De Blasio Plans a Minimum Wage and City ID Cards

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City address made clear his impatience with Washington and his challenge to critics in Albany.

Comments: 238

  1. There has not been a politician who has honestly addressed inequality since Lyndon Johnson (who of course blew that agenda with the Vietnam War). Even from the perspective of an out-of-towner, the mayor is a rare player in the unforgiving political and economic landscape of the contemporary U.S.!

  2. Sounds like Robin Hood, not fair policies that expect all New Yorkers to take responsibility for themselves.

  3. robin hood economics, personal responsibility, these are old the good old slogans used against the New Deal by those whose only economic policy, as FDR noted many decades ago, was "relief for the greedy not for the needy." Those "reverse Robin Hood" policies have been the basis of government action since the the beginning of the Reagan presidency
    The mayor has the courage to go against our de facto "conservative consensus" where the Democrats are called "socialists" for advancing policies that were associated with Rockefeller Republicans and the Republicans nationally advance policies to the right of Goldwater Republicans. But the Mayor in no way has the power, unfortunately to advance what he is advocating--that really can only be done at the national level. But he can make the office into what Theodore Roosevelt called a "bully pulpit" and perhaps propel himself into the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Certainly, he would be a less obscure figure on the national stage then Jimmy Carter was in 1976 or Bill Clinton was in 1992. And in a contest with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or the other Republicans who go bump in the night, he would be in a strong position to win.

  4. As an ex-NY-er of over 50 years living and working in NY, I am so pleased to get out when Guliani and Bllomberg made it a great place to live and before this hack makes it a miserable place that no one will even want to visit no less live. Good luck to the Big Apple - as you move back to the future and Mayor Dinkins

  5. Most New Yorkers who have achieved financial success by their own hard work will take exception to deBalsio's claim that they were "born under a lucky star". And the quickest way to put New York State deeper into the black hole of job creation is to raise the minimum wage and simultaneously raise taxes on the wealthy, who already took a federal tax hike in January. Class warfare is not the American way, but it is now the rallying cry of the Democrat party.

  6. Statistically speaking, most New Yorkers who have achieved success "by their own hard work" were most likely also born under a lucky star. This country has some of the lowest rates of income mobility in the developed world. I'm not saying that there aren't a few up-from-your-bootstraps stories out there, but there's plenty of prep school to Ivy League to Goldman Sachs stories too. Hopefully most New Yorkers who are successful can also realize how lucky they are and will be willing to help those less fortunate than they are.

  7. Dave, 90% of the millionaires in this country were not born to wealth.

  8. Who's talking about millionaires? The mayor is talking about people who make more than 500K per year. Those are not the same thing. Net worth can be accumulated over a lifetime, income is earned over the course of a year. This is not a reasonable comparison.

  9. As a New York City liberal, I'm glad to have a like-minded mayor for the first time in 20 years. As a career public servant, I'm thrilled to have a mayor who values government experience - a mayor who, unlike his two predecessors, does not come to office regarding his employee workforce with contempt. Those of us who have been struggling to make city services efficient and effective know better than anyone what the obstacles are. I look forward to working for a City Hall that listens.

    politicsbyeccehomo.wordpress.com

  10. All the hot air coming from deBlasio should melt the ice and snow!

  11. How about doing things to encourage job creation by making NYC competitive again?
    When the next inevitable financial downturn occurs the small sliver of high earners will not be sufficient to carry the city.
    Only a broad based diversified economy is viable long term.
    It's shocking Mr deBlasio cannot grasp this basic truth.

  12. BDB did not campaign on job creation. He campaigned on "getting even"

    BDB vowed to eliminate the hores carriages from Central Park, puttig people out of work and bully private real estate developers into selling their product for less than fair market value.

    * Not that Billionaire Bloomberg's praise of not tearing down 75 year-old crumbling public housing was a sign of intelligence

    Building costs, land and taxes are so high the only profitable housing is luxury.

  13. Ugh. Almost four more years of listening to how we owe him something merely for being successful. 50% in tax is plenty, thanks. We don't owe a dime more. And no, Bill, "undocumented" aliens are not "New Yorkers" too, they are foreigners who shouldn't be here.

  14. As an outsider, I wish him well and hope he gets the support he needs to take on the powerful. He will need many ordinary folks standing with him.

  15. i just do not understand " income inequality" There is grade inequality, there are succesfull sports teams and last place teams. My income reflects my long hours ( 60 hrs/week), my education and my responsibility. I am not opposed to a higher minimum hourly wage, but that will not shrink the income inequality.
    Everyone of the liberals/ democrats talks about this like we should be ashamed of our success.
    You can not solve this by taking my money and giving it to those who are not equal. That seems like the solution being offered. How about addressing teenage pregnancy, lack of fathers.. that will change this income disparity.. but it requires courage from liberals.. rather than touchy feely words of sympathy.

  16. Maybe there is income inequality because the capitalist system systemically fails to reward labor proportionately to the talent, effort and time that each individual puts in? Isn't it a good idea to redress that?

  17. shp,

    Joseph Stiglitz pointed out in a Vanity Fair article on top 1 percent that even the wealthy will come to regret such inequality.

    Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
    http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105

    “Some people look at income inequality and shrug their shoulders. So what if this person gains and that person loses? What matters, they argue, is not how the pie is divided but the size of the pie. That argument is fundamentally wrong. An economy in which most citizens are doing worse year after year—an economy like America’s—is NOT likely to do well over the long haul.

    “Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called ‘self-interest properly understood.’ The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest ‘properly understood’ is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.

    “Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business.”

  18. Income inequality affects far more Americans than just those within 1-parent families or whose fathers are willfully absent.

    Teenage pregnancy has been on a downward slope for many years.

    Income inequality, however, has been on an upward slope.

  19. Why does New York City require the permission of the state to raise taxes? Can anyone imagine the fuss that the Republican Party would raise if Obama suggested that states require the consent of Congress to cut taxes?

  20. NYC does not have home rule. It can not raise income taxes without permission from the state. This isn't a political party issue.

  21. The idea that you can pay for all these liberal ideas by only taxing the very wealthy is an illusion. Number one, they are master tax-dodgers, number two, they can move away, number three, even if you took 100% of their money it wouldn't be nearly enough.

    Everyone in NYC is already paying enormous tax, even if they don't know it. Why are rents so high? Why are prices in the stores so high? Look at property tax, business tax, payroll tax. It will only get worse. It is really the people who are next to low-income who are hurt the most. They get nothing and still pay through the nose.

  22. People need to lift their own floor, it's a mistake to be dependent on government to lift it for you. Government does very few things well, if any at all. I have no doubt this gent means well but would like to hear more from "progressives" about the importance of studying hard and parental responsibility in education.

    There's also a cognitive dissonance with correctly touting the importance of educating our children and being in bed with teacher's unions.

  23. I like what I've heard so far. It's about time that a prominent official is not afraid to pursue a progressive agenda.

    Good luck, Bill de Blasio!

  24. I'd be interested to hear what specifics you have actually "heard".

  25. As a middle-class New Yorker, it sounds like it is time for me to start packing my bags. de Blasio only sounds interested in pandering to those who contribute the least in terms of taxes.

  26. Yep. My rent is up a staggering $800 in the last two years. Yes, that's $800 per month more than the previous rent. And now I have to be faced with the prospect of increased taxes, along with the other decreasing quality of life factors, so some person can maintain a family of 6, at my expense, in NYC? No thanks. Lease is up in under 2 months. Moving across the Hudson and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. It's been 15 years. That's long enough.

  27. so M -- if you are affected by the De Blasio income tax hike, that means you are making at least $500,001 AGI. Let's say you're making $550,000 a year,. You will have to pay 0.5% on the final 50K -- or $250.

    it is actually less, because your state and local taxes are a deduction on your federal return. since you are in the hoghest bracket, your (nominal) rate is 39.6%. Thus the extra De Blasio tax is actually, for you... $250 * (1-.396) or $151.

    really? this is breaking you?

    and if you're making that much, the extra 800 * 12 ($9,600) in rent isn't really that big a deal, is it?

    but of course, at an income of $550,000 per year, i have to wonder why you haven't bought a house or condo.

  28. The people "who pay the least" are not the drain on our society. Our economic drain is a result of the U.S. leaving trillions of uncollected dollars on the money table by not collecting fair taxes from the rich and the profit-soaked corporations.

  29. 500, 000 a year can mean two working professionals working long hours, with huge student loan burdens, childcare costs, housing costs without any subsidies, medical costs. We had to work very very hard to get there and to live in this city is not easy. We do not deserve to be made out to be the 'bad guys' in fact there are still a lot of opportunities here. People should take advantage instead of looking at someone's else success in a negative way,

  30. Yes, the mayor seems to be saying, even if we don't need the extra revenue we want to punish those with more income just for the sake of "income equality".

  31. Yes, you've worked hard, but you may have also also benefited from public assistance in the form of federal loans presumable for undergraduate or graduate school ( in part from tax dollars). So, you probably didn't do it all on your own technically.

