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Crazy old man rants in Central Park about young black men committing 95% of all murders

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Wait, did I say in Central Park? I meant at the Aspen Institute:

Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25.

Per the most recent FBI statistics, the actual percentage appears to be 22.8.

Here are a few more surprising facts, soon to be featured on various websites near you:

Becoming a plumber is on average a more lucrative career choice than graduating from Harvard College:

If a person has the option of going to Harvard or becoming a plumber, he said he would suggest thinking about the plumbing career.

“The Harvard graduate on average will never catch up to a plumber,” Bloomberg said. “Partially because the first four years — instead of spending $60,000, you make $60,000.”

Unionized New York City waitresses make $150,000 per year, while ordinary waitresses make only $50,000 to $60,000:

In New York City, where 56 million tourists visit annually, Bloomberg said the hospitality and service industries are key. Though some might say those aren’t good jobs, he claimed that a waitress in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel makes $150,000 a year because of strong union negotiations. A waitress in a decent New York restaurant will make $50,000 to $60,000 a year, he said.

Legalizing marijuana is going to significantly lower the IQs of children:

When an audience member asked the 72-year-old Bloomberg about Colorado marijuana, he responded that it was a terrible idea, one that is hurting the developing minds of children. Though he admitted to smoking a joint in the 1960s, he said the drug is more accessible and more damaging today.

“What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are 5 and 10 points lower than they would have been?” he asked. “I couldn’t feel more strongly about it, and my girlfriend says it’s no different than alcohol. It is different than alcohol. This is one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country.”

Also:

Bloomberg, who is now worth $36.6 billion, according to Forbes, said the poor in the U.S. need better education.

OK I quit.

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  • Ok, I’ll say it: Christ, what an asshole.

  • Lee Rudolph

    Thank goodness he’s not a news anchorman!!!

    • Hogan

      Nah. He just owns a network.

      • AlanInSF

        This makes me trust Bloomberg news services even more — this and the fact that every time I go there (to read Weigel) the first thing I see is “We are the Kochs.” (Add your own punch line about “also, suckers.”)

        • catclub

          Too bad Bloomberg had no access to Bloomberg terminals. I heard there is a lot of fairly reliable information on them.

          I will also note that in spite of any stupidity of the owner, Bloomberg View has pretty sane editorials.

  • Malaclypse

    That is some weapons-grade stupidity, that is. Thank God he was never in any position of responsibility where he might make decisions based on such lunacy.

    • While I disagreed with him on quite a few issues – stop&frisk and the olympics being the biggest – his time in office was nowhere near this fucking stupid. I’m wondering if he had a cerebral event.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        Well, I worked as an NYC govt employee under him for 2 very different agencies, and he was always like this – by his third term, City depts were frantically trying to counteract / talk him out of all these dumb ideas. Case in point: the soda ban, which got passed like a hot potato throughout the health dept because literally no one thought it was a good idea. Bloomberg basically rammed it through because he wanted to punish poor people for being fat. And if you think I’m oversimplifying, see above.

        • I don’t doubt you. Let me edit my 10:40 comment: his time in office was nowhere this fucking stupid…publicly.

          • He seemed so calm and–sane after Giuliani. But he was certainly getting cranky by late in the second term.

            • ninja3000

              …and continued after he bought his third term.

        • Hob

          And of course the soda ban is one of a handful of things (the others being his last-minute joining of the Republican Party, and his stance on abortion) that are enough evidence for wingnuts everywhere to call Bloomberg the liberalest liberal who ever liberaled, no matter what. If he really is still looking for higher office, it’ll be interesting (and grotesque) to see how far he’ll go in trying to prove to the right that he’s one of them at heart.

          • Hogan

            He don’t need no stinkin Republican primary voters. He can run on the coveted No Labels ballot line. Four out of five pundits recommend it!

      • KmCO

        I was wondering when he became David Brooks.

      • JL

        I dunno, the city response to Hurricane Sandy was pretty astoundingly terrible (and had some of the same plutocratic cluelessness, like Bloomberg’s original plan to keep the Marathon going even though it was running through neighborhoods that had had no city relief yet and didn’t even have enough supplies to board their windows). When I went there to do relief work I was flabbergasted.

        • I worked on the building end of the response and, like a lot of things, it varied by neighborhood. The south shore of Staten Island was criminally neglected. Poorer neighborhoods in Brooklyn fared better.

    • DrDick

      He is a Republican, after all, and a billionaire. It sort of goes with that territory.

