If you close your eyes and listen, you can sometimes hear the Overton window open gradually, a glass panting against an inflated wood.Thank you to the freshman audience, the representative Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez and some wicked servants run the numbers and make the historical parallelsthe idea of ​​taxing the rich at much higher rates burst into the political sphere with renewed vigor this week. Ocasio-Cortez suggested a marginal tax rate of 70% on the very wealthy to fund America's desperately needed priorities, including radical changes to deal with climate change, and the window of opportunity. Overton is slightly lightened to adapt to this new draft of change. The opening window is a term that describes the range of acceptable ideas in public discourse; it is not a literal window, despite the abuse of metaphor by political commentators like me. But as a resident of New York, one of the urban areas of the nation most strongly stratified by wealthI think a lot about windows. I think of the tall, luminous windows of the new Hudson Yards development project, for which New York taxpayers have Bill of Grant of $ 5.6 Billion, whose 4,000 apartments will serve a rich international group that sees New York real estate as a valuable place for storing excess cash. If you close your eyes and listen, you can sometimes hear the creaky Overton window, one breath at a time, open, a glass panting against swollen wood. I think of other luxurious windows of my city, shining with yellow yellows for the rich and fluorescent residential pied-à-terre for offices where unimaginable streams of wealth are traded for innumerable micro-transactions of an astonishing complexity. I think of mine of modest windows, a new place of panic as I start a daily life as an independent writer, highlighting the monthly rent. I think of the closed windows in my neighborhood, where signs on trees announcing quick cash purchases are evidence of hunger for long-time residents, paving the way for new sterile condos. I'm thinking of the metaphor "broken windows". , "A discredited social theory that served as a pretext for Rudy Giuliani to torment and criminalize the poor of the city. Advancing in the 1980s, the theory advocated the militant repression of minor offenses, from tourniquet jump to manipulation, which would supposedly lead to a reduction in the number of serious crimes. Just as windows broken in a street indicated the presence of more serious social disorders, minor crimes could predict the occurrence of serious. The NYPD's adoption of "broken windows" by the police in the 1990s led to a fierce crackdown on minor crimes and a significant increase in the number of people in New York. It was "broken windows" that we had to thank for the overtly racist police policy known as "stop and frisk", according to which black and Hispanic city residents were harassed by the police at ridiculously disproportionate rates .

In this photo of June 17, 2012, Reverend Al Sharpton, in the center, accompanies protesters during a silent march organized to end New York's "stop and frisk" program. (ASSOCIATED PRESS) More

I think of the lack of windows in the social security offices of the city and the long wait for those who are looking for food stamps or modest housing subsidies. I think of those who want more than anything to seal the January cold behind windows, but sleep in the street, under a cardboard or rag or in the homeless shelters of the city – more in recent years than ever before. since the Great Depression.

And I think about how Americans see the poor. As sinners who have gone astray and have to be sanctioned by drug tests and job requirements, random inspections and punitive amounts of paperwork – as if fear of the constant preoccupation with poverty should be complemented by government provocations and state-sanctioned shame. The current administration is deeply excited about this kind of humiliation; he is go around the Congress to impose draconian and complex working conditions on the right food. The hunger imposed by the government is a sadistic punishment, but it corresponds to a deeply American contempt for poverty and those who suffer from it. we quarantine them and punish them as if the lack of funds was a contagious disease transmitted by vice. I think of the way in which we consider the rich, who are often born in luxury, as inherently worthy of their place. They are pampered by their birth and by our tax code. They are encouraged by our admiration: they are "decision-makers" and "actors" and philanthropy award winners, because they have enough money, parked so that it swells and crumbles in still more money, that they can throw their pocket. change at home and be celebrated for it. We applaud them and call them "job creators" even when the only jobs involved are lawyers and accountants who are aware of the differential tax benefits between the Cayman Islands and Cyprus. I think of how we see the rich, so often born in the luxury world, as intrinsically deserving of their position. They are pampered by their birth and by our tax code. They are carried by our admiration. Even those who have accumulated great wealth in their lifetime have every chance of saving and multiplying them. In California, when the forest fires were raging, the rich could buy their way, hiring private firefighters keep their compounds safe. And we had a $ 2,000 billion tax reduction whose benefits accrue directly to their already inflated coffers. I think of the old cracked windows of the public trains that are bustling in the summer and freezing in the winter and are getting longer and longer. The ruts in our roads, the poison in our water, the fires in our forests, the plastic in our seas. I think of things that all the money accumulated could heal, build and repair. It's when I'm grateful for the slightest breath in our political speech, a way to sweep away a poisoned rhetoric that blames the poor for their I'm sick, I'm so sick of it that I could scream an endless scream that could break the imported Italian glass reinforced mid-century of a hedge fund manager. Modern Manhattan penthouse, completely renovated, owned by an old woman whose rent control died when she died. With my own hands, I want to break the myth that those who teach us are our best. I want to break the coffers of the rich and use them to save ourselves. I am so angry that I want to break the opening window, that some brave politicians jostle at the shoulder. On the outside, the air is fresh and loaded with promise.Talia Lavin is a writer and researcher living in Brooklyn.

  • This article appeared originally on HuffPost.