Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Emperor Doesn't Care About His Clothes

While Michael Bloomberg went on Meet the Press to praise Barack Obama today, that does not excuse him from his pro-corporate agenda as mayor of New York for the past seven-plus years. His zoning law policies and general favoritism for real estate interests in and around the city clearly showcase that sentiment. Bloomberg has also often been found to making statements that are glaringly out of touch with the typical middle class New Yorker. Yet somehow he still has relatively high popularity (though it has dropped since the term limit extension fiasco). The question is, why? And then it came to me, from a seemingly innocent interview with the mayor by a fashion news assistant.

From The Daily Politics:

"You are much better looking than he is," Bloomberg said, jerking at thumb at your faithful Daily News correspondent (which, in this case, would be DN City Hall Bureau Chief Adam Lisberg). "What are you wearing? That's what I've got to say."

Cass: "I'm wearing Betsy Johnson. Who are you wearing?"

Bloomberg: "I have no idea. Probably Paul Stuart."

Cass: "Mayor, tell me, what role do you think the fashion industry plays in New York City?"

Bloomberg: "Fashion sets the tone. It provides the glamour. And all the other industries feed off that. We all want to be part of the best and the brightest, but also the most elegant and the most fun. And New York City is the fashion capital of the world."

With that, the mayor was off and running, talking about the size and importance of the fashion business, the state of the city's economy and the great job President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are doing.

"Fashion helps people," Bloomberg said. "It gives them confidence in the future. It makes them proud of themselves. You know, everybody likes to dress up and look in a mirror. That's what life is about."

"Fashion helps people?" Life is about dressing up and looking in the mirror? Um, did the mayor read that in the back of a Vogue or Cosmo magazine? Fashion may be important to the people that work in the industry, but that's about it. As for the industry and us being the capitol of the world, if it were up to Bloomberg the industry would be kicked out of here to make room for businesses that'll pay higher rents and build shinier buildings in the area. Unless you haven't been to the fashion district in a while, it is being taken over by chain hotels and condo-loving developers that are looking to cash in on the somewhat cheaper neighborhood.

That is what Mayor Bloomberg is all about really. He may not be all about clothes, but he is certainly into having people believe that he has the best vision for the city when it is clear that he doesn't. Perhaps his royal court of developers and real estate executives think he looks great (policy-wise) but as for the rest of us, we need to stop buying into his hype that because he has an ever-increasing bank account full of billions, that the rest of us somehow have access to that wealth.