The bubble is back - Page 3

City policies are encouraging a new tech boom — but have we learned any lessons from the last one?

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In the latest Harper's Magazine cover story, "Killing the Competition: How the new monopolies are destroying open markets," writer Barry Lynn argues that the consolidation of wealth and dismantling of fair trade and pro-labor laws has allowed the Bay Area tech industry to unfairly dominate small competitors and control the labor market.

That trend has been masked by political euphemisms that fool the public. "Corporate monopoly? Let's just call that the 'free market.' The political ravages of corporate power? Those could be recast as the essentially benign workings of 'market forces,'" Lynn wrote.

Donohue has been calling out such rhetoric for decades. He told us the city's economic development policies are mostly a boon to politically connected landlords and investors, and there's been remarkably little discussion at City Hall about gentrification, increased demand for city services, or other problems created by economic bubbles.

"People say it's different this time, but they say that every time. It's not different," Donohue told us. He said economic bubbles usually hurt the poor and working class by driving up the cost of living. And he also said, "Even the most conservative economists don't like the idea of subsidizing businesses because they think it's a distortion of the market."

Yet the "jobs" rhetoric and assumption that government should actively promote and subsidize the private sector has broad support in City Hall these days, even though Donohue said few people are stopping to ask whether a new tech bubble is actually good for the city.

"When you bring a lot of people into an area, you're going to create a demand for public services," Donohue said. "I don't think anyone has done a very good assessment of what this will cost the city."

Donohue worked on a political campaign in the mid-'80s to require a study of the costs to the city of serving commercial growth that was occurring in the Financial District at the time, but he said it was bitterly opposed by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein and her downtown allies. "Nobody seems to want to know what that figure is," Donohue said. "Nobody at City Hall is even asking the question."

City Economist Ted Egan confirmed that his analysis of the mid-Market tax break and other economic development schemes doesn't include the cost of increased demands on city services. "I've never dealt directly with that argument," Egan told us.

Based on his assumption that Twitter's move to the SF Mart building (owned by the politically connected Shorenstein family) on Market between Ninth and 10th Streets will fill up commercial vacancies throughout the area and generate increased sales, property, and payroll taxes, Egan concluded the city will more than make up for the lost business tax revenue over the long run.

He minimized the importance of costs to the city, such as increased police or sanitation services, and impacts to city infrastructure from water and sewer to roads and public transit. "It can't be that running more transit is bad in a transit-first city," Egan said, noting the relatively fixed cost of operating a Muni station.

Yet Donohue and others say the fact that the city and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency have huge budget deficits to close every year, even after years of cutting services and raising fees, indicates the city has a structural budget deficit that will only get worse as growth places more demands on government.

"I don't think these things are well-thought-through, ever," Donohue said.

Lee, Kim, and representatives from the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development didn't return our calls, but Chiu did and he said he believes in actively courting the tech industry with public incentives: "My support for these policies is a belief that it will broadly benefit San Franciscans."

Comments

Isnt it awful that some companies located in SF are doing well?

Isnt it terrible that we cant remain a depressed, poor place forever?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 9:09 am

If the trolls are going to take over your identity, why not steal theirs? Then maybe Martlock will start sounding like sensible person rather than a mindless bot trotting out the usual talking points...again and again and again.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:04 am

private-sector enterprises far more than it needs non-profit bureaucrats, hopelessly left-wing journalists and an underclass who contribute nothing but suck in resources, then there is hope for everyone.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:25 am

Long live Marie Antoinette! Let them (the 'underclass') eat cake!!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 11:01 am

How do they do that? By creating well-paid jobs? By paying a lot in taxes? By sponsoring and underwriting events and causes?

Is everything class warfare to you?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 11:13 am

I'd like to see a bit more 'noblesse oblige' from the wealthy than the annual tax write-off to charity. Here are 10 ways that (wealthy) white men can hone their sense of honor by shouldering their fair share of the tax burden:

(from "10 Ways to Force the Stinking Rich to Share Their Wealth" by Zach Carter @AlterNet)

1. Ban Offshore Tax Havens For Big Corporations

"The government loses about $100 billion a year from corporate tax evasion. Companies that do their business in the United States hide their assets in another country that offers very low taxes, or none at all. You know the places: Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, etc. This is illegal, but it happens anyway."

