people what to do with their land.

    This blaring headline makes it sound like he's some kind of outlier here.

  • creech||

    A fascist is mayor of New York City (the self proclaimed "greatest city in the world") but the real problem seems to be a relative handful of assholes carrying Confederate battle flags in a college town where their ideas have zero chance of being adopted or implemented?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Tail wags dog. That and other useful sideshows at 11.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Yeah he's a fascist but he's their fascist. So he's okay. They may call themselves "antifa" as in "antifascist" but they're really fine with fascism as long they're the ones who get to wear the shiny boots and pop the whip.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Comic/manga artist Adam Warren predicted Antifa back in 2000.

    http://readcomicbooksonline.ne.....Issue_2/16

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Except they are in far better shape than most of the antifa I've seen. They still fight like pussies though, so maybe it's the suits.

  • Rebel Scum||

    They'd love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

    The US was founded on principle directly opposed to this.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They'd love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

    Attention Antifa: this is a direct expression of the philosophy known as fascism - FDR explicitly based the New Deal on what Mussolini was doing contemporaneously in Italy.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Mussolini was a revolutionary socialist who decided to create a new system to try to eliminate the old stultifying beefs between labor and management. That's what makes many modern Democrats essentially fascists. Not because they want to burn Jews or have racist or nationalistic viewpoints, but because they want to leave the factories in the hands of the owners, but manage and direct the results of production towards national goals. So... Tony.

  • sparkstable||

    The only difference between socialism and fascism, in practice, is whose name is on the property title.

    It's either some guy doing exactly what the state tells him to do or it is some guy who is the state.

  • Microaggressor||

    Indeed. Fascists realized that taking ownership of industry came with a lot of responsibility and for some reason they kept failing at it, and the blame would be placed on the state. The fascist approach leaves that responsibility on the private sector, with better results, but they still call the shots whenever they feel necessary.

  • Cy||

    "I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there's a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs."

    To read that from the mayor of the largest city in the US; is terrifying.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    It was a few years ago that Bloomberg exhorted Obama to enact stringent gun control and use executive action to bypass congress. Talk about "dude, where's my country?"

  • fafalone||

    Even worse when you consider that's only an incremental step from where things are now. There's already tight zoning laws, there's already height restrictions-- lots of parks/plazas adjacent to buildings are only there as part of a deal to be allowed to add a few more stories, there's already a system basically mandating low-income housing units in new residential towers, and those rents are city controlled.

  • sesuncedu||

    I'll give you an example. I was down one day on Varick Street, somewhere close to Canal, and there was a big sign out front of a new condo saying, "Units start at $2 million." And that just drives people stark raving mad in this city, because that kind of development is clearly not for everyday people. It's almost like it's being flaunted.

    Rent Control the hell out of it. That'll put a stop to all those pesky new condos.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Next up bread lines and empty shelves. Yeah, that idea has always worked so well....

  • Chuckles_the_Snarky_Piggy||

    Wow. You just can't parody shit like that. Or even dignify it with a response.

    Well played, Comrade DiBlasio.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    DeBlasio is a strong argument for neo-McCarthyism.

  • SKR||

    Hey Bill,
    Fuck off slaver

  • mtrueman||

    "For a look at the real explanations why New York has a housing crisis, check out real estate attorney Joshua Stein's article in the upcoming November issue of Reason, "

    It's not a crisis. If it were, we wouldn't have to wait until November to learn about it.

  • MarkLastname||

    Nice to see you disagree with DeBlasio on this too.

  • Sevo||

    Not sure:

    mtrueman|8.30.17 @ 1:42PM|#
    "Spouting nonsense is an end in itself."

    Did he wonder onto an acorn? Or did random pokes at the keyboard make it seem that way?

  • nychotpilot||

    I think there's a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too.

    Back in the USSR?? We all know how that ended

  • vcx||

    People will never agree. So nothing will get done. With as many groups as there are causes, it is no wonder. Affordable housing means low income, low-class thugs. Who destroy the property of the gainfully employed and discourage academic achievement.
    The poor are taught to hate the rich. The rich in return do not want the great unwashed, uneducated, ill mannered except for artists, near them. Shopping is a desert near poor areas because of the crime and people who have no money.
    Those with out money are the pariahs and subsidized housing has huge paperwork requirements and keeps poor people living in a prison of fear. The rules often are restrictive to the point that it never is a home just a flophouse.

  • Rockabilly||

    Comrade De Blasio is a democrat progressive communist.

    You have no rights except what Comrade De Blasio and his central committee grant you.

  • styopa||

    He's the highest-paid elected politician, possibly in the world, with earnings around $46 million according to People.

    His net worth is $145 million.

    So let's start there? I mean, nobody needs more than $1 million, even to live well, right? I move we confiscate $144 million from Bill right off.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I thought Puting held that honor, with around $70 billion or so.

  • Sevo||

    "What's been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property."

    Well, yes. That was the intent.

  • sparkstable||

    I believe it was Madison who said, explicitly, that the primary role of the new government ought to be the protection of property rights.

    IIRC... that's a damn near direct quote. Wish I could remember where it was. Too old and lazy.

  • Sevo||

    I seem to recall quite a few 'consitutionalists' (for lack of a better label) who place private property at the foundation of all natural rights.
    If anything can be taken from you by the state at any time, you really have no freedoms at all; speak as 'they' don't wish, 'they' can toss you in the pokey; you have no right to your life.

