WirelessGigabit 12 days ago

I think they surely can get rid of a lot of city personal. I've moved to a different state and just being in contact with government officials to get things done is just... easier.

Something not right? Let's fix it. Let's do this first and then that.

General California feeling: you're missing form 5858b. Can't help you. Come back later. Next available appointment: 3 months.

Half of their jobs could be filled by using proper software. But instead I have to print it, make an appointment, hand them the form, have them type it in and send it off.

That's half of your budget right there.

  • monero-xmr 12 days ago

    You don’t understand. The incentives are all wrong. There is absolutely zero benefit for a bureaucracy to make itself more efficient and require less money each year. No one is incentivized to ensure money is being spent well. The biggest incentive for a lifelong bureaucrat is to increase budget and headcount - the more money and headcount you have, the more important you are. There is never a time when you aren’t requesting more money and more people. If you have money left over at the end of the fiscal year you 100% guarantee you spend it lest your budget is cut rather than increased.

    I have seen so many bright and starry eyed idealists think they can fix government when they get in. In fact the best man at my wedding / best friend is a DC bureaucrat, and you get him a few beers deep and the stories he tells… My goodness. The money is not being spent well and he is jaded as fuck.

    • ed25519FUUU 12 days ago

      Couple that with the fact that it’s nearly impossible to fire people from these jobs, regardless of their competency.

      Some of the absolute laziest and rude people I’ve ever interacted with are CA government employees who deal with the public.

      • monero-xmr 12 days ago

        How many fucks would you give if it was effectively impossible to get fired? It isn’t exactly surprising. When I worked at McDonald’s decades ago I would have greatly enjoyed telling numerous people to go fuck themselves, but I’m a consummate professional and needed the cash.

        Now isn’t it crazy that government employees, who ostensibly serve us the tax payers, treat their fellow citizens like shit? A travesty all around but it makes sense when you analyze the incentives.

        • Spooky23 12 days ago

          I worked for government for a long time. It’s no different managing government employees, it’s about leadership. Most people just want to do their job and go home. You probably had a decent manager at McDonald’s — many of them frankly suck.

          In city government, frequently the professional managers are on a leash. Some councilman, friend of the mayor, etc has the juice to take care of their friends or countrymen. In citizen facing situations you can usually see this when everyone in the office looks or sounds the same - those are likely not civil service employees, but patronage jobs serving at someone’s pleasure.

          I’ve worked in and around many big companies too — plenty of incompetence to go around there, even in sales orgs where getting fired happens routinely.

          • monero-xmr 12 days ago

            I have come to appreciate that in the private sector, eventually, you will get fired. I recognize the nepotism and nonsense is rampant in the private sector. However there is the market test. In government it can be neverending.

            • jasonwatkinspdx 12 days ago

              There absolutely people who just keep messing up in the private sector until they reach retirement, never suffering consequences. You just have to be executive level.

              This dichotomy you're making between the free market and government is cartoonish and not particularly useful.

              • pfannkuchen 12 days ago

                The performance of executives may be more influenced by factors outside of their control than the performance of e.g. IC engineers, though. I wonder if that plays into the perceptive of many executives being incompetent, and how much context is considered when hiring an executive.

                • rightbyte 12 days ago

                  An engineer is influenced by the same factors and the executives themself. Fired diagonally upwards is a real thing.

            • Spooky23 11 days ago

              Maybe. I think there’s more egregious bullshit in public sector for sure, in large corporations useless people, they just have to not work a little smarter.

    • makestuff 10 days ago

      “ You don’t understand. The incentives are all wrong. There is absolutely zero benefit for a bureaucracy to make itself more efficient and require less money each year. No one is incentivized to ensure money is being spent well.”

      I would argue this extends to big tech as well. You don’t get the promo without building some useless shit to show “impact”.

    • Empact 11 days ago

      Some years back I had a sobering realization: there is no outer limit for how inefficient a government program can be.

    • rayiner 12 days ago

      The US seems especially bad, though. Do other countries do things differently in terms of incentives?

      • CogitoCogito 12 days ago

        What exactly do you mean by "the US seems especially bad"? Bad compared to what? US government efficiency vs foreign governments' efficiency? US government efficiency vs private sector efficiency? After clarifying what you mean by "bad", _is_ the US especially bad in actuality? Are you basing this perception on any systematic analysis?

