Young, creative people who work hard


I almost don't know what to say, except: Finally, someone admits it.

Rebecca Pederson, writing in The Bold Italic, explains why she actually likes the idea that San Francisco is becoming so expensive that thousands of longtime residents are being forced out; see, if it's more expensive to live here, then young, creative people will work harder:

People who want to make a living here from their creative work should have to hustle; it makes the successes much more meaningful.

Ah, yes. "Hustle." So all the older people who are, say, not trained in the tech field, or might be disabled and unable to "hustle," or the single parents who "hustle" all the goddam day just to keep the family together, or all the "creative" people who work for nonprofits or (gasp) are artists -- and trust me, they "hustle" as much as any tech worker ... they don't get to live here any more. Because

We can’t afford to walk barefoot around Golden Gate Park and write half-sonnets about trees. This city’s too expensive now.

I don't know anyone who thinks we still live in the Beat era. I don't know anyone who has ever written a half-sonnet about trees, and nobody with any sense of public health walks barefoot in Golden Gate Park. Get a clue.

But I do know a whole lot of people, including some who work for websites, who are seeing their lives and their community destroyed by rising prices -- which are due primarily to greed in the real-estate industry.

I don't think all tech workers are anywhere near as dumb as Rebecca Pederson, but I do see a lot of her attitude around: We are young and have money, and you are old and in the way. That's capitalism.

The "older people are losers" attitude was the worst part of the Sixties ethos (although disdain for labor -- often reciprocated by conservative unions -- was pretty bad, too.) This is a big city, with a diverse population. Not everyone is healthy and able to "hustle." Not everyone is young and carefree. Please, my friends: Have respect for the community you recently dropped into.

Yes, I was a San Francisco immigrant, too, in a different era, and I know things will always change, but I don't remember my young friends believing that they were by nature better and smarter than the people who already lived here. It's called respect.




for your poignant comment and your valuable social contributions.

But to the loudmouth mammon worshippers who dominate these comment pages, you are simply a loser or parasite without the fiscal power to live in San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

"hustle" in SF and make bank. And there is certainly no shortage of twenty-something slackers who moved to SF not to economically contribute but because they think it is "cool".

It's really a conflict between those who are net contributors to the local economy and taxbase, and those who are part of Romney's 47% who suck at the public teat one way or the other.

Posted by anon on May. 21, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

Tell me, is Apple not "sucking on the teat (sic.)"?

While I, too, as a "maker" abhor freeloading by people "milking the system", I find the use of tax shelters and similar gimmicks to be even worse, i.e., corporate fictions cannot elude taxation that is necessary to provide the very infrastructure that enables their access to the US market.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

From what I see, Apple were practicing tax avoidance - the same thing you do when you open an IRA.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

Tax "avoidance" and tax "evasion" are both meaningless phrases when discussing taxes. Only specific behavior is punishable by the tax laws, whether it be reporting deductions on a tax return not allowed under the tax code or not reporting income that is subject to tax, along with hundreds of other illegal tactics used by taxpayers to pay less tax.

These repetitive, facile, untruthful, meaningless statements sound like anon's modis operandi. There's not a lot of grey matter there, only lots of opinions spewed as facts.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

They were motivated only by the injustice that is that US corporate tax rates are the highest in the West, and that is shameful.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

US corporate tax rates are not the highest in the west. On paper they may look high, but in reality there are so many loopholes that don't exist in Europe, that corporations effectively pay less. Many corporations pay no tax at all.

Posted by Greg on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:47 am

A quick google search will show that the UK and other European countries are having the same issue as the US - high corporate sales with little or no corporate tax paid on those sales. Amazon and Starbucks have been on the hot seat in the UK for months. Now we get the same "outrage" in the halls of the US congress concerning Apple and other technology companies.

