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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’ San Francisco Tech Firm Paying Employees $20,000 If They Leave San Francisco

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2020

This is how crazy it is getting for big lefty cities.

The San Francisco-based high-tech payments company Stripe is offering employees a one-time cash payment of $20,000 if they leave San Francisco, Seattle or New York, reports The San Francisco Business Times.

Firms such as Stripe have begun to realize that it is extremely expensive to have a large office presence in these lefty cities where local taxes are sure to spike and it is expensive to compete for employees 

The mad lockdowns instituted by the local governments in these cities ended up teaching these firms that it is not necessary to have employees all located together in one giant complex. That working at home for some does not cut productivity.

Stripe will still maintain a significant office presence in SF but the offer should be tempting to many. Stripe plans to pay employees up to 10% less if they leave the big cities but the combination of the $20,000 payment plus much lower costs for housing in most other parts of the country will make it a sound move for many.  

According to Bloomberg, VMware Inc. has instituted a similar policy, and Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and ServiceNow Inc. are also considering similar measures.


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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment » Rents Plunge in San Francisco and New York

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2020

Rents Plunge in San Francisco and New York

Here are the latest numbers from Zumper through the end of August.

Table from WolfStreet

It is an escape from the big blue cities.

Check out Ft. Lauderdale, prices are up by 5.6% year-over-year.


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What Governors Can Do | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2020

The bad press is already started regarding Sweden. How they make out will be interesting.

Too bad it will be years before reliable information will be leaked.

To my Pennsylvania comrades-don’t expect relief anytime soon.

Jeff Deist

Which state has the courage to become the Sweden of the US, and take a different (read: better, freer) approach to coronavirus?

As of yesterday, five US states remain at least reasonably “open” in terms of their implemented measures to fight the pandemic. Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota have no state orders in place closing businesses and forcing residents to stay home, while Iowa and North Dakota shut down “nonessential” businesses but have not issued stay-at-home orders.

Three states, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Utah, have partial lockdowns in place.

The other forty-two states have varying orders in place, and some regions such as the San Francisco Bay area have issued their own stricter shutdown policies. Population-wise, nearly 95 percent of all Americans today live under some kind of restrictions on movement and business, decreed either statewide or by counties and cities.

There is a tremendous opportunity here for state and local politicians to distinguish themselves. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem in particular has been steadfast in resisting political pressure to order a statewide lockdown, and surely most Americans readily understand how sparsely populated Western states might approach a pandemic very differently than big urban cities.

What should that approach look like? Here are some broad brushstrokes:

