METROFOCUS: JANUARY 9, 2020

Crime, healthcare, robocalls and your commute are at the top of Governor Cuomo’s list. We’ll break down what’s at stake as he delivers his agenda for the new year. Billionaire businessman, former mayor, political powerhouse. We take a deeper look at the multifaceted Michael Bloomberg. A grim assessment of the American worker from the Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass. He discusses the possible causes and potential solutions.

Aired on January 9, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' THE 2020 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS.

GOVERNOR CUOMO TALKS AIM AT CRIME, HEALTH CARE, ROBOCALLS AND YOUR COMMUTE.

WE'LL TELL YOU WHAT IS AT STAKE AND WHAT'S ON THE GOVERNOR'S AGENDA FOR THE NEW YEAR.

> THEN FROM BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN TO POLITICAL POWERHOUSE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG.

PLUS, IS THE AMERICAN WORKER UNDER SIEGE?

ACCORDING TO THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE'S WARREN KASS, AMERICAN WORKERS ARE IN CRISIS AS WAGES STAG NATE, WELFARE ROLES SWELL.

HE'S THERE WITH THOSE STORIES AND MORE.

> THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY -- ♪♪

> WHEN YOU TRY TO DIVIDE THE GREAT STATE OF NEW YORK WE WILL STAND UP TALL!

WE WILL STAND UP UNIFIED!

WE WILL STAND UP AND WE WILL FIGHT, AND WE WILL WIN BECAUSE WE ARE RIGHT, AND THAT IS THE NEW YORK WAY!

.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

IT HAS BEEN QUITE THE START TO THE NEW YEAR FOR GOVERNOR CUOMO.

HE RANG IN 2020 BY COMING TO THE RESCUE OF A MAN WHO TIPPED OVER ON THE BROOKLYN EXPRESSWAY, ROAD SIDE HEROES THAT DREW PRAISE AND SCEPTICISM.

HE UNVEILED DOZENS OF PROPOSALS, INCLUDING ONE THAT WOULD ADD EIGHT NEW TRACKS TO PENN STATION, ACCOMMODATING THOUSANDS OF EXTRA RIDERS.

HE DELIVERED HIS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS ON WEDNESDAY, OUTLINING HIS PRIORITIES FOR 2020.

FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE GOVERNOR'S BIG SPEECH AND WHAT IS AHEAD THIS SESSION IN ALBANY WE ARE PLEASED TO BE JOINED BY KAREN DEWITT, CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF FOR NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO AND A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO 'NEW YORK NOW.'

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GREAT TO HAVE YOU.

GREAT TO TALK TO YOU.

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

> LET'S START WITH YOUR HEADLINES ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S STATE OF THE STATE TEACH AND THEN WE WILL GET INTO SOME OF THE DETAILS.

YOU KNOW, I THINK IT WAS ONE OF HIS BETTER SPEECHES, AS YOU COULD SEE IN THE CLIP IT WAS PRETTY WELL RECEIVED.

HE FOCUSED A LOT ON HATE CRIMES AND COMBATTING BIGOTRY BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN A SCOURGE OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS IN NEW YORK CITY, AND IT HAS BEEN VERY UPSETTING TO OTHER PEOPLE.

OF COURSE, THE RABBI WHOSE HOME WAS ATTACKED IN MONSEY, THE STABBING INCIDENT IN WHICH FIVE PEOPLE WERE INJURED INCLUDING THE RABBI'S OWN SON.

THE RABBI TALKED ABOUT RESILIENCY, HOW EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD A TERRIBLE ATTACK THEY CONTINUED TO CELEBRATE HANUKKAH AND WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT LIFE AND HOPING THAT THEY CAN OVERCOME ALL OF IN.

IN TERMS OF PROPOSALS, THE GOVERNOR TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, EXPANDING FREE COLLEGE TUITION, DIRECTING EDUCATION AID TO POOR SCHOOLS INSTEAD OF RICH SCHOOLS, THE ADULT USE OF RECREATION USE OF MARIJUANA, HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT LEGALIZED AND A $3 BILLION BOND ACT.

PRETTY WELL RECEIVED BY THE STATE LAWMAKERS THAT DOMINATE STATE GOVERNMENT THESE DAYS.

HE PUT A LOT ON THE TABLE.

LET'S START WITH THE IDEA OF THE HATE CRIMES AND WHAT HAS BEEN TALKING PLACE.