        I don't mean this to be argumentative or something, I'm just trying to understand what you're basing your thinking on.

      • Schiendelman 11 days ago

        You can often trace the apparent efficiency of a bureaucracy back to the length of time that particular one has existed and its complexity.

        Because of World War II, and other mid-20th century government changes, European bureaucracies can sometimes be much newer than those in the United States, making them appear they are better designed, when they simply haven’t existed for long enough to become as terrible.

        • tptacek 11 days ago

          Then why is the federal IRS so much better than the state revenue services?

          • Schiendelman 11 days ago

            Better?? Taxes in the US are a byzantine monster. State taxes are far simpler.

            • tptacek 11 days ago

              Employees of the federal IRS are Waldorf Astoria concierges compared to state revenue agencies, regardless of what you think of the underlying statutes.

              • Schiendelman 9 days ago

                But we’re not talking about “employees”. We’re talking about the entirety of an organization.

                • tptacek 9 days ago

                  Yes. The IRS is a relatively good organization, and a much older one than many of the state revenue agencies that underperform it so pitifully. This thread isn't a debate on whether we like the tax code (which the IRS doesn't control, not that it matters) but rather a discussion on whether the age and size of a bureaucracy determines its efficiency. Here's a counterexample to that claim.

      • JamesBarney 11 days ago

        I think there are a two reasons the US is worse.

        1. Scale, a lot of countries are closer to a city state than the size of the US government. State governments are run poorly for different reasons having to do with our political system. Yeah Luxembourg and Singapore are run really well but India and china aren't.

        2. No political party is interested in fixing efficiency. The Democrats ignore it because they don't want to bring attention to government inefficiency/corruption issues. The Republicans want government to be as inefficient as possible so we are incentivized to get rid of it.

      • bryanrasmussen 12 days ago

        In Denmark government money is pretty good, especially when taken in with the benefits, for areas like being a social worker. Working in Gov tech is not that great but it isn't bad either, the problem is every gov I have ever seen makes it difficult to fire people and gives lots of benefits to make up for the fact that they don't give money.

        Why would you work a government job given that it is underpaid unless there were benefits to even it out? And don't say helping people is a benefit, that kind of thing lasts a couple years and then most people burn out on helping people.

        • inferiorhuman 12 days ago

          The pay scales are all public info for public sector jobs (in California at least). sfgov.org/careers or something should point you in the right direction, most of the tech positions I've seen listed fall under 104x or 106x. However (and I don't think this is unique to SF) most of the tech jobs are listed as civil service exempt. So it's kinda like USDS. No civil service exam required, mediocre pay, next to none of the typical civil service perks.

            Why would you work a government job given that it is underpaid unless there
            were benefits to even it out?
          To make the world a better place. Seriously. When I was starting out I went through the whole process with the SF school district. The folks I interviewed with seemed quite decent and were also realistic about the work environment. The top pay band was not far enough off from private sector pay to. matter to me. Unfortunately they could only offer me the lowest band because reasons. Megacorp pulled something similar when they asked me to come back. Bureaucracy is nasty no matter who's signing your checks.
      • moltar 12 days ago

        A subset of services in Ontario, Canada are handled by a private company on a tendered government contract. It’s called Service Ontario, and is sort of a DMV equivalent, but also handles healthcare cards and other daily minutia.


        I’ve used Service Ontario services many times, and they certainly feel like a balanced blend of bureaucratic process and efficiency.

        It’s certainly an oasis in the desert of dealing with the government.

    • joefitzgerald 11 days ago

      I use my adaptation of Hanlon’s razor frequently:

      > Never mistake for stupidity that which is explained by incentive structure.

      Seems to fit here also!

    • jltsiren 12 days ago

      I don't think it's about incentives. Or, alternatively, if it's about incentives, then you have already failed.

      For a long time, the US tried to export democracy and capitalism around the world. Sometimes it worked, but it was more common that the attempt failed. It failed, because the culture, the values, and the institutions needed to support a Western-style society were not there.

      There are countries where the bureaucracy is more efficient and functional than in the US. But maybe the attempts to import the best practices fail, because the culture, the values, and the institutions needed to support them are not there. So it's up to individual incentives, which is usually a recipe for failure.

