Posts Tagged ‘Mike Bloomberg’

Bloomberg: How To Use Immigration Policy to Save Detroit

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Three thoughts regarding this suggestion by Mayor Bloomberg on Meet the Press yesterday morning:

1) This is exactly the sort of sensible, pragmatic suggestion that Bloomberg is known for — that is business-focused but would never get through any Democratic or Republican legislature because of the anti-immigrant backlash.  But it’s a good idea — and one grounded in the American tradition — as Matt Yglesias explained a year ago — similar to the homesteading policies that the U.S. used to encourage settlers to move West. Which leads me to my next point.

2) When I heard Bloomberg say this, I thought: “Aha! I wonder if he reads Matt Yglesias too!” Probably a silly thought — as Bloomberg spends his days focused on urban policy. But when I first heard Bloomberg say it, I had thought this was one of Yglesias’s many excellent ideas — but as I read his original post, it was instead one of the many interesting ideas that Yglesias brings to his audience from other sources.

3) Bloomberg’s approach to government is so successful because it is pragmatic and businesslike. But this comment also reveals what he misses. He uses the rather obnoxious line that any business run as the government is would fail. Of course! That’s part of why we have a government — to perform tasks that aren’t profitable but are still necessary. Bloomberg explains how politicians fail to act like businessmen by focusing on “issues they can’t come together on.” For a company, it makes a lot of sense to steer your company away from any matter on which their isn’t agreement. But politics is precisely where these ideas are hashed out. Of course, the tendency of some purists to insist on halting all action until the other side gives in needs to be balanced with the pragmatism that all successful businessmen and politicians have in common.

The Mayor’s Filthy Salt Habit

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg launched a health initiative last year aimed at reducing the city’s salt consumption leading to such memorable headlines as the New York Post‘s:

BLOOMY TO NYC: HOLD THE SALT

The other New York rag, the Daily News, quoted Bloomberg on the new salt initiative:

People are eating too much salt, me included. After this, we can keep going. People don’t like to have somebody come in and tell them what to do, but afterward, if it turns out to be something that’s in their interest, they sure as heck say thank you.

Michael Barbaro of the New York Times though gets the real skinny a year after this initiative is launched: the Mayor himself “dumps salt on almost everything, even saltine crackers.” Barbaro apparently has been watching the mayor in dining situations closely – even counting the number of dashes of salt applied to his pizza: 6. (Salt on pizza?! Really?). This paragraph is representative of the piece:

But Mr. Bloomberg, 67, likes his popcorn so salty that it burns others’ lips. (At Gracie Mansion, the cooks deliver it to him with a salt shaker.) He sprinkles so much salt on his morning bagel “that it’s like a pretzel,” said the manager at Viand, a Greek diner near Mr. Bloomberg’s Upper East Side town house.

There’s nothing wrong with a man – who admits his own faults – attempting to curb unhealthy behavior. But the many micro-initiatives to make New Yorkers healthier do end up getting on my nerves in a manner that makes me more sympathetic to Jacob Weisberg’s Slate piece.

[Image by the Center for American Progress licensed under Creative Commons.]