Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mayor Shrillionaire Strikes Again

It's really too bad that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not running as a third party presidential spoiler, as had once been threatened. That is because he makes Mitt Romney look like St. Vincent de Paul.

In a parody of an FDR fireside chat, Bloomberg went on the radio yesterday to advise the burgeoning ranks of the destitute to just wait it out. The sun'll come out tomorrow. You can bet your bottom dollar, but not his 25 billion dollars:

You should not be that depressed, we grow out of these things, we have been through these cycles many, many times before zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"We don't walk away from the poor," Bloomberg intoned.

He can say that again. Bloomberg dares look poverty straight in the eye. Unfortunately, he throws the baby out with the bath water. He helped close down the city's largest charity hospital a few years ago in order to turn the prime real estate into luxury condos for millionaires. You may remember that place. It was named after St. Vincent, patron saint of the poor. He criminalized food stamp applicants by fingerprinting them. And when Gov. Andrew Cuomo nixed that plan, Bloomberg vowed to make hungry people wait even longer by conducting criminal background checks on them. And if they were so unlucky to live in a homeless shelter, he banned food donations from outsiders. The mayor, we know, is concerned about unseemly levels of salt and sugar in the diets of his indigent subjects.

This is why Mike Bloomberg makes Mitt Romney look merely clueless. Mitt is not all that concerned about the very poor and would simply ignore them. Bloomberg is passionately concerned enough to rub their faces in it.

New York is the income disparity capital of America. More than a fifth of its residents now live below the poverty level, while Bloomberg's own wealth has mushroomed by an estimated 800% since he took/bought office over a decade ago. He won 10th place in this year's Forbes 400 plutocratic beauty contest, up two notches from last year.

Just thinkin about tomorrow clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow. Win the Future. Forward. Yes We Can. Just Stick Out Your Chin and Grin. No War but the Class War. Eat the Rich.


Denis Neville said...

Bloomberg’s America: Live poor and die sooner.

His advice to the destitute: Just wait it out. And don’t get depressed.

This week the New York Times, “Life Spans Shrink for Least-Educated Whites in the U.S.,” reported that “mortality data shows that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting.”

“The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level. The five-year decline for white women rivals the catastrophic seven-year drop for Russian men in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The dropping life expectancies have helped weigh down the United States in international life expectancy rankings, particularly for women. In 2010, American women fell to 41st place, down from 14th place in 1985, in the United Nations rankings. Among developed countries, American women sank from the middle of the pack in 1970 to last place in 2010.”

White men lacking a high school diploma lost three years of life between 1990 and 2008.

Inequality kills.

As Kathleen Geier points out, “The period between 1990 and 2008, which is a period that saw such steep declines in life expectancy for the least well-off white people, is also a period during which economic inequality soared. Moreover, there is a compelling body of research that suggests that inequality itself - quite apart from low incomes, or lack of health insurance — is associated with more negative health outcomes for those at the bottom of the heap.”

“For decades, the United States has been making a series of political choices that has distributed wealth and power upwards and left working Americans not only poorer and sicker, but also feeling far more burdened and distressed, and experiencing far less security and control over their lives. The consequences of these choices have been devastating, and absent a dramatic reversal in our political course, they are likely to get even worse. Where inequality is concerned, Republicans have their foot on the accelerator, while the best the Democrats seem to be able to do is to (temporarily) put their foot on the brake.”

In the meantime, the “prosperous fool” Bloomberg follows President Grover Cleveland’s dictum that “the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, wrote that in the absence of meaning and hope, the will to live is likely to be absent.

James F Traynor said...

Doing something you like and doing it as well as you can has aways been the way I've lived my life - more or less unconsciously so far. It seems to have worked out for my wife and myself. Of course it has required more than a little luck. And that is something we understand. Most people do, but not, I think, the majority of the rich. People like Waren Buffet and Soros do but they are infrequent among the affluent; Bloomberg is the average there. And when people like him become politically powerful they are dangerous to most of the rest of us. It is a variation on the banality of evil described by Hannah Arrendt.

Patricia said...

Daddy Bloombuck's can shove it. How many jobs did he create? Instead he trickle's down all over the homeless. Thank God they probably don't listen to his radio show. They probably can't even eat cake, since according to him that's too much sugar. "Off with his head!"

Fred Drumlevitch said...

Yes, as the NYT article referenced by @Denis Neville points out, the decrease in lifespan in recent years among those in the lower socio-economic brackets in the U.S. parallels what happened in Russia when the Soviet Union broke up and the oligarchs gained power there.

Not to be forgotten is that the economic decline in Russia was accompanied, and then followed, by its government falling under the control of authoritarians, who incrementally destroyed the various characteristics that defined the beginnings of the democracy that many Russians had hoped to build on the remains of the USSR.

The increasing authoritarianism that we see in the U.S., together with the transformation of this country into a technologically-enabled surveillance state that would make historical dictators envious, means that we're in for a rough ride if the people of this nation can't soon take back control.