      • monero-xmr 12 days ago

        I could not disagree more. In the countries where the bureacracy is considered "efficient", it's because in that time and place the best jobs for the most talented were in the government. In the US context that was 1930 to 1970, when the Great Depression, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and the aftermath made stable government employment attractive.

        Once the situation tilts back to the private sector, which IMO is the natural state of things, it starts to get corrupted.

        My thesis is that over the longterm you must align incentives. In certain times in certain places you can avoid this. But the arc of the moral universe bends towards self interest.

        • jltsiren 12 days ago

          A concrete example: In many countries, most taxpayers don't have to file taxes. Those countries have taken many steps over the decades to make the tax bureaucracy more efficient. The US could try to do the same, but the existing institutions make it difficult.

          Another example: Many countries have a system of administrative courts. If someone challenges a decision made by a public official, the case goes there. The process is reasonably cost-effective and predictable, as the judge usually considers only whether the decision was made according to the correct processes. Determining whether the decision was good is left to elected representatives. If a similar case goes to a civil court, the process tends to be more expensive and less predictable, as the judge is more likely to consider the substance of the argument.

          • monero-xmr 12 days ago

            I am a "tax return should fit on a postcard" type of guy so we have no argument there. However I don't think you will find many in the center or right political axis that thinks we don't want to streamline tax filing and make the whole thing more efficient.

            The reason in the US that things aren't easier is endless lobbying. Literally every sector that makes a few million bucks hires a state lobbyist to ensure no one local fucks them.

            • jltsiren 12 days ago

              The lobbying problem is worse than usual in the US, because you chose to make corporate lobbying constitutionally protected speech. That made proper regulation of it impossible. And then it's difficult to change the decision, because it was made by the Supreme Court, which has somehow assumed a significant legislative role. In principle, it would be possible to change the Constitution, but that is also more difficult in the US than in most other countries.

              Structural issues like these are a major reason for the inefficiency of American bureaucracy. You chose to shape your society in a certain way, and these are some of the consequences.

          • seanmcdirmid 12 days ago

            You don’t have to do tax returns in China. But you have to fill out a form with some numbers from your pay check stubs as HR tells you. It’s absolutely bizarre, it doesn’t change what taxes you pay at all, but you are in trouble if you don’t file the form (which is in Chinese anyways and I’ve never read through).

            • the_third_wave 9 days ago

              > which is in Chinese anyways

              ...which is not a problem any more since the advent of OCR and translation services...

              > and I’ve never read through

              Maybe you should? Just point a camera at the thing and run it through a translator.

            • sokoloff 12 days ago

              Wouldn’t it seem weird if the official government form wasn’t in the official government language?

              • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago

                Oh no arguments about that, it was a disclaimer that I had no idea what this form really was for. It was called a “self reporting tax form” but was pretty systematic in how it was filled out. Our HR just gave us a PowerPoint on what numbers to put where.

                So it could have been a language gap thing that the useless paperwork was actual useful for some reason that I would only know if I could read Chinese.

  • opmelogy 12 days ago

    When I moved here a year+ ago, I was told by the leasing office for my apt that I needed to provide proof of rental information even though I had owned a house for 15 years (in another state, and had it fully paid off). They refused to process my application until I dug up contact info for a unit for a condo that was no longer being rented and for a property manager that did everything under the table.

    Now we just found out that the company we started a year+ ago didn't get registered in CA "in time" so we owe $800 even though it's made no money. And by "in time" I mean it was two weeks past their grace period for being exempt for your first year.

    So yeah, not really feeling CA nor SF at this point. We're looking to move and move the business somewhere else.

NotYourLawyer 12 days ago

1. Destroy your tax base by turning your city into a lawless hell hole / homeless paradise.

2. ???

3. Profit.

  • matrix_overload 12 days ago

    4. Let people flee to other cities, vote based on identity/emotion and then be genuinely surprised why it's doing downhill the same way.

  • maerF0x0 12 days ago

    2. Try a different strategy

cphajduk 12 days ago

If employee wages are a large part of the rising costs, then perhaps the cost of living for living in SF is too high. The cost of living is too high because rent is too high.

Since there is so much political contention to building more housing, there is no chance that housing prices will decrease (nobody wants to see their property lose value).

