SF homeless services budget item < 0.25 percent of Larry Ellison’s net worth

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Ellison's wealth accumulation is going swimmingly

Billionaire Larry Ellison, the vainglorious CEO of Oracle and yachtsman responsible for bringing the America’s Cup to San Francisco, has come a long way since 2010, when he first floated the idea of hosting the elite regatta against a Golden Gate backdrop.

On Forbes’ 2010 list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Ellison’s estimated net worth of $28 billion earned him a spot in sixth place. That amount gave him a slight edge over the current GDP of Panama, but the superrich seafarer is doing waaaaay better than that Central American nation these days. On the 2013 Forbes roster, the tech mogul rose to No. 5, and his estimated net worth had ballooned considerably, to an estimated $43 billion.

As it happens, the additional $15 billion Ellison managed to attract in the last three years is nearly twice the total spending plan unveiled by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee last week, when he presented the largest proposed city budget in history.

Lee made a point of noting in press statements that he’d taken pains to preserve social services; even tossing an additional $3.8 million toward funding for homeless prevention and housing subsidies. Nevertheless, some dust seems to be kicking up over how equitably Lee would have public dollars distributed across the board.

With the America’s Cup looming on the horizon, the mayor’s budget now awaiting supervisors’ review, and an ever-widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots in San Francisco, we began to ponder: Just how does Ellison’s wealth compare to the amount spent on, say, homeless services in San Francisco?

In Lee’s proposed 2014-2015 budget, “homeless services” is allotted $101,669,214 via the Human Services Agency, about $1.5 million less than the amount included in the city’s 2013-2014 budget. 

That figure could also be expressed as 0.236 percent of Ellison’s estimated net worth. Decimal dust.

Within a week or so, we’re told, the Human Services Agency will release an updated estimate of the city's homeless population, along with historical comparisons suggesting whether the ranks of the un-housed has grown or waned in recent years. Weeks after that, San Francisco’s waterfront will be transformed by a sporting event that only the superrich can afford to compete in.

Comments

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 6:04 am

yeah you sort of get it, although your spelling is off.

"while there is a working class, i am in it, while there are poor, i am one" etc etc. not that i expect a cretin like yourself to understand that.

Posted by jean vigo on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

But yeah, equality coupled with mediocrity is a pyrrhic victory. I think that is what you were trying to say.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

>"San Francisco’s waterfront will be transformed by a sporting event that only the superrich can afford to compete in."

We had a World Series last year that only 25 elite athletes could compete in. And Buster Posey has a lot more money than the crew competing on those boats.

And if you're talking about the owners of the boats instead of the crew, well the owners of the Giants are pretty much super rich also.

So let's not have any more World Series in San Francisco? At least everyone who wants to can see the America's Cup for free. World Series tickets cost a fortune.

When you say that the 'waterfront will be transformed' you probably mean that visitors will be down there enjoying themselves and spending money. And the problem is?

Remind me of the point of this article again?

Posted by Troll on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 6:34 am

They may not care about the poor at all, but they never miss an opportunity to attack success and excellence, while worshipping failure and misery.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 6:49 am

the boat raced in the last AC.

Just thought I'd mention it, though I agree with the gist of your essay.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 7:39 am

What was the point of this drivel?

Posted by Whackamole on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 8:45 am

And the only thing I feel is more contempt for SFBG's shameless rhetoric.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 8:58 am

And the only thing I feel is a sense of relief that I will never have to actually interact with you or any of these other commenters in real life.

Posted by rebecca on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 9:20 am

As ridiculous as I find the views of Tim, Steven, you etc., I would never translate that into personal hatred. In the end, they are just opinions.

Lighten up.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 9:41 am

Stop posing as a journalist while waxing poetically about how unfair it is that one person is so wealthy.

Here's a number for you - 115,000. That is the number of full time employees at Oracle who earn their livelihood through something that Ellison created. And that would only be the tip of the iceberg if you throw in vendors, consultants and people employed to manage his systems.

