Saturday, April 21, 2007

More Congestion

The more we think about the congestion pricing idea that more we are bemused by the fact that Mike Bloomberg is about to become its major cheer leader. His continued lack of sensitivity to the small business and outer borough residents concerns only makes the incongruity even more stark. What emerges from all this, and Sewall Chan details some of this in yesterday's NY Times (thanks to Azi for the link), is the incredible arrogance and elitism that the mayor exhibits more and more of as he comes closer to his political exit.

It's bad enough that Mayor Mike continues to demonstrate a big government Nanny mentality on public health issues, it is worse when he shows little sensitivity to the rising cost of government and his insistence that New Yorkers pony up for it. The fact remains that this mayor has done nothing to innovate how government services are delivered, nor has he found any significant way to reduce the size and scope of the municipal bureaucracy.

Of course, in order to be able reduce government's size, this mayor would first need to believe that it was an important thing that was needed to be done. He simply doesn't believe it. Bloomberg, starting with absolutely no real policy vision aside from further self-aggrandizement, comes from the Rockerfeller-Lindsay tradition that has an altogether benign
view of the expansive role of government.

We look forward to the political divide that will form around his grand planning scheme. We anticipate that the debate that follows will further erode the good will that the mayor has manged to maintain, in spite of the haughty statements and school policy failures that have characterized his second term.