2. Close the Loophole for Hedge Fund Kingpins

"Why do the richest people in the world get taxed at the lowest rates? Nobody makes more money than Wall Street hedge-funders, but thanks to a particularly preposterous loophole in the tax code, they pay only a 15 percent tax rate for income that is supposed to be taxed at 35 percent. Why? Instead of taking a salary, hedge fund managers compensate themselves by taking a percentage of their fund's profits, and these profits are subject to the capital gains tax rate, rather than the income tax rate. This costs us about $5 billion a year..."

3.Increase the Capital Gains Tax

"But why is the capital gains tax only 15 percent? For that, we can thank Dick Cheney. When President Bush was devising his epic tax cut agenda, he didn't have a problem with axing most taxes for the super-rich. But one tax cut struck him as just too conservative: the capital gains tax. Capital gains are increases in the value of investments like stocks—poor people don't buy stocks, and besides, the capital gains rate was already very lenient, a mere 20 percent. But Cheney fought a behind-the-scenes to overrule Bush, and his plan to slash the capital gains tax passed."

4. Tax Financial Speculation

"We all know that rampant financial speculation fueled the housing bubble that led the U.S. economy off a cliff in 2008. There's an easy way to crack down on this—make Wall Street companies pay a small tax for every trade they make. The idea is simple. If there is a small up-front cost to each trade, speculators will be less likely to make reckless bets, since they'd stand to make less money."

5. Impose a Wall Street Bonus Tax

"Wall Street bonuses are obscene, and everybody knows it. Taxing the hell out of them is one way to rein them in. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has proposed a 75 percent tax on banker bonuses, and Wall Street has a $150 billion bonus pool."

6. Tax Too-Big-To-Fail

"Remember President Obama's big push earlier this year to tax too-big-to-fail banks? It was a good idea, but it actually could have been much stronger. [...] there's no reason why we should settle for even $117 billion from giant banks, whose failure puts our entire economy in jeopardy. By establishing much more onerous tax rates for banks with assets above a certain level—say, $300 billion—the government could actively discourage banks from becoming too-big-to-fail."

7. Restore the Estate Tax to Pre-Bush Levels

"One of Bush's major tax cuts was literally a boon for rich kids. When wealthy parents die, the government taxes the inheritance their children can receive. (Conservatives refer to this as the "death tax.") It's a tax on millionaires—before Bush, estates worth with up to $1 million ($2 million for couples) were totally exempt from the tax. Bush cut the tax rate on these inheritances from 55 percent to 45 percent in 2001, but he also phased in other cuts in increments, excluding more millionaires from the tax. By last year, inheritances worth up to $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), were totally exempt. If Obama hadn't acted last year, the estate tax would have been wholly obliterated. [...] Obama could clearly do much more by simply restoring the estate tax to Clinton-era levels."

8. Tax Rich People for Social Security

"Right now, any income you make in excess of $108,000 a year isn't subject to Social Security taxes. If Wall Street tycoons like Pete Peterson are so worried about the financial state of Social Security (which is currently projected to be totally fine through 2037), they can surely agree that millionaires should be taxed more in order to boost the program's balance sheet."

9. Raise Income Taxes on The Rich

"Bush cut the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 39.8 percent to 35 percent." (Note: the article lauds Obama for his plan to reverse this rate by letting the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year. But as we all know, Obama engaged in a bit of political theatre with the Republicans, then caved in to their demands. So the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest are still in place. Even Dick Cheney admits that the Bush tax cuts have exacerbated the federal deficit.

