Come Back, Nanny Bloomberg? Remembering Mayor Mike as Bill de Blasio Takes Reins in NYC

 

"The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies in 2 Minutes," produced by Anthony L. Fisher. Go here for details, links, resources, and downloadable versions.

Finally-gone three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg - in NYC, it takes forever to evict anyone - is looking a little better after the first week of the Bill de Blasio era. As I noted in a Daily Beast column yesterday, at the very top of de Blasio's "boldy progressive" agenda for the Big Apple is shutting down the city's venerable horse-carriage-ride industry. Indeed, despite a sluggish economy, a failing school system, and more,

here’s de Blasio, hell-bent on becoming the Simon Bolivar of the Mr. Ed crowd. In fact, he’s not just going to free our four-legged friends. He’s even pledged to “provide a humane retirement of all New York City carriage horses,” thus loading even more pension and health-care liabilities on his preferred beasts of burden, the city’s taxpayers.

Read the whole thing.

If there's an upside to de Blasio's focusing first on horses, it's that it will delay his larger economic agenda. As my Reason colleague Jim Epstein has pointed out (also at the Beast), de Blasio has pledged to fix New York City's "inequality crisis."

In his inaugural speech, de Blasio promised to make good on his campaign promise of solving New York’s “inequality crisis.” Twice he name-checked Fiorello La Guardia, New York’s celebrated 99th mayor, who, though de Blasio didn’t mention it, famously quipped that there’s “no Democratic or Republican way of cleaning the streets.” This often-quoted line encapsulates the sound wisdom that the job of a mayor is to manage the complex workings of urban life: pick up the garbage, fix the potholes, and guard the coffers.

In his speech, de Blasio affirmed that his main interest is in re-engineering New York’s social order.

For de Blasio, that means hiking taxes, padding out public payrolls, protecting and subsidizing native industries, and more. The good news, writes Epstein,

City Hall is subject to stringent accounting rules that mandate a balanced budget—a positive legacy of Gotham’s 1970s fiscal crisis. The mayor doesn’t have all that much extra cash on hand to reward the city’s labor unions with rich new contracts.

Read the whole thing.

Which brings us back to the man whose mug is at the top of this post: Mike Bloomberg. For all of his faults, Epstein writes, Bloomberg wasn't a product of a "culture of far-left theatrics" the way de Blasio is. Bloomberg was enough of a billionaire to realize that certain policies could destroy a city's economy.

And yet, in his dozen years in office, Bloomberg also set the pace for nanny-state intrusions based more on apparent blood-sugar spikes of his own than anything resembling sound science or, horrors, a respect for individual autonomy. No personal consumption item - the size of a serving of soda or the salt content of a meal - was too small to escape his all-knowing counsel. There's a reason that he's the Babe Ruth of Reason TV's Nanny of the Month series, appearing more often than Michael Jackson or Princess Di did on the cover of People.

And, given de Blasio's plans for New York, there's a reason why residents may join Jim Epstein in saying, "It’s hard to admit this, but Mike, we may miss you."

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  • Sevo||

    Remember Bush? Good times, then.

  • playa manhattan||

    Kind of sad, isn't it? Just when it looks like the only way is up, you get stuck with something way worse than you ever thought possible.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    People don't know what's good for them; that's why Cthulu created Progressives.

  • Free Society||

    The evil you know. For all the biching our kind does about someonelike BLoomberg, it can always be worse. There is no upper threshold for stupidity when you combine wishful thinking, good intentions and old fashioned ignorance.

  • AlgerHiss||

    If the Islamics strike NYC again, why would anyone care?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    New York Strong!!!

  • Hunthjof||

    I find it ironic every day on TV New York State is running commercials trying to convince business to come there by creating multiple ten year tax free zones. Isn't that pretty much admitting their entire philosophy is wrong.

  • Sevo||

    "I find it ironic every day on TV New York State is running commercials trying to convince business to come there by creating multiple ten year tax free zones. Isn't that pretty much admitting their entire philosophy is wrong."

