Ed Lee's 100 percent

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I expected a lot of talk about togetherness at the mayor's inauguration, but Ed Lee went a step further: He acually announced that he wants to be the mayor "for the 100 percent." That's a remarkable statement when you think about it, and it indicates to me that Lee doesn't want to be, and isn't going to be, and activist leader.

It's nice to talk at political events about how we're all in this together, how everyone in San Francisco is part of the same nice big city family, how we all really love each other and can hold hands and build a better city and all that happy horsehit. But the truth is, we aren't, and we can't.

San Francisco is a divided city, increasingly split between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless. The politics are bitterly divided -- and not because the progressives fought with former mayor Gavin Newsom. No: There are people who are used to getting their way in this town, and they have been for years, and they make up an oligarchy that stands with big landlords, and big developers, and big corporations, often using terms like "job creation"  to disguise an agenda of tax breaks, minimal regulation and a disdain for social justice.

That's not conspiracy theory; it's fact, and anyone who has been a part of this city for a long as me knows it.

It's about political power. An activist, progressive mayor would acknowlege that fact -- and the fact that power is never surrendered voluntarily. Sorry to spoil your spirit of togetherness, Ed, but Willie Brown and his clients, including Pacific Gas and Electric Company, have very little in common with me; I want to kick PG&E out of San Francisco and replace it with a publicly-owned utility. There is no compromise here, no middle ground -- PG&E has to lose for us to win.

Not every issue in San Francisco is like that -- some of the 1 percenters are all in favor of bicycle lanes and same-sex marriage and a lot of other wonderful things. There are plenty of areas where everyone in San Francisco can work together for the glory of our collective greatness.

But there are also issues that involve, yes, class warfare. Ed Lee must know that; he's been around long enough, fought enough bad guys, stood up for the poor people. But he also apparently thinks he can be mayor and be pals with Brown and the billionaires -- and still be on the side of the 99 percent. And it doesn't work that way. Not if you want to make economic justice a part of the local agenda.

I think Lee's going to be a lot better than Gavin Newsom, who was intractable and a jerk. But this notion that you never have to pick sides, that there is no 99 percent on one side up against a 1 percent on the other, is either cluelessness or bullshit. And I don't think Lee is clueless.

Comments

Atlanta Georgia
greatest income disparity in US - Atlanta Georgia
SF can be very much the same, headquarters to VISA, Wells, Zynga, Salesforce, Twitter - the future is here, but it is not evenly distributed-

Posted by Guest on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

opportunity. But of course Tim has no interest in that. While the Mayor talks of unity, Tim only cares about fighting a class war. Without the "struggle" that he claims he doesn't want, he'd be out of a job.

Oh, and BTW there is a compromise re PG&E - allow competition for delivery of power while paying PG&E a fee for maintaining the infrastructure.

Lee is already proving to be a decisive and inclusive Mayor. You can see why Tim would hate that, as he wants to see winners and losers.

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Posted by UAE Laws on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 5:34 am

definition.

If you don't agree with surrendering the city over to Tim Redmond's favorite special interests it's bad.

The rest of us citizens who don't survive on the luxury of defining ourselves into the self righteous high ground are plainly too stupid to pick a side. We should all just stop voting and hand the city over the SEIU.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

He's finally seeing that a lifetime devoted to the cause has achieved nothing, that he wields no influence, and that this city is not going to morph into a socialist nirvana on his watch.

So he rants, raves and works himself into a loamy lather of hatred and bitterness. And all for nought too. The world goes it's merry way, sans Redmond, sans Brugmann, sans everything.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

Think about it -- the Mayor is being inaugurated and says that he wants to work with all groups within the city and Tim is painting that as a very bad thing. I mean, I used to read this stuff for the yuks but now I don't think this train wreck of a column is very funny anymore.

The whole Progressive movement is a sinking, shattered ship and people like Tim are clinging to the debris, still pontificating the same nonsense. At least the Titanic deployed whatever lifeboats they had.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 12:31 am

'Guest' who finally had to give up on the alias 'Anonymous', because he had made such a profound farce of it..

i think you need help...

Posted by anonymous on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 1:41 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 7:27 am

would lend itself to the idea of a city-owned bank which could profitably fill this gap - and act as a big stimulator for the local economy. I hope Lee might consider this solution.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

If anything, it needs to rein in it's ambitions and focus on it's core services. The problem with a "city investment bank" is that it would len according to political criteria rather than business viability.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

then this recession is never going to end. There are examples of municipal banks which are not politicized. And the underlying principle would always be that the bank would need to make a profit - the same as any other bank. It wouldn't be there to act as a lender to crazed progressive schemes.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

If the Muni banks acts in all ways like a private bank, what's the point of it?

While if it's different, then that's a problem.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 7:28 am

The percentage that Lee is appealing to is greater than the percentage that the nonprofit-labor axis of the progressives make an effort to reach.