HE MENTIONED THE EMOTIONS THAT WERE PART OF THE SPEECH THAT THE GOVERNOR GAVE.

WHAT SORT OF PROPOSALS, HARD PROPOSALS DO YOU ANTICIPATE WILL BE CONTEMPLATED?

WELL, THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO CREATE A NEW CRIME OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.

I MEAN IT MIGHT BE SURPRISING TO PEOPLE THAT THAT ALREADY IS NOT A SPECIFIC CRIME, BUT THEY WANT TO PUT THAT INTO LAW TO GIVE PROSECUTORS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT MORE TOOLS TO COMBAT THESE CRIMES MOTIVATED BY HATE.

I DON'T THINK HE WILL HAVE A PROBLEM GETTING THAT THROUGH THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

BUT THE GOVERNMENT SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE SCHOOL CURRICULUM SO SCHOOL CHILDREN ARE BETTER EDUCATED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT IT MEANS TO BE TOLERANT AND ACCEPT ALL PEOPLE IN SOCIETY.

> WHAT ABOUT THE IDEA OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA?

WHERE DO WE APPEAR TO BE HERE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK?

WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THAT DOES HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF PASSAGE THIS YEAR.

AS YOU MIGHT REMEMBER, IT WAS A PROPOSAL LAST YEAR.

IT FAILED IN THE BUDGET AND IT FAILED AS A STANDALONE PROPOSAL BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH VOTES, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMOCRATS DOMINATE IN THE SENATE, THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH SENATE DEMOCRATS WHO WERE WILLING TO GO OUT ON A LINE AND VOTE TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA.

THERE'S A NUMBER OF DEMOCRATS IN THE NEW YORK CITY SUBURBS, LONG ISLAND AND WESTCHESTER WHERE LEGALIZING MARIJUANA IS NOT AS POPULAR AS NEW YORK CITY AND UPSTATE.

IN THE END THEY CHOKED AND DIDN'T WANT TO VOTE FOR IT.

I THINK THE HOPE IS IF IT IS IN THE BUDGET THIS YEAR IT WILL BE EASIER FOR THEM TO VOTE FOR AS A PACKAGE, PLUS IT IS GOING TO BRING IN REVENUES FOR THE STATE, AN ESTIMATED $300 MILLION IN REVENUE FROM THE SALE OF CANNABIS.

THAT WILL HELP BECAUSE WE HAVE A GIANT BUDGET DEFICIT THIS YEAR.

YOU GET ME EXACTLY TO WHERE I WANTED TO GO NEXT, WHICH IS THE GIANT BUDGET DEFICIT.

THERE WAS SOMETHING A LITTLE UNUSUAL THIS YEAR IN THAT THE GOVERNOR SORT OF BIFURCATED THE PROCESS.

HE OF YOU HAD THE STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS BUT HE ROLLED OUT PROPOSALS IN A SEPARATE PROCESS.

WHAT IS UNUSUAL ABOUT IT AND HOW DO YOU THINK IT REFLECTS THE $6 BILLION BUDGET GAP?

I HAVE COVERED STATE GOVERNMENT FOR MORE YEARS THAN I CARE TO ADMIT, AND TRADITIONALLY THERE WAS A STATE OF THE STATE FOLLOWED IN TWO WEEKS BY THE BUDGET BECAUSE FOR SO MANY YEARS THEY ALWAYS HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE BUDGET.

SO THE STATE OF THE STATE WAS THE GOOD NEWS WHERE THE GOVERNOR COULD SAY ALL OF THE WONDER OF THINGS HE WANTED TO DO AND IN TWO WEEKS IT WOULD BE THE BAD NEWS OF, GUESS WHAT, WE DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY AND THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO PAY FOR IT.

WE HAD A BUDGET SURPLUS HE DID BOTH COMBINED INTO ONE ADDRESS, BUT NOW I THINK HE WANTED ONE DAY WHERE HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GIVE THE HEADLINES OF THE $6 BILLION BUDGET DEFICIT AND HE COULD GET HEADLINES ABOUT THE OTHER THINGS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

BUT, YES, IN TWO WEEKS THEY HAVE TO DEAL.

THE GOVERNOR HAS TO PUT OUT A PLAN.

HOW IS HE GOING TO MAKE UP FOR WHAT IS LARGELY DUE TO AN OVERSPENDING OR AN INCREASE IN SPENDING IN THE MEDICAID BUDGET, IN HEALTH CARE.

