Friday, April 22, 2011

Who's Nuts?

The NY Daily News, in another one bites the dust story, reported this week that the Bazzini nut company is leaving the Bronx, "A storied Bronx peanut plant that sells its snacks at Yankee Stadium threw the borough a curveball Wednesday when it announced it's leaving the state. A.L. Bazzini Co. said it is closing its Hunts Point manufacturing plant and moving to Allentown, Pa., in July."

This is a sadly familiar story: "Bazzini is the third Bronx snack manufacturer to pack up and leave the borough in two years, following cookie brand Stella D'oro and Old London, the maker of Melba toast." Another example of how well the Bloomberg five borough economic development policy is doing-jettisoning businesses from every one of them.

But what got is cracking up was the Daily News editorial on the subject, one that couldn't manage to mention the culpability of the city's chief executive, Bermuda Mike:

"...but the fact remains that the city has proven unable time and again to hold onto positions that deliver solid middle-class livings. In the last two years, the Bronx alone has lost more than 360 union jobs paying $18 to $20 an hour with good benefits after Stella D'Oro and Old London shut bakeries. They left town looking for cheaper, nonunion labor.

Wonder Bread decamped from Queens in January because the company found it impossible to compete with modern bakeries from its 1870s plant in Jamaica.

Sabra Dipping Co., the world's biggest hummus maker, stripped Queens of 200 jobs when it moved to a factory in Virginia last year."

Who is to blame here? The "political class." What a cop out! And then the paper brings out its favorite whipping boy to beat on: "New York's political class hasn't a clue how to stem the losses. The best that's been offered is the insane idea to have taxpayers subsidize wages in the private sector. That kind of thinking by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz killed the Kingsbridge Armory Mall and 2,200 jobs in 2009."

What the News remains silent about is how the Bloomberg administration has one economic development policy, and only one: make the city safe for Related and its malls. If EDC has a manufacturing retention policy its New York's best kept secret.

When we look at Willets Point we see more of the same. Another huge mall to replace thousands of immigrant workers and scores of small property owners. If they were going to use our property why didn't anyone think that maybe the Iron Triangle could become an industrial park for the Melbas, the Bazzinis and the Wonder Breads?

No, it's always take from the little guys. Couldn't anyone have conceived of a joint venture where the Willets Point owners could have partnered with the city? No, that would have left out Related and the rest of the band of real estate thieves.

So we ask you, as the city hemorrhages good paying union jobs, why did the mayor grab this third term? And the exit question is, Who's nuts, Bloomberg, the voters, or a combination of the two?