      • Manju

        Independent

        • DrDick

          Whatever, he is still a reactionary, racist conservative. He probably ran as an “independent” because a Republican could not get elected dogcatcher in NYC.

          • Malaclypse

            He won his first two terms as a declared Republican. He succeeded Rudy!, also a Republican. The only time he ran as an independent was his third term.

            • skate

              He originally ran as a Republican after switching parties. He didn’t care to mingle in the zoo that would be the Democratic primary but figured (correctly) that the Republican primary would be a cakewalk.

              Geezus did I hate his campaign ads on the radio when he first ran. Incredibly stupid and aired practically every inning during Yankees games.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    reading his wiki is not conclusive but i feel safe in assuming bloomberg never had to put on the hamlet act about going to johns hopkins instead of getting started as a plumber’s helper, so to speak

  • PSP

    I’ve often thought that one of my biggest financial mistakes in life was going to law school instead of following my cousins into being linesmen for the telephone company. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But-

    They all earned more than me a lot of years. They have beach houses on Cape Cod. They retired early with pensions. I, on the other hand, will never get a pension and am not sure I will ever be able to afford to retire.

    I repeat “at the time”.

    • Lee Rudolph

      And the Wichita JD is still marking time…

      • AlanInSF

        Jeez, my daughter graduated NYU and still couldn’t land one of those sweet waitressing jobs. I guess you have to know someone.

        • Procopius

          Or be the child of a current member? I actually knew a guy who got into the plumbers’ union in Los Angeles back in the ’60s. Really, really lucky.

  • calling all toasters

    Ladies and gentlemen, the pinnacle of the American meritocracy!

  • rea

    Jeez, just think how smart I’d be if I had not spent the last 43 years smoking dope.

    • mikeSchilling

      OK, but what’s Bloomberg’s excess?

  • Matt Stevens

    I can’t believe we changed the city charter to give this asshole a third term.

    • skate

      What do you mean “we”, white man? Or were you a member of the city council that voted to make that change?

  • matt w

    Also, his black friend told him stop and frisk was OK.

  • Joshua

    It’s probably a better idea to become a plumber than go to an expensive college you can’t afford to go study nothing much in particular because you’re not really passionate about anything but maybe you’ll go to law school after graduation.

    Harvard though, isn’t it hard not to afford it these days? The school will pick up the tab.

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      The no-loans policy at Harvard and similar institutions is mostly a ruse to get *the public* to think that they are egalitarian and meritocratic. In reality, their Pell Grant participation rate is only like 16% or so – which is quite high for elite universities – and the percentage of students/families who pay full boat is consistently in the 40% to 50% range; not materially different than their socioeconomic spread back in the 1950’s. Piketty estimated in Capital in the 21st Century that the average household income for Harvard undergrads is a mighty $450,000. The students who remain most likely to gain admission are legacies (of a certain income bracket), recruited athletes (rowing, squash, lacrosse, sailing, golf, polo, etc), development cases (underachieving children of UHNWs), children of important politicians or entertainers, etc. Take a gander at Berkeley sociologist Jerome Karabel’s “The Chosen,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden’s “The Price of Admissions,” or Yale professor William Deresiewicz’s “Excellent Sheep.”

      • Joshua

        I’m not saying that Harvard is egalitarian and meritocratic. I am saying that if you happen to come from humble means and have the opportunity to go to Harvard, it’s not a bad idea to go. You will almost certainly be paying less than you would at State U.

        • Unemployed_Northeastern

          If you get in, what you write is certainly true, but then again, if you come from humble means, Harvard et al don’t really want you in the first place. They take a token amount of poors to claim that they provide socioeconomic mobility, when in truth they primarily act to sort the children of the upper middle class from the children of the upper class from the children of the plutocracy. AFAIK, there has never been a study directly on the topic, probably because no elite college would allow it,* but I would wager that at most of the traditional elite – the Ivies, Little Ivies, and their peers – the chances of admission go up in near lockstep with household income, particularly once we get into the several hundreds of thousands per year and above threshold.

          *It should be noted that some elite colleges are more meritocratic than others. MIT, Reed, Berkeley are some of the more meritocratic institutions.

          • That’s not entirely true.

            A friend of my son’s is going to Harvard, and he comes from a single-parent family. Harvard did what they needed to for him to be able to attend. Now, he is mixed-race and attended a minority-majority high school albeit one of the best in the state, an accredited Internation Baccalaureate school, and he got a 4.0 and perfect SATs. But they DID want him, for whatever reason and he certainly came from humble means…

            Feel free to dismiss that as anecdata.

