Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about a recent statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Mayor stated, “Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”
Wow. So it’s wrong for the money to be in the hands of the people who actually earned it?
The article notes:
• Perhaps he means David Koch, the retired businessman and libertarian who donated the entire $65 million cost for the new public plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The more than six million people who visit the museum each year can now stroll past trees and fountains on their way in and out of the Met, which by the way is also supported by private donors.
• Or perhaps the mayor is thinking of Ken Langone, the Home Depot founder, who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the New York University Medical Center that treats patients of all incomes and social strata. Mr. Langone’s most recent $100 million gift, made last year, will go to provide cost-free tuition for every NYU medical student. Wrong hands?
• Or maybe the mayor has in mind Richard Gilder, who made a fortune in finance and provided the first major grant for the Central Park Conservancy that has rescued the park from its sad mid-20th-century decline. Each year the conservancy, led by private donors, restores eroding corners of this grand public space with new trees, lawns, playgrounds and ballfields that are used by tens of thousands across the city regardless of income.
Mr. Gilder has also given generously to the American Museum of Natural History and the New-York Historical Society, two other favorites for visitors and students of all ways and means.
• Then again the mayor dislikes charter schools, so perhaps he means Stanley Druckenmiller, the legendary investor who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars for Geoffrey Canada’s successful charter-school network in the poorest neighborhoods of the city. These students would otherwise be stuck in failing schools run by Mr. de Blasio’s friends in the teachers union.
But thanks to donations from Mr. Druckenmiller, and hedge-fund operator Dan Loeb’s gifts to the Success Academy charter network, thousands of kids have a shot at a better life.
The article reminds us that because of capitalism and the fact that when men can keep the fruits of their labor, donations are made that educate children, improve neighborhoods, and provide playgrounds and recreation.
Let’s compare that record with what happens when government controls the money. The article concludes:
As for Mr. de Blasio’s right hands, there are those failing schools. And don’t forget the New York City Housing Authority, which last year had to sign a consent decree with the federal government for lying about its failure to provide safe and sanitary conditions.
“Somewhat reminiscent of the biblical plagues of Egypt, these conditions include toxic lead paint, asthma-inducing mold, lack of heat, frequent elevator outages, and vermin infestations,” federal Judge William Pauley III wrote last year, adding that the authority “whitewashed these deficiencies for years.”
Perhaps those are the hands Mr. de Blasio should do something about.