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Michael Bloomberg’s America


Speaking of the New Gilded Age, Michael Bloomberg sure is the perfect plutocrat/political leader for it:

It was only a matter of time — assuming Michael Bloomberg couldn’t run out the clock for two more weeks — before a reporter managed to ask the mayor about the New York Times’ five-part, lose-your-faith-in-humanity story on Dasani, a homeless 11-year-old, and her Brooklyn family. And so it was only a matter of time before Bloomberg delivered at least one tone-deaf line among a larger defensive response.

Based on Bloomberg’s past callous answers to questions about the city’s homeless problem, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that he said today, “This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not.”

Sometimes that’s the way God works. Other times you have a billionaire that is mayor for 12 years with the open goal of making his city the international playground of other billionaires, eliminating affordable housing, and creating a class divide unseen in the city in the last century. You know, it’s one or the other. But Bloomberg knows the real reason New York’s homeless population has gone up:

Mayor Bloomberg, who asserted earlier this year that “Nobody’s sleeping on the streets,” has attributed the rise in shelter populations to their superb quality. “We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it — or fortunately, depending on what your objective is — it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before,” he’s said.

I guess the only answer is to make homeless shelters incredibly dangerous places. Like they already are. That will show those lazy, shiftless 11 year old girls!

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  • somethingblue

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • TribalistMeathead

    “We have made our shelter system so much better that, unfortunately, when people are in it — or fortunately, depending on what your objective is — it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before,” he’s said.

    Yeah, and imagine how pleasurable an experience it would be if they were able to drink a 64 ounce soda while staying there.

  • Wonkette nailed it with their portrait of El Bloombito.

    • kg

      I appreciated this part of the Wonkette piece on Bloomberg :

      Yes, God sure does work in mysterious ways, arbitrarily dealing bad hands like that. Sometimes he hands out lots of money, like to Mayor Bloomberg, who is just lucky that way, and sometimes he does not. Shrug, we guess. Whatcha gonna do? Hey, maybe you can fight the scourge of extra-large sodas! Sure, God invented the Big Gulp, but that’s, like, a Serious Problem, the kind of problem that a mayor should do his very best to do something about. Unlike homeless children living in filth and squalor and where guards sexually assault their moms, because that’s just bad luck. Sorry, Dasani and the thousands of children like you, but if you wanted to be not poor and homeless in one of the wealthiest cities in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, you should have asked God for better luck.

  • OMG, Bloomberg, you’re supposed to at least PRETEND to care.

    • Manta

      Why? Homeless people don’t vote.

    • That *is* him caring. Scary, huh?

      • NonyNony

        Actually I think that’s him pretending to care.

      • agorabum

        He was sad that she got a bad hand. Feels for the kid. Not going to do anything about it, but hey, thems the breaks. Winners and losers, you know.

        • Timb

          1% of his wealth, and yes, I know this isn’t a systemic answer, but .1% of his wealth would change that little girl’s life forever.

          • Warren Terra

            Progressive taxation, ideally including some sort of Tobin Tax and progressive (high-exemption) wealth and estate taxes, could be used to fund stronger programs for people in need. Bloomberg would suffer a teeny little bit, though.

  • Professor Fate

    While reading this I could have sworn I heard the quiet click of knitting Needles.

    • ChristTS

      Very fast, very sharp.

    • Timb

      It could be worse, I could hear one of his aides suggest she use Oliver Twist as a guide book

  • Thank Gilgamesh the people of NYC elected the antidote to this poison pill.

    And does this ring any bells with anyone?

    it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before

    Think natural disaster. Think Barbara Bush…

    • kg

      Its like you and c u n d gulad excecuted some sort of mind meld. Very nice.

    • wjts

      Think Tom DeLay.

    • ChristTS

      I did think BB. A shared mind set.

