Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Socialism at work

Aww, ain’t she cute.

I graduated law school in 1999 and immediately went to work for a big law firm, representing big corporations. But I am a lifelong liberal and really wanted to put my law degree to work for social justice. I wanted to help the poor, and I was very interested in how a major city dealt with large-scale poverty reform, so I applied to work in New York City’s government.

I got a job working as a lawyer for the city in 2003, a year after Michael Bloomberg became mayor. I happily took a 20 percent pay cut because I wanted to make a difference.

I loved coming to work every day under Bloomberg. I loved the constructive discussions about how to fix the most urgent social problems — meetings that involved workers at the highest levels of government with the civil servants and case workers at the lowest. All opinions were valued. And I loved being out in the city and seeing how programs worked or didn’t work.

I felt I was making a difference.

When Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York in 2014, things changed drastically. I started to hear rumblings early on. My former colleagues who were dedicated public servants were concerned by a large-scale rollback of Bloomberg’s strategic initiatives. These seemed to be based on partisan politics and black-and-white thinking as opposed to critical analysis. It was very disappointing for me since I had also voted for de Blasio.

Although I was still working in the same social-services agency where I had remained at the end of Bloomberg’s term, my job changed radically. I had no contact with the new commissioner who appeared to be disengaged from substantive discussions about social-services programs for an extremely vulnerable population. In fact, she was much more preoccupied with renovating her office — I heard her new desk alone cost thousands of dollars. She even requested that a private bathroom be built for her. She had the attitude of an oligarch and was disturbed that she had to vet invitations to galas through legal and City Hall. She wanted carte blanche to attend expensive events.

She also refused to meet with the lawyers in her department and she kept the door to her office closed and didn’t know the names of the people who worked in her agency.

Under my commissioner, there were no benchmarks, no goals and she did not hold regular meetings with her general counsel. Under her tenure, the legal unit was gutted. And there were no consequences for failing to meet performance goals because there were no performance goals.

Bloomberg wouldn’t be mistaken for a conservative anywhere but NYC, of course. But he ain’t really a socialist either, and he certainly isn’t cut from the same filthy left-wing cloth as Red Bill. Her plaintive closing wail is perfect:

My career spanned a handful of social-service agencies under the administrations of two very different leaders. I was shocked to discover that I actually preferred Michael Bloomberg’s very corporate City Hall to Bill de Blasio’s failed socialist utopia. Who wouldn’t?

Why, only some simple, dewey-eyed whelp caught up in the arrogance of her ignorant assumptions who never actually had to live in one, natch. Any bets on whether the kid still considers herself a diehard “liberal” even now, despite her up-close-and-personal lesson in how it really works? Any further bets on how many times DeBlasio gets re-elected in spite of all the damage he’s done in his tenure so far?

Yeah, I thought not.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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