News & Politics

Bill de Blasio Doubles Down: 'Our Mission Is to Redistribute Wealth'

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is not sugarcoating it — he supports redistribution of wealth, in exactly those terms. On Friday, he explicitly called for wealth redistribution when it comes to education, and he doubled down on those remarks on Monday after Fox News reported them.

“If you’re talking about structural racism, certainly, policing is not the only area to talk about… and education must be front and center,” de Blasio said on Friday. He defined his goal as “equity and excellence,” but with a Marxist twist.

“We needed to profoundly change the distribution of resources. I like to say very bluntly, our mission is to redistribute wealth,” the mayor explained. “A lot of people bristle at that phrase, that is, in fact, the phrase we need to use.”

On Monday, the mayor mocked Fox News’ coverage of his remarks. He quoted the Fox News tweet exposing de Blasio’s support for wealth redistribution.

De Blasio said the network “apparently was very interested” in his remark. “I’m going to say it one more time in case Fox News is watching again: ‘NYC mayor sees the redistribution of wealth as an important factor toward ending structural racism in education,'” he said.

“Exactly right. I don’t get to say it very often, but Fox News got it exactly right. Amen,” de Blasio added. “We are going to fight structural racism through redistribution, so Fox News, congratulations, fair and balanced coverage right there.”

“If we think we’re going to deal with structural racism and segregation without redistribution of wealth, we’re kidding ourselves,” the mayor said. “Nothing changes unless you put the resources behind it.”

The mayor appears to have been suggesting that redistributing wealth in this context is not controversial. He discussed underserved neighborhoods in the city and those hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, arguing, “we’ve got to right the wrong by making them the priority.”

While it may make sense to divert extra resources to areas hit hardest by the pandemic, the redistribution of wealth is rightly controversial. The free-market system relies on the basic principle of private property, that people should reap the rewards of the fruit of their labor and use their money how they see fit. This system rewards wise stewardship of property and enables increased prosperity.

When socialist and communist governments redistribute wealth in the name of justice, they leave most people worse off. Socialism turned oil-rich Venezuela into an energy-poor nation, with bread lines and toilet-paper shortages.

While de Blasio’s aim to “redistribute wealth” has more to do with shifting public funds than stealing from the rich and distributing their goods to the poor, it is chilling that the mayor would defend the phrase so vociferously, especially in the context of combatting “systemic racism.” The noxious idea that some hidden racism lurks behind every aspect of American society encourages an aimless and destructive revolution — like the riots that broke out this past summer.

If Bill de Blasio starts to “redistribute wealth” in New York City’s schools in the name of fighting “systemic racism,” he may start redistributing wealth in other areas, as well. He looked the other way when rioters wreaked havoc in his city in the name of “racial justice.” Maybe that violence is yet another aspect of how he intends to “redistribute wealth.”

If Hizzoner really wants to “redistribute wealth” to help black kids get a good education, why doesn’t he support school choice, allowing parents to choose a better option for their children?

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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