The progressives could out-flank Lee if they made an effort to appeal outside the labor/nonprofit base.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

the loony left are a fringe interest group. Sadly for Tim, this town isn't nearly "progressive" enough to support him over the Mayor. In his heart, he knosw that.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 6:23 pm

Turnout was so low this past election because voters are realizing diminishing returns on voting. This effective vote of no confidence in San Francisco politics on the part of the electorate is new and is nothing to celebrate.

San Francisco is progressive enough to support a candidate that has a demonstrated record of representing their interests over corporate and downtown interests.

It is just that most progressive and liberal elected officials support the interests of labor and nonprofits first and always which leaves progressive candidates scant electoral purchase.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

Or maybe turnout was so low because we had something like 14 candidates. How can you expect the average voter to make a choice? When was the last time you went to a movie with 14 major characters?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 8:46 am

That is nonsensical. Mega-multi candidate supervisorial races in districts with historically average or above turnout have not seen lower turnouts.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 8:57 am

Why does Ed Lee continue to give public money to the "loony left?" Because Ed Lee needs the "loony left" as much as the "loony left" needs Ed Lee.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 09, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

May God guide ALL the mayors of our USA !

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FE2JMCNU

Zefirelli's Jesus of  Nazareth  in  3 minutes
This peace message must circle the world WITH YOUR HELP !

Posted by Eddy on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 3:27 am

It's funny -- I don't mind the insults and the comments about the "looney left" -- lord knows I've been called worst. But for the record, what I'm suggesting used to be the mainstream of thinking in the Democratic Party -- and even in much of the Republican Party. Remember: The marginal tax rate on the very rich was at 80 percent under that great socialist Richard Nixon. Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty would be considered Marxist madness by the crowd on this blog.

I'm not asking for socialist revolution. All I'm asking is that the rich pay more and the poor get a better shot. (For example, using high taxes on the wealthy to fund quality public education -- at all levels -- is one of the best ways to create a more economically just society.)

Are you people really against that? Seriously?

 

Posted by tim on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 11:49 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

===

Everyone is for good schools, the states democrats set budget priorities, that they set schools so low on the pole is on them.

still

The USA outspends all but a few countries and Ca is above the national average, also outside of Mass. probably the most faddest. People like Tim get to bemoan the state of our schools while also complaining that no one is illegal. We have a few extra million students who split the pie up, while the people who see this as a win bemoaning the lack of per pupil spending.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

are not a reality in a modern world where we have to compete with other low-tax nations. The economy has gone global since the 1960's and back then we had the huge advantage of being the only super-power. Not true now.

The reason almost nobody thinks the way you do is precisely because we've all moved on since the sixties (or don't remember them at all), while you are stuck in that mindset.

We have to find a way of maintaining baseline services on current revenues. We need to withdraw from the public provision of some services thru outsourcing, and do a better job of managing pay and benefit levels so that not too many public sector workers will lose their jobs.

That's the reality. Your socialist pipedream doesn't fly any more, if it ever did. The failures of communism are testament to that. When over 60% of voters even in leftie San Francisco reject such policies, you know you're out on the fringe.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

San Franciscans prefer the Paul Krugman old line liberal economics position to this tea party neoliberal argument that we need to bow down before the economic terrorists who ran the economy into the ground with more tribute.

Just as voters abandoned the Democrats in 2010 costing them the house, voters in San Francisco abandoned the ballot box last year because it does not appear that voting makes enough of a difference to warrant the time spent voting.

Nationally this will mean that the Democrats will simply evaporate, especially in the Senate, and the country will be left with default Republican leadership.

But this argument that we need to respect the financial terrorists and bond vigilantes could only be made by a neoliberal.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 7:56 am

it's sad how the labor council routinely backs the wealthy when they dangle "jobs" in front of 'em and then of course none of their members get hired. Labor in SF are puppets for the wealthy despite their platitudes. Look at how they kiss ass to power !

Posted by Say No To Big failure aka big labor on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

"He who owns the gold, makes the rules".

Posted by Guest on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

ed lee began his campaign on a lie the pitiful prior mayors willie "fedora" brown; walking haircut-limo lib gavin nuisance, di fi & her corrupt blum destroying sf maneuvering the lousy mayoral ELECTIONS: //////////CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD--the dumbasses went AGAINST the democratic party endorsement of AVALOS! Again the fix is in on sf mayors and they sucked,big time! LEE WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO RUN; HE SAID HE WOULD NOT RUN---LIAR, LIAR. He good buddy of oaktown mayor jean quan and being recalled. Lee , lackey of corporate greed is developing uber wealth housing of which there is sufficient decadent housing in sf, it is renters who need AFFORDABLE housing! The ass kissing corporate lackey is further destroying s.f.!! A FIX I SAY!!

Posted by Guest from s.f. on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 10:25 pm