Friday, December 18, 2009

Bloomy and Clyde

The NY Times' Clyde Haberman nails Mayor Mike to the wall for his hypocritical veto of the city council's decision to vote down the proposed Kingsbridge mall-focusing specifically on his absurd statement that the government can't dictate rules to the private sector: "News item: The City Council killed plans for a shopping mall inside the unused Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx because it wanted the developer to guarantee that workers would be paid more than the bare minimum. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg promised a veto. Public officials shouldn’t be dictating to private industry in this manner, he said."

But, as Haberman observes, this all depends on what you're asking the sacrosanct private sector to do: "Do we have this right? The Bloomberg administration considers it overly intrusive when government tells some businesses to pay their employees a living wage but not overly intrusive when government tells other businesses, like restaurants, what kinds of cooking oils they may use. Got it."

Or what they must put on their menu boards, as another example. If the mayor is going to become the champion of an untrammeled capitalism, let him at least be consistent and cease and desist with all of his nanny hectoring of restaurants and fast food outlets. Hey Mike, if we can tell restaurants what to put in their deserts, we can also tell employers what to put in their workers' pay checks. And, unlike the calorie posting, we know that the extra cash will be put to good use.