[lit-ideas] Re: Anscombe Society threats

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 00:55:42 -0500

>>But it wasn't due to Guliani.

The changes I saw were directly due to Giuliani. I saw the city change myself, in large part due to reorganization and novel application of police forces. It had a downside to be sure -- gentrification in some areas took away unique parts of the cultural flair of the city.

Back to Freakanomics. If I remember it correctly, the author used data from Chicago and other cities to show that liberalization of abortion laws had a generational effect on crime. Fewer unwanted pregnancies led to fewer unwanted children growing up unattended to become street criminals. That's a great utilitarian argument for maintaining women's rights to choose, a position I support.

The abortion liberalization also began its effect on society well before Giuliani's first term as mayor, in the 1980s according to the book as I remember it from the author's reading at Barnes and Noble.

Pre-Giuliani, things were a mess across the board. David Dinkins just let things fall apart, not just crime issues -- parks, subways, libraries, trash collection, you name it -- spending more time at the Manhattan Tennis Club than in his office. Rudy, however, made changes all across the board to improve public safety and enhance services. He was tremendously effective as mayor.

I know this. I was there. Also, as I said, he has a tendency to overdo things, so that after his initial success, he became weirdly obsessed with minutiae like ferrets. More and more, New Yorkers began to hate his overcontrol of quality of life initiatives.

You may not *want* to believe Rudy did it, but I am telling you that I saw the transformation in my daily life over a period of years. Rudy actually did it. I saw it happen.

By necessity, he's a social liberal. He is more skilled than any candidate of the right or left. My concern is that he's too smart, too New York, for the Republican electorate, who will likely nominate a doofus like Huckabee or an android with Execu-hair like Romney.

Ideally, one might hope for a Giuliani-Obama administration. Both President and Vice President would be superbly well spoken, and equal to the task of representing the US without vulgar lapses or bubba-speak. Giuliani could teach Obama how to run things, which would make Obama absolutely electable and competent for the next election. Then Democrats could field someone capable of offering more than good populist values and best intentions, and I would vote for him.

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