  • Right up there with Barbara Bush’s assessment of Hurricane Katrina victims:
    “Almost everyone I’ve talked to said we’re going to move to Houston.
    What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. (Said with concern.) Everybody is so overwhelmed by all the hospitality. And so many of the peoples in the arena here, you know, they’re underprivileged anyway, so this–this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

  • Todd

    “Are there no prisons?”
    “Plenty of prisons…”
    “And the Union workhouses.” demanded Bloombug. “Are they still in operation?”
    “Both very busy, sir…”
    “Those who are badly off must go there.”
    “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
    “If they would rather die,” said Bloombug, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

  • Tom Servo

    Still living in DC while my wife is working in New York, but I’ll be moving there within the next year. So. Excited. To be rid of Bloomberg. The first time I set foot in NYC was actually in 95 during the Giuliani years, but that was for a visit. Most of the time I’ve spent has been in the Bloomberg era. Never known a non-Bloomberg New York really.

    • Anonymous

      You’ll get it.

      Good. And hard.

      Go see what NYC was like in the 1970s to get a taste of the coming DeBlasio regime.

      • This again? Please go over to Alicublog and get your ass kicked.

        • I like Jenny talking about getting it good and hard. “Long”, too, I’d wager. “Throbbing” might be a bit much.

          • ChristTS

            “Thrusting’ works.

          • JustRuss

            Needs moar “throats” and “ramming”.

      • Nobdy

        Interesting and affordable? HOT DOG, as a New Yorker I’m excited!

        If you’re talking about the rampant crime, well, considering that crime has cratered everywhere in the United States that would be a pretty neat trick and is extremely unlikely. Nobody wants a return of rapists and muggers, but that’s not what’s going to happen. As for the artists and weirdos? Bring them on! Artists and weirdos are great!

        • JL

          Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the rapists were there not only in the 1970s, but in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and will continue to be there (and in every other city and town) for the foreseeable future.

          • Nobdy

            Rapes continue to happen, and are horrible, but I’m talking specifically about the violent stranger rapes that plagued New York in the 70s and 80s, when I knew (and knew of) numerous women who were assaulted in parks or other public places or by men who tries to push into their buildings. These types of rapes have apparently been significantly reduced in number (though I am sure they still happen, as do muggings) as part of the overall reduction in crime.

      • Sauron

        I worked in Manhattan 1977-1982, but traveled into the other boroughs from time to time. It seemed fine to me. The few times I’ve visited since were okay, too. As were the various times I was there between 1965 and 1972. It’s a big city. Are you afraid of big cities?

        • Yes, he is. They’re full of …people... And particularly scary brown people.

        • Ahuitzotl

          Sauron worked in Manhatten 77-82 and he asks why people were afraid of living there? I suppose that left some nice loft space in Barad-dur tho

      • DrS

        It’s always the fking 1970s with you clowns.

        Except when it’s Munich.

      • wjts

        You can do better than that, man. The quote you’re looking for is “CAAAAAAN YOOOOU DIIG IT?”

        • agorabum

          Much better, gracias.
          It’s sad to say, but what this blog needs is a better class of troll. Anon up there has such a sad and misguided retort that all we can do is pity him.

      • Camille Paglia

        See? You don’t need me to take on the role of Shelby Steele – he’s already here (in, obviously, Heigegger’s sense of ready-to-hand, rather than present-at-hand).

      • DAS

        The problem is that DeBlasio will likely govern as a Clinton-esque moderate. If this does not work out will “third way” policies be blamed? Nope … they will blame everything bad that happens with NYC (even if it includes things that just mirror national trends) on DeBlasio being a lefty-liberal-commie letting his son grow an Afro or something like that.

      • Tom Servo

        I enjoyed this though. The snarling of the butthurt conservatives.

      • Diana

        does this mean we get CBGB’s back?

      • judybrowni

        I lived in New York City in the ’70s: one big difference, there was affordable housing.

        And Times Square was funkier, BFD.

    • According to JenKnob you won’t recognize the place once Bloomberg slimes out of there.

      In his fevered imagination, BDeB’s wife has 5,000,000 bisexual ACORN thugs massed at the borders of the city just waiting to sweep through, rape anything with a pulse, stab old ladies with giant used heroin needles and take all of the pancakes.