In an interconnected world using a "profits tax" to raise revenue is beyond stupid. One hundred of the smartest, unbiased economists could evaluate a large company's worldwide economic activity and come up with 500 different answers to the question of where the profits should be allocated. Any tax system that allows such different results is a failed tax system. I'm no fan of "big business," but I'm also not a fan of using stupid tax systems that can be easily manipulated to try to raise revenue. If you want to raise more money from big business, then support taxing their sales not their profits.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 8:30 am

It is BECAUSE the US tax rates are so high that corporations retain earnings overseas.

As Laffer predicted, if we lwoered rates, those monies would return to the US, and we'd collect MORE tax.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 9:26 am

Even the wiki article says that economists don't generally accept it.

Posted by Greg on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:45 am

Obama made the W tax cuts permanent - does he not have economists advising him?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:57 am

of mainstream thinking, when of course anybody whose been paying attention knows he represents Goldman Sachs and co and not the American people; same as most politicians under our pay-to-play pseudodemocracy.

Such attempts at sadism reflect well on the psyche of reactionaries, but predict very little about their future under an awakened populace.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 22, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

really have to ask yourself exactly how extreme your views are?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

Such nonsense.

Apple hugely benefits from being located in California and ought to contribute its fair share.

It's an open question whether what Apple did is illegal, but it certainly is short-sighted and foolish.

What's better, short-term profit or long-term growth and social stability?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 9:49 am

If you don't like their legal avoidance strategies then vote to change the laws. And hope that Apple doesn't move it's domicile.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 10:03 am

Anon Rand thinks people's worth and net worth are indistinguishable. How heartbreaking it must have been when America rejected the Romney/Ryan 47% solution last November.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:41 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

That's kind of the point of issuing a currency in the first place.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 21, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

...lived in vain.

In prosperous times, like the '90s, you cut debt, as the Clinton Administration did. In bad economic times, you spend. That's how it's supposed to work.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 21, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

The majority of interest payments are made to the very wealthy, who often don't even pay taxes on the interest income they receive from government bonds. Besides large landlords, the wealthiest bondholders and wealthiest stock owners extract large sums of money from the "real economy," mostly paid with regressive taxes on working families.

Government spending may be a decent option to spur "effective demand" (a la Keynes' analysis), but the government spending can be easily accomplished with taxes on the wealthiest among us, such as higher taxes on the largest earners of dividends, interest, rent income, capital gain taxes, and wealth taxes on those who own more than $10 million, for examples. There is no reason to rely on debt financing other than to enrich the already rich and to give more economic power to the already economically powerful.

Debt financing is a classic tool used by governments to give political power to the wealthy bondholders, whether they operate out of Wall Street, London, Hong Kong or Singapore.

If you support the wealthy elites, by all means support governemnt bond financing to ensure that even more of a country's wealth is funneled into their already bulging pockets.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

This should be good. I'm waiting.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

And waiting

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 6:55 am

The poster's response to Horentica seemed fairly straightforward - government debt enriches the wealthiest and governments use regressive taxes (most often) on the local residents to pay off the debt, while at the same time giving the wealthy bondholders economic and political leverage over the government. The T-bond interest question seemed particularly lame since the interest may or may not be taxable depending on who receives the interest income. Foreigners often will pay no tax on the interest income received, whereas US residents may pay tax on the income. Some states treat it as taxable income, others don't.

When it appears someone is debating a subject for the sake of debating but doesn't seem to have a very solid understanding of the subject mater being discussed, it's usually best to ignore them, similar to the debates with most SF "progressives" about housing policy.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:24 am

interest is somehow not taxed. That is 100% wrong, as I pointed out, and the other poster implicitly acknowledged that by ducking.

The rest of her point was that investment returns accrue mainly to investors, and that investors tend to have more money, to which I can only reply with a big DUH! Yes, the rich have more money, hence the name.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:38 am

A large portion of US government debt is held by foreigners, especially China and Japan, but also the very wealthy who live all over the world. In many cases none of this interest is taxed in the US. So the point remains: the US uses (mostly) regressive taxes to pay interest to wealthy individuals and nation states. How that is some sort of reasonable solution for increasing economic activity is the US - the point that was being responded to originally - is the issue. It's neither sustainable nor progressive.

