Friday, February 06, 2009

Asleep at the Switch

As if we needed to be told-the NY Daily News unveils the fact that the cost of living in NYC is very high; who would have thought? As the News tells us: "More than $2,000 a month for day care. Some of the highest phone bills in the country. Jam-packed, 50-plus-minute commutes to work. You knew it was tough to live in New York City — but this tough?"

And on top of this, we find that joblessness is about to set a record: "New York City's economic decline is likely in its early stages - and the unemployment rate may reach 10.5 percent, a level not seen since the mid-1970s administration of Mayor Abraham Beame, a new report says."

What needs to be understood here, is that, while some of these costs are tangential to government and its structure, others are directly related-since mayor after mayor has added to the public tax roles and raised taxes with little thought to their impact on the lives of average New Yorkers and the city's small retailers; none more so than Mike Bloomberg.

Bloomberg squandered the boom time cash influx by failing to rein in government spending; and even now, he's more concerned about keeping the public payroll at its current high levels than in reducing costs for New Yorkers. As the NY Post opines: "Indeed, another report - released this week by the Center for an Urban Future - cites an accelerating exodus of middle-class New Yorkers. Notably, it points to a lack of well-paying jobs and high local taxes, among other things, as driving forces."

So where was Mike Bloomberg when the exodus began-shortly after he raised the real estate tax by 20% in 2002? Perhaps he was in his Bermuda residence, or jet setting to some exotic destination in his private jet. Doesn't really matter; to us, he was simply asleep at the switch.