Now they are complaining about the problem they caused?!?

I don't know if this is ironic, justified or just funny. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

  • zjp 12 days ago

    Somebody at a planning meeting for an apartment building in Nopa was arguing that it would go against the working-class history of the neighborhood (homes sell for >$1M there now btw). People here are in deep denial about SF being a world city, and the fact that people with (realized or paper) gains in the high hundred thousands are not "working class".

    • q1w2 10 days ago

      They're just making dishonest arguments so they can perpetuate their own high priced real estate values.

  • slater 12 days ago

    They're a group of right-wing policy consultancy grifters, of course they'd complain.

    • proc0 12 days ago

      Right-wing in SF? Sounds like what they'd say given how far left the entire city is.

      • jasonwatkinspdx 12 days ago

        No, this place is a fake think tank that pretends to be neutral but is in fact an arm of ALEC and largely funded by the Koch's: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/California_Policy_Cent...

        Don't fall for easy bullshit and let it lead you to making "dunk" comments that don't actually engage the problems and instead act as thought ending cliches. That's their entire goal.

        • proc0 12 days ago

          Sounds like conspiracy theories. No dunking, just saying. SF is far left just like Oakland and they both seem to have unique problems other cities aren't experiencing. I could be wrong, but so far I've predicted the downturn and I think it won't get any better unless people start holding the decision-makers accountable (which sounds like it's not going to happen).

          • pstuart 12 days ago

            So the problem is that SF is liberal? That caused the homeless to be sent from around the country?

            It's expensive there because a lot of people want to live there (ye olde supply demand thang, ya know?), and the more affluent squeeze out the poor folk. A lot of that affluence seems to be all of us lucky tech people, so in a sense we're part of the problem (not blaming, just noting).

            There is corruption and incompetence too but that seems to exist lots of other places too.

            • proc0 12 days ago

              Isn't it beyond liberal? I would almost say it's so left it's not even liberal anymore, but that's a different matter. i think for sure it is a factor because the people who make decisions in the city, who are elected to manage the city, are probably not afraid of losing their jobs or the consequences of the decisions they make. There is so little pushback they can just run experiment after experiment with zero repercussions. I don't know what the solution is but I sure know that I don't hire the same company over and over if they keep failing at solving a problem I'm paying them for.

              Granted, corruption is a big part of it (i.e. public services wasting tax payer money instead of solving the problem), and dealing with that would be a step in the right direction.

              • pstuart 12 days ago

                Are you familiar with the Overton Window? It's shifted hard to the right.

                So if you want to say: is San Francisco tolerant of the LGBQT+ community? Absolutely, with flying rainbow flag colors.

                But that's the key driver in the culture wars, and it has nothing to do with the business of running a government (other than minimizing government persecution of that community.

                All of these issues could and should be dissected, analyzed, and addressed. But blaming it on the boogeyman of "DemonRats are destroying everything" is tiresome.

                You state "experiment after experiment" but don't give any examples. I'd be happy to discuss them individually if you'd like.

                p.s.: My mother was one of those awful homeless people littering the streets of SF in her final years. She migrated from the burbs so she wasn't the city's fault. How she got there is the complicated issue of many of them and never gets properly discussed or addressed. That's my skin in the game of this story.

                • kortilla 12 days ago

                  > Are you familiar with the Overton Window? It's shifted hard to the right.

                  This is incorrect. It may have widened in both directions, but it absolutely did not shift to the right.

                  Transgender support from mainstream corporations (Target, Budweiser, etc) would have been completely unthinkable 10 years ago.

                  That’s just one example of many. What has happened is that the Overton window is broken because people don’t even engage with “the other side” anymore. So we just end up with both sides discussing things with impunity that were previously off-topic and still are for the other side.

                  • amanaplanacanal 12 days ago

                    I think this is a perfect example of why the left-right axis doesn't capture the issues here. Support for gay or trans rights seems to have little or nothing to do with the problems described.

                    • pstuart 11 days ago

                      But people vote for God, Guns, and (against) Gays

                      These tactics are intentionally meant to divide us and it's wildly effective.

                      Disclaimer: I'm an atheist but believe people should have the right to worship as they see fit, defend themselves appropriately, and love and be whoever they want.