IT IS GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CUT MONEY TO HOSPITALS AND NURSING HOMES, AT THE SAME TIME THERE'S NOT AN APPETITE FOR INCREASING TAXES.

CERTAINLY THE PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WOULD LIKE TO TAX THE RICH MORE, BUT GOVERNOR CUOMO DOESN'T WANT TO DO THAT, AND ACTUALLY THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER ANDREA STEWART COUSINS IS NOT CRAZY ABOUT RAISING TAXES THIS YEAR.

WHAT ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT?

WHAT SORT OF PROPOSALS DO YOU ANTICIPATE AND WHAT SORT OF CHALLENGES DO YOU THINK THEY WILL MEET IN ALBANY?

WELL, IT IS A $3 BILLION ENVIRONMENTAL BOND ACT, MOSTLY TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE, TO RESTORE FLOODPLAINS AND WETLANDS.

THERE'S A LOT OF DAMS THAT ARE IN VERY BAD CONDITION, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND ALSO REPAIR DAMAGE FROM ALL OF THE TERRIBLE STORMS WE'VE HAD OVER THE LAST DECADE.

BUT, SEE, THAT DOESN'T COST ANY MONEY RIGHT NOW.

CERTAINLY TAXPAYERS HAVE TO PAY FOR IT EVENTUALLY BECAUSE IT IS BORROWING MONEY, BUT IT WOULDN'T PUT ANY MORE MONEY INTO THE CURRENT STATE BUDGET.

SO I THINK THAT IS GOING TO BE A POPULAR ONE.

I ANTICIPATE THAT LAWMAKERS WOULD PROBABLY APPROVE THAT AND THEN THEY WOULD HOPE THAT VOTERS WOULD APPROVE IT IN NOVEMBER, AND THAT GIFTS THEM SOME MONEY IN A TIGHT BUDGET YEAR TO PAY FOR A NUMBER OF ENVIRONMENTAL THINGS.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT COMING UP WITH THE MONEY FOR THAT, AT LEAST NOT ANY TIME SOON.

WE KNOW THERE HAVE BEEN RECENT CHANGES TO THE CRIMINAL LAWS WITH REGARD TO BAIL AND THE IDEA OF DOING -- ESSENTIALLY DOING AWAY WITH BAIL FOR A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES, AND YET THERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS BEING RAISED NOW ABOUT SPECIFICALLY ABOUT HATE CRIMES.

WHAT ARE WE HEARING FROM THE GOVERNOR AND WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THAT THE CONVERSATION WILL BE IN IN ALBANY ABOUT THAT?

IT HAPPENED AS OF JANUARY 1st THAT NO CASH BAIL NO LONGER EXISTS.

WHAT HAS BEEN CONTROVERSIAL IS REPEAT OFFENDERS LET OUT ON THEIR OWN RECOGNIZANCE, INCLUDING A SERIAL BANK ROBBER IN THIS AREA THAT WAS LET OUT AFTER ROBBING THREE BANKS, WAS RELEASED AND ACCUSE HAVE HAD OF ROBBING A FOURTH BANK IN NEW YORK CITY.

THERE WAS A WOMAN ACCUSED OF SLAPPING TWO JEWISH WOMEN.

SHE WAS RELEASED ON HER OWN RECOGNIZANCE AND SHE WENT OUT AND IS NOW ACCUSED OF SLAPPING SOMEBODY ELSE.

SO PEOPLE ARE KIND OF JARRED BY THAT AND THERE'S BEEN A BACKLASH.

GOVERNOR CUOMO DIDN'T SAY IT IN HIS STATE OF THE STATE PEACH, BUT HE GAVE A SPEECH TO THE BUSINESS GROUP IN NEW YORK CITY ON MONDAY AND SAID, MAYBE WE DO NEED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES.

-- ALLOW JUDGES TO HAVE MORE DISCRETION IF THEY HAVE A REPEAT OFFENDER BEFORE THIS OR A DANGER TO SOCIETY THAT THEY COULD SAY, YES, WE WANT TO SET A HIGH LEVEL OF BAIL SO THIS PERSON COMES BACK TO COURT OR POSSIBLY IS INCARCERATED UNTIL THEIR TRIAL.

THAT'S SOMETHING I THINK WE ARE GOING TO SEE HAPPEN IN THE EARLY MONTHS OF THE SESSION.

