Middle Class Mayor?
February 3rd, 2009

The past few years have been difficult ones for New York middle class, but that should change if the city hopes to thrive in the years ahead, Joel Kotkin writes in Forbes.

Looking at the city today, Kotkin, who is working on a report for the Center for an Urban Future and is executive editor of www.newgeography.com, sees a middle class battered by the boom, accounting for only 53 percent of city residents (compared with 63 percent for the nation as a whole). This, Kotkin writes, “did not much bother New York’s media, business and political hegemons. Under its ruling Medici, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York has been shaped as a place for the masters and their servants.”

Now, the masters can’t afford servants, but Kotkin sees a prosperous future for the city, fueled by small business, many in the outer boroughs, in such fields as design, marketing and data analysis. He concludes, New York should “turn its attention from the chic precincts to its middle-class neighborhoods…. The ‘luxury city’ concept needs to be discarded just like other toxic manifestations from a discredited era.”

In a possibly (underscore possibly) related development, City Room reported today that Andrea Batista Schlesinger has left the Drum Major Institute, a policy think tank, to work for Bloomberg’s re-election campaign. The Times describes DMI as having deep ties to the civil rights movement, whihc is true. But in recent years the institute has focused more on economic justice and the concerns of a struggling middle class. They’re not issues most people would associate the mayor but maybe Schlesinger’s appointment indicates he’s gotten Kotkin’s message.

Then again maybe it’s just part of his recent campaign spending spree.

By on February 3, 2009, 10:03 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Middle Class Mayor?”

  1. mimi362 Says:
    February 4th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Lucky for him he has the money, but you know what New Yorker’s are sick and tired of these jerks treating us like we are morons.This egotist thinks he is the only one that can solve our economic problems but His ideas for the economy borders on incompetence any one could have said lets cut 14,000 teachers but is that the answer- No only a jerk would say that and only a jerk would increase our sales tax when we are trying to get people to shop again, what is he trying to do get everyone to run to Jersey Their are numerous ways to cut spending in this city and I would start with his pet project the new stadium. The teams should be paying for that one not New York tax payers, personally I think Teachers, Firemen and our Police are more important than ball players.

  2. Elizabeth Says:
    February 4th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    When the Drum Major Institute gave the mayor its “Drum Major for Justice” award last year I was dumbfounded, since Bloomberg is hardly the champion of social and economic justice that this would imply. The award also cast doubt on Andrea Batista Schlesinger’s progressive credentials, and this career move does seem to confirm that she has moved somewhere to the right of progressive.

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