One of the key words at Bill de Blasio’s inauguration as New York City’s mayor was “inequality.” The politics of income inequality were pervasive in the remarks of former President Bill Clinton, who swore de Blasio into office, as well as the prayer of the Rev. Fred Lucas, a Sanitation Department chaplain, who prayed during the invocation for New Yorkers to be emancipated from ‘the plantation called New York City.’

Income inequality as evidence of an unjust society may the be new platform position of the Democrats. Across the country it appears the party is moving away from the more centrist ideology of the Clintons to the more 1912 Progressive commitments of New York’s new mayor. Nevertheless, de Blasio continues to signal a new era of politics of the Big Apple,

Here are a few highlights from his inaugural address outlining his plan to improve New York City:

We will require big developers to build more affordable housing. We’ll fight to stem the tide of hospital closures. And we’ll expand community health centers into neighborhoods in need, so that New Yorkers see our city not as the exclusive domain of the One Percent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work, and raise a family.

de Blasio seeks to pass a plan where the very wealthy will be forced to pay more to fund public childcare programs:

We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K and after-school programs for every middle school student. And when we say “a little more,” we can rightly emphasize the “little.”

Those earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. That’s less than three bucks a day – about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks.

Think about it. A 5-year tax on the wealthiest among us – with every dollar dedicated to pre-K and after-school. Asking those at the top to help our kids get on the right path and stay there. That’s our mission. And on that, we will not wait. We will do it now.

Moreover, in New York’s immediate future the city’s government will be committed to addressing social “injustice” and “inequality,” says de Blasio:

A city that fights injustice and inequality — not just because it honors our values, but because it strengthens our people. A city of five boroughs — all created equal. Black, white, Latino, Asian, gay, straight, old, young, rich, middle class, and poor. A city that remembers our responsibility to each other — our common cause — is to leave no New Yorker behind.

Only time will tell how much de Blasio’s progressivist vision will impact the city or if any of his ideas are implemented. But some of those who are more interested than liberty than redistribution probably wish that de Blasio would exchange those commitments for those that intend New York City to be a place when men and women, regardless of their social status and background, know and experience that they are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these, for all New Yorkers, are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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  • mikeconstitution

    These rocket scientists of the left will certainly achieve their goal.

    We will all be equally poor.

    • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Curt Day

      MIke,
      With more and more people are becoming poor under business centered system, so what will be the difference?

      Besides, De Blasio is a liberal, not a leftist.

  • adam

    I say bravo to de Blasio for drawing much-needed attention to something that has been an issue for a very long time in NYC. I am puzzled as to why the author of this piece, who appears to by an NYC resident, treats income inequality as a new thing when it is in reality anything but new. For example, affordable housing (mentioned in this piece) has been in very short supply in NYC for many years, and access to affordable housing is a very real problem, especially for minorities — as someone who “studies issues among African Americans” (author bio) should know very well.

  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Curt Day

    Anthony,
    I learned from seminary that when an idea or principle is made absolute, it promotes human autonomy. For if that one idea or principle needs no interaction or compromise with other principles or ideas, neither do we need the scriptures for understanding the scope of and implementing that idea or principle.

    Perhaps the trend followed by some conservatives to reduce all liberty to individual liberty is an example of making our understanding of liberty independent of both the scriptures and other considerations. For example, making individual liberty the only liberty can only cause us to view democracy, a.k.a. group or social liberty, with suspicion because not everybody will agree with the binding decisions made democratically.

    So with De Blasio’s proposals, we have a conflict between a possibly absolutist view of individual liberty vs what is required to promote economic justice. How do you see the scriptures weighing in on this?

  • rvpod

    Saying “bravo” to de Blasio is saying “bravo” to Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Zedong, etc.