De Blasio admits his 'socialist impulse' and lust for control of construction, tenants, and rent of apartments
What is it about socialists that enables them to ignore the overwhelming evidence that short-circuiting market forces with government controls produces disaster every time it is seriously tried? Maybe it is confidence in the effectiveness of the brainwashing efforts of the education establishment? Or reliance on the media ignoring the actual causes of the starvation, poverty, and economic failure that followed Venezuela's adoption of the socialist model?
Or maybe they just know that the lure of free (or artificially cheap) stuff overrides the lessons of experience?
Abandoned, partially constructed apartment skyscraper in Caracas (photo credit: EneasMx).
Whatever the reason, New Yorkers with brains should be very afraid of the desires expressed by their mayor, Bill de Blasio, when it comes to housing in their city, in a long interview in New York Magazine, as highlighted by Fox News:
I think there's a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs.
The mayor is obviously referencing some of Karl Marx's most famous words[i]: "From each according to his ability to each according to his needs."
Market forces are anathema to his lust for control:
Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed[.] ... And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents.
He knows that right now, his goal of total control is unworkable:
Later in the interview, de Blasio admitted that this type of governmental control is not possible right now – saying it causes "friction" and "anger" – but said that there are many people in New York City who would like to have a government that better addresses their daily needs.
"That's a world I'd love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level," he said. "They'd love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality."
De Blasio cannot admit that New York's rent control law and regulation of construction are a major reason why housing has failed to meet demand in that city. Where government does not interfere in housing too much – in fast growing cities like Houston and Phoenix – housing is not a "crisis" because supply can respond to demand. He'd rather that people have to petition his city government to get the apartment they want. Bureaucrats in charge! No danger of favoritism there...
Instead, de Blasio's model is for government to create a crisis, and then use that crisis to extort even more power from the citizenry.
[i] From Critique of the Gotha Program