New York's new tech era may not be so great for the local economy
Last week, Business Insider impresario Henry Blodget wrote a blog post saying that the bathroom attendants at Balthazar, a fashionable eatery in downtown Manhattan, make him uncomfortable. “I always forget that Balthazar makes a guy stand in the tiny bathroom all day, so whenever I open the Balthazar bathroom after breakfast, I am hit by the same series of unpleasant emotions: Annoyance, guilt, pity, uncomfortable invasion of personal space, and then... extortion.”
I've been a bit erratic lately in my blogging because I've been running around a lot to publicize my new book (and will be running around a bit more next week to do the same).
Elizabeth Warren's video announcement that she'll seek the Democratic nomination for Senate demonstrates her soft-spoken sincerity, unflappability, and quiet conviction that the middle class desperately needs help. I've seen this woman hold her own in one of the more hostile congressional hearings I ever witnessed. She's going to be a very formidable candidate, and every wealthy Democrat in the country is going to want to contribute to her campaign. In making her pitch, Warren plunged herself into a headache-inducing factual controversy.
Henry Blodget passes along this startling statistic: The average federal worker makes $75,419 a year, while the average in the private sector is $39,751. Why is that, exactly? Is it because Federal workers are 80% better than private-sector workers? And remind us again why, in the interest of cutting the deficit, the government shouldn't just slash 20% of its budget across the board? Why indeed. The only problem is that this figure is wildly inaccurate.
WE ARE TOLD we live in the New Economy, an economy of computers and fiber-optic cables, capital without borders, and competition on a global scale. This is mature market capitalism, and its promise for human advancement—when combined with democracy and individual freedom—is rightly touted at every turn. But, if our economy is a creature of the twenty-first century, our thinking about government’s role in the economy is mired in the nineteenth. Two essentially opposite viewpoints dominate today’s debate.