  32. He wants to make sure his unions get their salary increases.

  33. It's like an episode of Back To The Future, but instead of going back to the 1950's New York is going back to the failed liberal policies of the 1960's. Go ahead and increase taxes and the minimum wage and watch the jobs and the population migrate to lower cost locals such as Texas. And illegal aliens should not be entitled to the same benefits and services as U.S. citizens and lawful residents. Your new mayor is thumbing his nose at the law by rewarding people who broke the law to come here. He is a disgrace.

  34. Now he says his tax on the wealthy to pay for universal pre-k is not really what he meant during his campaign and inauguration address ( no surprise there since he is being called out for his hypocrisy and dissembling weekly). No, now he wants New York City to have the authority to levy it's own taxes. Dude, you are in the wrong job. Head to Albany or the US Congress if you want to have tax authority. And how many undocumented immigrants are going to sign up to be identified by the City just so they can't vote, get a job but at the same time send a glaring GPS signal to the Feds?

  35. De Blasio's "sweeping victory" was to win 73 percent of the 24 percent of eligible voters who voted. Tread carefully Bill--only 18 percent of NYC voters voted for you.

  36. Well, that 76 percent who couldn't be bothered to vote doesn't really have a dog in this fight, now do they?

  37. @John: You are right. I don't understand the low turnout. I voted for Lhota knowing he was going to lose big but I voted.

  38. Perhaps one reason so few people voted is that the general election was not particularly exciting or issue based. More like a coronation.

    Joe Lhota got fewer votes that Thompson, Quinn, Liu, or Wiener. A De Blasio versus Thompson race would certainly be left of center, but at least we would have had a real conversation on the direction of the city and how to lead. BTW, I initially supported Quinn.

    Seems like the system is fixed somehow.

  39. Good to know that I've achieved whatever success I have due to my lucky star. Who knew?

  40. Probably everyone who isn't your mother.

  41. What is the minimum wage he going to ask for. $15?

  42. Hard to believe NYC emerges from the De Blasio administration better off. Demonizing businesses, the finance industry and the wealthy and promising to raise an already large tax burden sounds like a prescription for less, not more.

  43. If de Blasio follows the FDR model of governing, it will be a win-win for the city:

    We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him a proper security is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.

    Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.

    The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

    Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

  44. I actually agree with a fair amount of what de Blasio proposes however I can do without his divisive rhetoric. Give it a rest, you won the election, stop pandering to your base.

  45. Fair enough, but the base is at least 90% of the populace whether they agree with him or not. Find someone within that group who isn't very worried about their ability to pay the bills.

  46. After decades of being in the wilderness, there is finally a progressive who holds a position of responsibility and therefore has a chance to make a progressive agenda something that is not just dismissed out of hand, something that is not just politely listened to when it is listened to at all, but something that will be considered, reckoned with and tested. Progressives finally have a chance to be put to the test, to see if they can design policies that will carry the day.

    The ball's in your court Mr DeBlasio: the nation is watching you with hope and fear. Go for it.

  47. The mayor will ruin the city. Economically
    Within 4 years if allowed to proceed with his plans..

  48. I agree. We have a Port Authority terminal on 8th Ave that is literally falling apart. We have not one, but really two major airports that rate somewhere between Somalia and that little patch of dirt you land on in Guatemala. The Brooklyn bridge is in a state of perpetual repair. The subways are unsafe, dirty and old. I agree however, priority #1 should be to protect or increase handouts and social welfare. I read an article yesterday which a woman complained that her $200 or $300 in food stamps was being reduced and it was tough for her three children to live off that. She made a choice to have three children. The same choice or depending on how you look at it -- sacrifice that I made not to have children at this point in my life since I know, I can barely afford myself. That's called responsibility. I am leaving the city in 2 months. I'll still work here, but I'll be sitting on the other side of the Hudson with a bucket of popcorn hoping this all implodes. It will. It's just a matter of when.

  49. The minimum wage should be raised on a daily basis to keep up with the rising costs of living caused by raising the minimum wage.

  50. at $7.65 an hour, the current minimum wage translates to a full time salary of approx $16,000 a year. at $12, it is approx $25,000 a year.

    you REALLY think that is responsible for raises in cost of living?

  51. All those writing critical comments abut Mayor de Blasio's state of the city speech should understand a few points.

    1) Unless you are rich yourself he is taking about you.

    2) So many middle class NYers have already fled the city because it is so expensive to live here.

    3) Many of these critics are not motivated by the the content of the speech but rather their dislike of progressive elected officials.

    4) De Blasio is addressing issues of inequality that can destroy our entire American way of life if we do now address them.

    FINALLY we have a Mayor speaking Truth to Power rather than Power & Wealth talking trash to the rest of us like our last mayor.

  52. What are we living in, a fairy tale? This mayor, not matter how laudable his intentions, cannot accomplish with mayoral powers what communism, socialism, progressivism, and liberal Democrats have been unable to do -- fix the problems of income and asset inequality. He can't even raise income taxes without approval from the state, which hardly seems forthcoming. Riling up decent people who are in the bottom half (or bottom two thirds) with a bunch or propaganda is going to leave folks disappointed and bitter.

  53. I'm going to disagree with your first point. It's more like if you work for a union or make under $50K a year. Anyone in the top half of the income distribution in NYC won't benefit much from de Blasio's proposals.

  54. Next up on the DeBlasio TTD List:

    No fewer than 5 passengers in all private limousines

    Immediate tow-aways to Staten Island of all illegally parked limousines

    Mandatory 25 percent tips to restaurant-food delivery guys.

    Elimination of private elevators in luxury apartment buildings.

    Private swimming pools no deeper than four feet.

    Luxury tax (10 percent of gross income) on all men
    married to high-maintenance women, with detailed regulations to be issued by the Mayor's wife.

    All workers in the financial industry to be enrolled in mandatory ethics courses.

    Workers in the banking sector to be prohibited from pretending to be nice guys by eating hot dogs. playing softball. rooting for the Mets or playing Santa Claus.

  55. De Blasio is way over his head, and it is only a matter of time, when this will manifest itself.

    BTW - Over half my posts are never approved by the NYT's monitor, so conservative vs liberal thoughts are skewed.

  56. Many of Mr. de Blasio's goals are laudable. However, he needs to read the tale about the goose that laid the golden eggs.

    I recall a time in the 60s and 70s when companies, representing thousands and thousands of jobs, removed their headquarter from NYC, or simply did not come to NYC, primarily because of high tax rates ( for example, IBM moved its headquarters out in the mid 60s; other companies followed to suburbs or other states ).

    No one has anointed NYC with the right to have major corporations headquartered there, or have major offices there. Plenty of well equipped, low tax areas, such as Texas, are engaged in strong efforts to lure companies away. As a significant example, New York only need look to California, where well educated and successful people and businesses were flocking to for decades. Now, its confiscatory tax system has scared the best and brightest away, resulting in a net migration out of California. Consequently, California has lost a significant part of its tax base to other states.

    What does Mr. de Blasio gain for his citizens if he scares away the very people and companies who provide thousands upon thousands of jobs ? It has happened before and it can happen again. Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs because you think it has too much gold. Then, there will be nothing left for anyone.

  57. This is absolutely wonderful. A real life Communist running a progressive town.I certainly believe the progressives should be shaken down for 50% more in taxes. Please make the people of Texas happier than they already are.

  58. 50% more in taxes??!!? how about 0.5% more in taxes... startin g at $500,000 per year. so for people who AGI is 600K -- they pay an extra $500. if that breaks you, you are not handling your money very well.

  59. And that would be the state of Texas which has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the country and the greatest number of people making minimum wage in the country? What would you do without the Mexicans?
    Go Longhorns!

  60. Most of the wealthy people that I know were once poor or middle class. They worked extremely hard for a long time, had superior intellects and took great risks to achieve their success. Good fortune, while important, was hardly the reason they climbed out of the lower middle class and into the top 3% (more than $500,000 per year). Mr DeBlasio appears to me to be someone who has attained a modicum of success largely through good fortune. He certainly does not possess a superior intellect and has not risked very much while pursuing a mundane career in local politics. I doubt that he will succeed at much in the future. There will probably be a larger number of poor and unemployed people in NYC at the end of his administration than there are today.

  61. I'm surprised at the many negative responses. The tax proposal is simply taking the principle of the progressive income tax and designating a portion of it for a specific use. Are the critics against Pre-K or just against paying more taxes for services that they don't use?

    And yes there are a number of undocumented persons living in New York. The wash dishes and cook food in your favorite restraint, iron cloths at your neighborhood cleaners and do construction day jobs so that your bathroom renovation can come in on budget and deliver a host of items to your doorstep.

    New York City needs to know who these people are, whether their children are in school and who to notify in the event of an accident and who to issue a ticket to if there's an infraction. A municipal ID is a simple way to accomplish this. NYC is not, and need not be in the business of immigration enforcement.

    That's President and Congress's job and hopefully they will finally get to the issue of immigration reform. But for now de Balsio's proposals make perfect sense.