\http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/01/1041408/-Interview:-Dick-Cheney-Says-Bush-Tax-Cuts-Cause-HUGE-Deficit-Thru-2013

10. Simplify the Tax Code

"In 2008, Goldman Sachs paid a total tax rate of just 1 percent. The bank did this despite being one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country. Under any reasonable tax system, the bank would have paid the full 35 percent tax rate for the largest corporations. But the bank didn't do that. It pays lots of tax lawyers very well to sift through the massive U.S. tax code and find loopholes that will benefit Goldman Sachs, at the expense of the United States.
The sheer complexity of the U.S. tax code encourages this kind of behavior. It allows corporations and rich individuals, to take the time to exploit the system for their own advantage, and makes explaining this exploitation very difficult. That's why stories about taxes are always so technical and boring (apologies). Overhauling the tax code and imposing a simple, progressive system would end a lot of abuse."

http://www.alternet.org/story/146460/10_ways_to_force_the_stinking_rich_...

Posted by Guest 99% on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

Or was it just too hard to resist?

Of your ten points, only the last one makes any sense. I would agree with a simpler tax code and in fact it is the Republicans that usually argue for that, whether it is Reagan's 1980's tax simplifications, the Forbes Flat Tax proposal, or Cain's 9-9-9 idea.

Good to see you embracing the Cato Institute on tax simplification and flatter taxes.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

Somehow, I expected you to pull the "race card" accusation out of your hat. Do you always have to use the same predictable talking points? (fact: most of the uber-wealthy are white, first-world males) And reread that last item again (#10): it's talking about progressive taxation, not a flat tax. The tax code is byzantine because the rich like it that way. It makes it easier to evade paying their fair share of taxes.

Posted by Guest 99% on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

just have to make this a race issue? Why? Habit, no doubt.

Oh, and most wealthy Americans are white because most Americans are white. Duh.

Reagan simplified the tax code and Clinton made it more complicated. The right want a flat tax with few or no deductions. It's the left who want to manipulate behaviour thru complex tax breaks.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

We need a Flat Tax on everyone and everything. No deductions, no tricks, no games. Everyone pays the same rate. The richest people will pay more (way More) and the common worker will pay a lot less than they do now under the current system.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

Looks like we might have actually have made some progress here.

So, OK, scrap all deductions and then see how low we can get the flat rate of income tax. 20%? 15%?

Or better yet, scrap the deductions and then introduce a national VAT so that we can abolish income tax altogether. It was originally deemed unconstitutional by the founding fathers anyway.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

where is it that "all these lefties" are clammoring for a flat tax? can you point to a specific comment because i don't see it. so, you wish to abolish the income tax all together? wow, you really are a wingnut.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

that we should get rid of deductions that favor the "rich".

Ergo, a flat tax - standard GOP policy!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

Getting rid of deductions that favor the rich doesn't necessarily mean that a flat tax is the solution. Go back and read the article....slo-o-owly and carefully if you must. You can do this! Really. I have faith in you ;)

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

Get rid of deductions and then we can afford to lower tax rates.

Replace compelxity with simplicity!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

Businesses - including corporations NEVER pay taxes. Only PEOPLE pay taxes. There are really the only three groups who "pay" business taxes - consumers, shareholders and/or employees.

I can't decide if many lefties just don't understand the way business taxes work, or if it's the righties who keep spewing this nonsense about corporations paying taxes to keep the discussion away from considering much more meaningful tax reforms that would actually benefit the lower 80% of society. In either case, it's not helpful discussion.

If a corporation - or any business - gets a tax increase, they will first try to pass it onto the purchaser/consumer of their product or service. If price competition from other corporations prevent the company from passing along the tax increase (often foreign companies where the US tax increase doesn't apply), then the tax will either be paid by the shareholders/owners of the company and/or employees of the company, depending on who has the strongest bargaining power (often the shareholders). IN NO SITUATION does some artificial entity like a partnership, or corporation, or trust or LLC pay taxes. Ever. They "collect" taxes, but they don't "pay" taxes - a huge difference.

In many cases a business tax increase will cause higher prices and/or lower employee salaries/wages. It's true that in some cases the shareholders will pay the increased tax, but if that's the untilmate goal of the "tax the corps" lefty contingent, then they should just advocate for higher taxes on capital gains and dividend income and forget the whole "tax the corporation" charade. When we tout nonsense like "tax the corps" it makes it appear we don't really understand how a business or the economy works, which undercuts other good economic changes we might want to happen.