  • olmstw||

    If I lived in New York City (a most Unlikely condition!) 1 second after In heard his statement, I would be packing my bags and heading out to **ANYWHERE ELSE**

  • Elias Fakaname||

    People like him need to be cleansed from America. Communists have no right to exist.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    They used to at least pretend that the idea of a market wasn't an issue, they just wanted to regulate it. It was hypocritical and their actions betrayed even that wrong sentiment, but I'm really curious how we finally got to the point where the left feels comfortable openly discussing their opposition to private property. Is it because we're so many decades removed from the USSR?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    What will never cease to astonish me about people like this is how short-sighted they are. They just know they will always be the ones making those decisions. They cannot imagine anyone different replacing them. They cannot imagine retirement with someone else making those decisions. They think their children will continue to receive the same consideration when they are once, twice, thrice degrees removed form power.

    It goes right along with not considering any consequences of their decisions. Consequences? There are none. So let it be written, so let it be done, so let it last forever in an unchanging static society.

    I see their delusion all the time. I understand how coercive government attracts loonies like this. I simply cannot understand the delusional state itself.

  • soldiermedic76||

    And then Donald Trump wins and they lose their collective shit.

  • Principal Spittle||

    Did you miss the part about a really, really powerful government? That is all they want, who is running it and what they do is beside the point. They are power hungry tyrants and will be succeed by power hungry tyrants, they owe it to the next generation.

  • macsnafu||

    So why does DeBlasio hate the poor?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    DeBlasio is a communist, and therefore an enemy of the human race, and a traitor to the republic.

  • flyfishnevada||

    Don't worry. It never works out but DeBlasio will do it right this time. Trust him.

  • Barry Gold||

    *Sigh* I hate to indulge in ad hominem, but... What an idiot!

  • zaphod||

    "Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents."

    And we could call them "The Projects". They'd be beautiful and we'd all get along, even the animals that aren't as equal as the other animals.

    Quite a stir here in Seattle when Amazon announced they were looking for HQ2. How dare they look for relief from poor growth management and a city government that can't stand success. I mean, who wants a company that pays high wages and generates new growth, development, and revenue for the city? Those bastards are ruining it for everyone. It's all these successful people's fault that they want to move here at a faster rate than the constrained housing supply can support.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Last time I was driving through Seattle, I tuned into some local lefty talk radio program. Several callers were expressing their disdain for Boeing. Some even saying that Seattle would be better off without Boeing's money. I would love to see them obliged.

  • Mark22||

    As far as local government is concerned, let de Blasio do it. It will be a fun natural experiment to see what NYC turns into.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You there will want to copy it elsewhere. Best to just haul out all the communists and summarily execute them.

  • ||

    Focusing on politicians fails to address the root of the problem. When rule turns bad, the blame goes to the ruler, not the system that creates/empowers rulers. That system is build on a superstition: the worship of force as concentrated in a few to be used on all, with impunity. The implicit assumption is "we the people" are infants who need parents, even if those parents are too strict or irrational or tyrants. The opposite is not seen as self-governance or freedom, but social chaos. The irony is, rule is chaos for the masses. We don't know which politically correct whim will prevail, how hard it will be inflicted, or how long it will last. As resentment builds in groups penalized, the power shifts, and each time with increasing violence and subsequent increasing polarization. Society becomes less stable by the use of force over reason, over principle. Rights are seen as political perogatives of those in power. In effect, there are no rights, no justice, just political power.

    All this socially destructive, struggle of group against group for power, starts when sovereign individuals forfeit their sovereignty to a few, and ask the few to take by force the sovereigny of those who would not join them. Order does not come from initiated violence. It comes from recognition of principles, such as rights. Those principles cannot be left in the hands of an elite monopoly to enforce. Monopolies serve special interests, not principles, not rights.

  • jagjr||

    great news from Hizzoner!! has he specified on what date he intends to turn over control of his millions, his homes, his cars, and all his other earthly possessions to city officials??

  • josh||

    Oblivious, thy name is government.

  • josh||

    I'm completely convinced that if you got rid of all Republicans or Democrats tomorrow, and let either party govern alone, that within a month, we'd all be walking around in a daze asking "What happened?". Without fail, the response would be that it's the other parties fault.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    New York City.

    Build a wall around it. A big, beautiful wall.

  • tommhan||

    He would make a wonderful dictator.

  • ||

    "Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That's a world I'd love to see..."

    But Trump is the authoritarian?

  • Robert||

    Trump had to do biz in an environment controlled by people like that. Not quite as bad as deBla, but enough that you always had to be ready to convince pols that your project was of benefit to them.

  • fulltimemonti||

    That is so scary. I would be interested in hearing what a recent immigrant, who lived through the same types of powers of abuses that the mayor is explaining, would react to such a statement. The thing that is of the most concern, is that he got away with the comment.

  • karan98||

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You know who else wanted to regulate who can live where? The KKK.

  • georgekaplan||

    Good idea, Bill. Let's start with your property.

  • ||

    People need to realize it's DeBlasio's line of thinking that leads to misery and gulags.

    Fuck him and his socialist shitty ilk.

  • Tyler R||

    I actually respect this. And I'm not joking. As horrendous as it is that the mayor of the largest city in the US thinks full out socialism works, at least he's saying how he feels and isn't doing the typical politician song and dance . It's a lot easier to have a conversation about this (and in turn convince people how awful socialism is, in practice) if these left wing thinkers are actually honest about their vision for our country.

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Don't worry. It never works out but DeBlasio will do it right this time. Trust him.
    My recent post: Proven Profit Package Review
    My recent post: Stop Motion Xpress Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    I'm completely convinced that if you got rid of all Republicans or Democrats tomorrow, and let either party govern alone, that within a month, we'd all be walking around in a daze asking "What happened?". Without fail, the response would be that it's the other parties fault.
    My recent post: Real Estate Lead Magnets Review

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