                • proc0 11 days ago

                  Overton window has mostly moved left, but it has also expanded because we are more polarized than ever. The mainstream culture is definitely on the left, and I think that people on the left don't like that because you need to be constantly fighting the "oppressors", so it works against the left narrative to be dominant culture. However you can see this in movies, games, fashion, the mainstream media, the most used apps... of which Twitter is a good example and also an exception because it took one of the richest people to lose money on buying it in order to show how biased it was. That said, we could be seeing a slow return to the center which only recently started, although I can't say just yet.

                  I'm a centrist and try to stay in the middle because usually that's where solutions are. Whenever political extremes get their way, it tends to go wrong. Case in point is SF. It's not just gender identity politics or allowing people to live outside on the streets, it's also the attitude towards crime, the prioritization of climate change over everything else (while rejecting nuclear energy), and the tendency to control businesses which was evident throughout the pandemic as many small businesses struggled.

                  Sorry to hear about your mother. I do wonder why you would let her even experience that for a day. Maybe you didn't know, and you don't need to explain, but the left's position here is to think housing is the solution, when I think there is a big factor of families failing to take care of their loved ones and then demanding government pick up the pieces.

          • jasonwatkinspdx 12 days ago

            They're most severe in SF but all major west coast cities are experiencing the same issues. Saying it's a result of "liberalism" is simply empty reflexive rhetoric. What's happening is a complex set of intersecting problems. If you'd like to talk about those I'm interested. If you just want to punch at what you see as "far left" I am not inclined to waste my time.

        • HyperSane 12 days ago

          Only one Koch left.

          • jasonwatkinspdx 12 days ago

            Yeah, I keep forgetting that, somewhat hilariously as I'm at radius 2 to the family. My dad's best friend worked for Koch industries and described his job as "keeping the brothers from killing each other." They are extremely unpleasant people based on all the stories I heard growing up.

            • HyperSane 11 days ago

              You would have to be utter bastards to dedicate your life to the evil shit the Koch's did.

    • rhaway84773 12 days ago

      They are a right wing group of policy grifters and they would have been making similar arguments even if SF was running billion dollar surpluses and had 0 homeless, no crime, etc. in fact, then and their likes have indeed been making similar arguments for decades.

      The problem is that their arguments are now getting purchase because SF is indeed facing problems. Since this grift site doesn’t actually prescribe any solutions it’s hard to say how right or wrong they are, but there’s definitely a need for SF, and more broadly expensive cities across the U.S., to take a hard look at how they’re operating.

      The fact that we are allowing the US’s great cities to crumble because people are forced to move to suburbs in the middle of the desert since housing is so expensive is an absolute tragedy for everyone.

tomcar288 12 days ago

They said SF's budget is 14 billion!! holy crap, that's more money than the GDP of entire countries! and it's still not enough.

  • hackernewds 12 days ago

    how is it allocated

    • inferiorhuman 12 days ago

      The budget is freely available on their web site. It's worth noting that San Francisco is a consolidated city and county, so the budget covers things that most other cities don't (e.g. public transit, libraries, schools, jails). While there is indeed some consolidation San Francisco is on the hook for two separate law enforcement agencies (police – which are typically the domain of cities and sheriff – which are typically the domain of counties).

      • kfarr 12 days ago

        And an international airport and a water source and pipeline from the mountains. Crazy stuff

        • nwiswell 12 days ago

          SFO is in San Mateo County.

          • inferiorhuman 12 days ago

            San Francisco International Airport is owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco and policed by San Francisco Police Department.

            • bagacrap 12 days ago

              Surely the airport turns a profit?

              • seanmcdirmid 12 days ago

                It does. But it is still part of the “budget”, which is only money going out, and doesn’t count money coming in.

CalChris 12 days ago
  • mellosouls 12 days ago

    A left wing pressure group identifies the article publisher as a right wing pressure group.

    Ok, cool, but whatever the quality of the arguments in the article that's probably not the devastating hammer blow to defeat them.

    • pstuart 12 days ago

      Many of their points are valid and should be addressed, but the criticism is rather narrow.

      Case in point: homelessness. Yes, it's a huge problem, but San Francisco is a dumping ground for the homeless, e.g., other states buy one-way bus tickets for their indigents/miscreants to shift the burden. It's a national issue that needs to be addressed on a national level.