I'm impressed by the long list of changes listed and I think some of them are very good ideas. And nothing personal against whoever posted this list on alternet, but as a general sentiment about some of the tax and economic ideas sometimes bandied around by the left, all it takes is for us to sound uninformed about one particular topic and no one is going to take us seriously about any other subject we express an opinion.

It's refreshing so many on the left are starting to address serious economic issues facing the country and world, and I think many of us are hoping the Occupy Movement will help push some of these bolder ideas forward - especially in a year when a Democratic Party president has the election all but locked up - but the left doesn't help its cause when it comes up with lists or soundbites that aren't supported by underlying reality.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

These "community givebacks" are a joke. It is more like a community giveaway to the corporations.

Why on earth would you want to eliminate the only taxes you can charge businesses in this town in exchange for essentially nothing. These companies will mainly shut-down in a 2 years just like they do after every dot-com binge.... This is not sustainable development. It is bubble economics.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2012 @ 11:44 pm
Har

Of course these companies are overvalued and don't create anything. But we should know by now that this, like everything else, is the fault of progressives.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 9:29 am

Is there much else here than a time sponge economy, Twitter, Zynga, Facebook?

Fourteen years ago, everyone was crowing about how sustainable the dot.com economy was that was little more than venture funded speculation on selling pet food and baby supplies via the interwebs. Again come the finance capital speculators bidding prices up when investment opportunities are limited in other sectors to cull the surplus before causing the Next Big Crash.

You know you're in a bubble when the safeguards put in when the municipal ass was smarting from the spanking it got during the last crash are repealed. Remember that it was those far leftist lunatics like Susan Leal, Jake McGoldrick, Fiona Ma and Gavin Newsom who imposed payroll taxes on stock option benefits in 2004, taxes that have been largely repealed. And like we saw in 2000, the office booster crowd is now joining up with the housing booster crowd to re-rezone the 4th Street "Central Corridor" for higher density housing and offices, pushing out lower value added light industrial and service industry uses and their jobs with them.

We are on a slow track to Houston, which has no zoning, if the Planning Department is responsive to economic bubbles, and changes the rules at the demand of the market.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:56 am

Clearly, because what will happen here, even if the take 40 years to do anything planning dept responds is the following:

Layer upon layer upon layer of building restriction and historical designation will just disappear
Vast areas of built land will be bulldozed and left undeveloped

Hyperbole has always been one Marco's strong points. That and finding his way around in heavy steam.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

These are especially important to Non Profit Inc - which benefits substantially from extortion-type agreements pioneered by Chris Daly during the Rincon Hill deal.

Basically these are bribes to Non Profit Inc so they won't oppose development projects and will give their OK to the supervisors sitting on the fence - ensuring their passage.

Repulsive. Organized extortion is what these "substantial community benefits packages" are.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 11:23 am

Agree on nonprofit corruption, however, the idea of capturing as much of the value added through augmented entitlements is a good one. Half of the Rincon take goes directly to affordable housing, some of which is corrupt and some of which is not. The stabilization fund is going to pay salaries instead of being invested in the neighborhood. I'd suggested that those dollars go to capitalize "Po' Foods," a food cooperative similar to Rainbow Grocery that would involve residents in providing SRO-appropriate healthy foods to their neighbors. Such a project would build community capacity for real by giving residents employment and business management skills. Of course, an idea like this would never fly because advocates who almost exclusively live elsewhere are too paternalistic to trust the constituencies they for which they advocate to do what is in the neighborhood and residents' best interests.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 11:41 am

Despite having $75,000 in her checking account.