  62. Did you actually just defend the exploitation of illegal workers because it lowers costs - as part of a defense of De Blasio?

  63. After years of the Bloomberg administration doling out tax abatements for the construction of super-luxury floor-to-ceiling fish-bowl "residences" in the clouds, it is now time to re-focus, finally, on building rentals and limited equity coops for middle and working class New Yorkers on a scale equal to, if not exceeding, that which occurred during the post WWII years. It should be done. It can be done.

  64. A reminder that during the 1980s there was a rather large exodus by companies (I am thinking insurance, in particular) for cities such as Charlotte, NC because those cities offered tax incentives. The companies apparently did not buy the argument that the vibrant cultural scene would anchor them. And as a result, Charlotte has since grown, developing its own cultural scene and establishing its own sports franchises.

  65. Can we export our Mayor to Charlotte, too?

  66. Everyone I know who has relocated to Charlotte loves it. A growing city and financial center.

  67. DeBlasio should jump on the Fed bandwagon! Chase Manhattan should have a couple of billion extra to help with his wealth redristribution concept.

  68. Sounds like NYC is going from a "stop and frisk" to a "stop and tax" policy.

  69. In related news, street venders are running out of hammer and sickle flags.

  70. The sore head-cry babies are out in force today.
    Woe is us. We make $500,000 per year, have college educations, live in swanky digs, send our kids to private schools, work 80 hours a week, have a nanny (who is maybe illegal), vacation at our country house etc. Oh yes, I forgot, we have pulled up the ladder so no one else can get in the lifeboat and we do not believe we are Our Brother's Keepers.

  71. How's income equality working out in Trenton?

  72. I arrived in NYC on a student's visa in 1964 penniless and without a high school education. I was able to find work in restaurants at S1.50 per hour that helped pay my tuition. At the time $1.50 per hour purchased a slice of pizza $0.25, a soda $0.25 (actually a six-ounce bottle of coke was $0.06 at a Wall Street vending machine) and a subway token at $0.15.

    After graduating with an associate's degree in Electronics technology, I obtained student loans under President Johnson's Great Society program (I was neither a US citizen nor permanent US resident at the time) attended NY City College and eventually earned a post-graduate college degree. I started a family, repaid all of my student loans and started my own successful financial services firm.

    I mentioned the foregoing to say thanks to the USA, to the great City of NY and it's liberal traditions, to President Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party that made possible my life story.

    Anyone who doubts the value of a livable minimum wage and policies that allow undocumented immigrants to live within the society as human beings free from fear with opportunities to become productive citizens should examine the stories of the many millions who, like me, entered the USA legally and illegally in the 1960's and who eventually became US citizens.

  73. Good story. So glad you came here and made it!

    See everybody? Is this a bad thing? No! It is an American story!

  74. So Mr Quan-Soon, what were the policies of the government of your country of origin that caused you to leave for the U.S.? And what were the policies of the U.S. that made possible stories like yours?

  75. Reply to Ana Logy:

    Internationally, the 1960's was characterised by the post-colonial period that brought massive political and economic changes to Africa, Asia and the West Indies. The European colonial powers could no longer afford to maintain their colonies that were demanding full political independence. The colonies devoid of funds and bereft of competent managers were left to sink or swim on their own. The period coincided with the election of President Kennedy and the emergence of the civil rights movement in the US. America became for many of us the "Shining beacon on the hill" our only and best hope for the future.

    I can attest from experience and personal knowledge from friends with similar backgrounds that emigrants do not willingly leave their friends, family, culture and everything they hold dear for a foreign country not knowing if they will see their relatives and friends ever again simply to freeload on their adopted homeland. The highly motivated are typically the ones that leave to build a better future.

  76. You're going to start seeing a lot of rich people leaving New York. And anyone who think that this kind of policy will work nationally better go live in Scandinavia where there are these kinds of policiies.

  77. We lived in the city during the 1980's and left, not because of crime but because we wanted a back yard. It was also not affordable. What has happened to prices for condos and co-ops is ridiculous. Though we'd like to move back, we are not willing to pay exhorbitant prices for a two bedroom that is close to the cost of our 4 bedroom home in a very wealthy New Jersey suburb. The wealthy should be taxed. And by the way, there is nothing wrong with Scandinavia. We should be so lucky.
    As far as the wealthy go, don't let the door hit them in the rear end on the way out. Good Riddance!

  78. Scandinavia is pretty incredible. I don't understand how anybody who has ever visited Sweden or Norway can possible use that comparison derisively.

  79. @J, @Sophia: You might first want to read about the near bankruptcy of Swedish system in the 80s and 90s and the pull-back from 'progressive' policies that's been going on there since. (And about the nightmare that is still their health care system.) Denmark has followed a similar course. Norway was essentially the Nordic Greece till they became the Saudi Arabia of the North. In fact, you might want to read about a lot of things first.

  80. In some ways the city is a victim of it s own success. Starting with "yuppies"
    love of all things urban in the 80s and the steady decline in crime, New York
    is an aspirational brand desired by millions and millions of people worldwide. In parallel to this has been the desire for business large and
    small to stake their future here so that they can attract and retain talent.

    There is no amount of housing that can be built to dampen this demand and
    unfortunately pricing is the most efficient way to hand out available housing.

    The Mayor is exploiting the fears and frustration of New Yorker's who have not progressed with the economy instead of thanking his lucky stars for the
    resilience and depth of our city's most successful citizens and businesses.

    The Mayor should give more thought to how he can get our lowest earning and middle class citizens to earn more in a city that is global destination for
    the best and brightest, the wealthy and just about everyone else.

    He could start by encouraging business to invest in the lowest earning
    areas of our city to generate jobs, to improving commuting times so
    that pressure on Manhattan for residential and commercial space is dampened, transition housing projects in Manhattan to market rates for
    working New Yorkers instead of the poor, reform pension and health benefits for union employees to reflect longer life spans and skyrocketing medical costs, and preach that the best way up the ladder is good jobs.

    .

  81. As an outsider looking in, not too a far from the other side of the Hudson, it is like a fairytale come true as the wishful bubbles from the so called progressives have been cast, floating around as mystical antidotes hovering over the hearts and dreams to raise the economic standings of those so eluded by economic fortune.

    Hence be the day when the bubbles begin to slowly burst and fade away as the realities settle in with a soapy after taste much more distasteful than the palate and menu the voted away.

  82. At least he didn't bring up the "soy latte" again.

  83. DeBlasio is hilarious. "encourage undocumented immigrants to participate in city life". First off, it should be "encourage illegal immigrants to participate".
    It's nice to know that Comrade DeBlasio wants to tax the rich so individuals who violated the immigration laws of the US can enjoy life in NYC. What's next, rent control, welfare, medicaid and food stamps for illegal aliens with an additional stipend for "medicinal marijuana".
    And as for hard-working NYC resident taxpayers who happen to be American citizens, tough luck. DeBlasio needs to first make sure that takers and illegal aliens are taken care of first. It's ony fair!

  84. The problem is that federal immigration law has not been altered to provide for the labor needed in New York City. It is fundamentally unjust to expect people to do all the dirty work but give them no rights.

  85. Easy to raise taxes - more challenging to make NYC a place where corporations and small businesses want to create jobs.
    For in the end - that's the true and only income disparity antidote - jobs, jobs, jobs.

    The rest is - just talk.

  86. What about StartUpNY? New businesses coming to NY can operate for 10 years with no taxes. That's an incentive.
    Then there's Empire State Development:
    http://esd.ny.gov/businessPrograms/Taxes_Incentives.html
    So, this is not just talk. Here are business incentives to help create jobs. Now do you have such a problem with the mayor's effort to try and improve opportunities for the people on the lowest rung of our society? Remember, poverty and desperation breed crime.

  87. Apparently with Obamacare, people don't need jobs anymore, or haven't you heard?

  88. I am surprised to see how damning the majority of the comments are about de Blasio's aspirations for the city. I suppose it shows how far to the right public discourse has shifted over the last 30 years or so, but I certain would hope that people have learned that the dream of 'trickle down' economics and having the market define everything of value hasn't exactly worked out so well for most people.

    I taught in NY for six Bloomberg years and know for years it has been clear for ages that the growing gap has eroded aspects of what made NYC the most dynamic city in the US. As property values rose and artists and hard working people not connected to the financial market or with white collar credentials got priced out of neighborhood after neighborhood, the struggling artists have nowhere left to go, those from the margins were less welcome. Many families, i.e. those going from what used to be working class to what used to be middle class leaving for suburbs and small towns outside of NY.

    I don't doubt that de Blasio is going to have a hard time accomplishing what he wants to get done, but simply trying to use scare mongering about NY returning to the 70s and 80s period of financial ruin is simply not going to happen. Are property values going to plummet? Will he be able to do anything to curtail the Wall St culture of I'll get mine because I simply better than everyone else?

    NY and America will be a better country if he succeeds. Givem hell Bill.

