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 In the same week that has seen Wall Street aristocrats and Silicon Valley tycoons collude to buy the New Jersey U.S. Senate race, there has been the opposite kind of political news just across the Hudson River. In of all places New York City – aka the world capital of international finance – the former no-chance-in-hell candidate Bill de Blasio has leaped to the top of mayoral polls through a campaign advocating activist government initiatives to address economic inequality.

Much of the media commentary about this development has expressed the kind of surprise that suffused the recent New York Times’ piece on de Blasio. Labeling his strategy “risky,” the Times seemed astonished that de Blasio is “surging into the top tier of the field by talking about decidedly unglamorous topics: neglected hospitals, a swelling poverty rate and a broken prekindergarten system.”

An enraged political class seems to be wondering how – how, dear god! – is this is all happening? But the two more pressing questions are 1) Why is anyone at all surprised that this kind of positioning can work? and 2) Why hasn’t the critique of economic inequality that de Blasio is evincing been far more prevalent and equally successful in other campaigns throughout the country?

The first question is particularly relevant to the Big Apple. More than any other city, New York epitomizes the truth of Warren Buffett’s famous declaration that “There’s class warfare, all right – but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”