Tilting at Windmills

May/June 2012 Michael ♥ Lloyd

By Charles Peters

If you were one of those liberals flirting with the notion of a third party headed by Michael Bloomberg, consider this recent headline from the New York Times. “With Visit to Goldman, Bloomberg Says, Chin Up.” The accompanying story by Michael Grynbaum notes that Bloomberg, “who has earned billions on Wall Street, has built his reputation as a staunch defender of its culture.” I suspect there’s another factor involved. It is that much of the economy of Bloomberg’s city has come to depend on the surplus wealth generated by the Wall Street money machine. After all, that money supports the value of Manhattan real estate, not to mention all the high-end restaurants—and for most of us outsiders, most restaurants in New York seem high end—as well as the worlds of art, fashion, and private education.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.