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April 28, 2009

Noticing Noticing New York: a twofer

Markowitz, McCullough, Me and Other Merry Minions of the Blogosphere

Though Michael D.D. White's update on the fight to preserve landmark views of the Brooklyn Bridge may have little to do with Atlantic Yards, activists in the fight against Bruce Ratner's Prospect Heights megaproject will get a sense of "deja screw" as Marty Markowitz stages another face-saving compromise and celebrities begin to join the fight, as an autocratic Mayor begins to tighten his grip on the power lever.

Links to Avoid: Unnecessary Temptation, Unnecessary Subsidies

One family's disgraceful fall is a cautionary tale about the inevitable political drift when politicians are faced with hundreds of millions of dollars sloshing around looking for a pocket to fill.

We offer a diagnosis of the source of political drift: We think that what most often separates a political party from its name and principles is the pull of temptation. The temptation in the comptrollers’s scandal is that the structures allowed one man control too much money and there was a lack of transparency to boot. It was just too easy to skim.
Consider, for example, the case of the highly unnecessary Atlantic Yards that is proposed to be massively subsidized almost beyond belief. For starters, the project will never deliver its ostensible benefits which are little but Orwellian fictions. In championing this project, Republican’s like former Governor Pataki or former Senate Leader Joe Bruno become proponents of excessively large government and an extraordinary level of government intervention in the private sector. Conversely, Democrats, like former governor Eliot Spitzer, become proponents of specially aiding a wealthy real estate developer and sports team owner like Bruce Ratner at the expense of the general New York populace. Voila! What better example could you have of political drift?

Unencumbered by a fixed party label, Bloomberg alone is not subject to such criticism since, names aside, he seems to be fixedly devoted to only one thing. He is regularly on the side of an oligarchic big government that aids the privileged.

Posted by lumi at April 28, 2009 3:56 AM