From the onset, Manhattan was a place for trade and commerce. It has an exceptional natural harbor. It was an outpost for the Dutch to invest and turn a profit and it’s continued from there (after many years of British rule and even British control during the Revolutionary War). It didn’t become our nation’s political capital as Jefferson made sure of contra Hamilton, though it has had distinct artistic and cultural influence.
As the series points out, what drew and draws so many disparate groups and pits them against each other is economic opportunity. What unites them is not diversity (that’s a by-product), but self-interest and a chance for a better life by getting a job, making it big, getting away from somewhere else,being the first or the best in your field (finance, trade, insurance, fashion). I suspect both religion and secular religion (the current rise of the equality of outcome crowd, nanny-staters) have always had and hopefully always will have a hard time bending New York’s commercial bustle to their moral visions.
Related On This Site: The market will make people better off, but always leaves them wanting more and in spiritual malaise, which invites constant meddling. Can economic freedom and free markets reconcile the moral depth of progressive big-State human freedom: Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’
“The aspiring grinds, meanwhile, are dead in the water. Small businesses are not growing. They are not hiring. They are struggling to stay alive.”
Brooks argues that current government policy is propping up the big businesses (to prevent systemic failure I assume), but is not watering the roots, nor the small businesses. While a little melodramatic, it’s important to watch is that this does not become permanent.
The Obama administration is looking pretty statist to me (and will still claim those who disagree in principle are merely obstructionist). I do not trust the left’s internal contradictions (businesss are bad, let’s tax them to support our favored policy…businesses are free so long as they meet our ideals which shall often be overseen by federal authority) and believe them quite capable of crushing small business opportunity under their idealism, the confusion of idealism for politics (how politicians actually behave) and the desire for social, and other, forms of justice.
One of the interesting questions this raises for independents might be: Do you still look for any shred of a centrist Obama? He did spend great political capital on health-care. He did rebuke the teacher’s unions. He has been decent on Afghanistan.
When I weigh the evidence, however, of some what has been passed and what might be passed: GM Bailout, Health-Care Reform, Financial Reform, looking For Cap-And-Trade…I would vote Obama out as soon as I could, for what my vote is worth.