Why Bill de Blasio Doesn’t Care, Is Driving Cadillacs in His Dreams

Much is being made of Bill de Blasio’s recent mayoral win in New York City, with the Washington Post even calling it “historic,” since he will be the first Democrat to serve in that office since David Dinkins won in 1989.

It’s not just worth nothing that de Blasio won, but how. De Blasio focused on income inequality in NYC, or what he called “two cities,” one rich and one poor, much the way the ultimately disappointing Sen. John Edwards talked about two Americas.

As Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour noted:

According to the Census Bureau, income inequality in the New York City region is higher than any other major metropolitan region in the country. So taking the whole city, Brooklyn to the Bronx, if you are in the bottom 20 percent in New York your income, on average, is about $9,000 a year. If you’re in the top 20 percent you make, on average, $223,000 a year. So otherwise, put [that] the top 20 percent of the population makes about 25 times what the bottom 20 percent makes.

And if you look at the top five percent, they make 50 times what the bottom makes. The poverty rate is also up, went from eighteen and a half percent before the recession; now it’s up to 21 percent.

Which brings us to the otherwise unexplained significance of de Blasio’s win, specifically the song which he choose to take the stage at his victory celebration: the ear worm of the summer and fall of 2013: “Royals” by Lorde.

While sites from Buzzfeed to Politico pointed out that de Blasio walked out to the thumb-snapping of the song as if hipness were all that mattered, we saw no mention that the song rejects the numbed, self-absorbed lives of the celebrity culture and the One Percent.

But everybody’s like:
Diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes
Tigers on a gold leash

We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

And we’ll never be royals (royals)
It don’t run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler)
You can call me queen bee
And baby I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule, I’ll rule
Let me live that fantasy

My friends and I we’ve cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows
That we’re fine with this, we didn’t come from money

But every song’s like:
Gold teeth
Grey Goose
Tripping in the bathroom
Ball gowns
Trashing the hotel room

We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams

Let de Blasio’s win serve as encouragement to Democrats who thought income inequality was a losing issue after they saw Pres. Obama ignored on the topic. Obama’s sound solutions, of course, will continue to be cut off nationally by Republicans and tea partiers and birthers and racists (forgive the redundancy), but locally, the message might not be lost. De Blasio’s win shows it’s worth a try.

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