  • First, one brave governor (or county supervisor, mayor, etc.) gets the ball rolling by forming an impromptu coalition of states interested in staying open or reopening. Political pressure to go along with other states is strong, and the federal government has a long and sordid history of bullying states into compliance with national edicts using the carrot and the stick. The Trump administration thus far has been surprisingly reluctant to issue a nationwide shutdown, and governors looking for daylight should seize on this. They will need each other to stand against the tide—see, e.g., this broadside, against Noem.
  • Hold a press conference to announce the coalition, pick a marketable name for the effort (something like “South Dakota—Open for Business!”), and hold weekly calls open to media. Discuss conditions, options, and ideas, but make it clear that each state is wholly independent and that decisions are necessarily localized—this is not an interstate compact.
  • Announce guidelines, not orders, to citizens along these lines: people over seventy are strongly encouraged to self-quarantine in a strict manner. Those over fifty who have existing medical vulnerabilities to the virus are encouraged to do the same. Healthy people under fifty are welcome to return to daily activities but are strongly encouraged to wear masks (proven to be effective in several Asian countries). Of course many residents will self-quarantine regardless, and some businesses will choose to shut down regardless, per their individual choices.
  • Reopen government courts, and set a deadline of sixty or ninety days hence for resumption of contract enforcement (including evictions). Ask the state bar association to set up statewide centers for landlords and tenants to meet and renegotiate—using realistic numbers—rental agreements. Hard-line landlords can go to court, and hard-line tenants can refuse payment, but evictions benefit neither party in the immediate term.
  • In stages, reopen public schools and universities based on local conditions. Hold parental votes online to determine whether each school district will continue online classes or revert to physical attendance.
  • Announce that restaurants, bars, and retail outlets are open as usual, with the strong caveat that provable cases of virus transmittal will be heard in state courts under a broad doctrine of premises liability. This will encourage the kind of measures by owners that have been seen in Taiwan and Singapore, ranging from using digital thermometers at store entrances to relentless scrubbing of surfaces in restaurants.
  • Immediately bid out a statewide insurance claims facility for coronavirus deaths so that in worst case scenarios families will be compensated for loss of loved ones. Insist that payments are retroactive to cover deaths prior to the bid, and use the model of airlines after crashes (quick payouts, little paperwork, claims personnel with good bedside manner). Payouts of $1 million would not be impossible to insure against in low-population states, where deaths likely will remain well under five thousand. Insurers themselves can go to the reinsurance markets, and insurance companies would have every incentive to test, treat, and take measures necessary to keep citizens alive. They would become de facto partners when it comes to securing medical equipment, hospital beds, and personnel. Insurance companies also would have a strong incentive, unlike politicians, to determine what constitutes death “from” the virus as opposed to death with the virus simply present in the body. Use bond revenue (discussed below) to cover premiums.
  • Immediately bid out to pharmaceutical companies for a supply of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and other promising drugs. Eliminate unnecessary state restrictions on prescribing and dispensing such drugs, and consider making them available over the counter until infections subside. Distribute them widely across the state, and charge break-even (cheap) prices for generic versions.
  • Issue state bonds for sale to private equity investors, hedge funds, foundations, and individuals. Take a deep breath, and secure them with real estate owned by the state—make government, rather than taxpayers, sacrifice for once! Price them aggressively, with higher than market rates of interest (but not junk bond rates). Make these bonds nontaxable by the issuing state itself, both with respect to income and capital gains. Use the funds to provide insurance, medical equipment, hospital capacity, testing centers, and protective gear as needed.
  • Encourage regional airlines, or major airlines serving the state, to relocate aircraft there and resume “domestic” flights (and/or flights between “open” states).

None of these ideas is particularly difficult to implement per se, but do any governors have the political will to do so? They should if they take an honest look at the landscape of a country that is coming unglued. Every day there is less and less to lose by trying something different. In a crisis, bold usually wins. So the choice at present appears to be bold freedom or bold tyranny.

Americans are reconsidering federalism and even nullification in an era of intensely polarized anti-Trump sentiment. The Left argues for soft secession in the form of “Bluexit” from the hated red states; conservatives such as Angelo Codevilla call for strategic defiance of the feds in what he terms a “Cold Civil War.” Golden State governor Gavin Newsome even recently referred to California as a “nation-state,” and why not? With 40 million people, a huge economy, tourism, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, ports and coastlines, and major universities, not to mention beaches, deserts, and mountains, the state easily could be an independent nation.

We were already in uncharted territory, but the coronavirus truly laid bare the deep and intolerable political divisions wracking our country. Governor Noem and others could begin the healing process now, literally and figuratively, by showing us a way forward without DC. The virus could be the catalyst for a new map of America.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment » There is Plenty of Toilet Paper

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2020

Those of us that are good at figuring out angles will keep our lifestyles but for those of you who aren’t aggressive entrepreneurs, the socialists are going to make your lives miserable.

By Robert Wenzel

There are plenty of empty shelves in San Francisco. You can’t find any toilet paper or paper towels in any stores.

Some are blaming capitalism as if things would be different if Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro were in charge.

The real problem is that the San Francisco government along with many other US governments is acting too much in the anti-free market authoritarian manner of Maduro.

Here’s a recent message from the socialist San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin:

What a confused little man.

Maduro has price controls in effect and we all know how that is working out.

The current problem is one of distribution and incentives, both short-term and long-term.

