I admit to being no fan of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who achieved the distinction of a zero popularity polling with a 58 percent unpopularity rating in New York city for his presidential run. De Blasio failed to generate support despite his effort to unleash class warfare with such pledges as “we will tax the hell out of the rich.” Now, de Blasio appears to have gone full for Gosplan with his call for nationalizing certain industries to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Capitalism again appears to be the problem; fueling the spread of corona by preventing decisive action. Call it coronalism and de Blasio is here to end it.
In speaking with MSNBC’s AM Joy, host Joy Reid, de Blasio declared “[t]his is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need.”
One only has to look at Venezuela and Cuba to see how wonderfully efficient and productive state-run industries can be. Moreover, the companies enlisted by the White House appear to have moved with remarkable creativity and alacrity in facing the crisis.
I have long admitted to having a strong bias toward competitive markets and a resistance to government regulations and control. I tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Yet, De Blasio is the inverse; an example of someone who fulfills every stereotype of a liberal politician who turns habitually to taxation and nationalization as initial responses to public policy questions. By the way, countries like China and Iran are not known for being adverse to state controls.
Commissariats for industry will be just about a usual in combatting Corona as requiring screen windows for submarines. Before New York introduces its de Blassisariats, it may want to look around the world for successful nationalized industries.