  89. I could care less about artists, and what is so bad about the middle class moving to the suburbs? If New York City were to become an ultra luxury enclave, great. All it means is that Newark will be next for massive gentrification.

  90. To think of Wall Street and the financial industry as having anything to do with the free market is like considering the media in China as totally independent and free from govt. control. All the big cities run by Democrats/progressives/leftists show the same two tier society of rich 'liberals' whose wealth came from massive government interventions in the free market and the people who provide labor to them - with occasional chest-beating and periodic election of socialists to 'right the wrongs'. All the big cities except Detroit which scared away even the rich lefties.

  91. The American dream is gone…De Blasio has made it a point to tax away any marginal dollars earned…for the common good. It has been a while since I last took my Marxist Economic course back in my undergraduate days but…..hmmm….something sounds familiar here.

  92. The American dream is not gone! There are so many foreigners in this country who are working hard and making a lot of money -- my dry cleaner (from China) is an example; he started out with one drycleaning store, how he has three. My manicurist now has 2 stores; Koreans own practically all the grocery stores in NYC, etc. etc.

    The American dream is still there! Unfortunately, those so-called poor people could care less - all they want is welfare, and more welfare.

  93. "Nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty." -- Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor

  94. If you have a high school degree, or less, and work 40 hours a week, and then you should not have to live in poverty. Then those of us who work 60 hours a week with advanced degrees should be millionaires!

    Both my parents came to this country and took any job they could find. But they did not stop at 40 hour work weeks. My dad had a full second time job. And he knew that was what he had to do

  95. L

    LD: Fortunate that your parents came to this country and worked hard. For some, they also worked hard, have been here, and still got nothing..
    Equality means opportunity for everyone...

  96. The rhetoric here sounds way less divisive than that of the inauguration. Is it so bad to suggest that the poor were born under a "less lucky star"? There can be no doubt that poverty is at least partially a product of resource endowments at birth. That said, it is usually the case--and I don't read DeBlasio to deny this--that those born under a "lucky" star must still work very had to fully realize the advantages available to them. But the fact remains that those advantages are real.

    It's the policy specifics that worry me. Mandatory affordable housing in new developments seems like a recipe for depressed construction, which only exacerbates tight supply. And when I hear floated the idea of using the pension funds to "invest" in affordable housing, I only picture the funding gap for retiree benefits widening. That money should go where the returns are, full stop. It should not be a kitty for ideological goals.

  97. Isn't it ironic that it's not a problem to sign up for a Muncipal ID card to access services yet so overwhelmingly difficult to register for a voter ID card.

  98. If someone is here illegally, they should have exactly zero access to services, except those ensuring a speedy and final deportation.

  99. I am pretty tired of the tweaking the media and De Blasio's office keeps sending out about the De Blasio being elected on a landslide victory. The Reports said that this was the smallest voter turn out in history with only 22.6% of all eligible voters showing up at the polls. He does not have a majority of the people approving of him - and he is creating this imagery of a two city divisiveness. All this does is to create animosity and potential problems we once had and haven't seen in many, many years.

  100. of course it is much much more of a mandate than anything ever received by Bloomberg and Giuliani. just sayin'

  101. Any student of statistics would tell you that he does. That's why polling companies can fairly accurately gauge sentiment with a relatively small sampling of a much larger population. That's how it's possible for networks to project winners in elections well before all the votes have been counted. The outcome for de Blasio would likely be not too significantly different had every eligible voter gone out and voted.

  102. de Blasio's class warfare mongering is truly sad. Shame on him.

  103. Truly excited to finally have a mayor that "NYC middle class" can identify with. Go Bill!

  104. who's that?

  105. Since when do we have titles in our names? I thought this was America.

  106. There is so much meaningless talk about pushing the minimum wage to a living-wage. Minimum wage jobs are entry level positions. If you still make minimum wage years into a job, you are doing something wrong. The liberal solution is to take away incentive for that person to change his condition, in any number of realistic ways. "Income equality" is a slap in the face of those who have worked hard for the income they earn. I have been on the lower end of the scale and have worked dam hard to better myself. Do you know who the greatest hindrance to that upward struggle has been? Government. Let the experiment proceed. It will fail, but then they will say,"We just need to throw more money at the problem."

  107. NYT, this is not about the "city’s wealthiest residents... pay[ing] more to help the less fortunate."

    Working people make big investments in this city as employees, consumers, and tax-payers, but only monetary investment is valued in this economy. Therefore, you can work 40 hours a week and still qualify for Medicaid and food stamps. Wages are taxed at a higher level than capital gains or estate tax. Work doesn't pay anymore. That's the problem. Add to that, the single home owner is squeezed for property tax, sales tax, income tax, state tax and city tax. Why can't we raise taxes on the top 1% in NYC to ease some of the burden off the middle class tax payer? Why is this so evil? The wealthy threaten to leave and go where? Paris? London? San Francisco? Toronto? Tokyo? Even if we raised taxes on the 1% they'd stay because there is no modern global city where you get a better tax deal the NYC. The US, NYS, and NYC tax codes love the rich. The CA, UK, France, Canada, and Japan don't give out the same goodies to the wealthy as NY does.

    I'm waiting for this mass exodus of the rich because the prols finally dared to ask for a return on their investment of hard work to keep NYC humming. How dare they!

  108. LOL - Singapore is a much better "tax deal"... and so is Hong Kong. Is that ignorance or arrogance? Singapore has very low taxes and for some reason very low poverty. Strange - huh?

    Btw - you should actually check who pays the most taxes in NYC... they are ppl who work more than 40 hours per week. That's the "inconvenient truth"

  109. Yawn....another issue that Democrats choose to demagogue. Before you fix a problem, you need to find the root cause. Start with the Democrat policies in general, our our President and his programs.

  110. Please be less specific. It is so valuable to the dialogue.

  111. Only the brainless person label people as "fortunate" and "unfortunate". I now worry that NYC will become another Detroit.

    "Fortunate" people are working day and night when "unfortunate" people are idling on street;
    "Fortunate" people save when "unfortunate" people use their all pennies in the bar;
    "Fortunate" people's parents break their backs by working day and night to have their children get educated and become "fortunate" ; "unfortunate" people's parents leave their children on street and try to have tax payer to raise them.

  112. The last thing you said is true. Fortunate people were lucky enough to be born to the right parents. Absolutely! Unless there's some skill to which you can attribute one's ability to pick their own parents? I get that you're going for sarcasm, but your posting is unintentionally brilliant in that it illustrates you can't tell the difference between a circumstance that really is good fortune and circumstances that aren't! Please continue posting.

  113. to think that NYC, becasue of these measures, will become another Detroit is pure fantasy and not an intellectually viable comparison. No one will take that seriously. NYC is the capital of the world!

  114. The doctrine of fear is plied well whenever there is a change about to happen. It occurred with civil rights the same way. When all it was, was an appeal for parity in human rights. While those with the "privileges" were more afraid of losing" privilege" by giving someone else their equal rights. .Pretty much the same tone. fear of losing some granted status...

  115. Sounds much like the twaddle heard coming from politicians in San Francisco. Good luck New Yorkers ! I have the feeling that in a few years you'll be begging for someone like Bloomberg or Giuliani. I just wish Bloomberg could come and fix SF.

  116. The Mayor wants to close the "inequality gap"? Make New York economically competitive, thereby creating more and better employment opportunities. Or make more lucky stars under which folks can be born.

  117. It is silly to believe that anyone west of the Hudson is looking to DeBlasio for a direction forward. The concept of taxing out the people who are paying a majority of your taxes may sell in NY, but not elsewhere. The rest of the country, however, is excited about all the service jobs that will be coming their way from NYC, just like all the manufacturing jobs that came there way in the past. "Learn from history or it will come back to repeat itself". DeBlasio's upcoming failure will send the progressive movement back 50 years. When he devistates the greatest city in the world, it will prove to the country that this is not the way to go (for a second time).

  118. So if he proves this is not the way to go, which is likely, we'll have two proven ways not to go, each of which is championed by a major political party. What's next?

  119. exactly

  120. Hope it will be on the good track to do something about that.

  121. To LD. You are not a bad guy because you've done well. In fact you are a really good guy: so good, in fact, that you can, like generations before you, afford to give back just a little bit more to make the city that gave you your opportunities a little bit of a better place for everyone. Please do not compare your experience with anyone else's. Just know that many people are having a hard time, and the success of our society depends on more people doing better, and especially by having a better start in life.

  122. Has anyone given any thought of how if this tax is enacted will impact the stability of charities?

    One would think charities will see a decrease in donations from their wealthy patrons...

  123. Income inequality, not bridge and road maintenance, technology upgrades to improve city services, and more well equipped police on the streets?

    Why does that sound familiar?

    Because that's pretty much the agenda set by New York City democrat politicians since LaGuardia. Some of it was good, a whole lot of it was just throwing money away. Billions and billions and billions, to paraphrase the late Carl Sagan.

    Eventually, the City found itself at the brink of bankruptcy; and had to be put on an austere diet, or else. Meanwhile, it sometimes seemed as if every small town in the East was practicing, "Greyhound therapy". And the Port Authority and surrounding neighborhoods, and the rest of the city, overflowed with the homeless.

