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A Dickensian nightmare: New York City and the Great Economic Divide

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For the rich and affluent population of New York City, they certainly prospered during the 12-year dictatorial reign of NY Mayor Bloomberg, that came to an end in on January 1, 2014.

In March 2009, Forbes reported Bloomberg's wealth at $16 billion, a gain of $4.5 billion over the previous year, enjoying the world's largest increase in personal mammon in 2009.

Bloomberg moved from 142nd to 17th in the Forbes list of the world's billionaires in just two years (March 2007 -- March 2009).

In March 2012, Forbes reported Bloomberg's wealth at $22 billion, ranking him 20th in the world and 11th in the United States among the wealthiest people in the world.

In September 2013, Forbes reported Bloomberg's wealth as $36.5 billion and ranked him as the 13th richest person in the world and the 10th richest person in the United States.

While Bloomberg jumped quickly to the 13th richest person the world, this cannot be said of those Dickensian lives of New York's children whose disposable population grew significantly under Bloomberg's rule.

Under Bloomberg's mayoral regime and his rise in personal affluence the crisis of poverty, homelessness, incarceration and inequality in New York skyrocketed.

There are public policy reasons behind the spike.

In 2005, the decadent Bloomberg administration reversed the policy of former mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins and Rudy Giuliani and ended 'priority referrals' for homeless families to public housing and terminated Section 8 vouchers, which provided federal rent subsidies.

With priority referrals for Section 8 vouchers and temporary rental subsidies cut off, the decrepit and gentrified city provides very little in the way of public family assistance for those who need help or who want to move or shift from shelters to housing. Instead, they have one foot in the gutter.

The argument Bloomberg used to snuff out public Section 8 vouchers and rental subsidies was the neo-liberal mendacious free-market deception that concluded public support for the homeless and poor actually provide incentives for homelessness by sending homeless families (along with some other groups, like victims of domestic violence) to the front lines of long public housing wait lists.

We heard this same deluded mantra when Clinton spoke off ending Welfare as we know it and we see now that poverty in America has gone through the ceiling as welfare for the rich replaced welfare for the poor.

Neither Clinton nor Bloomberg actually believed their own lies; they were doing the bidding of their rich supporters and friends in the financial capitalist system where poverty is commodified and traded minute by minute on Wall Street.

City Homeless shelters explode while 'feeding sites' for the homeless are criminalized

Homeless living cardboard boxes
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I am an author and investigative journalist who has written more than four hundred articles for Truthout, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Daily Censored, Project Censored and more. I received two awards from Project Censored, one in 2010 and one (more...)

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