Mayor Bloomberg has been doing a fine job of defending Walmart's right to open a store in New York City, but a New York Times news article overstates it some when it refers to Mr. Bloomberg as "a longtime defender of free-market principles." Was he defending free-market principles when he backed the use of eminent domain to seize private property for subsidized housing and a basketball arena at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn? When he banned trans-fats in restaurants? When he banned smoking in bars and restaurants? When he backed a ban on campaign contributions from limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies but not labor unions? When he backed an extension of $1 billion a year in sales taxes that were set to expire?
I admire the mayor for certain qualities of his, I've voted for him more than once, and I've chosen to live in the city he is mayor of. But describing him as "a longtime defender of free-market principles" says more about the ideological spectrum of New York City and the New York Times than it does about the mayor or about free-market principles.