      Then there was this pandemic thingy, and the WFH shift has decimated the office worker economy.

      So they blame it all on "crime, vagrancy, and drugs" without any note of the the external pressure helping to create those problems.

      That said, the pols should always have their feet to the fire on their ability to do their damn jobs and be responsible.

      • seanmcdirmid 12 days ago

        A lot of states give prisoners open bus tickets on release if they have no one coming to pick them up. They are not technically sending them to LA, SF, Portland, or Seattle, but where else are they going to go? Living outside in LA is much better than doing the same in Houston.

        But this is another point of the problem: anyone who solves the problem well is bound to just attract more of the problem. People are not immobile, and will move to where they have the best chance of surviving, so if Seattle is rumored to be handing out tiny houses to the unhoused, it will simply attract more of the problem. Whatever local resources are thrown at the problem will not make a noticeable dent in the problem locally (though the national problem will get some small improvement relative to its size).

        • pstuart 12 days ago

          My second paragraph explicitly said it: it's a national issue and can only be solved at that level.

          It would be collectively cheaper and far more humane to boot.

          • politician 11 days ago

            This is just an excuse for why the party with decades of majority rule has failed to solve problems at the city and state levels. Why would the federal government be able to solve a problem that California has failed to address? California has a larger economy than many nations!

            The correct solution for individuals is to move out of these mismanaged high density areas.

        • fmajid 12 days ago

          SF does not solve the homeless problem, but there is good money to be made in the welfare-industrial complex pretending to help.

          Salt Lake City, that bastion of left-liberalism (/s) does a much better job, specially at preventing vulnerable people from becoming homeless in the first place.

          Ultimately SF’s problems are well understood and the solutions as well, but there is no political will to confront the entrenched interests that led to this and an apathetic electorate that does not demand accountability is responsible.

          • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago

            Salt Lake City is actually pretty liberal, not just by Utah standards.

            And the “SLC solved homelessness” was a last decade story that has already unraveled due to sustained and increased funding not being applied (again national problem, local solutions can’t do much).

          • adammarples 12 days ago

            The solutions to homelessness are well understood? What are they?

            • fmajid 11 days ago

              1) remove NIMBYs’ ability to limit construction with procedural chicanery and keep housing prices high

              2) Build subsidized housing. SF likes to complain about the end of the state redevelopment agencies but did you know that with just one year’s worth of the $7B a year windfall from the much-despised Tech (difference between the 2022 and 2008 budgets), SF could buy or build a $1M condo for every single of the 7,000 homeless men, women and children in the city? Instead at least half of that was captured by civil self-servants in the city bureaucracy in the form of salaries and benefits.

              3) Restore involuntary committal of some mentally ill unable to care for themselves, that was abolished by the well-meaning but clueless Lanterman-Petris-Short Act in 1967

              4) means-test rent-control (half of SF’s residential units), which creates haves and have-nots and raises prices to astronomic levels for new entrants

              5) remove land-use restrictions like single-family zoning that covers half of the city

              6) force drug addicts into treatment, using coercive measures if necessary

            • pstuart 11 days ago

              House the people. It's that simple.

              The hard part is finding affordable ways to do so. This is compounded by the fact that a large portion of the homeless suffer from mental health problems (my mother was in that boat).

              On the mental health front, we need to collectively find a way to institutionalize the mentally ill in a manner that is fair and humane. That should include indigent drug addicts who are unable to care for themselves.

              • gameman144 11 days ago

                > House the people. It's that simple.

                It's not, though. Seattle ran into loads of problems with housing-first policies where the houses would get trashed and people with substance abuse problems would continue camping out as groups.

              • fmajid 11 days ago

                Yes, the LPS Act of 1967 that left the mentally I’ll to their own devices was well-meaning but clearly written by people who no clue about the realities of mental illness.

      • zmnd 10 days ago

        But at the same time, groups who are responsible to resolve the homeless issue quote that only 8% of people are out of state based on HIRD research. So what is it?

    • Convolutional 12 days ago

      > A left wing pressure group identifies the article publisher as a right wing pressure group.

      If we look at the author section of the website, it lists former members of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, members of the American Enterprise Institute etc.

      Also the "left wing pressure group" says IRS filings show the Koch brothers fund the CPC.