In the recent past, most stores and consumers operated on pretty much “just in time” inventory when it came to toilet paper and paper towels.

This changed when the government started a panic over COVID-19. Some fearing a lockdown went to stores and grabbed as much toilet paper and paper towels as they could handle.

That left many more, well, shit out of luck, when it comes to toilet paper.

But the big problem is the anti-free market, anti-gouging rules.

People who have been selling toilet paper and paper towels for decades on a “just in time” inventory basis are not exactly, cutting edge, figure every angle entrepreneurs. They like steadiness and consistency.

I mean, they even understand this. The famous”don’t squeeze the Charmin” ads were built on the theme that grocers want steadiness and consistency—and certainly no one squeezing the Charmin.

If you want steadiness and consistency, you can have a nice life by being Mr. Whipple, but rarely are you going to become super-rich. That’s for the shrewd and aggressive.

When you have a supply line break, the Mr. Whipple’s of the world have no clue how to get aggressive about supply chains and pricing. They don’t want to, it is not in their blood.

What is needed is for the super aggressive to get working on the matter but they need to be motivated by money. A lot more money than the margin made by Mr. Whipple. You need the free market A Team working on this.

Government authoritarians like Boudin don’t get this. They consider free market, incentivized prices as “price gouging.” But when there has been a severe supply distortion for a commodity you want to buy, you really need sharp entrepreneurs to figure the angles and they are not going to do it for Mr. Whipple wages.

Consider my own situation. My just-in-time supply of toilet paper was running low. There is none, here in San Francisco, in supply at grocery stores or at any Walgreens or CVS stores.

So I had to think for a minute, then the solution came to me.

There are some restaurants that remain open in San Francisco but are operating on a “grab and go” basis. So my thought was, they must be packed with toilet paper that they aren’t using that they had in stock for in-restaurant dining. I will approach them and offer to buy some toilet paper.

The first two places I approached gave me a song and dance about why they couldn’t do it. There are just a lot of people who can’t think outside of routines.

Then I scored on my third try. I explained I wanted to buy some toilet paper. I told the owner, “I will pay good money.”

So the proprietor brought out a two-roll pack. The closet was close enough when he got the pack that I could see he had a full carton of toilet paper, 12 sets of 2 packs.

With the two roll pack in front of him, he said, “I am going to have to charge you $3.00.”

I replied, “I will buy the full carton for $60.” That’s $5.00 a pack, he was ecstatic.

As I walked home, I thought to myself, San Francisco is filled with toilet paper in gyms to skyscrapers that are not being used. I thought of the angles I could use to gain access to that toilet paper for around $5.00 a roll.

The city is filled with toilet paper.

I am pretty confident I could put a kid at a table on the sidewalk and sell them for $10.00 a roll, when you consider the alternative for prospective buyers. I think I could bank six figures every few days and take care of the asses of the masses.

But Boudin makes that impossible.

I have no incentive.

The masses will be wiping their asses with newspapers, at best, because Boudin thinks I would be gouging by hustling and figuring out the angles to free up the toilet paper that is out there that people want desperately.

Those of us that are good at figuring out angles will keep our lifestyles but for those of you who aren’t aggressive entrepreneurs, the socialists are going to make your lives miserable.

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IAN BIRRELL on how tech giants have turned San Francisco into a dystopian nightmare | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2020

Considering the city’s wealth, it smacks of callous and uncaring hypocrisy.

I had just passed dealers selling drugs beside a police car parked outside government offices

As one local resident says: ‘Are they really being progressive to that poor guy in the street with a needle in his arm who is going to die tomorrow?’

Here is a thought. Raise the minimum to guarantee these poor people will never get a job.

By Ian Birrell for The Mail on Sunday

Gilles Desaulniers moved to San Francisco 40 years ago, settling in the ‘friendly, quaint and affordable’ city after running out of cash while driving from Canada down the West Coast of America.

Today he runs a grocery store filled with fresh fruit, vegan snacks and organic wines typical of this famously liberal Californian city.

