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Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts
November 08, 2012

Red Cognitive Dissonance Syndrome NY, NJ

Intriguing to see a couple of state and city politicians (Christie, Bloomberg) relying on public-sector union workers, calling for the federal government to provide services that the free market can not or will not provide, and intervening without hesitation in the Sacred Market Place by implementing energy rationing rather than relying on the Omnipotent Invisible Hand to work it all out.

And, for a slightly intermediate view, wasn't Richard Nixon the most recent President to implement national price controls (in 1971 and again in 1973)?

And yet, which political party (hint: Nixon, Bloomberg, Christie) makes a lot of noise about being free-market advocates, job creators, union-busters, and competent self-reliant pragmatists? Seems like a complete disconnect between what they do, and what they call the other folks.

Here's my suggested entry for the next update of the DSM-IV:

Diagnosis: Red Cognitive Dissonance Syndrome (RCDS)
Key Diagnostic Indications: Patient behaves in expedient manner contradicting all previous philosophy, presents justification along the lines of: but this one is different.
Maybe that's what they mean when they say they believe in American Exceptionalism: "I believe all that stuff I said before, 'xcept this one time is a special case, really."
December 03, 2011

Thank You Mayor Mubarak Bloomberg and the HS-MIC

We have recently suggested that in the aftermath of 9-11, police departments are losing their "protect-and-serve" civilian orientation in favor of a military/ counter-terrorism posture that is nurtured by the Homeland Security Military Industrial Complex (HSMIC) and led by civilians that defer to national military advisors.

We have received feedback that our claim is far-fetched, over-reaching, and myopic. Fortunately, New York City's Mayor Mubarak Bloomberg has weighed in to support our position.

From the NY Post:
NYC is ready to go to war.

Mayor Bloomberg boasted yesterday that "I have my own army" in the NYPD and, if that wasn't enough to establish the city as a worldwide power, added "I have my own state department" as well.

The comments came during a speech the mayor delivered at MIT describing how he was managing the city. Trying to offer some idea of the scope of New York's workforce, Bloomberg got a bit carried away with himself.

"I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world," he said. "I have my own state department, to Foggy Bottom's annoyance. We have the UN in New York, so we have entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have. I don't listen to Washington very much, which is something they're not thrilled about."

We look forward to learning about his army's perspective on the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners, the Geneva Protocol to the Hague Convention on the use of gas/biochemical weapons such as pepper spray, and the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We remain intrigued about the Rules of Engagement the Mayor has established for the NYPD's claimed capability to shoot down civilian aircraft on their own authority.

What's amazing is that Bloomberg, who both promotes a domestic military presence and is himself a product of the culture of Homeland Security, manages to make Rudy Guliani seem rational, and manages to make uber-mensch Ed Koch seem a milquetoast.
November 06, 2009

Titular Economy: Buying Jobs and Titles

There's been some buying of jobs and titles.
  • for $30,000 you can buy the title of Co-Pilot with Gulfstream Airlines (see previous post)
  • The New York Yankees have bought another World Series title.
  • New York City's Michael Bloomberg has bought the title of Mayor for a third term, after buying his way out of the term limits law. We await indications of whether Hizzoner prefers to purchase a fourth term.
I am struck by this new business model of buying titles or jobs that were once earned. Why would somebody buy a job? Because the experience or influence is worth much more (to the buyer) than the salary. It's a corrupt situation ripe for exploitation. For instance, for $30K you can be a co-pilot on a Continental Connections flight with Gulfstream.

First I thought: it's terrible, scandalous, unspeakable! Then I realized, maybe I'm just being resistant to change, maybe I should embrace the new perspective. This will inevitably extend into other fields; maybe there's a lot of money to be moved in Jobs for Sale (J4S).

These Jobs-For-Sale can't be jobs where solo performance is crucial. They don't sell the pilot's job, they sell the co-pilots job. The pilot is (theoretically) the grown-up, the babysitter who ensures that the co-pilot doesn't compromise the business. The ideal Jobs-For-Sale position is that of a sidekick or team member - Robin rather than Batman, any of the seven dwarfs rather than the Prince.

I expect that other industries will soon start selling jobs. The trick, of course, is to find a willing buyer with sufficient money. The opportunity must be glamorous. The field will need to have a high cost of entry; in other words, be restricted so that the audience can't easily go out and find the opportunity themselves. It's not going to be "run a lemonade stand" - it's going to be a situation involving scarce equipment, or constrained access.

So there's:
  • an economy that is continually shedding jobs
  • a limited number of jobs that can be successfully sold
  • a great demand for experience and education
  • a wealthy older generation that indulges the younger generation

I think this is the perfect situation for a widescale rollout of Jobs for Sale (J4S) and a bidding war, eventually followed by a classic investment bubble.

To really roll out the Jobs For Sale paradigm on a wide scale, we're going to need newbie-friendly jobs that are attractive in the common culture, jobs which most people can't screw up too badly. They need to be attractive, dumbed-down jobs, what an insensitive person might call upscale "gopher jobs". They're going to be jobs that almost anybody can do, but that very few people can get to.

What jobs could industry probably sell? Remember, they need to be sidekicks, glamorous, attractive to people with money, high barriers to entry, noob-friendly. Some opportunities might include:
  • Attorneys
  • Photographers
  • Journalists
  • Batboys at Major League Baseball games

Kicking it Meta

At a higher level of abstraction, jobs have been bought and sold for a long time but the prices paid were less tangible (and off the books). The producer has the casting couch. The military says: Sell us six years of your life and you'll see the world. The Department Head says: Sell me your loyalty, and you can become Assistant to the Regional Manager. There are opportunities to sell integrity, dreams, and souls. We just need to convert these to cash transactions.

What strikes me about Bloomberg's situation is that he's extended the business concept into the public sector. I think there's a Pittsburgh application here. Pittsburgh has an exodus of younger people who want jobs and who'd prefer to stay here, and we have government that can't afford the payroll and the pension contributions. Ka-Ching! Maybe we can start selling city jobs. Maybe instead of doling them out as patronage, we should recognize the cash value.

I'm just saying. If you're going to sell parking lots to cover salaries and pensions, why not sell the jobs?

If you'd like to suggest a job for the list of "Jobs 4 Sale", please enter it in a comment below.