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January 08, 2003

Bloomberg: NYC High-Value Location

I like Bloomberg more and more as mayor. He's not a lefty but just what he bills himself, a businessman looking at New York City as a CEO-advocate. And because he avoids the ideology of a Guiliani, he recognizes a basic fact--- New York can't compete on being a low-cost competitor, so it better provide the services and educated workforce that high-value companies need to be efficient given the higher costs. Some excerpts from an NYT article about a talk he gave to executives in the city:

"If New York City is a business, it isn't Wal-Mart it isn't trying to be the lowest-priced product in the market," a draft of the speech reads.

Mr. Bloomberg's address signaled, in perhaps the starkest terms yet, his change from a man who thought higher taxes would "destroy this city" to one who sees the city he governs as a value-added commodity.

"New York City is never going to be the lowest-priced place to do business; it is just the most efficient place to do business," Mr. Bloomberg told reporters later. "You have to get value for the moneys that you're going to spend."

Mr. Bloomberg maintained that higher crime, subpar education and a lack of city services would drive businesses out of the city faster than higher costs, a message that appeared well received at the conference.

This outlines a basic truth-- given the insanely high rents any business has to pay to locate to New York City, skimping on the slight additional costs of taxes to pay for the services and infrastructure that make New York unique and worth the rents paid is just a self-destructive path for local economic development.

Posted by Nathan at January 8, 2003 07:10 AM

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Well said.

Posted by: Seth Edenbaum at January 8, 2003 07:13 PM

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