Category Archives: Michael Bloomberg

As A Matter Of Fact…Business Leaders Agree: Raising the Minimum Wage Makes Sense

by Jon Whiten
Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

While legislative leaders’ efforts to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour have taken a backseat in recent weeks to the governor’s proposed income tax cut, similar legislation in New York is gaining the backing of some high-profile business advocates.

First up was a Daily News op-ed co-authored by New York City’s billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg that used free-market ideology to argue for bolstering the minimum wage.

“[The minimum wage] helps taxpayers by reducing the number of people who might otherwise have to rely on public assistance to survive,” Bloomberg and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wrote. “Taxpayers benefit when government dependency is low – and so does the economy.”

The Daily News piece was followed a few days later by an editorial in business bible Crain’s that called for the minimum wage to be raised to $8.50 an hour and tied to inflation going forward. Crain’s said opponents’ arguments that a wage increase will destroy low-paid jobs just aren’t true; it pointed to New York’s 2004 raising of the wage as an example.

“If the change had a cataclysmic effect on businesses that depend heavily on minimum-wage workers, we certainly missed it,” the paper wrote. “Neither, quite obviously, did it shower undeserved riches on the bottom rung of workers.”

If and when the minimum wage bill here in New Jersey starts to pick up steam again, we can only hope some of the state’s leading voices for business will, like Bloomberg and Crain’s, avoid a knee-jerk dismissal of the proposal, and look instead at how it will help our entire economy to flourish.

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blog, Michael Bloomberg, minimum wage, New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective, NY Daily News, taxpayers

>Politicians’ reputations can be buried by snowstorms; If you’re a politician, beware of snow. It can bury a career.

>Very good Op-Ed by the Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson that discusses the potential danger that politicians face when they downplay the negative effects that weather, in this case snow storms, can have on their reputations.

In the op-ed, Robinson talks about the potential damage that this weeks massive snowstorm may have caused to both Governor Chris Christie (away in Disney World) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg (perceived indifference) reputation of being competent and in control of whatever situations that may arise. He qualifies his opinion by detailing the effects that other major storms had on the careers of politicians in cities like Washington DC (Marion Barry 1987), Chicago (Michael Bilandic 1979) and Denver (Bill McNichols 1982), each lost their bids at election or re-election because of how voters in those cities perceived how well or not so well they handled their particular snow crisis.
It’s a good read that I hope others can learn from (are you reading this Gerry?):

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are learning that lesson the hard way, as their angry constituents dig out of last weekend’s blizzard. Bloomberg is being hammered for the city’s slow and incompetent response, especially in the outer boroughs; Christie, for jetting off to Walt Disney World just before the storm dumped nearly three feet of snow in parts of his state.

The two beleaguered officials – both of whom are rumored to have national ambitions – should have had a consultation with Marion Barry.

In January 1987, Barry kicked off his third term as mayor of Washington with a trip to Southern California for the Super Bowl. While he was getting a manicure and playing tennis at the posh Beverly Hilton, the voters who had elected him were being buried under 20 inches of snow. The city was utterly paralyzed – streets unplowed, buses immobilized, subway barely running. The mayor continued to frolic in the sun.

Are you getting any of this, Gov. Christie?

Finally, Barry came home. He wanted to survey the situation, so he had to tour the city by helicopter; his limousine, he explained, would have gotten stuck in the snow. His aerial assessment: “We’re not a snow town.”

Unbelievably, that wasn’t Barry’s first unfortunate encounter with winter weather. In 1979, barely into his first term, he was vacationing in Miami when an 18-inch snowfall shut down the city. When he got home, a reporter asked how people were supposed to get to work. “Take a bus,” Barry said. Informed that the buses weren’t running, Barry modified his advice: “They can walk.”

It’s unlikely that anyone will top Barry for grossly mishandling the aftermath of a snowstorm – and anyway, it was white powder of a different kind that led to his downfall. But his is hardly the only example.

In 1979, Michael Bilandic was expected to cruise to reelection as mayor of Chicago. He had the support of the Democratic machine, which usually guaranteed victory. But a series of big snowstorms that winter turned “the city that works” into “the city that couldn’t get to work,” with some neighborhoods left unplowed for weeks. Minorities and working-class whites felt particularly neglected.

Jane Byrne, an unlikely challenger in the Democratic mayoral primary, took advantage of Bilandic’s missteps by filming campaign ads on snowbound streets. She won narrowly – and went on to become the first woman to serve as Chicago’s mayor. Bilandic spent the rest of his career in the worthy obscurity of the state appellate bench.

Paying attention, Mayor Bloom-berg?

Snow can make voters forget all the good things you’ve done. Bill McNichols, who served as mayor of Denver for 14 years, is generally given credit for the city’s cosmopolitan growth. But a blizzard deposited two feet of snow on Christmas Eve 1982 – when city workers were at home with their families, not out clearing impassible streets and airport runways. How many Denver residents had their holiday travel plans ruined? Enough to get McNichols bounced out of office a few months later.

Snow eventually melts, but hardened hearts may not.


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Filed under Chris Christie, Eugene Robinson, Michael Bloomberg, snow storm, Washington Post

Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Meet The Press This Sunday


Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be joining David Gregory on Meet the Press this Sunday.

Booker will be joined by fellow mayor, New York City’s Michael Bloomberg to dsicuss unemployment and job prospects that continue to look bleak for many Americans. They will give their insights into how and when things will finally start to recover and how they are finding solutions to unemployment, housing foreclosures and a faltering economy. It should be interesing.

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Filed under Cory Booker, David Gregory, job prospects, Meet the Press, Michael Bloomberg, mortgage foreclosures, unemployment