Is de Blasio The New Left?
Religion & Liberty Online

Is de Blasio The New Left?

NYC Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio Campaigns In BrooklynPeter Beinart at the Daily Beast writes a fascinating article about the way the “left” is currently being reshaped. It seems that young adults in the Democratic Party are far more radical than what America saw in the Clinton White House. In fact, as the article notes, Bill de Blasio’s Democratic Party nomination to run for New York City mayor is a signal of this new direction. If those who love liberty are not paying attention to this shift, they should: we are likely to see more and more of de Blasio’s platform at the local and state level. Here are just a few things de Blasio wants to accomplish in New York City if elected:

(1) Raise the minimum wage: “Bill de Blasio will advocate for Albany to give New York City the ability to set the minimum wage rate at a level appropriate to the city’s high cost of living and worker productivity, rather than having the same rate as that of lower-cost upstate counties.”

(2) Price controls on the housing market: “Bill de Blasio will keep working and middle class people from being priced out of the neighborhoods they helped build. As mayor, he will fight to retake control of rent rules from Albany, so we can make our own decisions again. Bill de Blasio will also support tenants fighting to maintain the affordability of their homes. . .”

(3) Expand public housing: “As mayor of the nation’s largest city and biggest public housing authority, de Blasio will rally the country’s cities around a new urban agenda in Congress for public housing, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Section 8 rent vouchers, and other crucial components of the affordability matrix.”

(4) “Free” meals for every child in public schools: “As mayor, Bill de Blasio will require schools to make free breakfasts available in classrooms.”

(5) Every 4-year-old in city childcare: “In New York City, the single greatest expense for low-income households with children is child care, surpassing even the cost of housing and food. Bill de Blasio’s commitment to providing universal pre-K for every 4-year-old means we will have more child care slots available for younger children.”

The de Blasio website has a long list of proposals, but if you read them carefully and think about the likely long-term unintended consequences of each, you’ll become painfully aware that if de Blasio is elected mayor, and if his reforms are implemented, New York will slowly slouch towards Detroit.

To start, setting an arbitrary minimum wage is not only going to prompt low-skill employers in the small business sector to avoid the city, it could also increase rents and prices if employers pass on the additional costs to consumers. The city would become even less “affordable.” If de Blasio intends to increase rent controls, that will do nothing but lead to rent increases in the long run, which decreases the availability of affordable housing. Free lunches for children actually discourage parents from taking responsibility to meet the needs of their children. Lastly, that child care is such a problem in New York City among low-income residents is a reflection of low marriage rates. Universal pre-K gives fathers yet another reason not to care for their children, fostering irresponsibility.

This is the new left. It has the social values of older Democratic Party baby boomers, but is increasingly committed to ignore the role of civil institutions and rely nearly absolutely on government to solve all of society’s problems, either real or perceived. Pay attention: this ideology is coming to a city and state near you.

Anthony Bradley

Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. is Professor of Religious Studies at The King's College in New York City and serves as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His books include: Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (2010),  Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (2011),  The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone of the Black Experience (2012), Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation (2012), Aliens in the Promised Land:  Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (forthcoming, 2013). Dr. Bradley's writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern slavery. From 2005-2009, Dr. Bradley was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute.   Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Bradley also holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society at Fordham University.