"San Francisco's economy is moving in the right direction," Mayor Ed Lee told the Examiner last week. "My economic development and job creation policies are setting San Francisco on a path toward economic recovery."Read more »
Sometimes I love my Internet trolls. Not very often — mostly, the anonymous folks who call me a success-hating commie who's just jealous because he wasn't smart enough to start Facebook seem to come from somewhere far to the right of San Francisco. And they're rude. And they won't give their names. And fuck all of you, ya know?
But someone came along the other day and made a comment that so perfectly summarizes everything that's wrong with American political economics today that I just wanted to wave it around like a flag and tell everyone:Read more »
I got a message the other day from my son's public school, begging parents to go out and buy a few reams of paper, because the school is almost out and can't afford any more. Seriously: A public middle school in San Francisco doesn't have enough paper for the school year and has to ask parents to go to Costco and pick some up.Read more »
I used to go to Grateful Dead shows at the Oakland Auditorium, which is now called the Kaiser Convention Center. One night I saw Bill Graham, the late concert promoter, ride a zip line from up near the ceiling to the stage in a giant paper mache joint called the "S.S. Columbian," which looked like it was going to fall apart at any minute as he swung back and forth 50 feet over the crowd, trying to smile and wave in a bizarre promotional stunt that confused even the deadheads. I bet he shit his pants.Read more »
When I was working on my college paper, the vice-president for academic affairs, a rather serious man named William Brennan, delivered a lecture on some obscure topic to a group of, I think, economic majors, and somehow, a Wesleyan Argus reporter was there to cover it. The young journalist gave a fair rendition of the event, and the headline an editor wrote was about the most accurate thing I've ever seen in a newspaper. It read:
My gut response to the America's Cup was always like this: I love a party. I love a big party, and a party that brings lots of visitors and money into San Francisco is a great thing. But you have to remember that at some point the party will be over, and somebody's got to clean up the mess and pay for the damage.
And right now, in San Francisco, when the party's over, the big winner will be a multibillionaire named Larry Ellison, and the rest of us will be paying for it.Read more »
I'm not good at holidays. When your world is made of deadlines, the holidays are just one more — gotta get the kids presents, gotta get the tree, gotta make plans, gotta do dinner ... one more set of hassles. Bah humbug.
And I've never been a big fan of New Year's Eve. Too many people acting like they've never been drunk before and will never be drunk again, and everything costs too much. I drink every day; I can miss New Year's Eve. Party pooper.Read more »
Hugely influential political figures died in the last week: Czech playwright-turned-president Vaclav Havel, North Korea's "dear leader" Kim Jong-Il, and writer Christopher Hitchens, who shaped perceptions of war and religion. But it was the death of investment banker Warren Hellman that has most affected me and the rest of San Francisco.Read more »
Twenty years ago, if you mapped income distribution in San Francisco on a standard graph, you'd see what the economist call a bell curve: At one end were a small number of very poor families, at the other a small number of very rich, and in between the bulk of the city was somewhere roughly close to what you could call middle class.
Take the 2012 census data and make that graph today and you get the opposite — it's becoming a U-shape, with more people in poverty and more gross wealth and not as much in the center.Read more »