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

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    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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    5:15 pm on August 10, 2017