EDITORS NOTES It's as if someone has some kind of auto-respond system: Every time I write about housing or rent control, one of the trolls who comments on the Guardian Politics blog complains that landlords are "subsidizing" longterm tenants.
That's a complaint I've heard plenty of times before — rent control is a "subsidy" because property owners have to allow the use of their property for a lower rate than the current market might allow.
EDITORS NOTES Jaron Lanier is not a Luddite. He's one of the most brilliant technologists in the world, the virtual inventor of virtual reality and one of the first people calling for information (and music) to be free. He was a tech giant when most of today's tech titans were in their disposable diapers. So when he starts talking about how the Internet is destroying the middle class, everybody ought to listen.
And that's exactly what he saying in his new book, Who Owns the Future?Read more »
EDITORS NOTES It's a good thing the Giants were at home Friday night, or I might have tried to drive across the Bay Bridge. Always a bad idea after work, always a worse idea on a Friday, when the backup starts somewhere around SF General Hospital. I spent almost two hours getting past Berkeley one Friday when I thought we could leave at 3:30 and beat the traffic. When the Giants are in town, it's impossible.
It's so crowded nobody drives there any more. Or something like that. I didn't.Read more »
EDITORS NOTES It was breezy and San Francisco-spring-perfect along the Embarcadero the other day. People were jogging, and rollerblading, and sitting in the sun. Red's Java House was doing brisk business.Read more »
EDITORS NOTES There are two ways to look at the taxicab industry in San Francisco: Either it's purely a business, out to serve customers with the products that are most profitable -- or it's part of the city's public transportation infrastructure, and thus subject to regulations that ensure all parts of the city are properly served.Read more »
EDITORS NOTES Ten years ago, we shut San Francisco down.
When George W. Bush gave the order to launch the invasion of Iraq, so many protesters hit the streets that it was impossible to do business. Market Street was closed. Tens of thousands of people didn't go to work. Some 2,300 people were arrested, held in warehouses at the piers because there was no way to fit them in the county jail.Read more »
EDITOR'S NOTES I wasn't invited to the meeting where Mayor Ed Lee (and Willie Brown and Rose Pak) sat down with representatives of Lennar Corp. and a Chinese investment consortium to try to finalize a deal for Treasure Island. But I can tell you with near-absolute certainty that what comes out will not be good for San Francisco.
I can tell you that because every major project the mayor has negotiated has been bad for the city.Read more »
EDITORS NOTES This is how dysfunctional the San Francisco housing market has become:
The Chron reported in late January that young people who are just arriving in San Francisco are paying exorbitant rents for tiny spaces — $500 for a laundry room, $600 for an upper bunk — and often living in substandard conditions.Read more »
EDITORS NOTES People who rent apartments aren't second-class citizens. In fact, under San Francisco laws, they have (and ought to have) many of the same rights as the landed gentry.
If you rent a place in this city, and you pay the rent on time, and abide by the terms of the lease, you should be able to stay in your home (and yes, it IS your home) as long as you want. The rent can only go up by a modest amount every year.Read more »