      The reader can look at the facts, some on their own web site, and decide if they are a right wing pressure group or not.

hintymad 12 days ago

Didn’t it cost $130K to offer just housing to a homeless person? That’s after-tax money. That is, it cost around 3x as much as the US median household income, right? If this is not corruption, I don’t know what is. But wait! People in SF elected the officials, so why should I complain about anything? /s

29athrowaway 12 days ago

Code of Ur-Nammu (2100 BC): If a man commits a robbery, he will be killed.

Code of San Francisco (2023 AD): If you try to prevent robbery, you will be killed.


  • ahahahahah 11 days ago

    Ah yes, 2100BC, the pinnacle of morality.

    • 29athrowaway 11 days ago

      At least the concept of property was feasible.

rlt 12 days ago

> undisciplined spending on programs to address San Francisco’s increasingly severe homelessness crisis.

Maybe throwing money at the problem is counter productive? Nah.

simoncion 12 days ago

> Additionally, retailers have been closing their San Francisco locations in droves, citing crime, homelessness, and drug use...

Evidently uncited are

* COVID concerns

* Rapidly increasing cost of goods and services that remains unmatched by wage increases

* Dwindling customer base as people find stores understaffed (thanks, "strategic" layoffs!), understocked, or both and give up and turn to online shopping.

* Dwindling customer base as people move the fuck away because they either just can't afford city life anymore, or (thanks to the overall success of the blood-drenched demonstration of the viability of remote work) are no longer forced to pay San Francisco rents to work for Really Solid software/IT companies.

  • maerF0x0 12 days ago

    > COVID concerns

    I left, in part, not because of COVID concern, but LOCKDOWN concerns. I was tired of "rules for thee, but not for me" policies that I disagreed with.

  • pengaru 12 days ago

    > > Additionally, retailers have been closing their San Francisco locations in droves, citing crime, homelessness, and drug use...

    "Walgreens Executive Says Shoplifting Threat Was Overstated" [0]

    "Recent Retail Closures in U.S. Cities Follow Trends Established Before the Pandemic" [1]

    Retail is just dying, but of course they're going to blame something other than their own failing / inability to compete with Amazon and the like.

    [0] https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/06/business/walgreens-shopli...

    [1] https://www.planetizen.com/news/2023/05/123289-recent-retail...

    • Vervious 12 days ago

      We should still expect retail to be alive and well in cities, where people aggregate. The JP Morgan Chase institute report cited by [1] looked exclusively at the impact of WFH and covid. With the pandemic now "over", we should expect SF to bounce back, as did NYC (which now has fewer retail vacancies than pre-pandemic) and many other cities.

      In particular, NYC feels incredibly vibrant right now, more-so than pre-pandemic. Maybe it's because of tourism, which is at 110% of pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, SF feels like it got left behind.

    • inferiorhuman 12 days ago

      Walgreens also just settled with San Francisco over their contribution to the opioid crisis in San Francisco. They also recently fired the security firm* that killed the alleged shoplifter. There's a lot going on with retail both in the Bay Area and nationwide. To pin it on failed San Francisco policy is more than a bit reductivist.

      * Target hired the same firm to provide armed guards at some of their East Bay stores

RC_ITR 12 days ago

The problem of these articles is that they lean too far into kicking SF while it’s down, since it felt so invincible before.

Same kind of journalism happened in the early 2000s.

The problem is that they don’t recognize cyclicality.

Arguably the most important startup in decades is headquartered there, the CEO is stating remote work is a mistake, and the CTO is regularly calling SF the best place to start an AI startup.

SF will still face problems but a lot of this fiscal hand wringing will likely appear foolish in hindsight.

  • onos 12 days ago

    Might be cyclical, or maybe it’s Detroit v2. We will see, hoping the former.


    • inferiorhuman 12 days ago


      • onos 12 days ago

        The old navy is not closing, then?

        • RC_ITR 12 days ago

          Having an old navy in a tourist corridor that does a very bad job of serving local residents is your metric of whether a place is a healthy city or not?

          I’m sure all those AI specialists will flee now that they can’t get fast fashion jorts on market street.

          It’s amazing to me that on a forum of supposed hackers, legacy businesses failing is some sort of harbinger of doom.

