Bloomberg Lays Out National Job Plan
December 8th, 2010


Photo (cc) Edward Reed

Sounding awfully like a presidential candidate, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a six-point job growth plan in Brooklyn this morning, reiterating his call for innovation and large-scale immigration reform in Washington.

Although the three-term mayor has repeatedly denied he has sights on higher office, Bloomberg did not hesitate to take on the political sputtering of the nation’s capital.

“The current barriers standing in the way of innovation and job creation are much more political than economic,” Bloomberg said standing in front of a wall of windows with a crane-spotted skyline at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “We need change, and whether the recent elections will be a cure for Americas economic problems - or just another symptom of our dysfunctional politics - remains to be seen.”

Tip-toeing around an all-out call for his own brand of leadership, Bloomberg contrasted his successes in the Big Apple to the perpetual stalemate in Washington (though he failed to point specifically at who’s to blame). He called the recent compromise on unemployment benefits and tax credits “encouraging,” but said similar agreements must be more frequent. He took aim at the stimulus package and the health care bill, saying they did not go far enough to promote “innovation.”

He warned the Obama adminsitration to “be very careful” to make sure the financial services bill, meant to prevent another mammoth recession, doesn’t hinder innovation.

The mayor said his adminsitration has developed innovative strategies to propel the city’s recovery at a faster rate than the nation’s. Among them, he said, are the city’s job training and placement centers. The mayor announced he would move to expand the program and open 10 more centers over the next year with the goal of placing 40,000 people in positions per year by 2012.

According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York City has an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, while the country’s overall rate is 9.8 percent.

“Especially in these tough times, we need our leaders to inspire the whole country — not criticize half of it,” the mayor said.

To spur job growth, Bloomberg whittled down his solutions to deep, complex economic problems to six overarching proposals — some of which appear easier to swallow than others. Bloomberg said the nation should instill confidence in its citizens (excuse me, consumers) and promote trade worldwide. He said the nation’s leaders should be “salespeople for America.”

Bloomberg said the country has to reform regulations — not create more or less, but “smarter” rules not dictated by industries donating to legislative campaigns. The mayor encouraged Washington to lower business taxes and invest in job training.

Above all else, Bloomberg pushed for immigration reform. He called the country’s current immigration policy “national suicide,” because we educate the world’s entrepreneurs here, but don’t allow them to then work here. Bloomberg said the country should focus on recruiting the world’s best and brightest workers, not kicking them out.

His address focused far more on higher-skilled workers than on low-skilled ones.

“Family reunification is a compassionate goal, but when it comes to assigning visas, we can no longer afford to disregard the needs of our businesses,” the mayor said.

Those at today’s breakfast, which was sponsored by the Association for a Better New York and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, agreed — with a standing ovation.

These six elements sound very similar to an emerging national platform, don’t you think?

By on December 8, 2010, 11:34 am
In category: Albany,City Hall,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing | Comments Off on Bloomberg Lays Out National Job Plan

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