That doesn't mean all subsidized housing is bad - but it certainly doesn't help the case for it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

As did Chris daly. He know owns a home in Fairfield, as well as owning rental income property.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

sounds more like something Matlock would say...including misspelling 'know' for 'now'. I guess you just outed yourself little trollster ; )

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

It doesn't shock me that he would turn on his own

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

The total lack of integrity of the trolls on this site doesn't shock any of us anymore. They will stoop to anything...absolutely anything.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

don't shock you then nothing will.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

Threatened to move out of his subsidized condo to district shop and run for the board of supervisors again.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

Not that there are ever any "extortion-type" agreements imposed on the City and communities by big developers/employers/etc. when the politics work for them. Twitter didn't "extort" a tax break, that was a "negotiation". The developer of One Rincon felt that paying community benefits was worthwhile to get the deal done, just like the City felt giving Twitter a tax break was worthwhile to get that deal done. If you want to see that as repulsive, go ahead.

Posted by yentu on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

Developers fuck the city over, non-profits fuck the city over. It's all about fucking someone over - and in the end we're all getting fucked.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

So let me get this straight, tech companies move here, drive up the rents (and to the poster above who insinuated that people who can't pay these exhorbitant rents are all a bloodsucking underclass who leaches resources and contributes nothing, I am a gainfully employed professional who is rapidly finding herself priced out of the city), and City Hall's response is to perhaps look at "rent subsidies"?

And the city's economist is surprised rents would rise so quickly? Wow, apparently anyone can be an economist, no matter how dim-witted.

So we give the tech companies a tax break, and THEN the taxpayers are going to be forced to subsidize other people's rents? Whose rent? Not mine, I would guess.

Tax breaks for the rich, rent subsidies for the poor, and the middle class (what there is left of it) gets to pick up the tab. What do they get in return? Crumbling infrastructure, a disaster of a public transit system, and potholes. Nice.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

Have you considered Daly City, Oakland or San Leandro? You can get a cheaper place in all of those locales.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

If I wanted to live in some ugly suburb, I'd have stayed where I came from. Middle class people who have steady, gainful employment should have to live in Daly City because a bunch of techies want to come in until their bubble bursts?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

how Tim and everyone else predicted it would. The rental market is being strangled as more and more owners remove their units from the rental market while the housing market moves briskly ahead.

You're a victim of forces beyond your control - some of which were imposed to allegedly "help" people like you. It's a terrible situation.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

owners simply convert units to owner occupation.

Rent control has never worked anywhere

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

If you want to live ehre then you gotta pay the going rate.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

Uh, the rents go up because the supply is so artificially constricted. You think apts would be so damn expensive all over SF if there was a complete glut of available places?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

Uh, yeah, and the rents inflate to the price people are willing to pay, so the techies come in with their wads of temporary cash, and the regular working people get priced out. What's your point?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

Would you rather be in a place with a lousy economy, like detroit, and have a super cheap rent? How would that make your life better?

A good local economy = high housing costs. That's always the way.

And it's not my fault that you don't have the fiscal power to live here. Try getting more education or working harder.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

You can't get more of an education than I have. I've reached the limit. My point is that middle class people shouldn't have to subsidize billionaire companies, and then turn around subsidize poors.

But apparently you think San Francisco should be limited to the very rich and the very poor. OK.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

I would prefer a system where the middle class aren't required to subsidize billionaires through tax breaks, and then be asked to subsidize poor people through rent subsidies, while they get nothing for it.

A good local economy is one thing. San Francisco is becoming a land where only the wealthy and poor can live. But hey, if you're down with having no middle class at all, then more power to you.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

My point is, maybe if we built some housing for people, we could accommodate some new people without displacing everybody. Instead, we restrict everything and then cry foul when people get displaced

Why do we act like we are Carmel, CA?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

I'm down with that, but yeah, good luck pushing that through with the "I got mine, you go f**k yourself" NIMBYs.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

is that San Francisco has limited space. How many people want to live in San Francisco? A million? Five million? Who knows. The sky's the limit. If you build and build like there's no tomorrow, will you ever accommodate them all? Not a chance.

However, you WILL ruin the city's quality of life. I guess in that sense you'll eventually accommodate all the people who want to live here, because at some point the environment will become so lousy that all those people won't want to live here any more. And you'll achieve your free market equilibrium -fealty to ideological purity, but at the cost of destroying San Francisco.