  • Lee Rudolph

    Gaaah. No, I was not working there in my overly-sticky identity as Dark Lord. Just as an assistant professor. Sheesh.

    • Gothmog

      Hey, as the old boss always said, if you don’t end up overly sticky from your dark lording, you’re doing it wrong.

    • Ahuitzotl

      pah! your cover stories are wearing thin, Gorthaur

  • Anonymous

    Nobody has yet given me a good reason why we should subsidize out-of-wedlock births to young, dysfunctional mothers on the taxpayer dime yet.

    Why does this make any sense at all? Why not stop it?


    • wjts

      Nobody has yet given me a good reason why we should subsidize out-of-wedlock births to young, dysfunctional mothers on the taxpayer dime yet.

      To spite you. I don’t like you very much, and I enjoy it when the big bad government steals your hard-earned money and gives it away to the undeserving. Ha ha!

      • Manta

        This is an excellent reason.

    • Nobdy

      If “The kids are innocent and should be supported by society even when they are born into difficult circumstances” does not count as a reason to you then clearly your horrible and empathy-free morality will not accept any argument that human beings might offer. Even the “Kids raised without resources are more likely to have issues as adults” won’t do it.

      • Anonymous

        Why are we incentivizing these kinds of births in the first place while disincentivizing births to middle and upper class households through taxation?

        Imagine if we could use all the money we waste on WIC and food stamps to fund college educations for the middle class, or even pay them to have children as Russia is now doing.

        • Nobdy

          The “incentive” is a byproduct of making sure the child does not starve.

          We are not suffering population collapse so we do not need to pay people to have children.

          The claim that we “waste” money on WIC and food stamps implies that you see preventing poor people from starving as a “waste” of money, which in turn marks you as an absolute monster.

        • False premises. Childbearing and childrearing are perfectly reasonably subsidized at the middle class level. Upper class people don’t need subsidies.

          Russia is not a model anyone should be emulating regarding anything.

          • Anonymous

            I agree that the commies shouldn’t be emulated. My mistake. But commies do make great pankakes. Only they call them blinis. Because they’re commies and don’t want to share their pancaked.

        • LeftWingFox

          Uh huh. Women just LOVE to go through 9 months of pregnancy, labour, birth, teething, sleepless nights, potty training and changing diapers all by themselves.

          Why, only a couple hundred dollars a month is enough to support their whorish ways, and pump out barrels of single children.

          ThIs IS A peFEctLY RAtIOnAL ECoNOMic MODel!!111!!!1111

        • JL

          Why are we incentivizing these kinds of births in the first place…

          Excellent question. I assume that you favor repealing the Hyde Amendment so that federal Medicaid funds can be used for abortions instead of incentivizing poor people to have kids.

          • Free & mandatory contraception (the “free” paid by the gummint, the “mandatory” insured by the gummint). For men & wymyn.

            No more W.I.C. or S.N.A.P. Yay!!

    • calling all toasters

      Nobody has yet given me a good reason why there are quasi-fascist, nouveau racist, moron trolls on this blog. Yet here you are…. Why not stop it?

    • EH

      All of this could be solved with the money saved in eliminating every government expenditure associated with The Chertoff Group.

    • ChristTS

      Ok, let’s pretend you are not a heartless monster.

      What would you do to ‘stop’ these births?

      How would you disincentivize (:choke:) such births without inflicting suffering on the children?

      Remember, we are assuming you are not a heartless monster and, so, do not wish children to be punished for being born to poor parents.

      We could enforce sterilization on the poor. We could take their children off to orphanages. The first raises some disturbing moral and political concerns and would cost some money. The latter raises some disturbing moral and political concerns and would require a great deal of money (assuming we do not want these children to suffer).

      Perhaps you think we should ignore the poor – adults and children – and expect the whole set to die out.

      • ChristTS

        Oh gods, I just saw your comments on the other thread. You really are an authoritarian monster as well as a eugenicist creep.

