Escape from Socialist New York: Why New Yorkers Are Fleeing the City in Droves

If you have not seen Escape From New York, the 1981 science fiction/horror film starring Kurt Russel as the inimitable Snake Plissken, don’t worry, because Bill de Blasio is directing a remake, only this time the movie is set in reality, and most of the “actors” can’t wait for the movie to end. What is the plot line for the remake? Mayor Bill de Blasio has cast himself as the villain who is causing catastrophe for New York City, causing a mass exodus unseen since the classic movie hit theaters in the early 1980s.

There is absolutely no denying New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is ruining New York City. Since taking office in 2014, Gotham City’s population has decreased by 120,000, from 8.44 million to 8.32 million residents, in large part because crime is spiking in the once-safe NYC and residents of the Big Apple are being taxed and regulated more than ever. And even worse, de Blasio has no intention of taking his foot off of the socialist gas pedal.

During a radio interview on August 28, de Blasio, a socialist, said, “Help me tax the wealthy. Help me redistribute wealth. Help me build affordable housing in white communities if you want desegregation.” De Blasio’s diatribe came in response to a caller asking about school integration efforts in the city. (In case you are confused about how taxing the “wealthy” out the wazoo and confiscating someone’s property has anything to do with school integration, you are not alone.)

De Blasio added, “If you just talk about it and feel self-satisfied, God bless you. That’s not actually going to change things. What changes things is redistribution of wealth. Tax the wealthy at a much higher level.”

As usual, de Blasio is conflating issues and resorting to socialist dogma, which will only make the problems in New York City worse. That’s particularly troubling considering that life in New York is already no picnic. Crime is rampant. Murders are skyrocketing. Businesses are shutting down at an unsustainable pace due to overly harsh lockdowns, courtesy of de Blasio. New York is morphing back into the violent city it was decades ago.

No wonder New York City’s residents are fleeing the dystopian nightmare de Blasio has created increasingly greater numbers. As The New York Times recently reported, “According to FlatRate Moving, the number of moves it has done has increased more than 46 percent between March 15 and August 15 [in 2020], compared with the same period last year [2019]. The number of those moving outside of New York City is up 50 percent — including a nearly 232 percent increase to Dutchess County and 116 percent increase to Ulster County in the Hudson Valley.”

Given the chaos that has overtaken New York City in recent months, one would assume city leaders would be doing everything in their power to maintain a semblance of safety. However, under the failed leadership of Comrade de Blasio, the exact opposite is taking place.

Shockingly, de Blasio approved a $1 billion cut to the New York Police Department. De Blasio is on the leading edge of the insane Defund the Police Movement. As he put it, “This budget prioritizes our communities most in need while keeping New Yorkers safe … As we emerge from the epicenter of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to create a fairer city for all.” In reality, de Blasio’s defunding of the NYPD will only make the city less safe and less fair.

However, de Blasio himself has little to worry about. As the mayor, he is protected 24/7 by a private security force that makes him literally untouchable. Of course, the vast majority of New Yorkers, especially those in crime-ridden neighborhoods, do not have the luxury of a private security team at their beck and call.

De Blasio, like almost every socialist leader before him, is a total hypocrite. “Do as I say, not as I do” could very well be the slogan for de Blasio’s next campaign.

Yet, what is perhaps most troubling about de Blasio’s wealth redistributionist scheme is that he does not practice what he preaches.

In 2019, the de Blasio’s earned $252,172. That same year, they paid $42,265 in federal income taxes. The couple also coughed up $15,685 in state taxes and $9,143 in city taxes. In total, the De Blasio’s paid just more than $67,093 in taxes in 2019. That means the DeBlasio’s effective tax rate was about 25 percent.

Of course, that is far below what de Blasio is demanding from New York City’s wealthier residents. Oh, and Mr. Wealth Redistribution contributed a paltry $1,260 to charities in 2019, much more than the itsy bitsy $350 Comrade de Blasio donated to charities in 2017.

De Blasio should put his money where his mouth is, instead of using his authority as the mayor of NYC to berate the very people that built the Big Apple into the financial juggernaut that it became before he took office and put the city on the road to ruin.

If the current trend continues, de Blasio’s wealth redistributionist scheme will fail worse than his pathetic presidential run in 2019. However,  de Blasio couldn’t care less. He is ready to embark on his new career as the director of a new reality-based horror film that surely will eclipse the notoriety of John Carpenter’s classic cinematic experience from 39 years ago.

PHOTO: New York City. Photo by Andreas Wulff. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is the editorial director and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, as well as a researcher and contributing editor at