So what if there’s an income gap? Mayor Bloomberg says the glaring disparity between the city’s rich and poor only exists because of the city is lucky enough to attract the world’s super-wealthy.
“You picture this income inequality measure, but if we could get every billionaire around the world to move here, it would be a godsend,” he said in his weekly radio show Friday morning.
Bloomberg, whose $31 billion net worth last year put him 10th on Forbes Magazine’s annual list of wealthiest Americans, said billionaires keep the city running.
“They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes,” he said.
“They are the ones that spend a lot of money in the stores and restaurants and create a big chunk of our economy. And we take the tax revenues from those people to help people throughout the entire rest of the spectrum.”
New York has the largest income inequality gap of any city in the country, according to a census report this week. But Bloomberg says that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“While there are still people at the bottom struggling,” he said, “we’ve made a lot of progress, the problem in the income gap is not at that end. The reason it’s so big is at that higher end we’ve been able to do something that none of these other cities can do. And that is attract a lot of the very wealthy from around the country and around the world.”
Oftentimes those same billionaires Bloomberg is aggrandizing own big chunks of corporations that pay no taxes, receive tax breaks from the city for 20, 30 or even 40 years, and enjoy all kinds of corporate welfare benefits that helps put those billions in those billionaires' accounts.
Sometimes those billionaires or multi-millionaires own companies that pay slave wages to their employees, forcing those employees to seek help from the government (i.e., food stamps) in order to feed their families.
Think Ken Langone, who owns Home Depot, or the Walton Family, which owns Walmart, or the Koch Brothers, who own all sorts of industries and companies that hire exploitable labor.
These same billionaires often use tax shelters to make sure they don't have to pay their fair share of taxes.
Take Mike Bloomberg, for example, who uses the Cayman Islands as a tax shelter for Bloomberg Philanthropy.
So Mayor Bloomberg can talk his Ayn Rand fantasy about how the billionaire "movers" and "creators" are letting the riff raff live off them all he wants.
The truth is, nobody makes a billionaire dollars honestly.
Not Ken Langone, not the Waltons, not the Koch Brothers, not anyone in the financial world and certainly not Mike Bloomberg.
Mario Puzo opens up The Godafather with a quote from Balzac:
"Behind every great fortune is a crime."
These billionaires Bloomberg is sanctifying with his religious gloss today are no better than organized crime kingpins Puzo writes about in his novel who make their wealth living off the blood of others.
In fact, they're all part of the same crew of capitalist vultures - gangsters and bankers, industrialists and billionaire mayors of NYC.
The only difference is, Puzo gave his criminals more charm.