Ethics Quiz: Mayor Bloomberg’s Pizza Petard

"No pizza for you!"

“No pizza for you!”

I came thiiiiis close to making this an Ethics Hero post, then I realized that the story was a gag.

But fictional tales pose real ethics dilemmas: let’s see if you can resolve the one raised by this spoof.

According to the satirical  Daily Currant, Mayor Bloomberg, better known in NYC as the Nanny Mayor who has, among other measures, decreed how much sweet soda pop one is allowed to sell or purchase to consume, was having a business lunch at Collegno’s Pizzeria. When he asked for second slice of pizza, however, he was refused.

“I’m sorry sir,” the Currant quoted owner “Antonio Benito” as replying, “we can’t do that. You’ve reached your personal slice limit.” And he wasn’t kidding.

“OK, that’s funny,” the alternate universe New York Mayor remarked, “because of the soda thing … No come on. I’m not kidding. I haven’t eaten all morning, just send over another pepperoni.”

“I’m sorry sir. We’re serious,” Benito said. “We’ve decided that eating more than one piece isn’t healthy for you, and so we’re forbidding you from doing it.”

Bloomberg, in the Currant’s account, then snapped., saying:  “Look jackass. I fucking skipped breakfast this morning just so I could eat four slices of your pizza. Don’t be a schmuck, just get back to the kitchen and bring out some fucking pizza, okay.”

Benito stood fast! “I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing I can do. Maybe you could go to several restaurants and get one slice at each. At least that way you’re walking. You know, burning calories.”


If only it were true… Continue reading

New York’s Stop and Frisk Ethical Dilemma

The problem with racial profiling is that it is wrong and unfair, but it works.

Crime rates, especially gun-related killings, have dropped precipitously in New York City since Mayor Bloomberg approved an aggressive “stop and frisk” policy.  Stop and frisk, where police are allowed to stop, question and pat down an individual whom the officer has reasonable suspicion may be involved in the commission of a crime, was approved by the Supreme Court long ago. The rub is that, as documented by the ACLU, New York cops seem to automatically find blacks (54%) and Hispanics (31%)  suspicious, as they account for 85% of those stopped. Bloomberg is under fire to ease up on the program, which he says demonstrably saves lives, even though the vast majority of those stopped and frisked are innocent. Bloomberg, using statistics derived from pre-policy shooting deaths and the numbers of illegal guns the frisks have discovered, told the press that 5,600 New Yorkers live today because of police suspicions. Continue reading

Should It be Illegal to Buy Counterfeit Designer Goods?

The ethics of this issue are clear, I think. The mystery is: Why did it take so long, and why isn’t there a national law?

New York City councilwoman Margaret S. Chin, whose district includes Chinatown, has introduced a bill would make it a misdemeanor  to  buy fake designer merchandise on the street or anywhere else. Violators would face a $1,000 fine, a year in jail, or both.

The New York Times interviewed a tourist who articulated the argument against Chin’s bill.
“I come down here, I will continue coming down here, and I will follow the Chinese people wherever they take me,” the New Jersey resident told the Times reporter “as she stood amid the purse and sunglass vendors on Canal Street.” “I don’t believe in child labor and I don’t believe in supporting terrorists, but if I want to buy a knockoff, that’s my business.” Continue reading

Mayor Bloomberg—Charting New Vistas in Ego, Shamelessness and Hypocrisy


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  now supports a ballot measure to restore the city’s term-limit law to two terms, the limit he voided to ensure his own third term by asking the City Council to approve a measure that allowed him to run again.

Bloomberg, you may recall, claimed in 2009 that he  supported three terms for himself, because he was best prepared to lead the city through tough fiscal times.

But nobody else. Bloomberg is special, you see. Continue reading

Something Else is Unethical About the Ground Zero Mosque Plan

What, other than the project itself, is unethical about the Ground Zero mosque plan?

Just this: apparently, despite what we’ve all been told, there isn’t one!

Politico reported yesterday that “New York government officials and real estate insiders are privately questioning whether the project has much chance of coming to fruition.” If the facts stated in Politico’s article are true, that would seem to be an understatement. Among the revelations: Continue reading