Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekend at Mikey's

I saw one of the mayor's henchmen on NY1 the other day make the claim that New Yorkers are living a year longer since Bloomberg became mayor. I assumed this was a misstatement or perhaps a joke by one of the mayor's merry staffers but no--it's there in black and white on the mayor's web site. Here's what it says, in part:

Thanks to Mike’s increased focus on preventive care, New Yorkers are now living longer than ever. For a New Yorker born in 2006, life expectancy was 79 years – one year and three months longer than it was in 2001.

Forgive my skepticism, but someone born in 2001 is only 8 years old and someone born in 2006 is 3 years old. Now, I'm not a math whiz like Mike's statisticians, but as near as I can figure, that means none of them is anywhere near 79. So what we have is City Hall playing with numbers again, much like they do with school data.

I can actually see NYers living longer under Bloomberg, however. Cigarettes are ten bucks a pack now, so few working people can afford them. Mike is hoping to lay off the remaining workers who can afford them. There are, however, only so many smokers left. So how will Mike continue to stretch the longevity stats the way he does with the education stats? My suggestion? Follow the education model.

For example, Mike keeps the drop out rate low by using credit recovery, in which all students have to do is sit for a specified time in order to graduate. I propose that Mike begin corpse recovery. In this new program, Mike can place corpses alongside high school students. As long as they (the corspes) remain seated they are doing just as much as their high school counterparts and can be counted among the living. We might even start issuing posthumous diplomas to lower the dropout rate even more.

Another educational model Mike could follow is turning New York into a charter city. We could accept, let's say, only 3% of the people who apply to live here, much like the Carl Icahn Charter School in the Bronx accepted only 3% of the children who applied to it. As Jeffrey Litt, Superintendent of the school said (and no, I don't know why a single school needs a superintendent), "You cannot fail at Icahn Charter because I have a million programs there to help you." Let's do the same for future New Yorkers. Before you can live here, you have to apply and pass a physical. We'll accept only the top three percent in terms of fitness. And if those people should have the temerity to get ill, we can put them on life support almost indefinitely. Those who blatantly fail to live would be shipped off into the corpse recovery program.

I think Mike should get cracking on this ASAP. He ought to be able to raise the longevity rate to about 106 years with a little creativity. And wouldn't we all like to live that long so that we can help Mike get elected to his 27th and final term under the stringent term limits law?


Pogue said...

Mike and Joel have educational "preventive care" also. It's called "grade longevity". What used to be a 55 for kids who were inexcusably absent a lot, did very little-to no-work, and disrupted others, now get a 65 and higher for a little seat time, maybe an essay, whatever. Credit recovery,'s like smoking, but with less tar!

Chaz said...

I agree with Pogue. The Kleinberg Administration will use phony statistics and programs to show how well they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Icahn has 3 schools and is opening more. Shoody research :(