    And that was back in the days when the idealistic and naive still marched in impressively large numbers behind the red banner, and through lower Manhattan, on May Day each year.

    It was all so tragic. This time it will probably also add up to more of the same.

    Because that other Karl, Marx was way more wrong than he was right.

  124. LaGuardia was Republican Congressman, and won three mayoral elections as a Republican.

    In the 1970's the city defaulted on a type of "good faith " municipal bond that was designed and sold to the city than none other than that stellar Republican,
    John Mitchell, soon to be the disgraced attorney general of the U.S. who was then the the law firm of Mudge, Rose.

  125. Actually, Karl Marx has been more right than wrong. Even the Wall Street Journal said he was one of 3 of the most influential thinkers impacting the 20th Century, adding that the very vocabulary used to describe capitalism in their own paper would be unthinkable without him.

  126. Unreceivedogma, If Marx was so right how is it the 20th Century started with the ascendence of communism and ended, after millions and millions and millions of unnecessary deaths, with the sheer and utter collapse of the first, and most powerful, communist state, the Soviet Union? Influential over the most bloody century in human history? How quickly they forget.

    Joknecht, Like George H.W. Bush and his surrender to a liberal dominated Congress and their new taxes, Laguardia presided over an increasingly liberal, naw lets say it, socialist City Council.

  127. The simple math will not add up. Unions want back pay, raising taxes drives people and business to shelters. This has been done before countless times and the results are not disputable. Why try again?

  128. By your logic we would still be in the Gilded Age. The distribution of wealth was even more inequitable in the Gilded Age than it is today. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, proposed steeply graduated income and inheritance taxes to redistribute the wealth and make the US a more just society.

    I'm surprised at the number of people who uncritically accept Republican mythology that you can't solve the problems of injustice by taxing the wealthy.

  129. So a Mayor of one city is going to take on problems caused by Global economic trends? DE Quixote?

  130. We are in for a populist, class-warfare, kind of politics. This is not left-of-center, this is pure populism that will destroy jobs and the thriving New York economy. A true left-of-center politician would address the causes and put in place initiatives to create more jobs, especially better paid jobs, while at the same time invest in training and education. Screaming about "injustice" or the "less fortunate" tells of the true color of this mayor. Does he think that the people who are comparatively better off (in expensive NY everything is relative) got there only because of "good fortune" and not simply because of hard work, long hours and a brain? This is typical of someone who has never created or run a business, never created a private-sector job or generated wealth for him or for society. Simply feeding off the public trough by wearing the time-worn self-annointed cape of the crusader for the poor does not mean he's right. Forcing companies to pay union wages, when these are not competitive, will only help the exodus of companies from the city. Venezuela and Argentina have tested what populism can do to destroy an economy. Lula on the other hand showed what a responsible left-of-center policy can truly be like (except for the examples of graft and other peccadilloes)

  131. Simply because one is a populist, it does not logically follow that one is wrong.

    Re: class warfare: "It is class warfare and my class is winning." (Warren Buffett)

    The notion that the rich are rich because they are more fit (they earned their wealth) than the poor who are less fit (dependent on the government) is nothing more than Social Darwinist nonsense. It is nonsense because the logic is circular. If I am rich, then it is because I am more fit and if I am more fit, then it is evident in the fact I am rich.

    If getting rich were a result of hard work, long hours and a brain, then you must explain why social mobility is positively correlated with socioeconomic class. Children born to parents who are upper class are much more likely themselves to end up in the upper class than are children born to single mothers living in the ghetto. The only conclusion is that wealthy people had the good fortune to pick the right parents.

  132. My entire family has worked hard and struggled to send our kids to college and become a success....despite some serious illnesses we have endured. We have saved hard and some may consider us wealthy because our assets are quite high. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes (and we do), but I do not respect the Mayor's willingness to pander to the poorer segments of our society that the answers to all of their problems can simply be found by taxing the wealthy.

    This argument is a hollow one because the money and success that one earns can be found by working hard, saving and getting the right education....not by simply taxing the rich. That sort of entitlement mindset will turn NYC into another Detroit or worse.

    He should be talking about creating jobs and training the young, inexperienced people in our City to earn a living. The high schools should be pushing the Trades/Construction as possible options.

    Construction workers started working on our upper east side building today and 90% of the workers were of Mexican Descent. Where are all the unemployed people in our City doing? Instead of finding employment like these foreigners have, they'd rather flap their lips and complain that the so called rich aren't paying enough in taxes.

    New Yorker

  133. Actually the contractor hired those Mexicans because they work cheap. Construction unions have been weakened in recent years. Many of my neighbors are out of work construction workers.

  134. The truth is the construction workers farm out jobs they don't want to foreigners at lower wages. The construction workers keep most of the money. Truth be told.

  135. Eddie, the contractors farm out the jobs to illegal workers, and the construction workers are unemployed.

  136. Bill DeBlasio = Enlightened Self Interest?

  137. Many of these comments are offensive if they weren't so depressing. Enough whining from the people who have it better off than most of the less fortunate in New York which by the way is about 99% of us. As Elizabeth Warren said, no you did not make all that money by yourself. You lived in a society with a government that was able to build roads and fund schools and keep the streets safe, etc, etc. For most New Yorkers who overwhelmingly gave Mayor De Blasio a mandate to change the City. Is a refreshing change after 20 years of Republican rule where only a few benefitted

  138. 85% of the millionaires in the US are self-made. Just sayin'.

  139. @Matt

    Earlier, someone said it was 90%. Still not sure what the source of either statistic is, or what it means. Self-made like it wasn't inherited? That doesn't provide a lot of information. One can inherit a lot more than money from one's parents, and not getting a million-dollar check from them doesn't mean you're self-made.

  140. Matt: Have you considered the regulations and policy that was in place to facilitate " millionaires " ability to make millions? They claim specialness, yet there un-American quest for wealth does nothing for anyone but themselves.
    Who came up with that farcical argument that the rich are job creators?

  141. 'Boldly left-of-center' to some, dreamily socialist to others. Either way, he has to be very, very careful to not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  142. Bill, the best thing NYC can do for me is to keep the streets safe and then leave me alone! My neighbors concur with me.

  143. Mr de Blasio what are going to do for the middle class?

  144. Feed them to the poor.

  145. I find it absolutely fascinating that so much misinformation from people who do not live in the city is being exhibited in these comments.
    As a native Brooklynite who has witnessed the past 60 years of the city's history, what comes across is that most of the people commenting on Mayor DeBlasio's speech are clueless as to what is going on in New York City. No one begrudges the wealthy their wealth (unless it's inherited and they make out like they earned it, are you listening Donald?), but the skewing of the entire city to the rich is what is causing problems with the rest of us.
    Why should my property taxes go up by over 200% in the last 12 years under the Bloomberg administration, at the same time that tax abatements are given to luxury condos, so that a condo selling in Williamsburgh for 4 million has a property tax of $15 a month? Why do I have to subsidize the rich?
    The only reason why unions want "back pay" (the UFT) is because the former mayor refused to negotiate a contract, so he could so a surplus each year.
    And as for those who use the canard that the rich pay the majority of the taxes, well yeah, they make more money. When I once complained to my accountant that I was paying more in taxes, he simply replied, "Be happy, you made more money"

  146. Please check your facts. It was the Unions who walked away from contract negotiations with Mayor Bloomberg. There have been several articles in this paper quoting union officials who saw their opportunity to stone wall, do nothing for a few years, then cash in with new management. And that's exactly what they are about to do.

  147. To date, De Blasio has an undistinguished track record as a neighborhood organizer. Building on his basically unopposed election as Mayor, he is crafting a sweeping and radical agenda in direct conflict with an extremely powerful and politically astute Governor Cuomo, who is already handily outmaneuvering him. Best of luck, Bill. Hope New York City doesn't go down the tubes while you tilt at windmills.

  148. He's probably thinking of the career path of that other "neighborhood organizer" and figuring that the bar is pretty low.

  149. Noble aims, perhaps, but de Blasio's rhetoric and tactics may simply cause him to become the tea party of the left. By pandering to his wing with extreme positions and excessive moral rectitude, and being unwilling to compromise (e.g., on pre-K), he risks accomplishing very little.

  150. The issue of affordable housing, including strengthening rent regulations, protecting tenants from predatory landlords chomping at the bit to deregulate every stabilized apartment is critical.

    I'd like to ask people who are so averse to affordable housing and protecting rent regulated tenants, where do you think the nurses and other healthcare workers who take care of us where we are hospitalized live? The teachers, who teach the next generation. The first responders. Librarians? School principals? College professors?

    New York has become utterly unaffordable except for the super rich. This is obviously unsustainable, and will ultimately doom this once great city. The doors must be opened and we must welcome with abundant affordable housing a diverse panoply of people. These citizens are the heart and soul of what must become a revitalized New York.