But Gilles has shut one outlet and would sell up entirely if anyone wanted this one, his remaining shop.

Each day, up to 30 people stroll in and openly steal goods, costing him hundreds of dollars.

A street cleaner showed me a box filled with used syringes that he had collected, then I met two charity workers picking up needles from the pavement. How many do you find a day, I ask? ¿Between 300 and 600, depending on the weather,¿ one replies. A homeless man is pictured second left using a syringe to inject drugs in the city in June 2018

A street cleaner showed me a box filled with used syringes that he had collected, then I met two charity workers picking up needles from the pavement. How many do you find a day, I ask? ‘Between 300 and 600, depending on the weather,’ one replies. A homeless man is pictured second left using a syringe to inject drugs in the city in June 2018

He has been bitten twice recently by people in his shop and he also found a woman turning blue in the toilet after a drugs overdose, a hypodermic needle still stuck in her leg.

He showed me a metal door that is corroding due to people urinating in his doorway, then spoke of finding a man relieving himself in full view of infants playing in a child centre next door.

‘Our society is falling apart,’ says Desaulniers.

‘If people do not play by some rules, society does not function. But it feels like there is no order, there is no shame.’

He uses two apocalyptic movies to illustrate the state of his adopted city: ‘Living here feels like A Clockwork Orange and Blade Runner have both come true.’

I could grasp his despair. I had just passed dealers selling drugs beside a police car parked outside government offices, and seen their customers openly smoke fentanyl, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, then collapse on the street…

Yet true to form, San Francisco has just elected as district attorney a radical called Chesa Boudin, whose parents were infamous militants from a far-Left, anti-war group. They were jailed for triple murder when Chesa was a toddler, leaving him to be adopted by the founders of the organisation.

The 39-year-old, who studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar and later worked as a translator for Venezuela’s former leader Hugo Chavez, a Fidel Castro acolyte, campaigned on moving away from prosecuting ‘quality of life’ offences to focus on serious and corporate offences.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association spent heavily campaigning against Boudin, saying he was the choice for ‘criminals and gang members’.

But Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the charity Coalition on Homelessness, argues city residents should get angry over ‘systemic neglect’ that sparked this crisis rather than blaming people on the streets.

‘No one wants to live like this,’ she says. ‘We’ve tried locking people up before but that didn’t work.’

Friedenbach insists that the problems stem from a lack of affordable housing, a significant reduction of emergency shelters and the slashing of spending on treatment programmes.

She says, rightly, that issues of homelessness, mental health and addiction are often linked.

The city’s mayor, London Breed, whose younger sister died of a drug overdose and elder brother was jailed for robbery, declined to comment.

In her inaugural speech, Breed said the ‘twin troubles of homelessness and housing affordability’ were the big challenge.

She is boosting grants for shelters, treatment and street cleaning. Yet those desperate sights staining this one-time hippy nirvana are ultimately the sign of abject political failure.

Her new fiefdom is, after all, so populated by millionaires in their exclusive enclaves that it is the second richest city in the world’s richest nation.

Considering the city’s wealth, it smacks of callous and uncaring hypocrisy.

As one local resident says: ‘Are they really being progressive to that poor guy in the street with a needle in his arm who is going to die tomorrow?’

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The beautiful city by the bay, where Tony Bennett famously left his heart and which poses as a beacon of progressiveness, has more billionaires per capita than any other on the planet. Not long ago, a seven-bedroom home here recently sold for $38 million (£29 million), while at the Michelin-starred Saison restaurant, the ¿kitchen menu¿ starts at $298 a head and reservations require a $148 deposit





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California’s homeless crisis engulfs its capital: Sacramento’s people confront naked junkies | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2019

You know the old saying-As Kalifornia goes, so goes the nation.

I think that if I wasn’t able to have my own taken care of I would open the borders to millions of even more destitute.

Thank you Moon Beam.