If the government wants to increase economic activity it can tax wealthy people (high earners of rents, dividends, interest, capital gains or wealth itself) and recycle the money to those who will spend the money to create additional economic activity. Borrowing money from (mostly) 1%ers and increasing the amount of interest paid to the 1%ers is a great strategy if you support the 1%es, which apparently Horentica and you agree with.

Even if some of the bond interest is taxed in the US it still means US taxpayers are enriching wealthy bondholders. Besdies, much of total government debt is owed by states, cities and dozens of other local government agencies, and most of the intersst payments on this debt isn't taxed by either the state or feds, so picking out T-bond interest was disingenuous. Trickle-down economics is supported by many educated people. Apparently we can add your and Horentica's name to the list as well.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 8:15 am

Exactly. These people think that somehow making a bunch of money for Google makes you a more valid human being than, say, teaching at City College. It makes me sick. Also,where does this upper caste think those who serve them-- their bartenders and baristas and those who sell them their expensive clothes-- are supposed to live?

Posted by Carrie Hall on May. 22, 2013 @ 5:29 am

The highly paid employees of Google, Apple, HP, Yahoo, Oracle and hundreds of other Bay Area companies, along with the even higher paid attorneys, accountants and financial advisers that support these companies, are no different from the rest of us other than most of them make a lot more money. If you need to demonize people who make more annual income than most of us, be my guest, but if doesn't solve the basic issue which is there is only so much housing and they can afford to pay much more for it.

If you're looking to demonize anyone, look to the SFBG and their roster of "activist" housing contacts who keep trotting out asinine rhetoric like, "being a tenant is good and honorable" and other idiotic statements. For at least the past 10 years the SFBG has touted the idea that somehow being a tenant is a solution for housing security when, in fact, being a tenant is the absolute worst solution for housing security. Not only do the vast majority of people want to live comfortably without a paternalistic landlord hovering over their living situation, but a third party landlord has a strong financial incentive to replace exisiting tenants with higher paying tenants. If state and local laws prevent landlords from getting the higher rents the new residents can afford, then the landlords will look to other ways to cash in on the higher incomes of the new residents such as selling off their rental units to TIC buyers.

The failure of SF "progressives" to come up with any housing strategies for long-term residents other than strong rent-control laws is the reason why the city is changing its demographic so dramatically. A city or region can't add hundreds of thousands of highly paid jobs without a corresponding increase to the housing suppply without creating the housing imbalance seen in the Bay Area over the past 30 years. Either the region builds hundreds of thousands of new housing units to accomodate the new residents and the displaced current residents, or hundreds of thousands of people will be forced to move from the area since they can't afford it.

It's always easy to blame "the others" for problems, but it's usually the person staring us in the mirror that is the true source of the problems.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:00 am

so you demonize those who are more successful, implying that they are really inferior to those who cannot do better than minimum wage. Fine but you cannot run a city like that or you end up with Detroit.

Oh, and yes, City College is a horrible example because it is corrupt, badly managed and probably bankrupt. I predict it will close.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:14 am

you are the one coming on here demonizing people who make less money than you.

You and your ilk are turning San Francisco into Mammonville.

The worms are hungry and the dispossessed are getting angrier.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:35 am

What is it about the so-called "tolerant" left that makes them so, er, intolerant of other views?

So SF's diversity is great as long as it excludes successful white and asian males?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:45 am

to exclude people who don't fit your financial based definition of "success."

To the tumbrils.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 8:10 am

The 60's generation came here and had no respect for those already here, they pursued their hedonistic life style at the expense of not only the past but future generations. Even George Harrison had an issue with SF in the 60's [ I discovered them to be] "hideous, spotty little teenagers".

Primal Scream wrote "Kill All Hippies" for a reason.

I think you should be writing an appology for your generation, and then to ask the current generation to learn from the past mistakes. Otherwise how can you expect the current immigrants to SF behave any differnetly from past.

