Liberal Icons: Apple’s Web of Tax Shelters Saved It Billions, Panel Finds
Cross posted at Jules Crittenden’s blog.
Just when I thought I’d seen it all at Jules’ Blog and Grog Resthaus – Englishmen, neoneocons, distinguished military, an international jungle trader, sworn enemies of jihad, among others – in swaggers the Dissident Frogman, whom I’ve never ‘met’ in the ‘sphere before – of course his reputation walked in before him, but nevertheless, color me in all my southern gentility intrigued. A Frenchman who is unashamed to talk about his love of America? Schweeet. Now this is the kind of ‘diversity’ I really dig.
And speaking of diversity and love of America, here’s a story about people who claim to love one, but who aren’t shy about admitting they hate the other (to any uber-lefties reading this, if you can’t figure out which is which, read the article I’m about to link to. Carefully.), straight out of San Francisco. The USA Today reports that the top brass in San Francisco are trying to figure out a way to reverse what they call “black flight”:
SAN FRANCISCO — Wayne Cooksey joined the flight of African-Americans from this city last year to escape soaring rents and buy a home. Michael Higgenbotham left six years ago for a safer neighborhood and better schools for his three children. Adell Adams retired and wanted to downsize but knew her home’s equity wouldn’t go far in a market where decent condos start at $500,000.
Aubrey Lewis was among the first to go, to nearby Oakland in 1977. “We left because of the housing situation,” says Lewis, 77. “And that was early. It hasn’t gotten much better.”
African-Americans are abandoning this famously progressive city at a rate that has alarmed San Francisco officials, who vow to stop the exodus and develop a strategy to win blacks back to the city. In June, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed a task force to study how to reverse decades of policies — and neglect — that black leaders say have fueled the flight.
Black flight can alter a city’s character. “It’s important for a city’s future that it be a diverse place, and San Francisco is drifting toward being an upper-middle-class city,” says Ed Blakely, director of Katrina recovery for New Orleans.
And therefore they must bring those poor to middle class black people back, to give San Francisco character! Almost sounds like a royal court summoning its court jesters for amusement, doesn’t it?
Redevelopment could slow the African-American exodus, but it’s unclear how it would address the far more challenging work of attracting blacks to the city.
At $8.82 an hour, San Francisco has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages. It offers a tax credit to working families. As of July, uninsured residents under age 65 became eligible for universal health care. Preschool is available free to every child. The city has approved more affordable housing in the past few years than at any other time in its history, Newsom says.
Many blacks here shun buying affordable housing because those homes have “equity restrictions” to keep them affordable, which means they can’t be resold at market rates.
“They see homeownership as a chance to gain assets that will grow. So they’ll go outside the city,” says Ed Donaldson, counseling director for the San Francisco Housing Development Corp.
Fellow North Carolina blogger Betsy Newmark responds:
Shouldn’t this be a cause for celebration – that inner city black families don’t want government-subsidized housing, but prefer to buy their own house and build up equity?
Nowhere does the article look at the role of San Francisco’s rent control laws in pricing housing out of the range of many tenants. Soon that “upper class” city of San Francisco won’t be able to house the people who work in all the businesses to service the wealthy in the city. The middle class will be the next to decide that they can’t afford to live there. And there is no law that the city can pass to prevent people from leaving for more affordable locations.
Sez who? Certainly not SF Mayor Gavin “wireless should be be considered civil right” Newsom. He’s got just the plan to ‘fix it’:
Newsom says he’s focusing on “asset creation” — strategies to help blacks, Latinos and others create wealth by owning homes and businesses. That will be a priority of the task force, he says.
“San Francisco’s strength is the fact that we don’t just tolerate our diversity, we celebrate it,” Newsom says. “One of the real gifts of living in this city is living together and advancing together across every conceivable difference. There’s magic to that.”
Sure is. Like when the city waves their magic tax wand, your wallet is sliced in half. And when the citizenry wiggles their perky little noses up in the air, your rights disappear. That is, unless the mayor decides you have a right to something, and then he dusts off his black tophat and pulls out imaginary rights which don’t exist. Pure magic, baby.
Conveniently not mentioned in the USA Today piece? The fact that San Fran has not just become too expensive for poor and middle class black people to live in, but for families – white and black, as this 2006 piece from the San Francisco Chronicle makes clear (emphasis added):
Between 2000 and 2004, there was a steady rise in the proportion of city residents who were younger than 5, U.S. census data show. Yet these mini-baby boomers are not showing up in kindergarten; instead, school enrollment is slipping, and the city’s school-age population is sliding. Families are leaving the city when their children reach school age. What’s driving them away?
It’s the housing prices. It’s the desire for a backyard. San Francisco’s real estate market, where suburban-size houses with backyards are uncommon and extremely expensive, is the reason most parents give for moving away. They are drawn to Bay Area suburbs within commute range, or they leave the region entirely.
Only an estimated 12 percent of San Francisco households earn enough to buy a median-price home, which costs more than $760,000, according to the California Association of Realtors and DataQuick Information Systems.
Some of the families leaving could well afford San Francisco prices, said Dona Crowder, recent past president of the San Francisco Association of Realtors. But these buyers are dissatisfied with city schools and say they can’t afford a house and private school.
Middle-class family flight from urban cores isn’t new. But San Francisco’s child-to-adult ratio has been so low — and dropping — for so long that the problem is capturing a lot of attention, especially as neighborhood schools have closed in recent years.
In 1970, children younger than 18 made up 22 percent of the population compared with just under 15 percent in 2004. San Francisco has the lowest percentage of households with children among the 50 largest U.S. cities.
In the last several years, the top dogs in SF have tried to come up with ‘fresh’ approaches to keeping families from moving out of the city, like offering access to “free” healthcare, “free” preschool for every child, etc, but it’s not working – not just among black families, but white families who still can’t afford to live there, either.
San Francisco is America’s numero uno example of everything that is wrong with liberalism. Sky-high taxes, an outrageously expensive housing market, a substandard public school system, high crime rates in neglected neighborhoods, a ‘culture’ wallowing in the morass that is moral relativism, stifling over-regulations (to go along with those high taxes) for businesses, an unhealthy ‘tolerance’ for public resource-draining illegal immigrants … it’s no wonder so many are leaving SF faster than you can yell “Bush lied!!!!”
Amazingly enough, the liberals ruining, er, running the city believe they can ‘fix’ the problems by doing exactly what they’ve been doing the last 40 years or so: by offering so many ‘free’ or ‘affordable’ services, that it appears to be very enticing. Until the new guy in town they lured in under false pretenses takes a look at that first pay stub, and gets their first tax bill.
Now, of course, the city of San Fran is interested in keeping as many people inside the city limits as possible, because they desperately need all the tax revenue they can get their grubby little hands on. But if you happen to be black, they’ll pay special attention to you, because of two things: 1) it doesn’t look good for their ‘diverse’ image to have you moving out of SF to make a life for yourself somewhere more affordable and 2) in doing so, you take yourself off of their public dole (if you’re amongst the poor who have been on it), which is a no-no, because championing self-sufficiency and personal responsiblity are not exactly bedrocks of liberalism.
The high cost (literally and figuratively) of liberalism is what has forced so many people out of SF, yet these geniuses believe that the high cost of liberalism is going to lure people back in. For a group of people who are supposedly so much more ‘enlightened’ than the rest of us poor slobs, they certainly don’t learn from their mistakes, do they?