Homeowners and merchants in American cities are under relentless attack by their own local governments, and those who know how to manipulate them.
There used to be a common saying that “There is no Democrat or Republican way to pick up the garbage,” but that concept is obsolete in the current era when practical governance is frequently replaced by ideological motives.
Escalating taxes and fees, reduced police protection, absurd traffic schemes, massive corruption, intense applications of fines, assaults on the very character of neighborhoods, crippling proposals to place heavy tolls on drivers, and policies that make employing workers too costly for small businesses combine to make life, particularly in “Progressive” cities, unnecessarily and excessively difficult.
To be blunt, Leftist municipalities don’t pass laws or generally govern based on what is best for the citizenry. They are devoted to a political philosophy of “fundamentally transforming” America, and don’t particularly care about issues of personal or property rights, public safety, common sense, or sound fiscal policy.
That can be seen clearly in transportation strategies. The multi-faceted campaign to harass drivers out of their vehicles while not providing any adequate mass transit alternatives is a prime example. Imagine if every driver instead showed up at their local bus or train stop. Most urban transportation systems would collapse, and with it, their city economy. Another prime example: the mania of taking away desperately needed road space to develop bike lanes, generally used by less than 1% of the population. It’s a purely ideological move, a sop to environmental extremists.
Most recently, the absurd attacks on the police, and the restrictions on allowing them to do their jobs without being prosecuted or fired, illustrates the ideological assault on city residents. Yes, of course, if an officer acts with excessive force or in a discriminatory manner, he or she should be penalized. But that has metamorphized into insane restrictions on the police doing their jobs. The consistent presumption that every time an officer takes action, he or she is subject to intense inspection or criticism is, combined with the outrageously ignorant policies of no bail and toleration for criminal actions, destroying the safety of city residents. The stunning examples, seen clearly on nightly television news, of rioters burning, looting, and assaulting while the police were ordered to stand by and do nothing were minimized by a left-wing biased media. The reality of those occurrences cannot be ignored. Great public spaces in cities from coast to coast have been invaded and stolen by socialist organizations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Local District Attorneys, many elected thanks to massive donations from leftist billionaires, do nothing to address the disaster.
It should be noted that in some cities, the ideologues who defund the police appropriate funds to provide protection for themselves.
Cities are not monolithic. They consist of many different types of neighborhoods. Far too often, solid, unpretentious middle-income communities are assaulted by concepts such as scatter-site housing which place problem individuals, such as those with mental issues, in the very midst of areas where hard-working families have invested their life savings to buy homes.
Adding to all this is the recurrent proposals to enact measures which penalize key industries. A prime example: New York City’s proposed stock transfer tax, a levy placed on every action in which a share of stock is transferred. The stock exchanges have already stated that they would leave New York if this occurred. The Big Apple would look like Detroit after the auto industry left.
The Progressive politicians responsible for all these actions appear to not care, or are wholly oblivious, to the results of their “Cultural-Revolution” actions.
Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and government