Posted by Chris Pratt on May. 21, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

1967 were received more gracefully than those ageing hippies who are still here, like Tim, are welcoming the new tech workers to this city.

SF has always changed and always will. Tim wants to freeze it in time, which is natural of many people as they age, but he really need to recognize that things are passing him by.

Might he be happier in Berkeley or Santa Cruz?

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

I'm in the middle of David Talbot's "Season of the Witch," which, while problematic, is pretty detailed in how the city's old guard, especially the police, were extremely graceless in handling the influx of '60s arrivals.

Having said that, the new arrivals didn't have much use for the old guard's values either. Rebecca What's-Her-Name's attitude is nothing new in San Francisco or, one may say, among the young.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

In all seriousness, after reading article after article article from Tim, all with the same underlying theme, I don't see why he simply doesn't move to Detroit.

No workaholic techies, no "rootless superrich", no America's Cup, no gentrification, no displacement of poor people out of the city.

Detroit has a reliably "progressive" government, housing is incredibly cheap and available, and for some reason the "greed in the real-estate industry" seems to be much less in Detroit. Perhaps the real estate types are nicer there.

Just about every problem Tim complains about in SF is absent in Detroit.

So why not move?

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

All that vacant space will soon be occupied by financial/tech workers. Tim may have to look further afield - Flint, MI or Canton, OH might be good choices instead. Clearly Detroit is being ruined by Quicken. It was better before.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

Terrible business environment, high crime, demoralized police force, huge deficits. Detroit even has a city income tax.

Nirvana for a success-hater like Tim

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

Is it that hard to entertain the idea that San Francisco isn't *your* city just because you make more than other long-time residents?

In all seriousness, you've gone all in for a crude social Darwinism. What's next, eugenics?

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 9:56 am

But you don't want diversity because you don't like some classes of people here i.e. anyone more successful than you.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 10:09 am

And a lot of people Tim are moaning about managed to buy their homes or businesses a long time ago and now are enjoying the fruits of the real estate boom.

People like Tim for example. Or former SFBG owner Bruce Brugmann - who netted a fat profit of $2 million from selling the Guardian building on Potrero Hill to a real estate development firm one year ago.

The Guardian - do as we say, not as we do.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

See also: unionization.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

I wish they would invest their real estate equity into SF rental property at greatest risk of Ellis eviction. It would be absolutely fascinating to read stories about putting their ideas and critiques into practice.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:39 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

Her no-nonsense, practical attitude is probably the result of having a poor, abusive upbringing and getting cancer at 19.

Read some of her other articles for more understanding:

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

You really should read Pederson's whole article. She comes to San Francisco to be a sensitive, creative writer-type and discovers:

"I was under the impression that the parks here would be full of writers spending their mornings scribbling furiously in Moleskine notebooks and then sharing their day’s work over whiskey and coffee in the evening. They would not be getting blitzed in the middle of a workday. Even more frustrating, the people who did seem to be working on stuff looked either certifiably insane or were dressed like Burners, desperate for someone to ask them about their “art.” These were not the creative types I’d expected to be associated with."

She then discovers that the people working for a startup web site are far harder working, and far more interesting, than the self-proclaimed "artists".

Amazing, isn't it?

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

...didn't look hard enough. There are writers and communities of writers who work hard and succeed. (There are those who also work hard and haven't succeeded yet.) Many of them live exactly as she fantasized, while others do other things. She really should have been the change she wanted to see. And shouldn't have looked for her tribe in Dolores Park, of all places.

I suspect her disenchantment with the artistic life had more to do her inability to make a living doing it. I can't imagine she hasn't seen some pretty hard partying in the tech sector, either.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

Completely agree. And these days who even knows what a "half-sonnet" is? Is it something you text or text on?

"Please, my friends: Have respect for the community you recently dropped into."

They're not about to do that. They're too much into themselves ("it's all about me") that they don't even "see" the community.

The Techie-Asses in San Francisco

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 2:55 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

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Posted by Jospeh Krompel on Jun. 30, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

That story reads like a barrel of sour grapes.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

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