> LAST QUICK QUESTION FOR YOU AND IT IS A BIGGER PICTURE QUESTION.

AS YOU MENTIONED THE REACTION TO THE GOVERNOR'S SPEECH IN SOME INSTANCES LOOKED LIKE IT WAS CAMPAIGN RALLY.

BUT WE KNOW, IT BEING ALBANY, THAT EVEN WHEN ONE PARTY HAS CONTROL OF EVERYTHING -- THE DEMOCRATS HERE -- IT IS NEVER REALLY SMOOTH SAILING.

WHAT IS YOUR ANTICIPATION IN TERMS OF THE COOPERATION THAT THE GOVERNOR IS GOING TO GET FROM HIS SIDE OF THE AISLE, FROM MANY OF THESE SUGGESTIONS AND PROPOSALS?

WELL, I THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME TENSION BETWEEN THE MORE PROGRESSIVE WING OF THE PARTY AND GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO'S MODERATE WING, BUT I DO THINK THAT THEY PROBABLY WILL HANG TOGETHER AT LEAST PUBLICLY.

WHEN YOU HAD, YOU KNOW, REPUBLICANS IN ONE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT, THEY FIGHT MORE PUBLICLY AND CALL EACH OTHER NAMES.

I THINK A LOT OF THE FIGHTING WILL BE BEHIND THE SCENES AS THEY TRY TO DECIDE HOW THEY'RE GOING TO CLOSE THIS BIG DEFICIT WITHOUT OFFENDING ANY, YOU KNOW, MAJOR GROUP LIKE THE HOSPITALS OR THE HEALTH CARE WORKERS UNION OR THINGS LIKE THAT.

WELL, THERE WILL BE A LOT ON THE TABLE, AND AS WE KNOW, AS WE SAID BEFORE, THIS BEING ALBANY IT WILL BE INTERESTING.

KAREN, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE'RE SO DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU WITH US AND WE'RE GOING TO LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING YOU BACK AGAIN.

YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB EXPLAINING THIS ALL FOR US.

YOU BE WELL.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU AGAIN SOON.

GREAT.

THANKS.

♪♪BUSINESSMAN, POLITICIAN, PHILANTHROPIST AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, THE BILLIONAIRE INVESTMENT INNOVATOR TO RAN NEW YORK CITY FOR 12 YEARS SET HIS SIGHT ON THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HIS LATE ENTRY INTO THE CROWDED DEMOCRATIC FIELD COULD WORK TO HIS ADVANTAGE.

UNLIKE CURRENT MAYOR BILL de BLASIO WHOSE OWN CAMPAIGN NEVER GOT OFF THE ROUND, BLOOMBERG HAS THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND NATIONAL NAME RECOGNITION TO POTENTIALLY MAKE AN IMPACT IN THE 2020 RACE.

AS A RECENT BIOGRAPHY OF BLOOK OFBLOOM OFBLOOMBERG IS USED TO ACHIEVING THINGS.

'THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG' TRACES HIS TIME FROM HIS HOMETOWN TO TRADING.

THE BOOK TAKES READERS INTO THE CITY HALL DURING THE BLOOMBERG YEARS, GIVING INSIGHT INTO THE POLITICIANS THAT CONTINUE TO SHAPE NEW YORK CITY TO THIS DAY.

I RECENTLY HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH ELEANOR RANDOLPH AND I BEGAN BY ASKING IF THERE WAS ANYTHING IN HIS CHILDHOOD THAT HINTED AT HIS LATER SPECTACULAR SUCCESS.

IT IS EASY TO LOOK BACK AND SEE THOSE THINGS NOW.

ONE OF THE THINGS HIS MOTHER SAID -- HIS MOTHER DIED WHEN SHE WAS 102.

BEFORE SHE DIED SHE SAID, 'HE LIKED TO RUN EVERYTHING.'

THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR GOING THROUGH ALL 77 YEARS, YOU KNOW.

HE TOLD PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, I NEVER WANT TO BE ON A BOARD.

I ALWAYS WANT TO BE THE HEAD OF THE BOARD.

TALK ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE IN WALL STREET, HOW MUCH THAT SHAPED HIM.

WHEN HE WAS MAYOR, ONE OF THE REASON HE WAS SO STIFF WHEN HE GAVE SPEECHES IS HE WAS TRYING NOT TO USE THE ARGO OF WALL STREET BECAUSE IT WAS A ROUGH PLACE.

