Bloomberg’s eNYCee: The next great nation-state


When Mayor Michael Bloomberg ad-libbed at MIT that he had his own army and diplomatic  corps, I thought he must have sneaked a peek at my draft commentary about NYC becoming the next great city-state. I’m told that sarcasm is hard to pull off when it’s not your talent. Well, here goes nothing:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ego-induced assertion of his powerful status as commander-in-chief of the world’s seventh largest army and a diplomatic corps rivaling the US State Department is not off base. Our city leaders long have been international spokesmen on global warming and finance, as well as being notorious for staking out their own foreign policy positions.

In today’s global economy, New York is well-positioned to become a Singapore-like nation-state.  The nation of “eNYCee” would include the five boroughs plus the two Long Island counties, giving it twice the population of Singapore. The new nation’s combined population of nearly 11 million residents would rank eNYCee 75th, ahead of Belgium and slight behind Cuba and Chad.

Recent revelations about the NYPD’s CIA-linked surveillance of Muslim campus organizations and masjids and Commissioner Ray Kelly’s cryptic hint that the NYPD has the capability of bringing down bomb-laden aircraft lend added credence. Bloomberg knows that the NYPD’s relationship with the CIA has enabled the city to forge ties with foreign intelligence services in those countries where its detectives are posted.

Forty years ago, an aide to Mayor John Lindsay named Leon Panetta (now US Defense Secretary) wrote a memo outlining a number of fiscal and administrative reasons for New York becoming the 51st state. But changing times, new technology and the daily national vilification of Wall Street and finance capital altogether, impel New York City to become the next Singapore.

Today, we have a thriving tourism economy where almost 50 million visitors generate over $31 billion annually. In 2008, we were ranked as the second best financial services city. Our financial services sector could grow larger if eNYCee became an offshore tax haven and banking center, similar to the Cayman Islands, Andorra and Switzerland.

eNYCee gets a seat at the United Nations and G20 membership. In 2008, PriceWaterhouseCooper estimated the city’s per capita GDP at $1406 billion. Last August, UBS ranked us as the seventh richest city in the world. In the 2009 Global Power rankings, we scored top marks based on our economic power, as well as research and development prowess.

Given Mayor Bloomberg’s reputed presidential ambitions, there is no better place to start than in his present domain. Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg News, and Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Radio would be the foundation of state-owned media rivaling the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He’d be the Silvio Berlusconi of North America.

Mao Tse-tung had his Little Red Book and Colonel Khadafy had his Green Book, and Bloomberg could self-publish and giveaway his Almighty Bloomberg Stylebook. Bloomberg’s ABS would contain his hubristic pearls of wisdom on parenting, eating and diet habits, education reform, bike lanes, capitalism, unionism, secularism, populist democracy and clean streets.

On the world currency market, the Bloomberg would rival the British pound sterling, the Panamanian balboa, the Swiss franc and the South African rand. Who wouldn’t want to carry a roll of Bloombergs into a Monte Carlo casino?

New York is resented for being too liberal, too diverse and too big, and our economic engine is vilified for making too much money.  In Bloomberg’s mind, the economic, business, communications and cultural center of the United States has been kicked around long enough. Nationhood is our only feasible option.

Perhaps, Mayor Bloomberg will never be President of the United States, but he’s entitled to dream.

-30-

Did I succeed in pulling off sarcasm in this post? Leave your sarcastic comment below.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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