Shakedowns, Bribes, Taxes and Fees–But Not a “Contribution”

The Socialist Workers’ Paradise on the Hudson, a.k.a. New York City, has “rezoned”  parts of Midtown Manhattan for taller skyscrapers.


Far be it from Our Rulers to allow private developers to construct on their own land what we, their customers, desire. Such parlous freedom might supply luxurious, abundant residential and commercial space on Marxhattan, as opposed to the dilapidated, overcrowded, and overpriced scarcity we currently suffer.


Ergo, the City Council will henceforth permit developers “to build taller buildings, as long as they make a set of required contributions [sic] to the public…”


We can fault the reporter and editor who published this story for such sloppy language: a “contribution” is no longer such when it is “required.” It then becomes a tax, fee—or, most accurately of all, since developers must pay politicians and bureaucrats if they wish to exercise their inalienable right to build as they wish on their own property, a shakedown. But these alleged wordsmiths are only parroting Our Rulers’ terminology for this bribe.


Apparently, Leviathan thinks its greed is less offensive because it pretends its plunder will benefit that amorphous “public.”  The “contributions” may “take several forms: giving money for transit improvements in the area, buying development rights from adjacent landmarks, or by creating public plazas on their properties.”


But in all three cases, loot flows into government’s coffers. And the thieves can brag about how much “good” they’re doing for “the public” despite their stranglehold on the amount and quality of our homes and offices.


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Bill H. Added Aug 11, 2017 - 11:48am
Welcome Becky-
We have the same issue here in my area. In our case, it is not the "Socialists", but the "Greedy Capitalist" segment who constantly bribe city council people and city officials to get the OK to purchase single-family homes and have the property rezoned for high-density condominiums. Spot rezoning is normally only legal in our area if it involves creating more parks or public-zoned land, but the practice is being applied illegally in this case, and seems to go unnoticed by county officials.
Many city officials own, or have interest in construction related businesses, and of course end up getting the bids on the pertinent work. PACs are created by local developers to finance election campaigns for selected candidates and once their candidate of choice gets elected (after promising more parks, soccer fields, and public land), the money begins to flow under the table and the process continues.
Becky Akers Added Aug 11, 2017 - 4:17pm
Bill, you describe the usual political process under the fascist-communist continuum. Whether it's the rulers or the ruled, government's control over an industry corrupts all parts of the process. We'd do better to return to the freedom business used to enjoy in America, without bureaucrats regulating and politicians bleeding them to death.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:10pm
The wealthy and corporations should be able to donate to the poor, including public housing tax-free!
John G Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:10pm
Yeah, bring back the robber barons, child labour and mass poverty.
Bill H. Added Aug 11, 2017 - 5:57pm
I believe that under our present Authoritarian system, these problems are only going to get worse. It's going to be all about profits for corporations and nothing at all about what the citizens want or desire. Government now works for the corporations and not the people.
Tamara Wilhite Added Aug 11, 2017 - 6:38pm
Charles Murray detailed this among others in his book "By the People". You want to develop this or get permission for that? Pay for these things so the state doesn't have to.
This is why conservatives must oppose public-private partnerships. It lets the state lean on businesses for extra funding ripe for corruption to pay for things in addition to meddling in private businesses beyond the standard regulations.
John G Added Aug 12, 2017 - 4:12pm
LOLz at Wilhite. PPPs are giveaways to monied interests. You couldn't be more wrong.