I MEAN I CAN'T SAY WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAID WHEN THEY HEEL HELLO AT SOLOMON BROTHERS BUT THE LAST WORD WAS YOU.

IT WAS JUST TOUGH.

HEY, HARVARD, GET ME COFFEE.

IF HE WANTED TO BE RICH, WHEN HE WANTED TO BE, YOU HAD TO PLAY IN THE ROUGH ARENA.

HE MADE THE WRONG ENEMIES AND THEY BUMPED HIM UPSTAIRS.

IT WAS A GREAT DEMOTION.

HE HAD BEEN A FANCY TRADER AND THEY BUMPED HIM UPSTAIRS TO DEAL WITH COMPUTERS, AND THAT WAS WOMEN'S WORK.

IT WAS LIKE BEING THE WATERBOY.

YOU KNOW, THAT WAS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HIM.

HE WAS FIRED?

HE WAS FIRED.

AND HE VERY OFTEN TALKS ABOUT BEING FIRE, AND IT IS A REALLY IMPORTANT THEME IN A LOT OF HOW HE DEALS WITH HIS EMPLOYEES.

HE HATES FIRING PEOPLE EVEN THOUGH HE DOES IT, YOU KNOW.

I MEAN THERE'S A LONG LIST THERE.

BUT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT ACTUALLY WAS THAT WHEN THEY DEMOTED HIM AND MADE HIM THIS SORT OF COMPUTER NERD, THEY GAVE HIM THE TICKET TO BECOME THE BILLIONAIRE THAT HE IS BECAUSE HE WAS ONE -- HE AND HIS FRIENDS WERE SOME OF THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO REALIZED THAT COMPUTERS WERE TAKING OVER THE PAPER CULTURE OF WALL STREET.

SO AFTER HIS FIRST FEW BILLIONS, HE GOT RESTLESS AND YOU SAY THAT'S THE WORD THAT'S OFTEN USED TO DESCRIBE HIM.

THAT'S RIGHT.

AND HE DECIDES TO RUN FOR MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY LIKE MOST PEOPLE, MOST BILLIONAIRES DO NOW DAYS I GUESS.

WHAT WAS THE REACTION IN THE BUSINESS WORLD, THE POLITICAL WORLD AND AMONG NEW YORKERS WHEN HE ANNOUNCED THAT HE WAS RUNNING?

PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WAS JUST GOOFY.

YOU KNOW, I MEAN THE POLITICAL CLASS -- I HAVE TO SAY I WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THEM -- PEOPLE JUST THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, THIS GUY'S GOING TO SPEND A TON OF MONEY, ALL OF OUR FRIENDS ARE GOING TO GET RICH, YOU KNOW, AND THEN HE WILL DISAPPEAR.

YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF REASONS WHY HE WON THAT RACE.

YOU KNOW, 9/11 WAS SO -- I MEAN, YOU KNOW --

IN FACT, I REMEMBER THE PRIMARY FOR THAT ELECTION.

ME TOO.

WAS ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

THAT'S RIGHT.

IT HAD TO BE DONE OVER AGAIN BUT IT WAS THE DAY.

THAT'S RIGHT.

YOU KNOW, I MEAN EVERY NEW YORKER KNOWS WHERE YOU WERE AT THAT MOMENT.

IT SEEMED TO ME THAT THE CITY WAS KIND OF SHAKEN AS MUCH AS THAT REALLY CAN HAPPEN TO THIS BIG CITY.

YOU KNOW, BLOOMBERG LOOKED LIKE HE COULD RUN THE CITY AND WE WOULD BE SAFE WITH HIM.

SO, LISTEN, SO HE WINS.

WHAT INNOVATIONS DID HE BRING TO HIS NEW JOB?

WELL, YOU KNOW, HE WALKED IN, THE FIRST THING HE DID WAS HE SAID, I'M NOT GOING TO HIRE PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS.

HE HAPPENED TO BE A REPUBLICAN AT THAT MOMENT, YOU KNOW.

HE SORT OF CHANGED PARTIES A LOT.

BUT HE WAS A REPUBLICAN AT THAT TIME AND HE SAID, I'M NOT -- YOU KNOW, I DON'T OWE ANYBODY ANYTHING, SO I WANT TO HIRE THE BEST PEOPLE WHO WILL WORK FOR ME.