Yeah...real bummer that the guy has been so richly rewarded. Let's just hope that no one else comes up with a way for hundreds of thousands of people to earn a good living.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 9:46 am

But if the author took that into consideration, we wouldn't be given the pleasure of reading a self-righteous article whipped into a frothy frenzy of hysteria and idealistic circle-jerking!

Posted by Anon on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:07 am

I don't agree, Wealthy people will still come to San Francisco, not to just race boats. What about all those high end stores, hotels, and wonderful trendy places to eat. They don't care about the homeless, this will just in the limo and think it is wonderful to be in the city.

The owners of the Giants, Warriors, Larry Ellison, and who else I don't know but they are wealthy, they give money art, music, events and benefits of living in the Bay
Area. They want their teams to win.

So many times I have heard that the money should be spent on the homeless, heard the remark for a good 25 years.

Posted by Garrett on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 9:58 am

If it wasn't spent on the event in Sf, it would be spent on the same event elsewhere.

That's why cities want these events in the first place - to bring in that wealth here rather than some place else.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:10 am

The question I need to ask is simple. Do these people defending Ellison's wealth honestly believe his 43 billion dollar worth is fair? It may be many things but one would be hard put to defend it as a fair, especially when millions around the world have literally close to nothing.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:31 am

How do you define "fair"?

It's not "fair" if you think "fair" means that everyone should have the same amount of money regardless.

It is "fair" if you think that amount reflects the value of the products and services Oracle provides that millions of people use. Or if you are one of the tens of thousands of people who has been given well-paid jobs as a result. Or if you have enjoyed the prosperity that has come with owning stock in Oracle. Or if you are a beneficiary of the by-products of all that wealth being in the Bay Area rather than, say, Switzerland.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:44 am

We're talking about other people in America. SF to be specific. Given a relatively similar starting point as far as resources/life chances go... YES! It IS fair for someone who has put huge amounts of effort into building a business that provides jobs to thousands and products/services to millions to be rewarded accordingly.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:51 am

I give this piece an A plus plus. The math is beyond dispute.

Posted by pete moss on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:44 am

Is it the maths that says that there is more value in producing products and services that the world wants? Than in say throwing money at people who are non-productive?

Why would that surprise you?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:49 am

Math is math.

If u don't get math what am I supposed to do?

The point of this piece was disparity.

I think Becks did a good job of illustrating that using basic ratios.

Posted by pete moss on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:11 am

I just think it's pointless.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:26 am

....could be provided by cutting waste in Muni.

How many articles has the SFBG published on the waste and abuse at the housing authority. Those dollars could certainly be re-directed to homeless services.

At the BG, It's all about soaking the rich and an increasingly hostile view towards successful technology companies.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:18 am

personally I don't care whether it goes to Muni, the homeless or whatever.

But surely the elephant in the room is public sector worker pay and benefits, which are both out of control, and the highest per capita in the nation.

Start with that.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:29 am

audits either. They're not really measured on any quantitative index at all because they claim, just like teachers do, that there's no real way to actually measure their performance and impact on the population they serve. Just take their word for it - they're doing GREAT and they need more money to make sure our streets stay sparkling!

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:29 am

The reason that SF has so many homeless people is precisely because we historically have had the most generous benefits, and so they flock here.

Care not Cash was a good start, but we really need to start practicing some tough love here, and focus more on the homeless being helped by churches and charities rather than stressing out the city's deficit.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 11:34 am

"focus more on the homeless being helped by churches and charities"

Well, the money has to come from somewhere-- you don't see Dede Wilsey raising money to build low income housing.

Reagan thought the same thing when he closed the mental health institutions: The Charity Sector would fill the void. We're still dealing with the fallout of the State shifting responsibility to the local level in a de facto way.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

The principle is sound even if the execution is flawed.

Throwing tax money at the homeless solves nothing. It merely encourages more of them to come here.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

Let me get this straight, the taxpayers will pay $100M in one year for "homeless services" because these people are unable to take care of themselves like the rest of the population ?

And you think LE should pay for this why exactly ?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 05, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

he is successful, and SFBG hates success.

Also, if more money is thrown at the homeless, that is more money for city departments and non-profits, who are all part of the SFBG "family" and target demographic i.e. poor people and those who profit from them.

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