            • SIS1

              Unemployed_Northeastern’s statement was a bit too categorical, as your friend’s situation does show that Harvard will have reasons to want to snatch up high performing individuals, but individuals like your friend are are a rarity, if not an impossibility.

            • Unemployed_Northeastern

              Again, 16% Pell Grant participation isn’t 0% participation, but neither is it the ~40% level of, say, Berkeley. The more pertinent question is this: as the ceiling to be eligible for free attendance at Harvard (and Yale and Princeton) is $80k/year, considerably higher than the median American household income, what percentage of Harvard undergrads receive such benefit?

          • JL

            My observation (colored by the bias of having gone to MIT as an undergrad) was that MIT and Harvard had similar numbers of poor students – as suggested by their similar Pell Grant percentages – while at Harvard the non-poor students were mostly upper-upper middle class or rich, and at MIT, the non-poor students were mostly middle or upper-middle class. Differently-shaped curves. I just didn’t know very many really rich people at MIT and the few who were there were not from Old Money.

            • Philip

              I’ve gotten the same sense in undergrad at another private technical school: lots of middle class to upper middle class families, not a ton of really rich families.

        • kateislate

          It might be different for me, being a Canadian, but the amount that Princeton decided my family could afford per year (approx US$30,000) was wildly unfeasible. My family was not by any means ‘humble’ but we had a gross household income of about C$100,000 annually. It was not easy for my parents to work out how they would pay that (the eventual decision was that we would use the college savings for my siblings as well, and they would remortgage their house – I passed). They actually sent the itemized household budget (compulsive father tracks every dollar) to the financial aid office, telling them if they found the money they could have it.

          Maybe the difference is that our tuition up here is so much less expensive? Would it have cost me $30,000 to go to a state school anyway?

          [I should add that we have heard recently that the financial aid calculation no longer considers the assessed value of your primary residence, suggesting that they no longer expect families to explore the remortgage/sell option.]

          • Philip

            In-state, I think COA is generally in the 20,000-25,000 USD range these days? Out of state most public schools seem to charge private school prices.

            …it turns out it’s actually worse than that. The UCs list 29,000-33,000. So, $30,000 for a state school is about right. I need a drink.

            • kateislate

              It would be significantly more efficient for you all to come up here and pay the international student fees – while we consider them exorbitant, I believe arts and science students pay about C$15,000 per year in tuition. (Our cost of living might be higher than yours though?)

      • muddy

        I’ve been told that the Harvard extension school doesn’t cost very much at all, and then you can say you “went to Harvard”. Well, I wasn’t told the second part, I just assumed that.

        • Unemployed_Northeastern

          Harvard Extension has been around for more than a century. It has yet to fool any employer who cares about pedigree that it is a legit Harvard degree.

          • muddy

            Employers feh, you tell everyone else. They don’t check your papers.

          • nixnutz

            My mom got her degree there, it was good enough to “fool” MIT into admitting her. But really aren’t the employers who are so concerned with “pedigree” the ones who only recruit from Harvard and Yale Law or from the top four business schools, an extension degree is not a barrier to getting into a good graduate school (well, it probably is in Law and Business, my mom was in CS).

            Thing is, an Extension degree is still going to cost many tens of thousands of dollars (looks like $2200 for 4 credits), my mom was an employee so it was free but otherwise it’s easy to get in but harder to pay for because the need-based grants only cover up to half your tuition.

      • El Pato de Muerte

        Piketty estimated in Capital in the 21st Century that the average household income for Harvard undergrads is a mighty $450,000.

        The median would be a far more useful metric here. All it takes is the son of one oil sheikh – and I can pretty much guarantee there is one in every undergrad class year at Harvard – to wildly skew the average.

        • sibusisodan

          Piketty notes that the median is really hard to come by for this data (p. 485, and then n.32 on p. 632 for those following along at home) – so the best you can do is infer the mean, roughly.

          His point is that the mean likely shows you enough about who gets entrance to indicate that it’s unlikely to be one oil sheikh scion surrounded by hundreds of tubercolic Cockney match girls.

          • Warren Terra

            I don’t doubt that students from a distinctly disadvantaged background are vanishingly rare, and that the vast preponderance of the students are quite privileged indeed – but the mean really is useless. There are apparently about 6700 undergraduates at Harvard (almost a criminally small number, really), so one “oil sheik” or CEO making 2/3 of a billion dollars in a year (not an inconceivable thing) would all on their own raise the mean by a hundred thousand. Add in even a couple dozen whose parents are making some tens of millions and you could pretty much reach the reported number even if the rest were Dickensian orphans, which they assuredly are not. The mean just isn’t a useful number.

