It thrives as it devours the city’s economy, parasitically feeds off the body politic and slowly transforms the metropolis into a banana republic.
New York City’s middle class works harder and longer to sustain itself, to feed and shelter its families, to educate its children, to carve out a foothold for the future. Hardworking middle-class families are the true engine of our city’s economy, the people who make our city tick. As the payee of all manner of taxes, the inevitable victim of an A-to-Z of fines and penalties, the middle class is the unwitting financial foundation for the New York City socialist fiasco.
Too busy running from pillar to post making a living, John and Jane Solid Citizen have become disengaged from the political system and are unaware of the absurdities that are being implemented in their name. The left-wing elitists contemptuously dismiss them as inconsequential. Unlike the community activists, the professional whiners and the permanent dependency class, John and Jane Solid Citizen go about their lives quietly, without fuss. Their values and ethos are increasingly dismissed and marginalized. They are merely the means of providing financial fodder for the insatiable appetite of the voracious socialist beast.
There is the hardworking Irish-American family of Woodside. Dad works days, mom works nights. They struggle to keep their heads above water. They strive to give their kids the best. They sacrifice to send their children to Catholic school. However, our left-wing elitist mayor, Mike Bloomberg, and the socialist ideologues of the City Council need revenue to pour into the bottomless pit of designs, programs and patronage. The family’s car is ticketed and towed, on the word of a creative, quota-driven revenue hack, for allegedly violating some inconsequential parking ordinance. Regardless of culpability, a substantial chunk of a week’s salary must be forfeited in order to redeem the vehicle. The apparatchiks are confident that the family will accept its fate, rather than compounding their loss in an uphill fight with City Hall.
In order to evade the increasingly draconian parking polizei, Irish-American entrepreneur, Queens-based Sean Citizen has taken to making his Manhattan deliveries during the ungodly hours. Yet the apparatchiks will not be cheated of their prey. In the early hours, while momentarily double-parked on a deserted Manhattan cross street, a revenue hack emerges from the darkness to serve a $105 summons. In a close-margin business, a few more summonses like that and Sean Citizen may very well be bled dry. However, in the grand design of pseudo Republican Bloomberg and the City Council, the small entrepreneur is expendable.
The Irish-American publican has spent thousands installing a state of the art air filtration system only to be obliged to banish outside, like degenerates, his nicotine-inhaling clientele. As the smoking population is increasingly ostracized, his business falls of by as much as 30 percent. Just another small-business owner to be sacrificed on the left’s altar of political correctness.
Then there is the house-proud Irish-American family in Maspeth. The house is spotless, garden neat and trimmed, and the sidewalk is swept conscientiously twice a day, out of a sense of civic pride rather than fear of sanction. Passerby Lou Litter Lout discards his garbage on the pathway. The sanitation police materializes with summons in hand, not for Lou Litter Lout but for “deep pockets,” the innocent property owner. More hard-earned middle-class dollars for the bottomless socialist pit.
In November 2001, we elected a left-wing Democrat to lead Gotham. Bloomberg was victorious on the anybody-but-Mark Green ticket. Had he not conveniently changed his party label, had he not expended substantial largesse, he would never have occupied City Hall. Though disturbingly familiar with his left-wing credentials, many of us, Irish American Republicans and conservative Democrats alike, deluded ourselves into thinking that, as a highly successful entrepreneur, he would successfully lead the city through what we knew would be challenging times.
Bloomberg is intent on transforming our city into a socialist nanny state where every move, and perhaps every thought, of the citizen will be minutely regulated and oppressively taxed. Devoid of any original or innovative concept, his economic policy consists of mandating yet another element of the human experience to be taxed, of doubling or tripling existing levies and of resurrecting antiquated laws for the sole purpose of picking middle class pockets.
Through it all, his arrogance, and that of his apparatchiks, has been breathtaking. “If they don’t like it they don’t’ have to come,” is becoming mayoral press secretary Ed Skyler’s standard refrain. As the left envelops Gotham in its destructive shroud, Bloomberg, consistent to a fault, implies that if the middle class “don’t like it” it can leave.
Enthusiastic co-conspirators in the quest to tax, fine, levy and ideologically eradicate the middle class are the City Council members. Term limits have given us a council of political-party apprentices. Realizing that that their council careers are finite, they use their terms of office solely as a means to curry favor with their political masters, to ensure their elevation in the Democratic hierarchy. Representing the needs, interests and values of their constituents is an after thought.
The opinions expressed represent those of the writer, not necessarily those of the Irish Echo.