Is the black, Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., actually a “racist”? What about the city council, which is 46 percent African-American, 85 percent Democrat, and 100 percent liberal/progressive?
That’s what a lawsuit argues — the DC ‘powers that be’ are racist in their development and housing policies. Filed on behalf of several African-American DC residents, it alleges that Mayor Muriel Bowser and the council have been striving mightily, as the Washington Post reported, “to ‘lighten’ African American neighborhoods and break up long-established communities.”
“Every city planning agency,” states the complaint, “. . . conspired to make D.C. very welcoming for preferred residents and sought to displace residents inimical to the creative economy.”
Nothing that a billion dollars couldn’t make right, of course — for which the plaintiffs ask.
But is gentrification a crime?
As American University professor Derek Hyra told the Post, “Developers want to maximize their return. This is not a conspiracy. This is capitalism.”
But no, this certainly isn’t laissez faire “capitalism.” It could be described as dirigisme — or “state capitalism” or “crony capitalism” or just a bad old-fashioned mercantilism, revised to work at the city level, where governments partner up with particular groups to extract as much wealth for the insiders as they can. Professor Hyra acknowledges that Bowser and the council were “providing subsidies” to bring in richer citizens and push out poorer ones.
Most importantly, we discover yet again that the power politicians claim they need to help the poor, is used to help the rich.
Way to go, “progressives.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Note: The mayor is a Democrat and the 13-member council is composed of eleven (11) Democrats and two (2) independents. There are no Republicans.