A comic book handed out at a breakfast meeting with business leaders in Brooklyn shows New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg standing tall next to Spider-Man, along with the words: "You're hired!" In the comic's plot, the mayor shows Spider-Man's alter-ego Peter Parker how the city could help him find a day job, just as it is helping thousands of New Yorkers swing back into action.
The comic book is one of the innovative ways New York City is helping people get back to work. Tuesday morning Mayor Bloomberg, a self made billionaire, said New York is leading the nation when it comes to creating new jobs and the rest of the country could catch up by following his lead.
"Since last October, we have added 55,000 private sector jobs, in industries with average salaries between $35,000 and $92,000. These are middle-class jobs - in accounting, engineering, advertising, health care, retail, tourism - even construction," Bloomberg said, blaming the lack of similar economic growth across America on politicians on both sides of the aisle.
"Despite what ideologues on the left believe, government cannot tax and spend its way back to prosperity... At the same time, despite what ideologues on the right believe, government should not stand aside and wait for the business cycle to run its natural course."
Bloomberg said the economic strategies New York is using to jumpstart the economy are not liberal or conservative - left or right - but centrist, fiscally-responsible measures that majorities in both parties should support.
"For New York City to continue our growth, we need our federal and state governments to chart a middle way - between a government that would wash its hands of the problem and one that seeks to supplant the private sector; between a government that would stand on the sidelines and one that would take over the game."
The Mayor outlined what he called The Six Steps to Economic Recovery and Job Creation:
1. Instill Confidence:"There is much pessimism in the system because there is much uncertainty about what Washington might or might not do - on taxes, regulations, and policies. And that uncertainty breeds economic paralysis."
2. Promote Trade:"The more trade we do with foreign partners, the more markets we create for domestic producers, the lower the prices we pay for the goods we buy, and the better off we all are."
3. Reform Regulations:"It's not that we need more regulation or less regulation - it's that we need smarter regulation - regulation based on what companies do today, not what their industries have been called for decades."
4. Cut Business Taxes:"High federal business taxes can lead companies to move operations overseas... Similarly, high local taxes can lead businesses, and business leaders, to move out of state.
5. Invest in Job Training:"We've seen what a difference it can make here in New York City. Up until 2004, our Workforce One Career Centers were placing about 500 New Yorkers in jobs a year. Last year, in the depth of the national recession, we made 25,000 job placements - a fifty-fold increase."
6. Fix Immigration:"Right now, our immigration policy is a form of national suicide. We educate the best and brightest from around the world, and then we tell our companies that they can't hire them... Right now, there are many high-skill jobs that American companies cannot fill, because they cannot find the workers - and other companies are struggling to fill low-wage jobs that Americans will not take."
The Mayor said innovation is the centerpiece of New York's economic development and job creation strategies. "Whether it's the small business incubators we've created in industries ranging from food service to fashion or the investments we've made in large bioscience labs... We have created the conditions that incentivize private investment, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract global talent. That is not a liberal or conservative approach to job creation, it's an effective approach. And it's an approach we need more of at the state and national level."