On January 1 the new leader of America’s largest and most vibrant city, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, began his endeavor of what he calls, “The Tale of Two Cities”, the Guardian reports. Mayor de Blasio, the first Democratic mayor of New York City since 1993, was elected in a landslide victory with over 70 percent of the vote. In what he calls a new “progressive era for New York City,” his administration will attempt to tackle inequality by mandating heavy taxes on the rich. The Big Apple will be a place to watch in the coming years as more liberal means are applied to crime deterrence and economic policy.
Accompanied by his wife Chirlane McCray and two children, Dante and Chiara, the New York mayor vowed to bridge a city torn apart by a Dickensian gap which separates the rich from the poor. Mayor de Blasio said he would take a dead aim at uniting the two by referencing Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, and he stands by it. The 52-year-old mayor says New York will succeed as one city.
New York City has come a long way from the violent crime-ridden city it once was. Last week, the Huffington Post reported that the homicide rate in New York City fell 20 percent from the previous year to 333 murders – less than one per day. The person to thank for this is Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Commissioner Kelly made the controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy the main tool in the NYPD’s battle to combat violent crime.
One of de Blasio’s main campaign issues was to repeal this tactic as it promotes racial profiling. New York City has been the target of many foiled terrorist attacks as well. Many believe de Blasio’s liberal policies towards safeguards within the city dealing with crime and terrorism will leave New Yorkers feeling more vulnerable in years to come.
America’s largest city has been subjected to the controversial “Occupy Wall Street Movement” for years. It seems now that Mayor de Blasio will sail the liberal ship into the fray of economic inequality to rescue those who think and say the rich are getting richer. The Guardian reports that one of de Blasio’s more controversial economic policies is to raise an extra 530 million from those earning $500,000 or more a year to use in universal primary education.
This week Fox News reported that Florida surpassed the population of New York has one of the top three populated states in the U.S. I believe the growing trend will continue as the new mayor’s seemingly-socialist policies drive middle and upper-middle class people out of the city. While I do not see those working in the city relocating for their work, I believe many will migrate to New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware to escape to ever-increasing taxes of the de Blasio Administration.
There were a few policy initiatives that former Mayor Bloomberg promoted that had many shaking their heads – regulating the size of sodas and soft drinks, for one. However, Bloomberg kept New York City safe in an era where terrorism was a daily threat; he kept the murder rate down even more than when Giuliani was in office. As well, he kept taxes low so that America’s more bustling can flourish into the future.
On Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Show, Congressman Peter King (R-NY), when asked about the near-future of New York City, said in the interview, “de Blasio will take us in the way of Detroit.” With crime skyrocketing amid the bankrupt and failed Midwestern city one can only speculate a not so bright future.
Many might not understand the Charles Dickens reference but the ideals in his novel The Tale of Two Cities seem to have a connection to the socio-economic situation in many states today. In the story Dickens describes the great inequality between the wealthy and the poor, or the commoners.
It’s not just happening in New York but in America as a whole. It is a fact that just one percent of the population has more than 40 percent of our country’s wealth. There are more billionaires in the United States than anywhere else in the world. At the other extreme, one in seven Americans lives in poverty.
While it’s true that Dickens novel is dramatized to give life to the conditions of the 1700s, these problems are still tearing apart lives and De Blasio wants it to stop in New York. So, will the Big Apple be in for the best of times or the worst of times?
By Alex Lemieux