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New York Is Just Fine — De Blasio Is Broken

The inequality argument is idiotic, as the London Economist (no voice of conservatism) pointed out on November 9th:

Their city is indeed staggeringly unequal; but that is partly a consequence of its success. It attracts both high earners (who like working with other brainy folk) and penniless immigrants (who like the job opportunities and the fact that you can get around without a costly car). A financial centre with good public transport will always be unequal. Bashing the rich will not change that, and it may make things worse.

New York needs its plutocrats. The top 1% of its taxpayers fork out a whopping 43% of the income taxes; if they leave, public services will suffer. Mr de Blasio’s supporters scoff at the idea that wealthy Manhattanites will quit the dazzling metropolis for dull Connecticut. They note that his proposed tax increase is modest (from 3.9% to 4.4% on incomes above $500,000) and must be approved by lawmakers. True, but the top marginal rate (including federal, state and city taxes) is already a stiff 55% or so. And taxes are not the only issue.

If you want to provide public services to a lot of poor people, you need a lot of rich people to pay taxes. And if you provide such services, immigrants will pour in, and the most diligent and cleverest of them will fight for the available spots in the best schools. We're seeing the fruits of New York's success every day. There's nothing wrong with New York that a million Asian immigrants wouldn't fix really fast.