    See 24/7; sorta like Obo trying to convince us the economy is doing great while he tries to extend the UE benes.

  • Byte Me||

    It sort of is and sort of isn't. I see it as more attempts to micromanage the economy in they must bring in and establish enough capital to later loot in order to fund their philosophy. Good ole fashioned mercantilism/cronyism/etc will continue unabated.

  • ||

    I noticed that as well. I wonder about that. I guess businesses attracted are getting huge incentives somewhere. If it's anything like Quebec - and I surmise that it is - they ensnare by promising goodies and then subject businesses to all sorts of progressive nonsense.

    In Quebec, there's the added bull shit about dealing with language zealots which makes me wonder why American businesses even bother coming here. Wal-Mart and Costco have teamed up to take the Quebec government to court over language laws. Who needs the hassle?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, and the temporary, limited aspect of the zones means they have not really changed the philosophy. The zones are just bait for a hook, so any smart business is going to avoid it or make plans to slip the hook.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    every day on TV New York State is running commercials trying to convince business to come there by creating multiple ten year tax free zones.

    I'm pretty sure IT'S A TRAP.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I'm pretty sure IT'S A TRAP.

    No shit. Not sure I'd go for that one even if they provided written signed contracts stating they wouldn't tax for 10 years

  • BigT||

    de Blasio promised to make good on his campaign promise of solving New York’s “inequality crisis.”

    Easy, drive out all the high income people.

    Next question...

  • C. Anacreon||

    It's sad but I don't think the progressives mind. When they see rich people they want them brought down, they don't want the less fortunate to improve their lot. So the solution to "income inequality" is to make everyone poor.

    Hey, it's ok to be poor, as long as there is no one to envy!

  • Number 2||

    Sure they mind, C. They drove out high income earners and the middle class with "boldly progressive" policies from the 1930s through the 1970s, along with manufacturing, shipping and commercial jobs, (much to the benefit of Northern NJ, I must say, which was converted from farmland to an endless sea of office buildings and commercial centers). Then the progressives complained about "white flight" and the impending "death of American cities," oblivious to how their own policies had caused it.

    I said it before: it took 30+ years of Ed Koch, Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg, whatever other faults they may have had, for NYC to recover from the harms inflicted by "boldly progressive" politics. Why NYC would want to throw it all away now is beyond me.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It'll be different this time, you'll see. /progtard

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Here's the thing though, the high income people love NYC. They are the nobles on the estate filled with serfs, after all. Paying more in taxes is a small price for the honor of living in the greatest city in the world and maintaining your status as Benign Lord of the Manor. Rich people aren't very fond of middle and working class people because they annoyingly insist on low taxes and regulations (at least those who aren't public sector workers).

    So, NYC is becoming a hollowed out city filled with the very rich, the very poor, those dependent on public service jobs, and the exploitable young (who move to greener pastures when they wise up).

  • Irish||

    Yes, but that's also unsustainable. Contrary to left-wing dogma, a tax base must be wide in order to raise enough money for their pet issues. You have to have a large working and middle class.

    When the working and middle class are completely gone, there simply aren't going to be enough rich people to tax in order to maintain New York City's public sector unions.

    The first people to flee Detroit weren't the richest people who had gotten wealthy in Motown Records or the automobile industry, they were middle class people who would rather pay lower taxes in the suburbs. That's where the collapse of the tax base really occurred.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Contrary to left-wing dogma, a tax base must be wide in order to raise enough money for their pet issues.

    Not if you've got the largest counterfitting operation on earth in your city.

  • BigT||

    "The first people to flee Detroit weren't the richest people who had gotten wealthy in Motown Records or the automobile industry, they were middle class people who would rather pay lower taxes in the suburbs. That's where the collapse of the tax base really occurred."

    Correct. It's partly taxes, partly school quality, and safety. The net result is that the productive (revenue generators) move away. The rich can insulate themselves from the decay. Income inequality increases!

