Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Apartment Booty in New York

I submitted this letter to the editor regarding Mayor Bloomberg's plan to use the lever of taxes to force landlords to house low and moderate income people in buildings in higher income neighborhoods. It is called the "421-a" plan referring to the tax "break" landlords won't get if they don't comply.

"Dear Editor:

Liberty is usually lost not in a big leap, but in many small steps. Well, New York is taking a medium-sized step with Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to subsidize a new round of housing for low and moderate income people. The plan will use the lever of taxes to force landlords to house the recipients of this booty cheek-by-jowl in the same buildings or neighborhoods as those of us who earn the money to pay for it. It is not enough that New Yorkers who earn their wealth pay the highest taxes in the country. Now we are also being forced to share our homes and neighborhoods with the objects of our oppression.

The liberty of Americans will not be lost in a grand revolution, like that of Russia nearly 100 years ago. Rather, it is being lost in many smaller steps like the current one to forcefully house those of lesser means in the neighborhoods of the wealthy. Unlike Dr. Zhivago, who came home to find his home suddenly occupied by the gloating, envious rabble of the city, we find our homes and neighborhoods invaded one building and one paycheck at a time. "

No comments: