POLITICAL ECONOMY OF NYC

Answer ALL questions by drawing from the appropriate class readings and class 

discussions.  Each answer should be two to three paragraphs long and must be 

supported by a careful selection of details taken from the class material.  

1) What were main characteristics of NYC when it was, as Freeman called it, a “social 

democratic polity?”  What kind of urban economy supported this polity while it lasted?  

2) The simplistic way of understanding the Fiscal Crisis of 1975 merely stresses the fact that 

the city was spending beyond its means on social services.  What is the more complex 

and more historically accurate explanation?  

3) How was the Fiscal Crisis settled?  What impact did the particular form this settlement 

took have on the social democratic polity, on the city’s working class, on the relations 

between classes in the city more generally?  

4) Describe the main characteristics of the Post—Crisis Regime in NYC, from Koch to 

Bloomberg.  What happened to the public sector and public services?  What kind of 

economic/tax policies were put in place and who in the main benefitted from them?    

What kind of city do we now have? 

5) What do WE mean by “quality of life” and how do we make sure ALL have access to it?

 
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