Mayor Koch

Moss describes policies under Mayor Koch, which helped spur gentrification, as ‘welfare for the rich. What is meant by this? P108, also 110

Gentrification is the process through which wealthier individuals move into a place, improve housing, and draw new enterprises to a disadvantaged urban neighbourhood, frequently displacing locals. That happened in New York. The financial elites had their power restored while the undesirable were pushed away. The black Latino groups were disadvantaged as their households were destroyed by fire. That was done in favour of the Middle Americans for the new gilded age. They would now have tax breaks and subsidies for their goods and services. The Mayor gave the landlords subsidies to renovate houses to accommodate the entrants.

What was the result of these policies for ordinary citizens of NYC (including CUNY students)? P110

The policies had an impact on NYC citizens. While places like Wall Street had a prosperous period with tax breaks, others faced austerity. Due to the tax subsidies given by the Mayor to the landlords and corporations, the city accumulated very high losses. The losses, therefore, translated to fewer services. Students who could not pay their tuition fees and had to work to provide for them were greatly affected because they were charged. The public sector suffered greatly from that. There was a shortage of supplies, they lost funding, and the hospitals lacked beds. The citizens were directly affected by these happenings.

Rudy Giuliani became Mayor in 1994. What kind of changes did he bring to the city? What theory of crime were they based on? What economic theory did he draw on? 112/3

Rudy Giuliani changed the city in many ways. His philosophy was enough to create an environment for fairness and inclusivity. His campaigns focused on the people’s quality of life and had zero tolerance for unruly people. He transformed the city by ensuring behaviours such as disorderly sex and other crimes were swept away. He also swept away strip joints and adult book stores and renovated Times Square. They were based on the broken windows theory of crime, where he believed that doing away with small acts of disobedience helps stop serious crimes.

The New Jim Crow compares the current system with the now dismantled Jim Crow system, arguing it is a new way of doing the same thing: maintaining racial hierarchy and white supremacy. Do you think Alexander’s comparison is helpful for the public in terms of understanding mass incarceration?

I think Alexander’s comparison is helpful for the public in terms of understanding mass incarceration. Her analysis has several strengths as she draws so many factors together. She focuses on constructing a thorough and rational argument about how the existing criminal justice system functions as a system. Examples include federal funding, the War on Drugs measures, targeted enforcement agencies and militarized public protection practices. Others include jail terms, Supreme Court rulings that make it extremely difficult to successfully claim racial bias in criminal justice and invisible punitive measures that continue to haunt former violators long after prison.

However, in my opinion, Alexander’s comparison is critiqued since it ignores several crucial realities. Additionally, I think that if we misinterpret mass incarceration’s effects and causes in the way the Jim Crow comparison encourages us to, we will be hindered in our attempts to combat it. She only focuses on the war on drugs and leaves out violent crime, yet drug lawbreakers; institute only 25%of the inmates while violent offenders make up a bigger portion. Therefore, addressing violent crime head-on and creating policy solutions that can challenge the policing that now dominates American criminal policy is necessary for an effective solution to mass imprisonment.

Alexander also neglects the question of class or income regarding who is incarcerated. The public needs to understand that African Americans with low incomes and little education are presently jailed in huge numbers. The impact is not just felt by incarcerated people but also by their families, friends, neighbours, and the country as a whole. Leaving out such information prevents the public from understanding mass incarcerati

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