RUDY GIULIANI HAS NOT BEEN SHY ABOUT CRITICIZING OUR CURRENT MAYOR, BILL de BLASIO, AND HIS FAILURES IN POLICY, BUT MAYOR BLOOMBERG HAS NOT.

I FIND THAT INTERESTING BECAUSE de BLASIO HAD NO PROBLEM CRITICIZING MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CLEARLY THEIR WORK ETHIC IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM A 50, 70-HOUR WEEK GUY TO A 70-HOUR A MONTH GUY.

WHY HAS HE BEEN SO SILENT?

HE VOWED FROM THE DAY HE LEFT OFFICE THAT HE WOULD NOT CRITICIZE HIS SUCCESSOR, EVEN THOUGH HIS SUCCESSOR SORT OF CAMPAIGNED AS THE ANTI-BLOOMBERG.

HE TOLD HIS STAFF, I DON'T WANT YOU LEAKING TO THE PRESS, I DON'T WANT YOU TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT de BLASIO, EVEN THOUGH de BLASIO USED -- YOU KNOW, USED HIM AS THE WHIPPING BOY ALL THE TIME.

SO NOW HE'S 77 YEARS OLD.

ARE WE DONE WITH THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG?

IS HE NO LONGER REINVENTING HIMSELF?

I THINK WHAT HE WANTS TO DO RIGHT NOW, HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE THAT EITHER DONALD TRUMP IS NOT RE-ELECTED OR TRUMPISM HAS -- YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE TO IT.

HE IS ON CLIMATE CHANGE, GUNS, A LOT OF THE OTHER -- CERTAINLY THE ENVIRONMENT.

HE IS TRYING TO BE THE ANTI-TRUMP.

SO HE CAN DO THAT, SO WE CALL HIM THE OBI WAN KANOBI.

THE BOOK IS 'THE MANY LIVES OF MICHAEL BLOOMBERG.'

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT IT.

THANK YOU.

I ENJOYED IT.

> THE SHOCKING RESULTS OF THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SEEMED TO HAVE AWAKEN AT LEAST SOME IN AMERICA'S RULING ELITE TO THE PROFOUND ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CRISES BLIGHTING MUCH OF THE NATION.

HOW DID IT COME TO THIS AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

IN HIS BOOK 'THE ONCE AND FUTURE WORKER, AUTHOR OREN CASS ARGUES THAT BAD PUBLIC POLICY SACRIFICED THE AMERICAN WORKER IN THE ENDLESS PURSUIT OF CONSUMPTION AND SETS A NOVEL SET OF FOCUS ON THE KIND OF WORK CAPABLE OF SUPPORTING STRONG FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES.

THANK YOU FOR JOINS US NOW.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

MY INTRODUCTION DOESN'T DO JUSTICE TO YOUR BOOK.

WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ARGUMENT?

THE BOOK IS ABOUT WORK AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK, NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS BUT TO THEIR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY, AND TO THINKING ABOUT WHERE DOES WORK COME FROM.

I MEAN ULTIMATELY WORK OCCURS WITHIN THE LABOR MARKET, WHICH IS THIS SORT OF BORING SOUNDING ECONOMIC CONCEPT, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY IT IS THE PART OF OUR ECONOMY THAT DETERMINES HOW MANY JOBS WE HAVE, WHERE ARE THEY.

WHAT DO THEY PAY.

WHAT DO THEY PAY.

AND THE POLICIES THAT WE CHOOSE HAVE HUGE INFLUENCE ON WHAT HAPPENS IN THE LABOR MARKET.

UNFORTUNATELY, REALLY GOING BACK TO THE 1960s WE HAVEN'T CHOSEN POLICIES THAT PAID ANY ATTENTION TO THE LABOR MARKET.

WE HAD AN IDEA AS LONG AS THE ECONOMIC PIE WAS GROWING, AS LONG AS EVERYBODY COULD CONSUME MORE WE ALL WOULD BE HAPPY.

IN A SENSE IT WORKED.

CONSUMPTION DOES KEEP GOING UP FOR EVERYBODY, BUT IF YOU DO IT IN A WAY THAT IGNORES THE LABOR MARKET, THAT DOESN'T PAY ATTENTION TO WHO IS WORKING AND WHETHER THEY CAN SUPPORT FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, YOU CAN END UP WITH BOTH RISING CONSUMPTION AND STATEMENT REALLY BAD OUTCOMES FOR A LOT OF FOLKS IN SOCIETY.

