Thursday, May 14, 2009

Five Borough Fraud

Has anyone else noticed that Mike Bloomberg's "Five Borough Economic Plan" is a retread? That it is a facsimile of the one that he used in the 2005 mayoral run over Freddy Ferrer? And, we ask, just how well did that one work to generate jobs in the city?

Here's what the NY Times wrote four years ago about Bloomberg's first foray into propaganda: "THE SCRIPT -- A male announcer says: ''Through a recession and tough times, Mike Bloomberg's five-borough economic plan has created 62,000 jobs, and there's more to come. Time magazine says Bloomberg has 'spurred a wave of economic development, especially in the four boroughs so often ignored.''' Mr. Bloomberg says: ''To build a business, you have to make smart investments. As mayor, that's what I'm doing for New York City: building infrastructure to bring jobs to long-neglected neighborhoods. A borough-by-borough plan that means jobs, that's our future.''

So, what has happened since. Over reliant on Wall Street, and taxing and regulating small business to ruination, the mayor's stewardship of the local economy has been a disaster-even before the national meltdown made a bad situation worse. And as far as his "smart investments" go, Blomberg has built big but invested unwisely-ignoring the local economies in favor of the proliferation of big box stores.

And we see nothing about the city's record level foreclosures and bankruptcies-and certainly nothing on one of the major variables behind this harmful phenomenon-the mayor's own policies, combined with his neglect of the crisis in small business. Instead we get trotted out the mayor's small business buffoon-Rob Walsh-to tell everyone about another Business Improvement District; as if a policy of doubly taxing local retailers is a substitute for lower taxes and less regulations.

So what we need now is for the local press to examine the crisis in the local economy, and look at the ways in which Mike Bloomberg-either through the sin of omission, or one of commission-is culpable for the mess he now claims he has become indispensable to return to office in order to clean up. But solving the local economic downturn requires an honest appraisal of some of its underlying causes; Bloomberg, however, isn't capable of understanding underlying, he's doing too much up front prevarication to make an honest effort.