        • Unemployed_Northeastern

          Well, depending on the year, 40% to 50% of students at Harvard (and similar institutions like Princeton, Yale, Williams, etc) are considered too high-income to receive financial aid, and the FA ceiling at virtually all of those schools is $200,000/year, so the median won’t be too far off from that level.

          Also of note is that Harvard and Princeton both generally require 10% of income from families who make more than the $80k ceiling for free attendance and the $200k no-FA ceiling. The average family on financial aid pays $12k/year at Harvard and $17k/year at Princeton, which would logically lead us to conclude that the average family on financial aid at those institutions makes $120k/year and $170k/year, respectively.

  • wjts

    To quibble, I read Crazy Uncle Pennybags as saying that 95% of all murder victims are minority males aged 15-25. Which is, you know, also wrong.

    • Hob

      I think those are pretty much the same thing in his mind, since he is also saying those victims are responsible for their own deaths because they were brandishing guns— i.e. they’re killing each other. (Or, I guess, he might mean that 95% of all murders are of black kids shot by cops, but… no he doesn’t.)

  • NonyNony

    Okay now be honest – was this actually Bloomberg or was it a comedy Bloomberg impersonator routine?

    A waitress making $150K a year is a hysterical bit. I bet he had them rolling on the floors in Aspen.

    • We have to wait for Miguel Bloombito to weigh in.

    • Kurzleg

      I’m not so sure $150k is that big a stretch. Here in Mpls, a friend who owns a mid-priced restaurant told me one of his waiters made about $50k working about 25 hrs/week. The guy was just good at selling drinks, appetizers and desserts and therefore increasing the tab off of which his tip was based.

      • sibusisodan

        Running some hilariously quick numbers, NY minimum wage for food service personnel is $5/h. A 25h week gets one a nice $125. Getting anywhere within touching distance of $50k pa requires upwards of $700 in tips a week.

        Which, assuming 5 shifts and a constant 20% tip ratio, involves selling $700 of food and drink a shift.

        I grok that someone could accomplish it – but for that to be ‘normal’…?

        Also – what exactly does Bloomberg’s example have to do to with unions? Do they run strong pro-tipping campaigns?

        • Kurzleg

          Yeah, I don’t think it’s necessarily typical either. Just saying it’s not impossible.

        • SIS1

          If the per dinner cost at a restaurant is $300 per person without including drinks, selling $700 in food and drink during a shift would seem like an extremely easy thing to do.

        • joe from Lowell

          When I read that about the unions, I assumed it meant that the staff was earning more than the tipped minimum wage.

        • BoredJD

          It’s not normal. It’s normal for Michelin star restaurants or places in high-end hotels where Bloomberg is likely to go. At those places, you can easily drop $400-600 on a dinner for two if you are getting a bottle of wine. Now the sever doesn’t see all of the tip, but it’s still decent money.

          IME, most of the wait staff at high-end places are men. Your waitress is more likely to be working in a restaurant or pub.

      • Honoré De Ballsack

        I’m sure the bartenders and waitstaff at the St Regis et al. do make upwards of $100K. As sibusisodan notes above, however, that’s 1) only a few people at the absolute top end and 2) has nothing to do with unions.

      • Ronan

        i wouldnt have imagined 150k a year as being even close to plausible, but .. since he specified it to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Id be interested if anyone disagreed?

        • Honoré De Ballsack

          There are a few places in NYC (the Waldorf Astoria and, as noted above, the St Regis) that cater to the so-called 0.1% and charge INSANE prices (the St Regis bar offers a $40 Bloody Mary.)

          The waitstaff at such places probably *do* earn in the six figures–but it’s far from normal.

          • (the St Regis bar offers a $40 Bloody Mary.)

            Human blood don’t come cheap.

          • Lee Rudolph

            (the St Regis bar offers a $40 Bloody Mary.)

            For another $40, you can jump to the head of the line!

            Round the tab up to $100, and they’ll swap out the tomato juice for ketchup.

          • sibusisodan

            ISTR a recent thread in LGM on tipping where someone said that you had to pay to get the kind of jobs where you can bring in all that tip money. I really hope my memory is wrong on that.

