Mayor Bloomberg's Video Game Finance

by Nathan French
File under: Fake Labor 01 Mar 2013 14:38 EST

Mayor Bloomberg has been the object of populist scorn in recent months.  The banker-mayor, with a net worth of over $25 billion, has taken to banning the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces in his domain, lest any particularly appetitive resident of his city save enough money by buying bulk sodas to challenge his hegemony.  

But really, I think we can say that his legislation against Big Sugar isn't just financially motivated, because Mr. Bloomberg doesn't have to limit himself to such nickel and dime tactics. His is more of a power of pure association than the product of any kind of discrete, tactical strategy. He can doright by the people, like help Goldman Sachs rebuild the area around ground zerobecause he knows the right people:

Then he’s describing how he lobbied Henry Paulson Jr.,  the Goldman Sachs CEO, to build the company’s new headquarters across from ground zero. “If my company hadn’t been started here, I don’t think there’s a chance we would have been anywhere near as successful,” Bloomberg says. “This is where the best want to live and work. So I told him, ‘We can help with minimizing taxes. We can help with minimizing your rent. We can help with improving security. All of those kinds of things. But in the end, Hank, look, this is about people.’ ” The city’s workforce has plenty of admirable qualities, but even Bloomberg can’t spin the fact that Goldman got more than $1.65 billion in city and state “help” in the deal. So he digresses into a rumination about his generation of financial executives. “Hank is a business friend,” Bloomberg says. “Most of the guys that run these big firms, they’re my age. And because of my company, there’s a credibility. They respect somebody who’s not a politician, who’s trying to get things done. And I think it’s fair to say they like the progress in the city.” 

Reading these kind of nonchalant tumbrel remarks, one may wrongly disparage the mayor as an old, out of touch oligarch entirely insensitive to the plight of the jobless, dreamless generations in his wake.  But really, his logic should resonate with our digital generation.  He's found the ultimate 'cheat code' to life, and he can pretty much approach it in full sandbox mode, freed of all the nagging pains of finitude.  In fact, he's even taken to publicly articulating his confidence in the infinite resources of his oligarchical class:

Furthermore, while saying the federal deficit does indeed need to be curtailed, Mr. Bloomberg argued the United States could owe “an infinite amount of money” and there is no specific amount that would cause the country to default.

“We are spending money we don’t have,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “It’s not like your household. In your household, people are saying, ‘Oh, you can’t spend money you don’t have.’ That is true for your household because nobody is going to lend you an infinite amount of money. When it comes to the United States federal government, people do seem willing to lend us an infinite amount of money. … Our debt is so big and so many people own it that it’s preposterous to think that they would stop selling us more. It’s the old story: If you owe the bank $50,000, you got a problem. If you owe the bank $50 million, they got a problem. And that’s a problem for the lenders. They can’t stop lending us more money.”

So what's left for you poor peasant households still bound by arithmetic?  If I were you I'd pick up one of the many 'life simulator' video games on the market, maybe work your way up and become mayor of SimCity, and take comfort in the simulation of the real fantasy only a few irl admins get to enjoy. 


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