From Geek Soap Box:
In a world of rapidly escalating rents and explosive, unchecked development, events such as these cannot be considered a surprise. I remember when Zena’s Hallmark and Glendale Bakery — the last holdouts of a similar commercial row on 82nd Street — mysteriously went up in flames many years ago, with a brand-new ten-story office complex arising eventually in its place. In the face of big ideas and bigger rents no vestige of an old-fashioned community will be left unbulldozed.
The other day, I mentioned how, when the government is given the responsibility of providing healthcare services for a population, it becomes inevitable for it to begin to reach further into this sphere of influence and begin to make decisions of life and death or sponsor official New York City-branded condoms. It’s in its economic interests to do so. Yet, when charged with maintaining infrastructure such as sewers, electricity, transportation — the first elements basically any communal government should maintain — the City seems paradoxically paralyzed from maintaining reasonable regulations and preventing the further erosion of quality of services due to overconsumption.
Perhaps, in this instance, it’s because the economic incentives of the mayor and legislators lie not in saving the government from unnecessary burdens, but rather in lining their own pockets in special-interest donations.