            • Aaaaand, we’ve identified where the blood comes from.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              turned out to more like greasing the palm of the person who does the scheduling, etc so you can be in the right place at the right time to wait on the big ticket customers

            • Honoré De Ballsack

              you had to pay to get the kind of jobs where you can bring in all that tip money..

              …greasing the palm of the person who does the scheduling…

              Based on my experience in the hospitality industry: the necessary combination of youthful good looks, poise, and Olympic-level unctuousness that are demanded of high-end waitstaff is sufficiently rare that workers possessing all three are actually in high demand. So I’m inclined to doubt the truth of the pay-to-play stories (although in today’s labor market, you never know.)

          • Honoré De Ballsack

            FYI: I just looked it up on Yelp, and a Bloody Mary at the St Regis’s King Cole Bar is actually only a mere $27. Please adjust your snark accordingly.

            JG

            • Warren Terra

              1) only a pleb would order the $27 bloody Mary. It doesn’t even contain real blood!
              2) It’s $40 with tip, you’ve got to get the waiter’s income up to $150k somehow.

              • NonyNony

                You’d be lucky to get cheapskate rich guys to round up to $30 for the tip.

                Until they’ve had four or five bloody marys and start mistaking their $100 bills for $10s, I suppose.

      • Joe Bob the III

        MN GOP governor candidate Tom Emmer stepped in this very same pile of excrement during the 2012 campaign when he suggested that servers at the Eagle Street Grille were earning $100K. For those not with the in crowd – Eagle Street is very popular with the pre- and post- hockey game crowd. The tabs at this place are based on chicken wings and burgers, not $200 bottles of wine…so the $100K figure is patently ridiculous and Emmer was widely mocked for that particular piece of idiocy.

        Emmer now occupies Michelle Bachmann’s former seat in Congress.

  • sibusisodan

    72-year-old Bloomberg about Colorado marijuana, he responded that it was a terrible idea, one that is hurting the developing minds of children. Though he admitted to smoking a joint in the 1960s, he said the drug is more accessible and more damaging today.

    So Bloomberg smoked one joint in the sixties, and forty years later his mind is wrecked?

    We are so screwed.

    • DrDick

      He and MoDo had the same source.

    • NonyNony

      In fairness to Bloomberg, given his history I have no doubt that in addition to a prohibition on marijuana he’d probably also like to see a prohibition[*] on the sale of alcohol, tobacco, high fructose corn syrup, other forms of sugar, saturated fat and basically anything anyone without as much money as he has uses anywhere to eke out some pleasure in this life.

      [*] For those who don’t have lots of money, of course. Prohibitions on things like that are only for the poorer class of folks who don’t have the same kind of self-control that rich people do. It’s for their own good, the poor dears.

  • witlesschum

    If $38.6 billion can’t buy a better education than this, how’s it gonna help the poor?

  • MPAVictoria

    His claim that waitresses make 150 grand a year is beyond crazy…..

  • muddy

    I wasn’t aware that you could make $60K starting off as a plumber. They get $60K every year from the 1st year instead of having to pay tuition? As “freshmen”, oh, I mean “apprentices”? Probably would not even be a journeyman in 4 years, FFS. He probably thinks plumbing is so dead simple there is no education or funding required at all.

    Elitist fuckstick. Never mind my “I was not aware” – he’s just a fucking liar.

    • lizzie

      Thank you for saying this. My dad and brother are plumbers and this whole trope of claiming that plumbers have it made and “if only I’d gone into the trades” drives me nuts. (Funnily enough I first encountered it among the commenters at Campos’s scamblog.)

      • catclub

        Hey, if the plumbers in Montreal are taking the summer off that is ok with me. [And I am not sure they are.] They EARN that money fixing things in the Winter in Montreal. Like when it is so cold that pipes 8 feet underground freeze and break.

        Also, sewage lines.

    • JL

      According to the NYT in 2014, union apprentice plumbers in NYC start at $14/hour and apprenticeships last for five years. So yeah. Not starting at $60k. And according to that same article, only about 40% of applicants for apprenticeships are accepted as apprentices, so it’s not like you can necessarily just say “Hey, rather than going to college, I want to be a plumber!” – as with many colleges, you might not get accepted.

      • Hogan

        And as with many colleges, being a legacy moves you well up the queue.