  151. The middle class people you describe are not the ones that live in rent regulated units (at least in Manhattan). In my building 99% of the regulated units belong to retirees. Rent regulation is not the answer.

  152. One word - commute.

  153. "nurses"??? huh??? Do you know much a Registered Nurse makes??? Ditto School Principals and College Professors. These ppl don't make 45k per year.

  154. Ok, Dollar Bill might not be as mean and nasty as Chris Christie -- who is -- but he is right up there on the arrogrance scale. His repeated use of holier-than-thou terms like "mandate" and "mission" should be frightening to us all, regardless of tax bracket. Prove that you actually know how to manage a large city before you go out and start trying to save the world... through taxes. the least innovative solution there is.

  155. All these whiny babies who all totally pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps talk about paying a couple of cents more in taxes as if they are now trapped in Soviet Russia. Gimme a break. You've had it REALLY good for a long time. Pay the piper now, cuz the price is cheaper now than it's going to be later.

  156. It's a lot more than a "couple of cents". NY citizens already pay the highest taxes in America, period.

  157. John, you should put your hands back in your pockets. It is unbecoming.

  158. Pay the piper? Pay the piper? Are you serious? The so-called 'wealthy" in new York already "pay the piper," thank you. I ran a small business with fifteen employees. I made good money. Over 53% of it went to New York State, New York City, The Federal government, and self-employment, unemployment and social security taxes. And after that I paid sales taxes on everything I bought, and then I paid rent and salaries. I single handidly equalized income in NYC. It didn't work, and now 15 people and are out of work and numerous NY vendors don't have my business. So, you self righteous creature, learn what you're talking about before you open your mouth. And, by the way, New York did nothing for me when times were hard, it only took. So now I happily pay my fair share somewhere else.

  159. Watch the emigration from NYC turn into a flood as the wealthy leave town. Florida and Texas could not be happier.

  160. Many hardworking, native NYer's with strong roots here will also be ecstatic...

  161. Not when exploitation wages for illegal workers cost them their jobs, Earl.

  162. Mayor de Blasio is charting a progressive policy path unheard of in American since the New Deal. Everyone who has ever tried living in new York City knows that even $15/hour is barely enough to live on. It's time to redress the income imbalance by providing low wage workers a non-poverty level income and asking the wealthy to chip in a bit more. If we are to truly have "One New York" then everyone must agree that we are one society in one city where everyone pulls together to keep New York one--a city of opportunity, innovation, and greatness. Mr. de Blasio's redeal is a start.

  163. Maybe to some younger people the Mayor sounds "decidedly liberal", but to me he seems alot like Harry Truman, LBJ and Hubert Humphrey - traditional Democrats. I hope other Democrats, e.g. Pres. Obama, Gov. Cuomo and Hilary Clinton, were listening.

  164. Anthony, talking about Obama as like Humphrey, LBJ and other people with accomplished backgrounds is ludicrous. Obama describes himself as a Progressive not a liberal. He has not succeeded at anything so at best he is a failed Progressive. There were a lot of them rolling around in the 1960's but they called themselves socialists before the USSR collapsed.

  165. There's nothing more irritating than rich people claiming they deserve to be rich. Money is a game for the cynical. Some play the money game more enthusiastically than others. What does that have to do with educating children?

  166. It is called Social Darwinism: the rich are rich because they are more fit than the poor who are not fit (Romney's 47% who are dependent on the government).

    This is nonsense because the logic is circular. If I am rich, then it is because I am more fit and if I am more fit, then it is evident in the fact I am rich."

    It is also a misreading of Darwin. Fitness for Darwin was reproductive success, not economic success. All those poor people with high birth rates are more fit, in the Darwinian sense, than all those rich people with low birth rates.

  167. What legitimate power does the mayor of any big city have to enforce "equality" of earnings of Americans?
    Really, where is the legal authority to arbitrarily take from some to give to others?

  168. The legal authority is in the same place that allows the government to take more of my income from wages than from the hedge fund manager's carried interest income.

    Next question!

  169. Liberals don't need no stinkin' legal authority!

  170. really? you don't think a Mayor has taxing authority? or he /she only has taxing authority when the tax benefits YOU? For example, if you live in a private house or condo you get huge amounts of property tax advantages, which could be considered 'taking from some and giving to others." or the city has always given huge tax subsidies to big companies to supposedly "create jobs". i guess that is not "taking from some to give to others."

  171. Just as the media was slow to see the ideological rift in the Republican Party, they are now just as slow to see the ideological rift in the Democratic Party.

    It is not just that the country is becoming more progressive; It is. But progressives, labor, minorities, leftists and liberals also deplore the far turn to the right in the Democratic Party by Bill Clinton.

    There has been a backlash against the right wing Clintons, Emanuels and Podestas by FDR Democrats who are sick of austerity, high unemployment, free trade, a privileged and all too powerful corporatocracy, and the destruction of the middle class.

    Hillary better pay close attention. If the Democrats nominate another right winger like Hillary, the Republicans will win because untold thousands of progressives will vote third party rather than support her.

    For many progressives, Barack Obama was the last straw.

  172. And if the democrats nominate someone who is further to the left of Barack Obama, someone more like NYC's resident socialist, it will tear the country apart. If you think there is division in the country now, just watch out.

  173. Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.

  174. The Mayor's concern for the least of our fellow men and women is laudable. But is the economic divide which now afflicts NYC to be solved only by uplifting those who depend upon a grab-bag of tax supported programs? The tale of two cities is really the tale of three cities. NYC is now home to the stupendously wealthy, then the bottom one-third working for a modest income or on public support, and then a disappearing middle class. The needs of the latter two groups are not always the same.

    The Mayor and some of his newly elected cohorts seem only to have a socialist (albeit democratic) lens with which to view the economic and social dynamics of NYC. Thus in his eyes, the wealthy oppressive class, and the downtrodden poor, who it appears are seen only as "people of color". But housing prices in NYC are rapidly pricing out anyone not either very rich or poor enough to qualify for various government housing schemes. Why doesn't this mayor care about that fact? Cities fail when the middle class either flees or is priced out or both. Does his commitment to "affordable" housing include the middle class, even when they are (horrors) non-Hispanic Caucasians? NYC needs everyone in the mix to prosper. This Mayor needs to stop forgetting the middle class.

  175. So let me get this straight... The professionals and wealthy are not welcome in New York but the illegal immigrants are....

  176. It's the basic principle of the Democrat Party:
    You can make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

  177. My concern is about trying to engineer outcomes and ignoring the law of unintended consequences. It strikes me as pretty intuitive that raising the minimum wage in an era where information technology and automation are competing against labor is a recipe for encouraging more of that labor substitution. The minimum wage should represent an entry level opportunity into the economy. I think the policy of setting artificial floors on the entry level price of labor is counterproductive.

  178. I find it odd that the mayor, a public official who has sworn to uphold the law, proposes to facilitate the entry of illegal immigrants into the life of New York City. No, Mr. de Blasio, New York City is not, as you say, their city, too. New York City is properly the city of those of us who are here legally. We New Yorkers have plenty of unmet needs (underfunded public schools, for example) without adding the burdens of caring for people who do not belong here. Let's play fair: if you can't uphold the law, if you want to pick and choose which laws you uphold, then why have laws at all and why take an oath to uphold them? (No, I am not a hard-hearted nativist: just a typical New Yorker (whose father's family were legal immigrants) struggling to get by.)

  179. Getting a valid government ID card is a good thing. Having an ID does mean instant citizenship. I am sure it will state immigration status on the card. It's good to know who the people are. Otherwise, there is no record. Do you feel safer with that?

    And, If taxes are raised, I bet it won't even be felt. Wouldn't you feel better knowing that kids are able to go to pre-K and have after school programs so they grow to be productive citizens instead of getting into trouble, which would be better for the city.

    And affordable housing. What about all the people who provide low end services? Do they have to commute from NJ to mop the floors of the high end apartments? And what if they can't afford to commute?

    Is it so bad to give people a small ray of hope? Wouldn't NYC be a nicer place then? What is everybody afraid of? Having $2 more in taxes?

  180. PM: are you nuts? Do you really think people's immigration status will be on these ID cards? What world are you living in?

  181. "Mr. de Blasio’s success or failure will be closely watched as the Democratic Party charts its future course." Huh? Don't Democrats read history books? This isn't magic. A fairer distribution of wealth promotes a healthy economy because everyone will be getting pants made and shoes shined and stock portfolios balanced and hopping cabs and eating out and going to the theater. The only people who need to study this are the ones paying Congress not to effect it. Those who are doing well don't want change. But there are more of the rest of us and this is still, if not exactly a Democracy, then a government of the people.

  182. I am urging my daughter to sell her brownstone while it's still worth $3 million.

  183. Oy! What's plan B if Bloomberg was right, if "living wage" law discourages companies from moving to NY, if raising taxes leads to more wealthy New Yorkers moving out, if developers can't or won't build affordable rental units because land is too expensive? Yes, "working people built our city," but they were working for others, the ones that will be adversely affected by the mayor's programs. Then what?

