Michael Bloomberg is a little man with a very big ego and a penchant for plastering his name all over anything he gets ahold of; so for example, the venerable magazine Business Week became Bloomberg Business Week. He overturned term limits to get a third term as Mayor of New York City, because, well, he’s special and shouldn’t be bound by rules meant for lesser men. The problem is, like most egomaniacs, he is nowhere near as consequential as he thinks he is, and his pontifications do not carry the weight of infallibility.
Witness his unbelievably stupid and inconsiderate decision to proceed with the New York City Marathon, thereby diverting resources from places like Staten Island, which are in desperate need of things like the generators set aside for the marathon, or the police, or for that matter, the basic necessities of life. It never would occur to him how callous his decision was, because in his mind these places are backwaters, outside of the media bubble he lives in. His notion of the city is a media construction, not the reality on the ground. Early on he raised property taxes by nearly 20%, and when the little people complained he basically said that living in New York carries a premium and you just have to pay more for the privilege of living here.
It’s not that he’s been a bad mayor. Indeed one could even argue that he’s even been a relatively good one, but he certainly is not a great one. He did find time to weigh in on the presidential election, citing global warming as a major factor in his decision. But you’d be hard pressed to find anyone saying anything about climate in this election cycle. He further pronounced that the storm that hit the region was due to such climate change, just like green entrepreneur Al Gore; never mind that there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support that assertion. This is not to deny climate change, but rather the claim that this storm was attributable to it, when every meteorologist says otherwise. But the facts don’t matter. Bloomberg has spoken.
But he is not as exceptional as he thinks he is. This is a city full of other people with the same attitude- that their wealth is proof they possess some special grace. But they confuse an ability to make a lot of money with an inherent mastery of every other subject, and assume their pronouncements are rooted in a knowledge that they do not in fact possess. Many people do not perceive themselves as others see them, but the greater the disparity, the more they play the fool. But this is usually lost on them because they surround themselves with people who confirm their self-image. A man like Bloomberg is too full of himself to perceive his limitations, and the more conceit he brings to his pronouncements, the more he appears like an emperor with no clothes.
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