Though it may be hard to believe, New York City was once a kind of American social democratic oasis. In the postwar era, it had robust social services and infrastructure won by a strong, well-organized working class. So what happened? In this three-session reading group on Kim Phillips-Fein’s "Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics", we’ll explore how powerful financiers made use of the 70s fiscal crisis to impose austerity on the city and model the prevailing global political and economic order of the decades that would follow. Over the course of this reading group, we’ll develop an understanding of the origins of our city’s currently crumbling infrastructure and services and the interests we’ll be fighting to build the city New Yorkers deserve.
In this first of three sessions, we will be reading "Part I: Origins" (p. 1 - 108).