"New York values": Idiosyncratic New York policies won't work elsewhere

As a Brooklyn resident for the last four years and transplanted Angeleno, I can testify that New York is an odd model upon which to base governing ideas elsewhere, unless you’re deliberately trying to create gaping potholes, shabby airports, and mind-boggling corruption scandals.

No other polity in America has New York’s combination of high taxes, high culture, entrepreneurial excellence, arcane Progressive-era governance structures, lousy Irish bars, and a thousand things besides. It’s a great and thrilling place to live. Those who master these idiosyncratic ropes of government and commerce tend to be larger-than-life caricatures — the vulgar and successful con man, the self-made industrialist who gets things done, the carpetbagging success story looking for the big stage; the sidewalk socialist barking amiably about politics.

An entertaining and accomplished lot, to be sure, but one that has learned a series of lessons that just shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of us.