In a column today on the fears that some New Yorkers always have about replacing a longtime incumbent, the NY Times' Clyde Haberman notes the following:
"There is no question that New Yorkers want strong mayors, to the point that they can be spellbound by self-styled saviors.
Casting themselves as such worked for Mr. Bloomberg and his henchperson in the City Council, the speaker Christine C. Quinn, when they negated the existing term-limits law to make it possible for them to stay in office an extra four years. That was in 2008, after the economic crisis had hit full force. Their continued leadership was essential, they said, and voters bought that line."
How did that work out? Check out the latest numbers:
"Indeed, without them in charge, who knows what terrible things might have happened to the city’s unemployment rate (an unpalatable 10 percent in June) or to its homeless rolls (18,246 children and 25,279 adults in shelters at the end of last week, among the highest totals in many decades)?"
We can't help but remember the Bloomberg five borough economic development plan-an election year propaganda missive that Bloomberg recycled for two election campaigns-after spending $84 million the first time to appear to be pro-business. What NYC got, however, was mega-development schemes that either ignored the small business sector, or actively hurt neighborhood businesses-along with tax and regulatory policies that crippled entrepreneurs.
So when we listen to the corrupt EDC boss talk about all the jobs his Willets Point project will create all we can see are those businesses that will be directly replaced-a product of condemnation-and those whose replacement will be a product of the cannibalization that the new proposed mall will bring. That is why NYC has the highest unemployment rate of any major American city.