- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says New Yorkers trying to navigate through the confusion caused by the coronavirus pandemic should turn to “the Kwanzaa principles” of “cooperative economics” for answers.

The Democrat’s comments follow a pre-Christmas call for citizens to embrace a Keynesian mentality in the year ahead.

“I’d like to say very bluntly our mission is to redistribute wealth,” he said on Dec. 18. “A lot of people bristle at that phrase. That is, in fact, the phrase we need to use.”

Tuesday’s remarks came in the form of a live-streamed lecture with Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson.

“We’re here in the Kwanzaa season,” Mr. De Blasio said. “It’s a time that really helps us think about principles that are so powerful for guiding our lives, particularly in a crisis. I gotta tell ya, the Kwanzaa principles, they make so much sense any time, but particularly in the tough times we’re going through, they really shine through. So, today is the fourth day of Kwanzaa. Today’s principle is Ujaama, or cooperative economics. It’s a powerful concept.” 

The mayor then ceded the floor to Mr. Thompson for his take on the religious holiday. 

“Our administration is taking a cooperative economics approach to [Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise],” he said. “When we spend city revenue to contract with MWBEs, we are practicing a form of collective economics. Why? Because we are recycling money you pay in taxes to MWBEs that almost always hire people from neighborhoods within this city.”

Mr. De Blasio praised the presentation and wondered at the almost magical effect it had on him.

“I always am spellbound when you give us a sense of the history [of cooperative economics] and the bigger picture,” the mayor said.

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