Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Steve Forbes Loves Governor Cuomo

Want to know why Rob Astorino can't win in November?

Because business people like Steve Forbes love them some Andrew Cuomo:

BOLTON LANDING—Publishing titan and two-time Republican presidential aspirant Steve Forbes praised Andrew Cuomo before a speech Wednesday, but said it'll be a while before the governor can boast of a welcoming business climate in New York.

“He's made some changes on the tax side, and that's good, but it has to be just the beginning,” Forbes told Capital. “People see that it's beginning to improve, but a lot of work's got to be done.”

The billionaire spoke at the opening dinner of the Business Council of New York State's annual retreat at the Sagamore, a gilded island resort about halfway up the west side of Lake George.


The crux of Forbes' speech was a defense of capitalism and free markets, which Forbes presented as a solution to current problems from health care to inflation.

“Capitalism in free markets promotes cooperation. … You may not love your neighbor, but you sure want to sell your neighbor,” Forbes said. “It's not only creating resources. Capitalism, when allowed to operate, turns scarcity into abundance.”


What we're seeing these days is an abundance of wealth for the top 5% and a scarcity for everybody else:

Manhattan is becoming an island of extremes.

The mean income of the top 5 percent of households in Manhattan soared 9 percent in 2013 over 2012, giving Manhattan the biggest dollar income gap of any county in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau.

The top 5 percent of households earned $864,394, or 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is being released Thursday and covers the final year of the Bloomberg administration.

“The recovery seems to be going to those at the top, much more than those in the middle, while those at the bottom may even be losing ground,” said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York. He attributed the disparity to the surging costs of housing and the lack of housing subsidies and other forms of public assistance available to many needy families.

The wealthiest New Yorkers are benefiting in part from the rise of the financial industry, including hedge funds and investment banks, which has helped lift the income of the most affluent households to levels reached before the recession. The recession lasted roughly from 2007 to mid-2009.


In Manhattan, the ratio between the top 20 percent and the lowest 20 percent fluctuated around 36 since 2006, but has soared more than 7 points since 2012.

The citywide poverty rate remained stalled at about 21 percent. About 1.7 million New Yorkers were living below the official federal threshold for poverty, with the biggest numerical increase among New Yorkers who are 18 to 64 years old.

In the metropolitan area, more people were living below the poverty threshold in 2013 than the year before. In 2012, the federal poverty threshold was $11,170 for an individual and $23,050 for a family of four.

“It means that despite the fact that the recession is over we’re still seeing no basic improvement in poverty levels, and for African-Americans it seems to be getting gradually worse,” said David R. Jones, president of the Community Service Society, a research and advocacy group. “The escalation in rents is driving people to the wall.” About 45 percent of New York City households said they spent 35 percent or more of their income on housing.

Unfortunately whether Cuomo or Astorino wins the election, the state policies that promote this environment will continue unabated.

That's why Forbes isn't going full-out for the GOP candidate.

He knows Cuomo's going to give him what he wants too.


  1. "Capitalism" in reality now is the monopoly system. There is no "free market" other than those imposed by the barrellof a gun...or worse-all propogated from the neoliberal cabal.

    1. Yes, good characterization. It's all rigged for the big guys, but they call it "free".