As the Bloomberg era ends and Comrade Bill de Blasio takes over in New York City, we are all awaiting our first rush of Bloomberg nostalgia.
You can say many good things about the Bloomberg mayoralty; in many ways New York has been doing very well, thank you. And yet, unemployment in minority precincts has been unacceptably high. Of course, most of the obstacles to minority employment have been thrown up by the New York City Council and its labor union allies.
If Bloomberg had been a better politician he would have taken the fight to the unions and perhaps opened the job market to many New Yorkers.
And yet, as people look back at Bloomberg, they do not remember the good that happened in New York over the past twelve years, they recall everything that Bloomberg has banned or tried to ban.
Perhaps because he is a student of behavioral economics Bloomberg decided that he knew what was best for everyone. So he embraced all of the usual liberal pieties and set out to impose his idea of clean living on his fellow New Yorkers. Gizmodo has a list of everything that Bloomberg banned or tried to ban.
It was probably not a bad thing to ban cigarette smoking in bars, but banning the Big Gulp was one ban too many. No one complained about the ban on commercial music over 45 decibels, but banning traffic from Times Square made a mess of city transportation.
Banning Styrofoam coffee cups did not make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, Bloomberg’s environmentally correct regulations— the ones that were designed to combat global warming— primarily served to damage his own reputation.
The sad part is that all of the regulations, a prelude for the Obama administration’s regulatory orgy, made Bloomberg’s look ridiculous. Having diminished his prestige by acting like a scold, Bloomberg could not summon the political courage to lead the fight for more opportunity in minority communities.