    • Karen24

      NI hear the “don’t waste time in college! Go into trades!” all the time, and always from people with office jobs and college degrees. I’ve done legal work related to vocational licensing and construction work, which means I know about a million times more about these kinds of jobs than my interlocutors do. First, in Texas it takes six years and the ability to pass a six-hour math test to become a master electrician, and about the same to become a plumber. It takes four years to become a journeyman elc. During those non-master years, you’ll be making minimum wage while climbing in attics or under cabinets in all weather. (Some companies pay above minimum for apprentices, but very few pay much more than that.) The money comes from overtime pay, so that means more than 40 hours each week of very hard physical labor. A/C techs get to climb around in attics when it’s >100 F outside, making the attics close to 120 F. It’s technical, precise work requiring lots of math skills and being in good physical shape. These are not jobs people can do much past age 40, even if they don’t suffer a workplace injury. The work is also closely tied to the health of the construction business so it’s very much affected by the state of the economy in general. Finally, if lots of people become plumbers or electricians the premium paid for having these skills disappears.

      • SIS1

        Seems to me that if everyone took that advice of going into the trades then the pay for such professions would quickly decline (supply and demand and all that jazz). Seems people tend to ignore why pay in the trades is at the level it is.

        • Karen24

          Exactly.

        • JL

          This is also why I get confused about fellow tech types who think you can solve poverty by teaching poor people to code.

          • matt w

            Give everyone in the village a fish and they’ll eat for a day. Teach everyone in the village to fish and the river is going to be fished out in six months. Then what?

      • Linnaeus

        Somewhat tangential, but this reminds me of an article I read about an older apartment building here in Seattle that’s being demolished to make way for an office tower. The residents of the building are worried that they will not be able to find new housing in the city, particularly some residents who currently live within walking distance of their jobs. The building’s co-owner said, “If they find themselves in that position, there are a lot of jobs out there but they have to train themselves a little bit. I’ve heard on TV they’re dying for people who can weld. I don’t see any of them going out to be welders.”

        Because it’s just so easy to up and become a welder.

        • It’s always easy to do someone else’s job in your imagination…

        • Orbis_Terrarum

          Leave it to the good commentariat at the Blethen Times…

      • Joe Bob the III

        As an aside, related to what skilled trades get paid for, is that it can be dangerous work. I recently did some work for the local Ironworkers union and almost all of the old hands know someone or worked on jobs where someone was killed. I doubt that’s something Michael Bloomberg ever dealt with at work.

    • bexley

      He got the $60k figure when he asked Nixon the going rate for plumbers.

  • Morse Code for J

    I imagine this is what Bloomberg’s exploratory committee is telling him to say.

    The shame of it isn’t so much the guy saying it as the many more people in the audience nodding along.

    • witlesschum

      “The Aspen Institute” pretty much says it all on that score.

  • Bitter Scribe

    How in God’s name did someone this politically tone-deaf manage to win elections anywhere, much less New York City?

    • indefinitelee

      As Senator Les Wynan once said http://t.qkme.me/3rnzdy.jpg

    • Mike R

      Lots and lots of money, wait that should be lots and lots of freedom of speech.

  • Barry_D

    “If a person has the option of going to Harvard or becoming a plumber, he said he would suggest thinking about the plumbing career.

    “The Harvard graduate on average will never catch up to a plumber,” Bloomberg said. “Partially because the first four years — instead of spending $60,000, you make $60,000.””

    First, he’s probably lying. Second, I’ll wager that the reason that Harvard grads might have (*relatively*) depressed earnings is that they’re pursuing jobs which don’t pay well (e.g., writer), but which a Harvard degree lets you actually make a living at.

    • Shakezula

      There’s also a kind of classist asshole who resents the fact that the proles are allowed to stamp through the quads of the Ivies and the 7s in their hobnailed boots. Not only are they prone to becoming overly familiar, they show up at the class reunions and worst of all get jobs that are supposed to go to HIS kind of people.

      He thinks that all they’re good for is fixing his toilet and bringing him food, but he’s not ready to go that far. So instead he utters this dimwitted attempt at concern trolling by reverse psychology, while also assuring his audience that the scholarship/work-study student who got straight As and went on to become a surgeon was really a fool for going to college at all.

      • Karen24

        I wrote a legnthy comment above about the stupid assumptions involved in stating that people should forego college in favor of the trades, but the stupidest assumption people like Bloomberg make is that plumbers and electricians are dumb. This work requires a lot of math, and attention to detail. Do they want to live in houses or work in buildings wired by morons? Do they understand what electricity and gas do?

        • Shakezula

          I’m sure he has disdain for people who work with their hands (except doctors).

