June 20, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Source: Shutterstock

More, however, is involved than achieving political quiescence via bribery. That all these benefits are politically bestowed and often administered by government-paid workers (e.g., “€œnavigators”€ in Obamacare) instead of being personally earned no doubt exacerbates lethargy. While past ruling elites worried that the desperate, starving masses would storm the Bastille and liquidate the aristocracy, today’s elite fret about computer software glitches that could inconvenience the underclass for a day or so.

If some rabble-rouser called for a revolution, most of the current lumpenproletariat would participate by texting support on their iPhones or, more likely, by staying at home to follow events on their oversized HDTVs. The once favorite uprising tactic”€”spontaneous violent rioting”€”may now be beyond today’s often-obese couch potato plebes. At most, recipients of all these benefits must occasionally vote for Santa Claus, hardly a big deal since checking voter eligibility is verboten.

Anesthetizing potential troublemakers is costly, but compared to what? Imagine the tax burden if the city’s poor were seething with resentment over the 1% and believed that only violence could bring about their fantasized Utopia. Think Brazil or the “€œlong hot summers”€ of the 1960s. Under these tinderbox conditions, only a DDR-like police state would suffice, a hugely expensive and unappetizing option in today’s “€œcompassionate”€ ideological milieu.

Think of it this way. A docile underclass makes a city safe, and this in turn boosts property values and enlivens commerce, resulting in greater tax revenue. Indeed, going a step further, a symbiotic relationship now exists between promoting tax-generating wealth accumulation and bestowing countless benefits on the poor”€”de Blasio knows that it is foolish to kill the golden goose. What could be more conservative than that?  


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