  184. Sounds like Mr Deblasio actually wants to take constructive action before it turns to bricks versus truncheons. The rich would be right to support minor changes within their own system before the fabric of society truly tears and all heck breaks loose.

  185. To all those who are complaining about returning the city to an era of street thugs, gangs, and lawlessness: it seems to me it was not nearly as long ago that there was a tremendous amount of lawlessness ... on Wall Street, and that it is arguable that lawlessness was far more dangerous and damaging as a whole to the city's attractiveness as a place to live to anyone who is middle class and below, and also to the fabric of civil life not just in this city, but to the nation as a whole. Furthermore, as best as I can tell, most of those people have gotten by with slaps on the wrist, if they have been charged at all.

  186. @ Paul White Plains: Class Warfare is what you got when Reagan came into power and declared war on Middle Class America and the Working Class.

  187. Blame Reagan! Blame Bush! Blame anyone! problem is, there's now a long history of communist and government-managed "progressive" economies that have failed... Soviet Union, Greece, much of Western Europe... Detroit.

  188. Want equality, how 'bout this: I live where the cost of living is appropriate for what I earn. If I can't afford it, I move and save up so I can go wherever I want.

    These policies will lead to a level playing field....because those at DeBlasio's upper crust earning $500-$750k will leave NYC.

  189. " I live where the cost of living is appropriate for what I earn. If I can't afford it, I move..." Meaning that if you can't afford to live somewhere where you have been all your life, established roots , pick up and go get a job that is not been promised?
    Just trying to understand the tone of the comment...

  190. Meanwhile, more and more house rich and cash poor African American homeowners in Bed Stuy and Crown Heights sell their properties to much wealthier buyers, and then typically leave New York City. So income inequality gets worse. And there is nothing De Blasio can do to stop this.

  191. Yup - they move south and live like kings... Will Bill try to make a law to prevent this from happening??? Will he use tax payer money to buy these properties at Fair Market Value and turn them into "affordable housing"...? As crazy as it sounds - I wouldn't be surprised to here his "team" come up with something like that.

  192. Where did this fake controversy get contrived from? I thought this was settled with Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. Contribution and output isn't valued equally by consumers.

    This is the Democrats' deluded response to what's about to happen to their representational proportion in Congress in early November because of ACA 2010.

  193. Based upon the Times reporting I do not see any mention about the current middle class. We have worked hard to try to maintain this status and now see the rug being pulled from beneath us. There won't be income inequality any more when we are forced to leave because we cannot afford living here any more, the wealthy will leave because of the higher taxes and then who will fund the poor?

  194. how does anything DeBlasio is doing hurt the middle class? his emphasis on affordable housing is a middle class issue. he is not proposing vastly increased property taxes on homeowners -- a BLOOMBERG policy. he wants to put more $s into CUNY and make sure more resident of NYC gets jobs in our growth industries: tech, health care, fashion -- instead of importing peiople for these positions. All of these are middle class issues.

  195. Mayor DeBlasio is clearly going with the populist strategy. That's his story and he's sticking to it. My own view is that he will hurt the city but I hope I am proved wrong. I do blame the former mayor Bloomberg somewhat for a political style which had an elitist quality and I think is partly responsible for DeBlasio's emergence. It will probably be the task of DeBlasio's successor to clean up the mess. And hopefully, the damage done will not be unreversable.

  196. For city residents that might be thinking of moving, Scarsdale has some of the best public schools in the nation. Our trains run Express into Grand Central in approximately 30 minutes. Scarsdale is a very progressive community and we are very welcoming.

  197. Why is wealth inequality a severe problem for the US? Because, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said many years ago: “We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.”

    Wealth concentration is not only unjust (and the Constitution mandates that government establish justice), but because of the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court that money is speech, people with more money have more speech. To paraphrase Orwell: All animals have freedom of speech, but some animals have more freedom of speech than others.

  198. The haves, the people born on 2nd or 3 rd base, the folks who had a lucky star are all trembling in their attics or maid's room. "Oh no, this mayor guy is going to strip us bare and the city will lay in ruins." Lighten up, folks. Sure your might take a hit on your city taxes and have to donate turkeys to the poor on Thanksgiving but you will still live In a nice place, your kids will go to good schools, dress well, and have a decent good paying job. And even with the progressive mayor, The impoverished will not do so well. But I think the folks who have plenty ,will have to take an "enlightened self interest " stance: the more poverty , the more life becomes miserable even for folks living in gated communities. Crime festers. So take a note out of the lives of enlightened self interest folks like Bismarck , who introduced the modern social welfare state. The more poverty, the more the lives of the 1% will become intolerable. We need living wages, jobs programs, infrastructure and less being the world's policeman (we do a lousy job of it anyway.) Rich folks, the mayor is your friend!

  199. Interesting that you define the haves as being born on 2nd or 3rd base.

  200. Lots of defensiveness in the comments here, colored by entitlement--a word better used to describe broad social benefits received but hardly paid for by the wealthy, rather than earned return on mandatory investment by the hard-working.

  201. Why is anybody surprised by de Blasio's class-warfare rhetoric? Was anyone expecting anything less from a man whose honeymoon took place in Castro's Cuba, who waxes fondly about his time spent working with the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who was a founding member of the leftist Working Family party, who has never made any secret of his leftist, if not socialist, sympathies? De Blasio's intentions, his desire to remake Gotham into a "People's Republic," has always been crystal clear to those paying attention. That he will ultimately fail is also crystal clear but it won't be for his lack of trying. As one who was brought up in Brooklyn and lived in New York for many decades until recently, I can only hope that the next four years will pass before too much damage is done. But I'm not optimistic.

  202. I think that the voters need to see what they have wrought! Two terms should do it just as it has with Obama!

  203. I guess all the naysayers believe that their claim to maximized wealth trumps the city's children's claim to an effective education

    It's a hard point to argue, but then again it's always hardest to argue rationally against absolute, abhorrent nonsense.

  204. The city's children already get 13 years of free eduction that isn't effective. Check the statistics for graduation, test scores, college readiness, etc. And that lack of effectiveness has nothing to do with the amount of money spent. Check NYC's budget per student vs just about anywhere else.

    So against this backdrop of futility, you and the liberals want to throw more money at the problem. What makes you think the DOE will be any more effective with that 14th year than they are with the other 13?

    And the definition of insanity is...

  205. NYC has some of the best social services anywhere. From housing for low income residents, services for the disabled, elderly, subsidized school lunch, special needs education (private out of district placements for high need students)
    Where does all this come from? Luckily, we do have a concentration of wealthy people who can help pay for this.

  206. Raise their taxes, push them away, and you won't

  207. So many negative comments talking about how hard it is to live a $500,000 a year lifestyle, or I earned it and the implied "if you don't make the money then you're a deadbeat".

    I suggest confiding your opinion with your children's teachers, the policemen and firemen that risk their lives to keep you safe, the nurses that tend to your ailing parents, and the sanitation workers that prevent disease outbreaks by removing tons of garbage every day. They'll be interested to hear your lament. FYI: a starting salary for the life-saving FDNY EMS rescue technician is $32,000. Do the math. That's a factor of 15 times less money for saving a life. This discrimination is not only economic, it's a type of rot woven into our culture. Thank you Bill, for placing our cultural problems squarely in view.

  208. I guarantee you that the vast majority of folks of whom you pretend to be the brave defender find De Blasio's rhetoric - and policies like the embrace of wage-destroying illegal labor - a lot less embraceable than you do.

  209. city workers have not gotten raises in 5-6 years. and as noted above, their pay is already low.

  210. Private sector jobs are stagnant, too, Bruce.

  211. The essence of the mobile elite, is that they are mobile. Make it unpleasant for the hedge fund managers or CEOs in Manhattan, and they will re-domicile to Greenwich or Palm Beach. Super easy with Internet-based commerce, e-trading, and private jets. To think otherwise is childish. Then Bill goes back to his beloved (?) row house in Brooklyn, and we will get some leadership from Gracie Mansion.

  212. Don't forget all those city workers making well over $ 80,000 who live outside NYC on Long Island, NJ and Westchester. They left already or were never living here.

  213. This administration spells more disaster for NYC with each passing day. Instead of raising taxes, he should lower taxes for everyone. With the highest tax burden in the country, we have deplorable schools, lackluster city services at best, crumbling infrastructure and rising poverty and homelessness. And where do all the tax dollars go????? To an overbloated, ineffective and ever growing city government. We have useless people in useless jobs, starting with the Public Advocate. What a worthless office consuming millions of taxpayer dollars. Forget about the graft and corruption in the government; you don't have to look far to find that. We should just put pictures of all city politicians on the wall in the Post Office. The biggest drain of all is the municipal workforce. How dare they demand back pay? I didn't always agree with Bloomberg, but holding their contracts hostages until they made concessions was the right thing to do and we should stay on that track. They need to understand that times have changed and they need to be more in line with other workers who, by the way, pay their salaries. It's time for the taxpayers to stand up for how they want their taxes spent. I won't even comment on the undocumented immigrant issue. We shouldn't be talking about welcoming them, we should be showing them the door! Another drain on our tax dollars. Thankfully I'm close to retirement and I can take my tax dollars elsewhere, as I'm sure many others will.