I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SEEING.

AND YOU CALL THIS FOCUS ON CONSUMPTION ECONOMIC PIETIES, RIGHT?

UH-HUH.

YOU CALL WHAT YOU ARE PROPOSING PRODUCTIVE PLURALISM.

COULD YOU ELABORATE ON THIS A LITTLE BIT?

ECONOMIC PIETY COMES TO THE IDEA OF THE ECONOMIC PIE WHICH WE ARE ALL USED TO HEARING AT THIS POINT.

ALMOST EVERY PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, HAS USED THE TERM.

'WALL STREET JOURNAL' AND 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' WILL EDITORIALIZE USING THE TERM.

WE SORT OF TAKE FOR GRANTED, OH, YEAH, IT IS LIKE IF THE ECONOMY IS THIS THING AND IF IT KEEPS GETTING BIGGER WE ALL GET A BIGGER SLICE AND THAT'S TERRIFIC.

TO STRETCH THE METAPHOR TOO FAR IT IGNORES WHO IS BAKING THE PIE.

AS LONG AS YOU GET A BIG ENOUGH SLICE, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO IS BAKING THE PIE.

WE ALL WILL BE HAPPY.

THE IDEA IS TO SAY, HEY, A GROWING PIE IS HUGELY IMPORTANT.

RISING CONSUMPTION AND LIVING STANDARDS IS A GREAT THING BUT IT IS NOT THE END ALL, BE ALL.

THE CORE THING WE NEED TO FOCUS ON IS ABOUT PRODUCTION THAN CONSUMPTION.

YOU SAY THAT'S THE IDEA THAT CENTURY?

THAT'S RIGHT.

I THINK YOU SEE IT EMERGING REALLY IN THE 1960s.

THERE ARE A LOT OF INTERESTING ECONOMIC TRENDS THAT PUSHED US TO OUR OBSESSION WITH GDP, HOW WE MEASURE THINGS CULTURALLY WITH THE IDEA THAT EVERYONE IS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS TRYING TO MAKE THEMSELVES HAPPY AND IF WE HAVE MORE STUFF WE WILL BE HAPPIER.

FOR A LONG TIME THERE WAS A ROBUST SENSE OF WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO ACHIEVE AS A SOCIETY THAT WAS NOT JUST ABOUT CONSUMPTION.

IT WAS REALLY THE GREAT DEPRESSION I THINK AND THE SO-CALLED KENSIAN EFFORTS TO GET OUT OF THE DEPRESSION.

THE IDEA WE USE GOVERNMENT SPENDING TO SPUR THE ECONOMY.

WE STARTED SAYING LET'S MEASURE GDP, AND THAT'S WHAT WE MEASURE.

THE CRITICAL FACTOR IS WORLD WAR II WHICH CAME RIGHT AFTER.

WHEN YOU ARE IN A WORLD WAR, GDP, WHO CAN MAKE THE MOST STUFF THE FASTEST, THAT'S IMPORTANT.

THAT'S A GOOD WAY.

BUT HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THOSE WHO WOULD MAKE THE ARGUMENT AND HAVE MADE THE ARGUMENT THAT, LOOK, THIS SYSTEM, THE ECONOMIC PIETY, HAS CREATED SO MUCH WEALTH FOR THIS COUNTRY THAT EVEN THE POOREST AMONG US HAVE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT THE WEALTHIEST LESS THAN A CENTURY AGO COULD ONLY DREAM OF, AND IF YOU MONKEY AROUND WITH THAT, WITH THE GOAL OF EXPANDING THE BUY, YOU ARE JUST GOING TO MAKE EVERYONE POORER IN THE LONG RUN?

I THINK THERE ARE TWO THINGS I WOULD SAY.

ONE IS WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL HOW WE DEFINE WHETHER EVERYONE IS BETTER OFF.

THE FACT YOU CAN GET A BIGGER FLAT SCREEN TV THAN YOU USED TO BE ABLE TO GET IS NICE, BUT IF YOU ARE LIVING IN A COMMUNITY THAT IS SEEING THE JOBS DISAPPEAR, IF YOUR OWN KIDS HAVE LESS OPPORTUNITY, IF YOU SEE YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF THOSE AROUND YOU DECLINING, THAT'S NOT CANCELLED OUT BY THE BIGGER TV.

YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN NOW REALLY GOING BACK SEVERAL DECADES IT TURNS OUT DECLINING HEALTH, FOR INSTANCE, PARTICULARLY AMONG LESS-EDUCATED PREDOMINANTLY WHITE AMERICANS.

DECLINING LIFE SPANS.

NATIONWIDE WE HAVE SEEN LIFE SPANS DECLINING THREE STRAIGHT YEARS.

TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF HOW EXTRAORDINARY IT IS, THE LAST TIME IT HAPPENED WAS 100 YEARS AGO AND IT TOOK WORLD WAR I AND A GLOBAL FOOD PANDEMIC.

STATISTICS SAY IF YOU HAD A BETTER INCOME, SO WHY DON'T WE RISE THEM UP IN EDUCATION BY FREE COLLEGE FOR EXAMPLE OR BY REEDUCATING WORKERS THAT LOST THEIR INDUSTRY.

WE'RE NOT.

THAT TRADE-OFF YOU JUST DESCRIBED IS THE RIGHT ONE TO ASK ABOUT.

ARE WE GOING TO SAY, ALL RIGHT.

WE BETTER GEAR OUR ECONOMY AND SOCIETY TO THE PEOPLE WE HAVE OR DO WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO GEAR THE PEOPLE WE HAVE TO THE IDEA OF ECONOMY IN SOCIETY.

IT IS NICE AND COMFORTING AND REQUIRES NO TRADE-OFFS FOR ANYBODY IF WE BELIEVE OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM COULD JUST TRANSFORM EVERYBODY INTO THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING AHEAD.

THE REALITY IS WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO THAT AND NO EVIDENCE THAT WE CAN.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE K-12 SYSTEM, WE'VE ESSENTIALLY DOUBLED WHAT WE SPEND PER PUPIL OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS, TEST SCORES HAVEN'T MOVED.

IN YOU LOOK INTO HIGHER EDUCATION, CERTAINLY WE ARE PUSHING MORE PEOPLE IN, BUT THE SHARE ACTUALLY COMPLETING A BACHELORS IS NOT MOVING MUCH AT ALL.

IN FACT, MOST AMERICANS DON'T STILL EARN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE DEGREE.

EVEN THOSE WHO EARN A COLLEGE DEGREE DON'T END UP IN A JOB THAT REQUIRES A DEGREE.

WE ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME.

YOU HAVE SO MANY POLICY PROPOSALS.

YOU BASICALLY JUST TOUCHED ODE INDICATION.

GIVE ME ANOTHER ONE THAT IS CRITICAL FOR US TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE ECONOMIC PIETY INTO WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT.

SURE.

I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TRADE AND IMMIGRATION AND THE WAY THAT WE APPROACH GLOBALIZATION WE HAVE TO LOOK AT IT WITH A MUCH MORE CRITICAL EYE.

I THINK IN THEORY GLOBALIZATION CAN BE A WONDERFUL FORCE, MORE TRADE, MORE IMMIGRATION CAN BE VERY GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY.

BUT IF YOU THINK IN TERMS OF WORKERS INSTEAD OF IN TERMS OF CONSUMERS, YOU REALIZE IT IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY A GOOD THING, THAT BALANCE ACTUALLY REALLY MATTERS.

IF WE'RE GOING TO DO MORE TRADE WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, WE NEED TO BE MAKING MORE THINGS FOR THE WORLD, NOT JUST HAVE THE WORLD MAKE MORE THINGS FOR US.

IF WE'RE GOING TO BE HAVING HIGH LEVELS OF IMMIGRATION, IT NEEDS TO BE THE KIND OF IMMIGRATION THAT COMES TO THE PARTS OF THE LABOR MARKET THAT HAS SHORTAGES OF WORKERS AND NOT -- IF WE BELIEVE ONE OF OUR BIG PROBLEMS IS RELATIVELY TOO MANY LESS SKILLED WORKERS IN THE LABOR MARKET, AN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM THAT ENCOURAGES MORE LESS-SKILLED WORKERS INTO THE LABOR MARKET IS PUSHING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

WE JUST SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF WHAT YOU COVER IN YOUR BOOK.

IT IS A FASCINATING BOOK, 'THE ONCE AND FUTURE WORKER, A VISION FOR THE RENEWAL OF WORK IN AMERICA.'

WARREN, THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME.

THANK YOU.

IT WAS A GREAT

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POLK BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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