Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bloomberg's Five Borough Plan Kicks In

According to City Room, the city's unemployment rate has now gone over 10%-a rate higher than the national average: "New York City’s unemployment rate jumped to 10.3 percent in August as the number of city residents unable to find work rose to a record high of 415,800, state officials said on Thursday. The city’s unemployment rate, up from 9.5 percent in July, is higher than the national rate of 9.7 percent and much higher than the 8 percent reported for the rest of the state, the State Labor Department’s figures show. Gov. David A. Paterson and other state officials said that the new data emphasized how the financial crisis has devastated the financial services industry that was the main engine of the city’s growth in the last boom."

Which tells us that the Bloomberg five borough plan must have kicked into high gear. In our view, the mayor's high tax and onerous regulatory policies-combined with his malling of New York-are major contributors to the current job loss. That, combined with an over emphasis on the Wall, Street economy to fuel the aforementioned policies.

With Wall Street booming, no one-certainly not anyone in the media-saw just how deleterious these policies were to the small businesses that drive the economy; and do so almost as much as the financial sector. When the current down turn hit, and finance collapsed, we began to see just how devastated the city's main street economies were; and how much they had been both pilloried and neglected by the Blomberg administration.

All of which is underscored by the fact that, while nationally the recession has begun to ease, in the city we are still struggling-dragged down by the inordinate cost of doing business: "The recession may be over for the rest of the nation, as Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, has suggested, Mr. Paterson said, but New York is still caught in its throes."

It seems that, in the context of this severe downturn, the only thriving enterprise pumping money into the economy is the Bloomberg campaign-an effort that seeks to misdirect and avoid responsibility for the current plight of business in the city; while making the risible claim that Mike Bloomberg is somehow the linchpin of NYC's recovery. A definite Chico Marx moment.