          E-commerce won in SF. This forum should be the place celebrating that and asking what’s next for those spaces.

          Detroit didn’t die because it was a bad place for stores. It didn’t even die. It’s still a huge wealthy area.

          It declined because people didn’t ask what’s next.

          • onos 11 days ago

            I’ll take that as a yes.

  • hackernewds 12 days ago

    I'm guessing you mean OpenAI. Ironically they did their best work while working remotely not in an SF HQ. Also it behooves me to consider that a CEO/CTO in a competitive environment would be biased to dole out malignant advice, as evidenced against their own practice?

    It's kinda like how you wouldn't want to use the toothpaste that "9 out of 10 dentists recommend". Or billionaires often mention their secret to success is merely "reading a lot" or "waking up at 4am" or doing dishes [0]

    [0] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/10/why-jeff-bezos-and-bill-gate...

  • kaycebasques 12 days ago

    Back when I used to go to Stable Cafe a lot I often looked at the Pioneer Building and pondered that it was a strange, interesting building. Only learned in the last few weeks that it's OpenAI's HQ!

rcpt 12 days ago


  • fortran77 12 days ago

    There are many cities in California that are not having a financial crisis. Stop trying to confiscate homes from people because their neighbors paid too much money for their houses, condos, or apartments and "raised the property value." That's pure evil.

    • rcpt 12 days ago

      No it's directly related to Prop 13. Without that law we could rely on stable property taxes for public services and infrastructure. But instead we shift the burden of taxation to unstable sources and now here we are


      • fortran77 11 days ago

        It’s extremely stable. And it raises 2%/year, and gets reset when property changes hands.

        • rcpt 11 days ago

          That doesn't work unless the price of everything else is also fixed at 2%.

          This isn't a controversial point. Jerry Brown dedicated his entire career to this. The California budget is incredibly unstable because of Prop 13.

        • kortilla 11 days ago

          2% a year doesn’t match inflation. It’s literally codified to lower your tax burden on an inflation adjusted basis the longer you own the home.

          There is no logical defense for it other than “fuck you, I got mine”.

          • fortran77 11 days ago

            It's to prevent people from being forced to sell their homes because speculators drive up the "values" in the neighborhood. There's no "fuck you" here.

            • kortilla 11 days ago

              It went way beyond that intent. Not keeping up with inflation is a complete “fuck you” to everyone else who has to pay their fair share.

              It has nothing to do with speculators. There are people with multi million dollar homes in the Bay Area paying a few thousand a year in taxes because they bought in during the 70s.

              If they don’t want to pay the property taxes for the actual value, all of the profit from their home sale should go to the government as back payment for their societal delinquency. You can’t both claim that you’re just “being protected from speculators” while reaping the benefit of when you sell.

              Finally, most of the buyers in the Bay Area are not speculators. They are regular people looking for homes and prop 13 is fucking them by making them shoulder the majority of the tax burden. When one of my coworkers paid property taxes on his home in Sunnyvale for the first time, he paid more than the rest of the block combined despite all of the houses having roughly the same value.

              Complete insanity.

    • zjp 12 days ago


      • rcpt 12 days ago

        Right. If revenue came from the land then it couldn't leave so easily.

photochemsyn 12 days ago


  • 8f2ab37a-ed6c 12 days ago

    Actually the other way around, the festering slum is the city center (Tenderloin, Skid Row, downtown Seattle, downtown Portland etc), but once you get out of the city, it's quite lovely, but with minimal public transportation and ideally far enough that the underclass wouldn't be able to get there without lots of hassle. See Marin, Los Gatos, Atherton etc.

  • dehrmann 12 days ago

    > where if deranged homeless people show up, the cops swarm them within a few minutes of their acting out

    Didn't stop the attack on Paul Pelosi, but he's married to a high-profile politician, so it wasn't a random attack.

politician 12 days ago

Even though it's after 7pm PT, I'm still surprised this managed to make it to the home page.

jscipione 11 days ago

Chicago and San Francisco were about to default on their debts before the mass reduction of American living standards through currency inflation payouts to state and local governments to make these city budgets solvent again in 2020 and 2021. I’m paying dearly for it, we all are, whether you live in San Francisco or not. I like many Americans are being crushed financially to pay off debts that I had absolutely nothing to do with creating and never supported in the first place.