Mayor de Blasio has made it his political mission to level out inequalities of wealth between New Yorkers. To do that, he says, we need to reallocate resources and redistribute income. But progressive policies such as extensive welfare benefits, subsidized housing, or a high minimum wage not only don’t work, they also reinforce the conditions that they are meant to treat.
The Facts You Need to Know
More Poor: Despite New York City’s vast network of welfare benefits, supported by punishingly high income-tax rates, one in five New Yorkers is below the poverty level—compared with 14.5% nationwide. Read more.
Staying Put: New York City’s 480,000 subsidized housing units have income limits and cap rents at 30% of household income—thus motivating tenants not to earn more money or to find other housing. Read more.
Minimal Opportunity: A $15 per-hour minimum wage for fast-food workers will lead employers to automate some jobs and to focus on hiring more experienced workers. Read more.
“Economic inequality is usually a consequence of our problems and not a cause.”
The Past is Present
“Since the Great Recession, inequality has loomed large in policy debates in the United States and around the world. Losses from the recession and the slow pace of recovery since have fueled concerns that inequality is not simply unfair but harmful. It is now commonplace to see claims that high and rising inequality levels have held back or worsened living standards among the poor and the middle class, a theme of Thomas Piketty’s best-selling Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”
And in other news...
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