When Occupy Wall Street marched to the Upper East Side of Manhattan to protest at the homes of Rupert Murdoch, David Koch and other one percenters, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg objected to the "bashing" of Wall Street billionaires. That's the same social strata that crashed the economy, was bailed out by taxpayers and enjoyed fat bonuses. New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante's (left) assessment of the Bloomberg era, "A Mayor Who Puts Wall Street First," considers the mayor's defense of the economic elite, the city's growing economic inequality under his tenure and his elevation of an artisan class catering to the rich:
No mayor in New York’s history has done more to consolidate the city’s identity with Wall Street. ...he was one of the country’s most impassioned and nurturing supporters of Wall Street during its most ethically unhinged hour.
...This was apparent in the way his police force greeted the arrival of Occupy Wall Street, with Mace and pointless arrests, ultimately clearing Zuccotti Park, where the protesters had encamped, with the aid of sirens and riot gear, as if Manhattan had been taken over by the Shining Path.
A political figure rarely afraid of expressing reproach — someone whose administration stigmatized fat people, poor teenage mothers, members of the teachers’ union — Mr. Bloomberg seems to imagine that any impulse short of adulation will shoo Wall Street away. Several weeks ago he publicly denounced Eliot Spitzer, not for his domestic failings but for his wish to curtail the worst instincts of the banks and to maximize their utilitarian value. (“This is our industry,” the mayor said. “We’d appreciate it if someone recognized that this is our tax base.”)
...Wall Street has benefited under Mayor Bloomberg much more than other industries, as evidenced by the pronounced inequality felt all over the country and experienced most dramatically here.
...it is easy to envision that we might have arrived at a better place with someone who had paid more visceral attention to inequity than with someone who felt the need to sue the City Council to block a measure mandating a living wage (the suit was thrown out of court).
...Mayor Bloomberg, who did nothing to elevate the status of teachers, an exercise that might have helped draw the most talented to that profession, has done a lot to elevate the status of people who make things, or rather the people who make the right things intended to be sold to the right MacBook-carrying-Martha’s Vineyard-vacationing people.