Saturday, December 18, 2010

New York Mayor or US President?

I read a recent news report, of the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg saying that he won’t be a contender for the US Presidential race of 2012, with a bit of special interest.

When I was in US this summer, in August 2010, I was travelling on a train from Penn station in New York City to Metuchen in New Jersey. On this reasonably long ride, I got chatting with an articulate fellow passenger who turned out to be the owner of a Jewish Deli, near Times Square, offering what he said was delicious kosher and non-kosher food to a busy weekend crowd. It was way past mid-night, about 2.00 am, and we were, perhaps, on the last train on that Saturday night.

He asked me ‘You know why I am travelling to New Jersey when I have my little restaurant in New York City, at this time of the night? I asked why. And he said “It’s because I can’t afford to live here by paying the rents of New York. Since the time this Mayor Bloomberg took over, the rents in the busiest places have risen higher by almost three times! I am paying thrice what I used to pay as my restaurant rent, and I had no choice but to move my residence out of New York.” When I asked how Bloomberg compares with Rudi Guiliani, he became livid. “No comparison”, he said. “Bloomberg is way down low! And I am saying this knowing very well that he is a fellow Jew”!

Whatever the truth in his story, I seem to understand that Bloomberg doesn’t have a very healthy support from his own community, let alone from the city, state or country, to attempt to become the President of USA.

As the 10th richest person in the United States, having a net worth of US$18 billion in 2010, he may be the founder and 88% owner of Bloomberg L.P., the financial news and information services media company, but he probably has to just concentrate on making NYC as efficient as he can make it. He seems to be getting quite successful at that, even if by angering some. Being the Mayor of the biggest city in the world is job enough!