On Bleeker Street, 44 neighborhood businesses closed to make space for chains and luxury boutiques. Naomi Klein has written about neoliberalism as a shock doctrine. Neoliberalism comes and takes advantages of crises.
Neoliberal ideas around privatization or regulation — running the government like a corporation, austerity for the working classes — those ideas had been floating around, but they didn't have any success until the fiscal crisis in New York City of the 1970s.
"This is very neoliberal orientation: Citizens are no longer citizens; we are consumers."
Naomi Klein writes a lot about neoliberalism as a shock policy. It comes in [and] takes advantage of crises. The fiscal crisis in New York was perfect timing to introduce these concepts and to have the bankers take over the government. Undergirding that, which doesn't get talked a lot about, is that neoliberalism worked in large part because of the underlying racism that was going on. This idea was sold that "you white people, your taxes are going to welfare for lazy black people."
What had previously been a government for the people became a government that was catering to big business, big real estate developers like Donald Trump, and tourism. They took that public money that was going to the poor and they gave it to the wealthy in the form of different types of tax breaks or other incentives for developers.