By Martin Gould In Sacramento, California, For

EXCLUSIVE: California’s homeless crisis engulfs its capital as Sacramento’s business owners tell how they confront naked junkies and streets covered in feces, urine and syringes – with no solution in sight

  • Sacramento residents and business owners have spoken out on the city’s growing rates of homelessness – which is up 19 per cent in the last two years 
  • Hair salon owner Liz Novak brought attention to the issue last week when she uploaded a video claiming she has been forced to relocate due to a vagrancy epidemic
  • Antique shop owner Steve Sylvester, whose business is located across from Novak’s, said the problem has worsened in the past 18 months due to the city’s drug scene  
  • ‘Sacramento is the place where people are told you can get a quick fix with cheap drugs,’ Sylvester told 
  • He said one homeless drug addict entered his store ’95 per cent naked’ and damaged $300-$400 worth of china when he was asked to leave 
  • A waitress at Pancake Circus diner, identified only as 70-year-old Terri, said she starts every working day at 4.15am ‘cleaning up needles and poop and washing down urine,’ and shooing the homeless from the property

Cali Carlisle admits she is a heroin addict — ‘but in a healthy way,’ she insists, even if the visual evidence belies that claim.

Her nose is the brightest shade of red imaginable. She constantly picks at scabs all over her body. Her home is a makeshift bed beneath Interstate 80 in Sacramento.

And Monday was her 26th birthday. Not that you would ever guess. Anyone looking at her would think she is at least 15 years older.

Carlisle is part of California‘s growing homeless emergency. The state has around 130,000 people without a roof over their heads. But she is not in downtown Los Angeles where Skid Row is a symbol of the national crisis or San Francisco where nearly one person in every hundred lives on the streets.

Instead, Carlisle and her fiancé Brian Workman are in Sacramento, the state capital, where homelessness has shot up by a shocking 19 per cent in the past two years, putting the problem squarely on the doorstep of Gavin Newsom, the state’s Democratic governor…

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EndrTimes: Hundreds of Hondurans head for US border in ...





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Airport’s Ban on Plastic Water Bottles a Flight of Fancy | Craig Eyermann

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2019

Oddly, you can still buy sugary drinks in plastic bottles at SFO; only healthy, calorie-free water is banned in plastic. You can’t make this stuff up.

Politicians in California like to show how much they care about making the world a better place by banning things. Making the world a better place isn’t something they seem to care much about, however, because if they did, they would be doing very different things.

As Exhibit A, please consider San Francisco’s new ban on sales of bottled water at the city’s international airport, which just took effect on August 20, 2019. The Wall Street Journal‘s Andy Kessler considers a scenario that may become all too common thanks to the city’s new law aimed at inconveniencing air travelers passing through SFO:

After running late for your flight after a 30-minute security line only to have TSA confiscate your Fiji water bottle, you’ll now have to stop at a crowded water fountain to fill your own metal flask. Or buy an overpriced glass or aluminum bottle at the concession stand, paying another 10 cents for a bag. And your teeth will chatter if you drink through a paper straw. Of course you could risk dehydration instead: Men lose up to a half-gallon of water during a 10-hour flight. Oddly, you can still buy sugary drinks in plastic bottles at SFO; only healthy, calorie-free water is banned in plastic. You can’t make this stuff up.

It’s not that city officials don’t like the idea of people buying overpriced bottled drinks at the city-owned airport. Rather, it’s the idea of people buying water in plastic bottles that upsets them—especially because of what they seem to think happens with all those bottles after air travelers drink the water in them.

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Dustin Gardiner quotes state senator Scott Wiener’s justification for state politicians’ efforts to ban all things plastic in California:

“Plastics are frankly strangling the health of our oceans,” Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said as the Senate debated SB54 last month. “This is a huge problem, and it’s time to move past baby steps to address it.”

A huge problem, indeed. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, over 8 million metric tons of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year. If California’s politicians think they are going to have a meaningful impact in solving that problem with the actions they take, they must also think Californians are major contributors to that problem.

Are they really?