          But here he isn’t saying his imaginary high school juniors are stupid, in his scenario they’re weighing two equally viable options: “I could go to Harvard or I could go to trade school,” and the really smart ones will go with trade school.

      • Karen24

        Also, going to college and working in the trades are not mutually exclusive. Plenty of people actually do both, although not usually in the Ivy League. Still, why assume that a plumber wouldn’t want to study literature or that a philosphy student wouldn’t work as an electrician during school breaks?

    • Area Man

      While almost certainly untrue as stated, it is true that getting a head-start on income and avoiding loans has a bigger impact on future net worth than many people realize.

      I recall doing a math exercise once in which we assumed that person A graduated high school and got a good but not great job, whose income went up each year, and immediately started saving a certain portion. Person B went to college and incurred loans, then four years later got a significantly better job whose income rose even faster over time. Person B could save more but some of that was eaten by loan payments.

      It turns out that it took much long than you’d think for their net worths to intersect. We’re talking late middle age according to our assumptions. That’s because the impact of even a few extra years of saving with compound interest is huge over the long-term.

      Obviously, this makes assumptions about saving and spending that people in real life don’t actually follow, and not everyone gets saddled with loans, plus we’re talking about Harvard which is not a typical college. So Bloomberg’s example is almost certainly bullshit. But I’m guessing that this is where he got the idea, which in the abstract at least has some merit.

      • Linnaeus

        So, essentially, I’m screwed.

        Well, I kinda knew that already.

  • Shakezula

    More like seasoned political operative and rich dickface comforts fellow rich people by repeating what they want to hear.

    Bloomberg claimed that 95 percent of murders fall into a specific category: male, minority and between the ages of 15 and 25. Cities need to get guns out of this group’s hands and keep them alive, he said.

    “These kids think they’re going to get killed anyway because all their friends are getting killed,” Bloomberg said. “They just don’t have any long-term focus or anything. It’s a joke to have a gun. It’s a joke to pull a trigger.”

    Unlike the responsible white gun owners who always handle their guns with care. And look, it is a complete coincidence that he happens to be calling to curtail the 2d Am. rights of a group regularly demonized by the NRA.

  • Rob in CT

    Yikes. Just for fun here…

    In New York City, where 56 million tourists visit annually, Bloomberg said the hospitality and service industries are key. Though some might say those aren’t good jobs, he claimed that a waitress in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel makes $150,000 a year because of strong union negotiations. A waitress in a decent New York restaurant will make $50,000 to $60,000 a year, he said.

    This actually reads like a “truthy” defense of unionization. The figures may well be screwy (depending on how you define “decent” – if you read that as upscale enough maybe you do get waitresses making $50-60k).

    Of course, his real point seems to be that service industry types serving the ultra rich can make… solid middle-class wages with a lucky few even breaking into upper-middle class status. Woohoo!

    • JL

      Yeah, I’m going to guess that what Bloomberg considers a decent restaurant and what I consider a decent restaurant or different.

      I had a hard time finding non-suspect data on this, because a lot of it appears to be either . The BLS says that the annual mean wage of waiters in the state of NY is $23K, though I assume it’s higher in the city. The NYC Hospitality Alliance, an industry advocacy group which seems to be centered on upscale restaurants and clubs, collected its own numbers specifically for the purpose of convincing lawmakers that restaurants and clubs do a great job of paying their employees well (so I find their numbers a little suspect), said the mean wage for waiters in NYC is roughly $23/hour.

      • Warren Terra

        Yeah, I’m going to guess that what Bloomberg considers a decent restaurant and what I consider a decent restaurant or different

        you can’t really imagine Bloomberg ordering off of a laminated menu. The notion of him eating off of paper or even plastic plates quite boggles the mind.

      • Rob in CT

        And I assume when a guy like Bloomberg thinks of “decent restaurant in NYC” he means “upscale restaurant on Manhattan, south of [insert some cutoff street here which I don’t actually know b/c my knowledge of Manhattan is only a step or two above tourist].”

        If you accept that sort of thing, the numbers might not be crazy. Some might object to ignoring what is either a majority or a large minority of the subject group (waitstaff).

        • Warren Terra

          And when he says “waiter” he means the Maitre’d or whoever it is that waits on the billionaire and his friends.

          • Aimai

            I don’t know why you guys are making fun of Bloomberg for this estimation of waitress pay. Its right in line with McCain’s assertion that lettuce pickers in the fields of Arizona get 50 dollars an hour. In fact I’m surprised that the waitresses even come in to work for a second month with the kind of money they must be making.