    • Ed K

      The part of this that really reaches a new level for sociopathic human garbage troll monster discourse is the use of ‘subsidize’ in this context.

      Fuck you, you steaming pile of shit.

    • dsn

      I assume the solution you are proposing is free abortions?

    • Anonymous

      To supply cannon fodder for your war machine. It’s a Defense program.

    • Timb

      For the baby, who would be an innocent, and didn’t ask to be born into a conservative dystopia

    • JustRuss

      I’m all for stopping it. That’s why I support Planned Parenthood.

  • Stetson Kennedy

    As someone who worked with Mike Bloomberg for a number of years, I’m shocked and appalled at how tone-deaf he has become. That is not the Mike Bloomberg I knew, the guy who gave millions to fight poverty.

    A lot of what he says is borne from his prickliness – he never took kindly to being questioned and/or criticized – but his attitude since his final election has been despicable, particularly to the poor. Good riddance, he can’t get out of office quickly enough.

    • sparks

      “Michael Bloomberg is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

      You’ve been had, bad. When someone of his wealth is looking for brownie points to run for future office in what is ostensibly a liberal area, that person tends to be more philanthropic than they otherwise would be.

    • Joel

      “He never took kindly to being questioned and/or criticized.”

      I share this quality, which is why I am currently in the mid level of a go-nowhere career. On the other hand, why would a man who hates to be questioned and/or criticized not only run for public office, but run for office in the most questioning and critical city on Earth, is beyond me.

  • Anonymous

    Why are we subsidizing unwed mothers having births when we should be subsidizing middle class pancakes?

  • B. Terwilliger

    eh I actually give him partial credit for realizing that the accident of to whom one is born is a big determinant of your station in life.

    • ChristTS

      There is that. An ability to recognize the existence of the natural and social lotteries is not the hallmark of the average conservative.

      • The ability to “recognize” that & then blithely continue w/ statements that shelter life is even sweller now doesn’t indicate his “recognition” is going to have much effect on anything.

        “This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not.”

        So, it’s Gawd’s judgement & who are we to do anything? No one on earth could possibly have any effect on the lottery Dasani was forced into playing, right? (Ha ha, he got his though, didn’t he? Nothing wrong w/ that lottery!!!)

        Meanwhile, in the N.Y. of the West

        • ChristTS

          All true. I suppose we could weigh the immorality of not recognizing the lotteries against recognizing them and refusing to consider trying to do anything about them. (And, we have to include another contender: refusing to recognize them with one’s fingers in one’s ears.)

          I guess I think the third is worst. The other two are an odd comparison, if we accept that one is based on really dumb-ass ignorance.

  • Hair Dr Professor

    Duncan Black:

    “As I’ve written a few times, I generally think concerns about the ill impacts of urban gentrification are overblown”

    “As I’ve written before, I think concerns about the negative impact of urban gentrification are often overstated,”

    “I generally think gentrification concerns are overblown, ”

    “A companion to this is urban gentrifiers who lament all the gentrification that’s going on. ”

    “The Tremendous Social Cost Of Neighborhood Gentrification… First they came for the dive bars”

    “Gentrification Leading To More Demand. ”

    Americans are optimists; they blame others for everything. It doesn’t matter who the others are.
    The not-so-left “liberal” or “progressive” not socialist, or even social democratic.

    Reaganomics began with Carter and Clinton was even further to the right. You forget what you voted for. That’s the worst of it.

  • Matt

    Shorter Bloomberg: “The fact that I can say horrible shit like this in public and NOT catch a lightning bolt on the way to my limo means there is no God. Good luck, kiddo!”

  • Why has homelessness gone up in New York recentl? Here’s one possibility:

    Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama than Bush

    • Yes, just like the health care system, a president has complete control over such issues…… Why doesn’t Obama just announce the expropriation of property and redistribution to the poor! Where is his will!!!!!!

  • Curtis

    Does anyone think a billionaire asshole like Bloomberg would REALLY care about Dasani or any of the 22,000 other homeless kids in NYC? They don’t buy those terminals, after all.

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