2008-06-06 / Editorial/Opinion

'Business Is Business And Business Must Grow, Regardless Of Crummies In Tummies,You Know'

Those of you who are parents or grandparents will probably recognize that piece of Seussian logic. For the uninitiated, let us tell you that it comes from a cautionary tale about our environment by Dr. Seuss called "The Lorax." It resonates with what is going on in our city, which is ruled with an iron fist by the billionaire businessman mayor Michael Bloomberg. Having a businessman for a political leader has its upside, but it has its darker side as well. For example, the mayor has proven that the school system is not a business that can be regulated and governed like a widget factory. Being a businessman, he believes that all outcomes are measurable, apparently not understanding that many of the desired educational outcomes are not measurable. To make testing and test scores the be-all and end-all of our public school program is to retard the actual education of our students. Money for people who actually serve the public diminishes proportionately with the money spent on consultants of all stripes. The height of that foolishness is bringing people from Europe to rate our schools. Surely, there must be somebody in America up to the task. That the mayor's pro-business stance deters from the public good can be seen most clearly with the Department of Buildings, which has been having a really bad few months. That agency's motto seems not to be "safe buildings for the public," but rather "keep on building, no matter what." A builder puts in "undersized steel girders installed contrary to approved plans" in the skeleton of the new Rite Aid Pharmacy. No matter, modify the specifications and let them build. Construction cranes falling down, killing people all over town. No matter, keep on building. Fewer police on the beaches. No matter, hire some more consultants. No ambulances dedicated to beach problems. No matter, bring in some people from Australia to tell us what to do. Dr. Seuss was right. Giving business its head results in all sorts of problems when it is translated to the public sector. Our mayor obviously shares his core beliefs with the Onceler, who destroys the entire environment by cutting down Truffula Trees and turning them into Sneeds. Soon, the Brown Barbaloots have to leave because they have crummies in their tummies because of the lack of food. Business is business, and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know. Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for allowing us to see Mayor Bloomberg and his administration more clearly.

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