  214. I consider myself a New York liberal democrat and have voted Democratic in every election for the past 15 years. I strongly support President Obama. I did not vote for De Blasio. If this guy becomes the face of Democratic national politics, we'll be just as brain-dead as the GOP. He's pure populism in it's ugliest form. His refusal of Cuomo's offer is case in point. He will only divide New York.

  215. He is Obama on roids! No other difference...same idea, will fail again!

  216. Every day I encounter teenagers on the train going home from school. They are eating friend chicken and french fries, swearing, and screaming when there are small children around. After they eat, they throw the chicken bones and garbage on the subway. Does anyone think universal pre-K will lift these children out of a life of a minimum wage job? A teacher can only do so much. How well one does in life, in school, in the world is determined by parental guidance. It is determined by models of hard work, diligence, courtesy, and the will to do the right thing. It is not about who has what experience or what funds to afford them a better life. Is it easier if a family is rich and can afford private school? Maybe. But, there are COUNTLESS immigrants from poor families whose children rise up and become educated and have great jobs that afford them a comfortable lifestyle. These people work hard (WAY over 40 hours) to get paid what they do and save what they do. They also worked hard throughout college/graduate school and have massive loans. The mayor speaks of affordable housing and increasing the minimum wage. What about people who do have a good job and a good salary, and have to pay a 10% increase in rent every year? That's not right either. What about reasonable housing for everyone? It's really not sustainable living in a city where the laws protecting tenants are non-existent for non-rent stabilized units. NYC is only not expensive if you are a millionaire.

  217. you somehow haven't noticed the Mayor's emphasis on affordable housing.

    by the way, it was PROGRESSIVES who fought as hard as we could to keep all units in rent stabilization. conservatives and the plutocracy wanted (and still want) to do away with ALL rent protections.

  218. they were born under a less lucky star, didn't you know?

  219. Current marginal tax rate for the "wealthy" in NYC ($500,000, which is really just upper middle class elsewhere) is 52.3%. Working moms (or dads in fewer cases) pay half of their income to the government and the rest for child-care/nannies.

    The plan to raise taxes even higher will simply result in more women leaving the work force who would otherwise want to enjoy their careers. This is a remarkably discriminatory, anti-woman policy.

  220. $500,000 a year is "upper middle class"? then i guess almost every public employee in NYC is downright poor.

  221. i see a lot of comments below that DeBlasio does not really have a "mandate" because only 18% of all total NYers voted for him. I don't recall this argument ever being made for Bloomberg and Giuliani. It seems like there is a double standard that applies to those who are left of center.

    In the general election of 2013, Mayor DeB got 752,604 votes, or 73.34%. Joe LHota got 249,121 votes. DeB's margin was 503,483 votes(!).

    In Giuliani's "landslide" election of 1997, when he was at the height of his popularity (other than immediately after 9/11), he got 615,829 votes (55.7%). Ruth Messinger got 479,258 votes (42.9%). Giuliani's margin was 136,571 votes... less than a third of DeBlasio's.

    Bloomberg had two close elections and one that was considered a "landslide." In 2001, in a close, high turnout election, he got 744,752 votes -- only 50.3%. he won by 35,484 votes. his opponent, Mark Green, got over 709,000 votes. In 2009, Bloomberg won his third term with 585,466 votes, representing 50.7% of votes cast. he won by about 50,500 votes. Bloomberg's campaign had cleverly convinced both the electorate and the press that this election was not close. If people had known otherwise, Bloomberg might have lost.

    Bloomberg's "landslide" was in 2005, when he beat Freddy Ferrer, 753,090 -- 503,219. Bloomberg got 58.38% and won by 250,000 votes.

    By any objective measure (raw vote, % of total, or margin over his opponent), Deblasio has an electoral mandate.

  222. You miss the point. Bloomberg might not have had a "mandate" either, but he never stood in front of a crowd and claimed he had some kind of divine right, as this mayor has already done, far too frequently.

    Watch his speeches, look at the self-satisfied smirk on his face, and listen to way he describes himself, and you begin to see someone who is already drunk with power. And that's very dangerous for all of us.

  223. Matt, i know Bill De Blasio. he is a humble guy and a man of the people. he treats everyone respectfully.

    While you talk about "drunk with power", you probably defend Giuliani and Chris Christie -- bullies -- and Bloomberg, who was a true plutocrat.

    DEblasio is implementing the policies he campaigned on. Live with it.

  224. The voters chose this guy. Now let's see what metric the voters select to judge this rather bizarre decision!

  225. Bill De Blasio could not be more incorrect about inequality. In this city, opportunity abounds. Based on my own merits, I got into and do well at one of city's best public schools, Stuyvesant High School. Here, much of the student body comes from immigrant families and half of the school qualifies for free or reduced price lunch. After graduating, students matriculate to the nation's top colleges and from there do outstandingly in the work force and beyond. If the many of the city's brightest and most successful students come from families living in poverty, than clearly wealth is not an obstacle to success! On the other hand, families that have been impoverished for generations remain in their situation because they don't invest in the education and therefore success of their children.

  226. hope deB reads this...wish he had your view of the world! good luck to you!

  227. De Blasio already has said he wants to change admission standards to the city's elite high schools. Admission would become subjective (student portfolios, teacher recommendations, etc.) and the student population would have to "look like NYC", in other words racial quotas would be the basis for admission and not a rigorous test taken by all. An elementary school announced last week that it was stopping its gifted and talented program because it wasn't sufficiently diverse. Carmen Farina closed down the G&T program when she headed PS 6.

  228. Theo, look for DeBlasio to change the admissions criteria for Stuyvesant, sacrificing its high status on the false altar of equality. In DeBlasio's eyes it is more important for the student body to reflect the demographics of the City than the demographics of those who are talented enough, and work hard enough, to excel on the SHSAT.

  229. Keep it up Bill. You and Obama's policies will actually increase income inequality and make me a member of the investor class more wealthy. However my kids and grand kids will be screwed

  230. What about getting rid of the non-incorporated business tax hitting freelancers and other small businesses with 5% in extra income tax? That's "tax inequality" if ever there was one. Haven't heard a peep from DB about that.

    Guess he doesn't care about hard-working freelancers who don't qaulify for public benefits.

  231. freelancers don't qualify for Obamacare, unemployment insurance, the mortgage interest deduction, public schools, rent stabilization, Mitchell-Lamas, the public hospitals, police protection, parks, museums, Medicare, Social Security (yes, i know you have to pay in 2x...), and so on?

    i think the unincorporated business tax is unjust at the lower levels. it shpuld be aimed at the rich partnerships. is there a minimum or does it kick in at $1?

  232. I get the feeling from the tone of many of the initial comments, there is a cadre of disaffected Lhotarati who sit in ambush for each DeBlasio article. I hope they receive proper nutrition during their long vigils, because they're going to need a lot of energy to pack up and move, something they've long been threatening to do.
    I hear Weehawken has a throbbing night scene.

  233. More rights for the poor, more duties for the rich. He calls that equality.

  234. De Blasio has no grand idea to rasie people up, only to use the power of the majority to steal from those who actually work. How easy is it for the majority to determine what they want and demand others pay for it.

  235. With so many undocumented individuals I wonder where our president is. Seems like he expels folks out in the country and forgets this target rich environment. I think that the mayor should get his union stuff done quickly, after all they are his friends and as such should be reasonable in their demands. Next wealthy folks should consider leaving Nashville is a great alternative.

  236. Having lived here for 30 years, I really don't recall the upper middle class & corporations leaving because their taxes were too high. Taxes are high, but the problem is more that these taxes don't buy what they should - e.g., clean streets and decent schools. People leave because the quality of life for a middle-aged/middle-class person is abysmal AND expensive. Filthy and nearly nihilistic. We live in NYC because there are so many jobs, not because it's a liberal town. It's why such a huge portion of the population was not born here, and the reason such a huge portion of the population doesn't end up staying here, once they've built a career.

    NYC's relatively plentiful jobs come from, directly or indirectly, being a financial hub (primarily). It also used to be a massive manufacturing hub - with those relatively well-paid working class jobs - but those companies left not for lower-tax U.S. states, but for lowest-labor-cost Third World countries.

    And therein lies the rub. Income inequality is a global phenomenon, and taxing $500K earners a few pennies more, and raising the pitifully-low minimum wage is like trying to put out a forest fire with an eyedropper (never mind that it's politically untenable). The truth is there is almost nothing any politician in a resolutely capitalist country can do, directly, about income inequality.

    Try these instead: aggressively improving infrastructure, access to education, and prosecuting corruption.

  237. Sounds promising. Especially with what was not mentioned - all that nannying of the past twelve years. Maybe New York finally has what it needs ... a real mayor.

  238. Let's all move to NYC because DiBlasio will make it so wonderful!