So what do you do if you care about BOTH preserving the city's character that makes it such a wonderful place to live, AND preserving some affordability that allows people of different socio-economic backrounds to live here (thus contributing to making it such a wonderful place to live)?

There really are no two ways about it. You need strong rent control coupled with strong preservation laws.

...for starters.

Oh yeah, kudos to everyone for recognizing the troll(s) who use my name for what they are. The readers of the Guardian aren't stupid.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2012 @ 12:21 am

As this one is talking about quality of life issues, the real Greg would never do that.

Posted by matlock on Feb. 16, 2012 @ 2:59 am

Okay troll, I'll play along. Just as soon as you can tell us the number of housing units in SF _per acre_ compared to housing units _per acre_ in Carmel, or any other town or city within 100 miles of SF.

Why the developer shills think we're so stupid is sometimes amusing, but mostly annoying, since it precludes adressing some of the much more serious structural issues that need addressing in the Bay Area.

When Palo Alto, Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Belmont, Hillsborough, Mill Valley, Sausalito, Berkeley and Burlingame approach 75% of the housing density of SF, then we can talk about SF contributing more of its share of regional housing. Until then, please go troll elsewhere.

I know the Bay Guardian, along with many of its commentators, have basically a liberal point of view and eschew more meaningful solutions to problems - and I respect that - but the real issue is that the politicians need to tell Apple, Intel, HP, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle and other major companies to move their entire operations away from the Bay Area and preferably far away from California. In fact we should also tell UCSF, Stanford and Cal to move their campusus far way from the Bay Area as well since they are also major contributors to the economic margialization of a huge percentage of the Bay Area population.

The operations of these companies and public institutions have severly reduced the standard of living for the vast majority of households that don't earn over $100,000, and they have contributed to the destruction of tens of thousand of acres of farmland, open space, and wildlife habitat as their middle and lower income employees have sprawled out looking for reasonably priced housing. And their most highly paid employees have made sure that SF and a few other spots where the economic elites live are placess where only the very wealthy are welcomed. (Besides a tiny percent of the population who can score one of the subsidized housing units that have a current 20-year waiting period.)

Of course the politicians love these companies since they are a great source for campaign contributions - and the "jobs" soundbite is appealing to many voters - but these companies have collectively destroyed the livability in the Bay Area for anyone without a household income in the top 20%. It's time for their economic assault on the rest of us to stop and for them to move far, far away from here.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

Hilarious how the "progressive" compares San Francisco to ultra-rich, ultra-white suburbs like Hillsborough to make the point that, like them, we shouldn't be building any more housing. Building housing gives middle class and poor people the chance to stay here. Do you favor that, "progressive"?

Posted by Ghast on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

The point is (I thought it was clear, but writing was never my best subject) that if all of the other 98 cities and towns in the Bay Area would build housing even close to the density in SF, we would see a lot less pressure on SF rents and housing prices. Standards of living would increase since people would have more money in their pocket and less would be paid to a bank for an expensive mortgage or paid to a landlord for expensive rent.

When these other towns build new housing at 75% of the average SF housing density, then we can talk with developers about adding more housing in SF as well. It's not SF's job to build a majority of the new housing between Marin and Santa Clara counties just because these other selfish cities only want the sales tax revenue (use tax actually) from these companies but then send their tens of thousands of employees to go shack up somewhere else so the cities don't have to build housing, or increase police services, or build new schools, or all of the other costs that come with new upper income residents, including pricing out exisiting residents. If the towns want the jobs, then make them add the housing to match the jobs.

If you're suggesting that the other towns I mentioned only allow whites to live there (or presumably POC who can prove they are worth millions), then you may want to brush up on recent changes to laws that prevent housing discrimination based on race. Besides, most of my bosses and other executives where I work are of Indian or Chinese nationality and they all live in these other towns, finding SF too congested for their tastes. So maybe you need to get out of the SF bubble a little more and see how the demographics are changing all over the Bay Area, including the SF peninsula and even Marin. Gasp!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:29 pm