Mayor Bloomberg's Last Act Is to Make Sure New Yorkers Don’t Get a Living Wage
If you can't get what you want via democratic means, sue someone. Isn't that the American way?
Yes, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who failed to prevent the New York City Council from passing a living wage bill last year. Now, in final months as mayor, he is suing to see the law killed, thus securing his legacy as an enemy of New York's working class when the working class needs his allegiance most.
The legislation Bloomberg so staunchly opposes requires developers and businesses who receive at least $1 million in city aid to pay workers either $10 an hour with benefits, or $11.50 an hour without. But Bloomberg refuses to implement the law, claiming it conflicts with New York State's minimum wage law. Unfortunately, it's a winning argument: It successfully destroyed New York's prevailing wage law over the summer.
The sad irony, of course, is Bloomberg's own wealth. While the three-term mayor continues to roll in the proverbial dough from his own privately held corporation, those who elected him are suffering some of the toughest economic hardships of our time. During Bloomberg's term, the gap between NYC's rich and poor widened significantly, housing prices skyrocketed, and homelessness increased a whopping 73%. Meanwhile, the mayor who prides himself on taking public transportation enjoys a lavish life reserved for the 1%.
Depending on how you see it, it's a sad swan song for the mayor who was elected by a city who believed he shared its liberal values. Or, maybe it's the perfectly tragic ending to a businessman's lengthy tenure. Fortunately, if Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio fulfills his campaign promises, despite Bloomberg's best efforts to suppress New York's working class, 2014 may just be the dawn of a new era in which the American Dream becomes a reality ... at least in the Big Apple.