De Blasio calls for less private property ownership

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With polls predicting that New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will secure reelection in November, criticisms of the liberal-leaning politician include his fight with Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) over the crumbling subway system, two investigations into de Blasio’s fund-raising activities, and New York’s homeless shelters reporting to be at capacity.

His latest proclamation is really ruffling feathers, however. Pushing an ever-more progressive agenda, de Blasio, who has a 50% approval rating, told New York magazine that if he had his way, the law would be less protective of private property, giving the government more rights, as necessary, in order to serve “socialistic” needs.

The story, published Monday, begins with a list of the mayor’s latest achievements and progresses into soft-ball questions about what he’s learned as mayor, his feud with Cuomo and what his political future looks like.

The over 6,000-word interview takes a turn when the mayor is asked about income inequality.

“In 2013, you ran on reducing income inequality. Where has it been hardest to make progress – Wages? Housing? Schools?” the interviewer, Chris Smith, asks.

“What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property,” de Blasio replies. “I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.”

He says there’s a “socialistic impulse” in the city, and that there is a desire to allow the government to plan the community in accordance with need.

“Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history, that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality, that calls the tune on a lot of development,” de Blasio said.

He continued: “I’ll give you an example. I was down one day on Varick Street, somewhere close to Canal, and there was a big sign out front of a new condo saying, ‘Units start at $2 million.’ And that just drives people stark raving mad in this city because that kind of development is clearly not for everyday people.”

He says buildings like that seem to “flaunt” wealth and exclusive access.

“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,” de Blasio told the reporter. He said there are people in New York who would “love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.”

Whether a majority of New York city residents actually want to see the government involved in their “day-to-day reality” remains to be seen.

Currently, de Blasio has also been talking about removing the iconic 76-foot-tall Christopher Columbus statue in the world-famous Columbus Circle. A treasured symbol for Italian-American New Yorkers, de Blasio appears to be catering to social justice warriors calling for its removal, claiming the statue is another symbol of hate.

In his interview with Smith, de Blasio also attacked President Donald Trump. In the mayor’s opinion, President Trump is a creation of the city’s “tabloid culture,” and can be characterized as “profoundly racist” and a “spoiled brat.” You can read more about his opinions of the president HERE.

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