A study by Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research suggests that over 90 percent of all the plastic waste in the ocean flows into it from just 10 rivers. Alex Gray of the World Economic Forum reports:

By analyzing the waste found in the rivers and surrounding landscape, researchers were able to estimate that just 10 river systems carry 90% of the plastic that ends up in the ocean.

Eight of them are in Asia: the Yangtze; Indus; Yellow; Hai He; Ganges; Pearl; Amur; Mekong; and two in Africa – the Nile and the Niger.

According to National Geographic, “relatively little plastic waste enters the ocean from North America and Europe because of their more robust waste-management systems.”

Californians may not be as environmentally destructive as state politicians believe.

But perhaps that’s not true in San Francisco, if politicians from that city think their latest ban on sales of water in plastic bottles at the city’s airport will have a noticeable impact on the global problem of plastic waste being dumped in the oceans.

An effective solution to that hypothetical problem wouldn’t be to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles at the airport. It would be to establish and operate an effective waste management system for the city while also banning the city’s employees from dumping empty water bottles into the bay. If they already had done all that, why not focus on making their system work better?

Do you suppose that common sense solution occurred to the politicians? Or do you suppose they cared more about showing how much they care about the environment without really caring enough to do anything to noticeably improve it, regardless of whatever harm and inconvenience they might impose upon the dignity of air travelers passing through the city’s airport?

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This San Francisco Poop Map Proves the City Has a Major ...

SF Poop Map



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment » Solving the Homeless Situation in American Cities

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2019

Hi Bob,

I don’t know how long you’ve lived in San Francisco, but what do you think is at the root of this seemingly increasing homeless problem? I mean, in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s & 2000’s, I don’t think there was such a drastic  prevalence of homeless people living in tents everywhere on freeway offramps, parks, etc, & shitting all over the streets in SanFran, Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, etc.?  Is it the economy? Mental illness? Laziness? Does govt have a role in causing this?

In Portland  Oregon yesterday, there were really a lot of homeless, vagrants & transients, tents huddled everywhere. Almost like some weird Will Smith movie. (Pic attached.) Look at this guy he’s actually sitting like he’s in his living room, on the grass of a freeway offramp.

RW response:

It is a serious problem, however, in the end, you can pretty much see government failure and crony operators at every turn.

Many of the homeless have obvious serious mental health issues or are just low functional. The problem is that the wacky left keeps on taking city governments to court to prevent the governments from doing anything about these people. I have always thought of public areas controlled by the government as no man’s land and the wacky left has done everything it can to make the sidewalks of many American cities a surreal version of a no man’s land. It has become a business model for a kind-of crony left.

There is no question that there are wacky left organizations that want to see homeless on the streets so that it can raise money from the guilt-ridden rich in the same cities “to help”. They raise money on the theme of protecting the “right” of the homeless to sleep on the streets and in the parks.

This is the growth sector of the homeless. Gunslinging lawyers using laws to prevent anything from being done about the homeless.

Beyond the seriously mentally deficient and low functional, you also see a lot of druggies on the streets. Certainly, the elimination of laws prohibiting the sale of drugs would make it easier for these people to survive. The cost of drugs would collapse.

There are also many who just don’t know how to survive at a higher level in the current society but it is an odd cultural thing. The groups that seem to be closest to being dependent on government have the most homeless.

In San Francisco, it is not impossible but you rarely see Asian or Hispanic homeless. They, of course, tend to have very tight non-governmental cultures.

You see many more blacks on the streets followed by Caucasians—and the blacks are American blacks not blacks who have recently migrated to the US.

These people never had a chance. They were likely brought up in inner-city government schools and in homes that, thanks to government distorted incentives, did not have fathers in the homes, coupled with minimum wage laws that made it impossible for them to get their first jobs. Government crushed the chance for these (mostly) men to ever a suceed.

The short- and long- term solutions are not complex.

The first thing you do is eliminate government “charity.” With government handouts gone, there will be more willingness of decent people to give to charity to help those in need. But it should be true private sector charity where there is competition on how the needy are offered help—with no government interference.

