bureaucracybusters

BUMS AWAY!–PART ONE (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, Business, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on January 10, 2023 at 12:10 am

When rain comes to San Francisco, it does something that the Mayor and Board of Supervisors refuse to do.

It rids the streets of vermin. Human vermin.

Fifty-five years after Scott Makenzie released “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair”) the city has mutated from a haven for “flower children” into a hellhole populated by hardcore drug-abusers, hardcore alcoholics, the mentally ill and those who refuse to work.

Or, to put it more simply: Druggies, Drunks, Mentals and Bums (DDMBs).

Decades ago, being “homeless” meant you lost your home due to fire, flood or earthquake. For a few weeks or months, you lived with friends or family as you searched for a new residence. Then you resumed your former life as a productive citizen. 

Today, being “homeless” means living for years—even decades—on the street. Selling drugs, using drugs, getting drunk, staying drunk, living in filth, refusing treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction, refusing even shelter from the cold, rain and terrors of street life—these are the realities of most of today’s “homeless” population.

In 2022, the San Francisco “homeless” population was officially estimated to be 7,754.  Of these, 3,357 were staying in shelter. Many of those who could find shelter refused to make use of it—or were refused entry due to their rampant drug and/or alcohol addictions.

If it’s a mystery why so many people would prefer to live on the streets—especially during a cold and rainy winter—it’s equally mystifying why so many politicians cater to this population.

Politicians are notorious for “going where the votes are.”

Thus, during his first meeting with Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (November 28 – December 1, 1943) in Tehran, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said he could not openly support Stalin’s ambitions to conquer Poland.

The reason: The 1944 Presidential election was fast approaching. And Poles made up a substantial portion of the voters FDR needed to win a fourth—and unprecedented—term. He could not afford to alienate them.

Yet drug addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill and bums are infamous for not showing up at the polls on Election Day. So what can be the reason San Francisco politicians cater so fervently to this population?

In his 2021 bestseller, San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, author Michael Shellenberger provides the answer. 

San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities: Shellenberger, Michael: 9780063093621: Amazon.com: Books

According to its dust jacket:

“Progressives claimed they knew how to solve homelessness, inequality, and crime. But in cities they control, progressives made those problems worse.

“Michael Shellenberger has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for thirty years. During that time, he advocated for the decriminalization of drugs, affordable housing, and alternatives to jail and prison.

“But as homeless encampments spread, and overdose deaths skyrocketed, Shellenberger decided to take a closer look at the problem. What he discovered shocked him. The problems had grown worse not despite but because of progressive policies.

“San Francisco and other West Coast cities — Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland — had gone beyond merely tolerating homelessness, drug dealing, and crime to actively enabling them.

San Fransicko reveals that the underlying problem isn’t a lack of housing or money for social programs. The real problem is an ideology that designates some people, by identity or experience, as victims entitled to destructive behaviors. The result is an undermining of the values that make cities, and civilization itself, possible.”

In December, the Palo Alto-based cloud computing company VMware canceled its contract with the Moscone Center for its 2023 conference and said it would relocate the event.

No specific reason was given. But it’s almost a certainty that the city’s refusal to get tough on the druggies, drunks, mentals and bums who infest its streets and accost its tourists is a major one.

This is only the latest blow to a city that depends overwhelmingly on tourism for its economic prosperity—if not survival.

San Francisco saw the steepest drop of any major metro with a loss of $1.68 billion—or 68.8%—when compared with 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on the city. Huge numbers of tech workers who once flooded into San Francisco began working at home. And a great many of them still do.

Thus, those businesses—such as restaurants—who had benefitted from their presence are now desperate to stay afloat.

But even before the pandemic, an exodus of high-profile conventions had already started—such as Oracle’s CloudWorld—which left San Francisco for Las Vegas.

Unlike VMware, CloudWorld did cite the reasons for its departure: Filthy street conditions and exorbitant hotel prices.  

San Francisco’s politicians—its Mayor and the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors—like to think of the city as a city-state. That is: As a power comparable to ancient Sparta or Athens.

Reality proves otherwise.

San Francisco is not an economic powerhouse like New York City. It’s not an entertainment capital like Hollywood. It’s not a political center like Washington, D.C.

Here is what San Francisco is:

  • It’s a small (46.87 square miles) city with a relatively modest population (815,201).
  • Its largest industry is tourism,
  • This generates more than $8.4 billion annually for the local economy and supports over 71,000 jobs.  

And if the tourism industry disappears, so will San Francisco. 

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