        • Honoré De Ballsack

          And I assume when a guy like Bloomberg thinks of “decent restaurant in NYC” he means “upscale restaurant on Manhattan, south of [insert some cutoff street here which I don’t actually know b/c my knowledge of Manhattan is only a step or two above tourist].”

          FYI: The “Uptown/Downtown” distinction became irrelevant in about 1998. ALL of Manhattan is now completely gentrified.

          • Rob in CT

            There you go. My mother was a commuter from CT to Manhattan until the mid (or late?) 90s. Now she works much closer to home, thankfully. Brutal commute (close to 2hrs one way). Sometimes she’d bring me in (NY native, loves it) so I have a clue but it’s a dated clue.

          • JL

            I’ve spent a fair amount of time in East Harlem (often stay there with friends when I visit NYC). I wouldn’t exactly call it gentrified. Nor some other parts of Harlem. Or parts of the Lower East Side.

            Inwood wasn’t poor to begin with but the housing prices there seem bizarrely reasonable by Manhattan standards. I’m not sure how it’s escaped the levels of gentrification that some other neighborhoods have seen. Do people just not realize that it’s there?

            • matt w

              Maybe? My mom grew up there and always complained about lines like Sondheim’s “From Battery Park to Washington Heights.”

            • skate

              Won’t be too long before Inwood succumbs. I know too many people looking up there because it’s like the last affordable bastion on the 1 train before saying the hell with the commute and moving to Riverdale or points north.

            • BoredJD

              You’re right about East Harlem, although West/Central Harlem below 145 went over the tipping point a few years ago, the gentrifiers skipped over and went up to Washington Heights.

      • JustRuss

        the mean wage for waiters in NYC is roughly $23/hour.

        Hmmm, I keep hearing how $250K a year in NYC is barely scraping by, so $23/hour should be well below the poverty level.

  • Murc

    I don’t think Bloomberg is lying per se.

    I’ve seen this sort of willful delusion from people who want to be conservative but aren’t sociopathic enough to really embrace “fuck tha poors.” Michael Bloomberg has to believe that the black community is wholly responsible for crime affecting it and that waitstaff in Manhattan can easily make six figures. He has to. If he stops believing that, it means he’s a monster, and he can’t quite bring himself to believe that monstrous things are in fact virtues, like other billionaires can.

    • Shakezula

      This is still lying. You can talk about motives, you can even say it is plausible that he didn’t bother to check the figures he cited because he didn’t want to know, but it is still lying.

      • Aimai

        Willful dissemination of lies is definitely still lying. A decision to believe and spread convenient untruths is worse than mere lying. But in any event he’s a monster because he has the opportunity to know better, to do better, to do good and he refuses in order to massage an overgrown ego and a love for his party-of-wealth that is idolatrous.

        • Pseudonym

          Wouldn’t this be closer to bullshit in the technical sense than lying per se?

          • JustRuss

            I think when you pull numbers out of your ass and present them with authority, you’ve earned the title of “liar”.

            • calling all toasters

              Frankly, I would settle for “entitled racist piece of shit demagogue” in lieu of “liar.” But I’m not finicky.

            • Can’t be. If that was the case, Wisconsin media would be calling Scott Walker a liar….

            • Malaclypse

              I think when you pull numbers out of your ass and present them with authority, you’ve earned the title of “liar”.

              It wasn’t a statistic – it was a hypothetical.

            • Pseudonym
      • Rob in CT

        Also, this thought process describes the vast majority, I think, of the Right. Are there some hardcore ideologues and sociopaths? Sure there are, but the rank & file is just choc full of people who aren’t either but who willfully fall for the bullshit because, as you say, recognizing it as bullshit would mean they’d have to give a shit and they don’t want to give a shit. Blaming the victim gets them out of it.

  • joe from Lowell

    I’m glad I didn’t see this until noon, because I have to drink now.

  • JL

    Even looking assuming that he meant the murders were committed by nonwhite (not just black) young men…if you go to Paul’s FBI link, and you add up all the murders committed by people (of any gender) of color AND people of unknown race, between the ages of 13 and 25 PLUS all the ones of unknown age, that still only comes out to 50% of the total.

  • The Temporary Name

    95% of all murders fall into a specific category and 5% are UNIQUE.

  • Colin Day

    In the Blues Brothers movie, there is a waiter who makes $600 a week (in Chicago). This was around 1980. So perhaps $50,000 a year isn’t that far off.

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