  • Number 2||

    And always remember two things:

    1. There aren't enough "rich people" on the planet to pay for progressive government. Which is why taxes on the "rich" always become taxes on the middle class. The income tax was supposed to be only a tax on non-wage income of the "rich." The alternative minimum tax was supposed to be a tax originally on less than 40 "rich" people. They are both now middle class taxes, because taxes only on the "rich" produced nowhere near enough revenue to support progressive government.

    2. The "rich" tend also to be more politically connected and better able to win special deals for themselves from government. So who's left holding the bag? You guessed it...

  • Hunthjof||

    Also when we had those insane high rates on the rich what they paid truly was very similar to today. Municipal bonds and other shelters became very popular as Thomas Sowell pointed out.

  • Number 2||

    And always remember two things:

    1. There aren't enough "rich people" on the planet to pay for progressive government. Which is why taxes on the "rich" always become taxes on the middle class. The income tax was supposed to be only a tax on non-wage income of the "rich." The alternative minimum tax was supposed to be a tax originally on less than 40 "rich" people. They are both now middle class taxes, because taxes only on the "rich" produced nowhere near enough revenue to support progressive government.

    2. The "rich" tend also to be more politically connected and better able to win special deals for themselves from government. So who's left holding the bag? You guessed it...

  • Number 2||

    I did not mean to post this twice. My computer betrayed me.

  • XM||

    It's not the computer, it's the site.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Add to that the fact that a large portion of the rich in NYC are non-citizens who (presumably) can't vote. I doubt it will go the way of Detroit since (a) it's an excellent port and (b) there is much more in the way of federal and international institutions there. Detroit was far more exclusively dependent on private sector employment.

  • thom77||

    While you're right that NYC is becoming a "hollowed out city filled with the very rich, the very poor, those dependent on public service jobs, and the exploitable young", the reality is that the very rich will only put up with so much themselves, in terms of crime and general urban decay.

    The very rich will not stick around if they can't walk to a restaurant without getting mugged at knifepoint, or have to step over a half-dozen homeless outside a SoHo gallery opening. You don't move to NYC to bunker down in your luxury apartment and get driven place to place in an armored Mercedes.

    NYC will always be an attractive city to many regardless of how bad it gets, but a significant percentage of the core tax base will absolutely take up residence elsewhere once progressive urban decay sets in.

  • OneOut||

    With exceptions given for those enlightened* high income people.

    *those that agree with/support us

  • OldMexican||

    In his speech, de Blasio affirmed that his main interest is in re-engineering New York's social order.


    The new social order.

  • XM||

    From the article -

    "Bill de Blasio is nuttier than a squirrel’s turd."

    Zing

  • LBsrfr||

    The expression on the cameraman's face watching someone wipe Blasio's pie hole is priceless.

  • The Knuckle||

    That Bloomie.

  • The Knuckle||

    That's Bloomberg..

  • The Knuckle||

    That's Bloomberg..

  • The Knuckle||

    What the hell??

  • Jackand Ace||

    In your horse carriage piece, Nick, you said this:

    "New York is thriving like it hasn’t in decades..."

    Which is true. We are doing quite nicely, thank you very much. And today you say this "...despite a sluggish economy, a failing school system, and more..."

    Gee, which is it, Nick? A thriving New York, or a sluggish one? Tough to keep up with your stream of thought.

  • wingnutx||

    One glaring omission from that video is Bloomberg sending undercover agents to gun shows in other states to run unofficial sting operations, and dumping millions of dollars into gun control efforts in places like Colorado.

  • REMant||

    Personally I'm sorry those planes weren't equipped with nuclear weapons.

  • PaulinePhelpsmee||

    up to I saw the check of $8495, I did not believe ...that...my best friend actualy earning money part time from their computer.. there friend brother started doing this 4 only fourteen months and as of now cleared the dept on there appartment and got a top of the range Ariel Atom. website here
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    http://www.tec30.com
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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