Top_081109 Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a significant leader of great interest to many Americans. It was rumored, in the last election cycle, that he might run as an independent candidate for president. I still think he may run such a campaign in the future. I listen to Michael Bloomberg whenever he talks about our cities and their future. He plainly understands the infrastructure of big cities and how they can thrive in a modern context. Bloomberg recently shared some great insights, in Business Week (August 24), into what makes a recessionary economy a time of real opportunity for true growth.

The mayor started a new technology company in an earlier recession and then ended up incredibly wealthy in the process. People told him that he was crazy to invest big money in a start-up during a bad economy. He proved them wrong. Later he was told that he was crazy to run for the mayoral office. He says, "Human achievement is built on the optimistic notion that what is not possible today can be possible tomorrow. America has never had a short supply of optimists, which may be the best of all reasons to be hopeful." Bloomberg is an optimist if he is anything at all! I think we can stand to hear a few optimists right now.

Bloomberg is also bullish on big cities. He says safer streets in New York have attracted entrepreneurial and ambitious people, especially young people. These young adults have transformed once-blighted neighborhoods. While manufacturing has moved overseas Mayor Bloomberg notes that design continues to grow in America. This is a sector of our economy that relies on ideas and he believes there are some great ideas in our biggest cities. (Not all big cities for sure, but most of them.) While financial services have declined in the present global recession, innovative and high-tech industry is growing. Technology, says Mayor Bloomberg, is stretching the bounds of entrepreneurialism. He says, "If you can dream it, you can build it, and the U. S. has always been a nation of dreamers, even in the toughest times."

Bloomberg believes that the current recession will give rise to a new wave of entrepreneurs. He also believes, and I hope someone is listening, that the challenge for local, state and national governments is to find ways to encourage and attract this vast potential. In New York City the mayor is opening business incubators, holding boot camps for entrepreneurs, organizing business-plan competitions and expanding the amount of early-stage seed capital designated for start-ups. He is also cutting taxes for small businesses.

Bloomberg believes the expansion of capital in countries like India and China will profit the U.S. He is most definitely not a protectionist. In fact, no one who is forward thinking about America's future is a protectionist. America's deep pool of talent and technological know-how will continue to make it a desirable place for investment opportunity if government plays the right role. He also believes Congress needs to fix our broken immigration system so that our society can truly be more open. Conservatives react against this thinking but I fear this reaction is very often rooted in a general ignorance of the issue or a latent racism that is not understood. Our world-class universities can attract the best and the brightest if we are open to the world. Government's role, besides creating a climate for all this to happen, is to invest in quality of life issues by committing money to mass transit, parks, schools, etc.

Bloomberg is not a conservative or a liberal, at least not in the normal ways these labels are used in the modern context. His social views are clearly more to the left, as are some of his views about other non-spending issues. But he is more of a fiscal conservative in the area of taxes and spending. All of this makes him both an interesting proponent of the future of our big cities as well as an interesting candidate for higher office. When Michael Bloomberg speaks a lot of talented and able people listen. It seems they do so for very good reason. I have no idea if I would vote for him but I will always be interested in what he has to say. He is an impressive mayor of the world's greatest big city.

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  1. ColtsFan August 27, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Bloomberg is gifted in economics. He is a liberal on social issues.
    JA writes:
    “In fact, no one who is forward thinking about America’s future is a protectionist. America’s deep pool of talent and technological know-how will continue to make it a desirable place for investment opportunity if government plays the right role. He also believes Congress needs to fix our broken immigration system so that our society can truly be more open. Conservatives react against this thinking but I fear this reaction is very often rooted in a general ignorance of the issue or a latent racism that is not understood.”
    My response:
    If you are advocating the David Brooks party line of “comprehensive immigration reform” (pushing the 8th Amnesty for illegals since 1986), then respectfully I believe you are mistaken.
    The immigration laws of this country are not broken. If you follow the rules and obey the law, then things will work out.
    In my occupation, I meet with many computer programmers, scientists, capital markets types (usually I-banks) who are on H1-b visas or who are in the process of gaining their citizenship LEGALLY. I am currently in the process of helping a wonderful lady obtain her visa and fulfill all the legal requirements so she can practice medicine here. These folks come from across the world. In my experience I usually see folks come from India (all facets of engineering), Netherlands (capital markets), Columbia South America (referring to pharmaceutical industry), Pakistan (computer science), South Africa (hotel, medicine), and Eastern europe (medicine).
    3 weeks ago I met a Romanian who was here setting up a new hotel.
    These nice folks speak English and they do not commit crimes. I do not feel threatened by these folks because they do not commit Social Security fraud or Identity theft. Nor are their children likely to grow up in gangs due to the fatherless homes and widespread acceptability of single motherhood steming from a Third World cultural perspective where matriarchy and extended family raise the children, and not necessarily mom and DAD.
    Nor do these fine folks wear Chingo Bling shirts or have large posters of Che Guevara on their bedroom wall (like an acquaintance of mine in Chicago).
    Nor do they try to have multiple “anchor babies” on Illinois Public Aid in order to covet USA citizenship, despite not being married. Instead, they are good people who want to become Americans. When I meet them, they don’t tell me that their native country textbooks teach that “America is really a Continent! And NOT a country.” Nor do I hear from them that America was “stolen” from them. Instead, they talk about reading up on American values and assimilating properly. And they ask tons of questions to me about my country.
    I don’t know your intent here……. But “conservatives” (do I even want that label attached to me when opponents hint at Racism concerning rewarding illegals with the gift of USA citizenship for the 8th time in 20 years? What a nice way to further dialogue!) are not protectionist.
    I am a free market guy, who thinks capitalism works best within a moral code of rules. Unbridled, and “anything goes” capitalism is bad.
    Bloomberg has been complaining about New York state taxes going up. His city has a welfare system within the NY State system, and the governor Patterson wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for the deficit and for health care. Bloomberg fears the likely exodus of the wealthy from NYC, and has opposed this.
    Ultimately, my comment on this topic will likely fall on deaf ears. Usually, from my experience Christians have 2 responses to the negative effects of illegal immigration:
    a.) cry “Racism!!”, but presume in their own hearts: Isaiah 39:8
    b.) move to a different zip code. America is still a big country, and who cares about what is happening in Kalifornia anyway. Just raise taxes on the middle class.

  2. ColtsFan September 24, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Has anyone else seen the news? Or is this story also being covered up by the New York Times?
    “Authorities said that Smadi was under continuous FBI surveillance. Federal agents posed as members of an al-Qa’ida sleeper cell. Smadi, who was in the U.S. ***illegally***, allegedly told them that he came to the country specifically to commit “Jihad for the sake of God.”
    So we have another illegal alien who was planning to bomb a Dallas skyscraper.
    Just think…….if this guy had only waited to commit his terrorism, then he would have been eligible for the 8th amnesty (“Code Word: Comprehensive Immigration Reform”) since 1986!!
    When will America wake up?

  3. ColtsFan September 24, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I meant to say, “if that terrorist plotter had merely waited until the next amnesty had passed, then he would have been granted USA citizenship.”
    Folks, this is serious.
    We have September 11, 2001:
    Then we had the Fort Dix terrorists who were here illegally:
    When will America do something?
    We have this special report from a San Antonio newspaper:
    I am not optimistic.

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