Maybe “Mike Bloomberg knows what’s good for [me],” but whether I do what is good for me or what brings me pleasure should not be up to him. It should be up to me.
Felicia Nimue Ackerman
Michael Bloomberg is an interesting thinker, but he’s got to be kidding when he says that even a government initiative that hits a dead end makes a contribution, “because we know we don’t have to go down that path again.” In the business world or sports or any other competitive realm, this would be true, but government just isn’t that way. How are those sugar and mohair subsidies doing? When’s the last time any government agency or program was canceled? How about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars?
People are risk-averse precisely because they know that enacting government programs is mostly a one-way street and even the losers live on forever.
San Ramon, Calif.
Bloomberg says of his foundation: “We work on obesity, we work on smoking, we work on guns, we work on traffic deaths.” It is one thing to use your own foundation to advance certain causes, but it is quite another to abuse your power as mayor to advance your foundation’s causes through the power of your office. Bloomberg has treated NYC as his personal property and has done nothing to advance the one cause he first ran on, which was turning around the NYC education system. Maybe because that is not in the interest of his foundation.
Governmental leaders should lead from the front and not focus on polls, Bloomberg says, because “the people” are not good at describing what is in their best interest. I find that odd, considering he also says that on day one, the president should do what he or she said would be done, just because that’s what people want. I don’t disagree with either of those political assessments (and I generally like Bloomberg), but it is hard to tell what the mayor’s concept of the role of elected officials should be in a democratic republic.
Sodas? Metzitzah b’peh? Really? When that great big elephant of Wall Street is sitting right there in your own living room?
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“I’m so proud of my friend and former classmate Gina Raimondo. She is showing great leadership in tough times—I hope she eventually becomes the Governor of her state.”
Thomas E. Ricks’s November article about the culture of mediocrity within the U.S. Army’s leadership rank prompted many readers, including current and former members of the military, to write in. Online, readers debated the merits of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and whom to blame for those missions: generals and other officers, or the Bush White House.
“General Failure” really hit home. I was a company commander in Vietnam and saw inept leadership of higher-ranking officers all the time. I thought that this was just a temporary phase and would pass. Obviously the cover-your-ass culture still exists in the Army.