Posted on | January 5, 2014 | 22 Comments
“A dystopia straight out of Snake Plissken’s worst nightmares.”
Steve Sailer is so politically incorrect that you’re never supposed to acknowledge his existence, lest you become radioactive yourself. While I’ve forgotten what specific transgression put Sailer into the Toxic Zone, I vaguely recall it had something to do with seriously attempting to apply The Bell Curve to public policy. You’re not allowed to do that. Nobody is supposed to acknowledge reading The Bell Curve, except to denounce it as crypto-Nazi propaganda.
Anyway, someone re-Tweeted a Sailer item mocking newly-inaugurated Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for universal pre-kindergarten:
If universal pre-K works as well as the new mayor promises at reducing income inequality, its effects should be statistically noticeable by the 2040s, and be visible to the naked eye by the 2060s. By 2075, universal pre-K’s effectiveness at fighting income inequality should be undeniable.
Are we really ready for social change that’s that radical and fast-moving?
Certainly, de Blasio’s agenda deserves all the mockery it gets. Here’s an excerpt of the new mayor’s inaugural address:
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. We won’t wait. We’ll do it now.
We will reform a broken stop-and-frisk policy, both to protect the dignity and rights of young men of color, and to give our brave police officers the partnership they need to continue their success in driving down crime. We won’t wait. We’ll do it now.
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 five-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.
Every policy in Bill de Blasio’s agenda will contribute to New York City’s destruction, and the more quickly his agenda is implemented, the sooner the destructive effects will be evident. It’s so obvious, even a Harvard graduate can see it:
De Blasio’s signature proposal, universal pre-K, is a more ambiguous case. Most research indicates that early childhood education doesn’t have the benefits to children’s prospects that its advocates suggest. But it’s possible the program could increase the [economic] mobility of parents, by lowering costs and stress for two-earner and single-parent households.
But there’s also a pessimistic scenario, in which the growing cost of New York’s existing welfare state means that de Blasio’s crusade ultimately just devolves into interest-group featherbedding, in which the rich are squeezed to benefit a well-compensated public sector and preserve bureaucracies that ought to be reformed.
What Ross Douthat calls a “pessimistic scenario” is in fact the only possible outcome. “Universal pre-K” simply means expansion of the city’s bloated and corrupt public school bureaucracy.
“Since 2002, starting salaries for NYC public school teachers have increased 43%.” A teacher fresh out of college is paid $45,530 a year and, after five years, receives an annual base salary of $64,006. “Teachers can earn additional income from after-school, weekend, or summer school employment. This work is paid at a contractual rate which is currently $41.98 per hour.” Implementing universal pre-K and expanding after-school programs will increase the size of this taxpayer-funded unionized public sector work-force. One-third of New York City public-school teachers enroll their own children in private schools. With the support of their union and the protection of tenure, bad teachers can never be fired, not even criminals who rape students.
The New York City public school system is a despicable abomination, and yet Mayor de Blasio wants to raise taxes to expand it.
Every item in De Blasio’s agenda is as bad as (or worse than) his education policy, and the important thing is that it be implemented immediately, so that its failures are not delayed. Economic decline, escalating crime, rampant corruption, an exodus of law-abiding citizens, an influx of deadbeats and predators — the sooner New York City descends into bankrupt anarchy, the better.
God forbid anything good should ever happen to the people of a city so depraved as to elect Bill de Blasio their mayor.
New York’s future is going to be worse than Dinkins — a dystopia straight out of Snake Plissken’s worst nightmares.