Bloomberg The Bully

Low status people are much more likely to be smokers than anyone else. They are also more likely to be obese. Middle class people like to be reminded that there are people further down the status ladder than themselves. They also enjoy being able to tell themselves that they care about the poor and unfortunate. Those facts create an opportunity that an entrepreneurial member of the elite, such as Michael Bloomberg, cannot resist to take advantage of.

Therefore, the New York City mayor, has banned smoking in public places (including parks), and is now setting his aims at large sodas. This lets him convincingly argue that it is in the interest of the smokers and the obese, while winning the support of lots of middle class voters who can feel that they are doing something.

To me, Mr Bloomberg is more reminiscent of the school yard bully, pummeling the low status kid, with the middle class voters acting as complicit bystanders.

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