In the annals of political rhetoric, there are lies, damn lies and exaggeration. Well, according to Politicker NY, Mayor Bloomberg dropped himself into the third category during a speech at MIT last night, when he claimed, “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world…”
This statement, of course, is totally, wildly inaccurate, either by numbers or spending. The 7th largest army globally would actually be Vietnam with 321,000 soldiers, compared to 33,000 or so in the NYPD. And tiny Austria spends more on its military than the city does on the NYPD. The NYPD isn’t even the largest police force in the world: law enforcement agencies in South Africa and China are much larger.
The question then becomes why guild the lily like this? Was Bloomberg presenting himself as a valid presidential candidate, just because he’s mayor of the biggest city in the U.S.? Who knows, but he did go on to claim he had his own “state department, much to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance.” And then he went on to say essentially that mayors are better at managing than people at the federal level.
“Unfortunately, people at the federal level or the state level typically spend their whole lives in politics, and they’ve never been an executive and it shows,” he said.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 30, 2011