Look, I know the Statue of Liberty is actually French, and therefore possibly a Euro-socialist, but even she’s probably a bit irritated at the redistributive rhetoric in New York City’s mayoral race. The Far Left liberal candidate for Mayor (No. . . Mike Bloomberg is not running again) is now talking about raiding the funds that keep Central Park safe, beautiful and iconic.
Leave it to Bill de Blasio, the Democrat Mayoral candidate and likely future Mayor, to insist on experiencing his own “Joe the Plumber” moment. “I think we have to share the wealth a little bit here,” de Blasio said in an interview over the summer. And while he is certainly a proponent of soaking the rich (a keystone in his plan to improve public education includes a hefty tax increase on New York City’s most productive members), in this context he was referring to the successful Central Park Conservancy fund.
Back in the 1980’s, when Central Park was devolving into a wasteland of gang violence and vandalized eyesores, private wealth stepped in to revitalize one of America’s iconic images of the Empire City. The Left wing George Soros, in cooperation with the conservative stock broker Dick Gilder, founded the Central Park Conservancy.
Today the Conservancy raises, from private sources, the majority of its $59 million budget, and employs over 90 percent of the park’s staff. And its efforts are evident. Historic structures now serve as tourist locations rather than illegal squatting residences. Carriage rides have more to show their fares than half completed graffiti and crime scene tape. In fact, Central Park stands today as what it historically symbolized: An oasis of tranquility within the Iron Jungle of America’s sleepless city.
And. . . Clearly that’s not fair.
De Blasio presented his socialistic city engineering plan in an interview over the summer. (Most New Yorkers missed the news, because they were enjoying their lunch hour strolling through a great example of private money contributing to civic life.)
According to Evan Sparks at the Weekly Standard:
De Blasio has endorsed a plan to raid the assets of the private nonprofit group that runs Central Park. “So for anyone who wants to donate to Central Park, they’re still going to be helping Central Park; most of the money is still going to benefit Central Park,” de Blasio said. “But some of that has to be moved to where the need is greatest, in neighborhood parks that, right now, are really suffering.”
Get it? A private non-profit funded with the intent of helping Central Park reach its full potential will be raided under de Blasio’s plan to help those inner city parks that are “more in need”. From the private, to the public – without the hassle of a tax. It’s almost as if the mayoral candidate had virtually no respect for the capital of private conservancies and charities. (Of course, I’m sure he’s doing it “for the kids”.)
And we thought the infamous Bond villain, Michael Bloomberg, was a nannycrat when he banned those dangerous high-capacity sodas. De Blasio’s insidious proposal to raid private charities for “the greater good” might just trump the elitist Bloomberg’s “holier than thou” style of governance.
Central Park has served as a beacon of free-market philanthropy. The voluntary cooperation between City services and private wealth has revitalized one of the last great city parks in the nation. Through the charity of New Yorkers with disposable wealth, the average city resident can enjoy the benefit of a spectacular civic area. In fact, the conservancy should stand as undeniable proof that increased tax rates, city tolls, and central planning are no match for voluntary civic duty. The park is not the crown jewel of New York parks because of government – but because of private citizens who choose to be a part of the community.
And de Blasio feels that from each well-funded [private] charity the government should take what is needed for each underfunded [public] entity. After all, how else can an elitist such as de Blasio force people into donating to the neglected portions of the city? Aside from the messy process of raising taxes (which he’s already proposed) and denying public funds to other areas of the city budget, he really has no choice but to forcibly reallocate the private donations of well-intentioned New Yorkers.
I wonder how the socialist George Soros feels, knowing his conservancy is about to be raided by the very people that drove Central Park into the ground in the 1970’s. It pains me to suggest that New Yorkers might miss the Authoritarian Bloomberg in a few short years, but that could very well become a reality if the ultra-liberal de Blasio successfully conquers the “inequality” of private charities.