Demonstrators protesting bank bailouts and calling for increased regulation of Wall Street may harm New York City’s economy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
“What they’re trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city,” Bloomberg said today during his weekly appearance on WOR radio. “They’re trying to take away the tax base we have. None of this is good for tourism.”
The mayor’s comments are his first addressing the economic impact of the protests, which began Sept. 17. The demonstrations have cost the city about $2 million in officers’ overtime, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said yesterday.
Wall Street contributed about 7 percent of city tax revenue in fiscal year 2010, according to a November report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli, who described the securities industry as the city’s “economic engine,” said one in seven jobs in the city, and one in 13 in the state, is associated with Wall Street.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that began three weeks ago in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park has spread to more than 45 U.S. states and to cities including Washington, Boston, Seattle, Chicago and Denver. U.S. labor unions support the demonstrations, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has said.
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