Then it is simple, tell the homeless they can’t live or sleep on the sidewalks, parks, etc. and give them the option of choosing a charity organization and location where they will be transported.

I would make it a 6-month program. Announce that all homeless will be cleared from the streets in 6-months and that charities should get ready for the incoming–that will raise money for the charities and fast.

I would also eliminate minimum wage laws so that the low functional amongst the homeless who have the potential to get a job which matches their low hourly marginal revenue product can do so.

And as previously mentioned, the prohibition on the sale of drugs should be eliminated.

Also, I would eliminate all types of government handouts to families and individuals since this only results in dependence on government–which has its own crony agenda and can never really help the needy. We need private sector competition in charity.

Finally, I would eliminate government schools, which in the inner cities does nothing but destroy minds and spirit–and distorts the thinking of youth in all other non-inner city schools.

I am, more and more, beginning to think that government schools are the most dangerous institutions in America. I would end government-funded “education” of all kinds, including for all public schools and for all voucher programs.


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Of Two Minds – America’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2019

Charles Hugh Smith

The forced flight from unaffordable and dysfunctional urban regions is as yet a trickle, but watch what happens when a recession causes widespread layoffs in high-wage sectors.

For hundreds of years, rural poverty has driven people to urban areas: cities offer paying work and abundant opportunities to get ahead, and these financial incentives have transformed the human populace from largely rural to largely urban in the developed world.

Now a new set of financial pressures are forcing a migration of urban residents out of cities which are increasingly unaffordable and dysfunctional. As highly paid skilled workers and global capital have flooded into high-job-growth regions, living costs and the costs of doing business have skyrocketed: where not too long ago $1,000 a month would secure a modest one-bedroom apartment in major urban job centers, now it takes $2,000 or $3,000 a month to rent a modest flat.

Wages for the average worker have not doubled or tripled, and this asymmetry between soaring living costs and stagnant incomes is driving the exodus out of cities that are only affordable to the top 10% of wage earners, or those who bought a house decades ago and have locked in low property taxes.

Gordon Long and I discuss this forced migration in a new video program. It’s important to note that we’re not talking about economy-wide inflation or the general rise in the cost of living; we’re talking about the hyper-drive cost increases that characterize high-cost urban areas.

I’ve addressed economy-wide real-world inflation many times,for example:

The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016)

Burrito Index Update: Burrito Cost Triples, Official Inflation Up 43% from 2001 (May 31, 2018)

In high-cost urban regions, burritos aren’t $7.50; they’re $10 or $12. Parking tickets aren’t $15, they’re $60, and so on.

Consider this chart of rents in the San Francisco Bay Area: unless the household’s income has shot up in parallel with rents, this cost of living is simply unaffordable. Read the rest of this entry »

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San Francisco’s Wealthy Leftists Are Making Homelessness Worse | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2018

Their dual desire to not only keep San Francisco locked in an eternal snow globe style stasis but to also not erode the value of their homes drives them to engage in this very destructive economic protectionism: keeping newcomers out by making it virtually impossible (or more costly than necessary) to build, keeps the value of their own homes artificially elevated while preserving the Norman Rockwell character of their town.

I recently had the opportunity to visit San Francisco for the first time. Coastal towns tend to be a bit more interesting in terms of cuisine (seafood being one of the more varied palate options) as well as architecture (steep hill structures are ever a testament to human ingenuity) and San Francisco scores high in both categories. However one area where it currently scores quite low is in the aroma zone. At first I thought perhaps they had a very inefficient sewer system near the shoreline retail sector, but as we explored deeper toward the city center it became clear something was amiss. I learned shortly thereafter that San Francisco has a poop crisis. To be blunt — people are literally crapping on the sidewalks. Not the tourists, mind you, but the local homeless population. The situation has come to a head (or to the head to employ a nautical metaphor) primarily as a result of progressive conservatism primed with the power of centralized (governmental) authority.

The outside leftist narrative of course is that this poop crisis is inevitable results of unmitigated capitalism, Read the rest of this entry »

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