Bloomberg’s city

by Michael O. Allen on February 27, 2008

The best Levi Jeans I ever wore as a child growing up in Africa were not the ones sent to me by my father, who lived in Chicago at the time. They were the knock-offs made in the warren of factories in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Nigeria of my youth had a highly educated but under-employed workforce. The situation today is not that different, except that that workforce is even more educated now and even more under-employed.

What brings about this little trip down memory lane?

Action by goons working for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in a raid in Chinatown yesterday. $1 million in counterfeit goods seized in NYC raidSo said the headline of the Associated Press story Newsday ran yesterday.

The Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement, after two months of investigation, descended on an area they called the “Counterfeit Triangle” and seized counterfeit Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Rolex and Coach goods.

I am not saying counterfeiters are good for the economy but these Americans trying to work, something to help their families (the government surely ain’t gonna do it) and they get harassed.

First, corporations devalue work and shipped it to overseas sweatshops. Then when some of the people left behind try to do a little work, they arrest them for alleged quality of life violation.Of course, no sooner were the members of this special unit—cops and buildings and finance inspectors—back in their office after this little charade than the hawkers were back on the street peddling the same wares.

This is what I’ve come to expect from the Bloomberg administration. This is the same mayor who promulgated a law against picking up furniture that people have disposed off on city sidewalks. My friend Todd at Yankees For Justice wrote about this a month ago.

Other people’s discards were the only way I furnished my city apartment back in the days. Then Bloomberg not only made that against the law, he confiscated your vehicle if you put the trash you just picked up in your car or van. I did that. I would see something and, if it was too big to carry, I’d run and get my car, hoping no else got to it before I got back.

And when I made the mistake of a putting perfectly good Sony television on the sidewalk, it was gone before I could change my mind and bring it back in.

I did not consider the person who took that television a thief. It’s a time-honored New York City tradition. Until the abomination that is Mike Bloomberg.

Now, his department of Sanitation trumpets how many people they arrest and how many vehicles they seized on a city website.

I know some people think Bloomberg has been great for New York City. I guess anyone coming after Rudy Giuliani has to be considered great in comparison. Bloomberg is a charlatan who didn’t want to be mayor but ran as a lark.

I cannot wait for his nightmare reign to end.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pete February 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM

I read a Yankees justice blog that had a story about this Bloomberg business and it recommended the Palimpsest. Nice job over here. I’ll add to my favorites.

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