Monday, April 25, 2016

NYT Reports on the State of the Streets in San Francisco

There is not one bit of a stretch in a new NYT story on the homeless element, criminal element and mentally ill element on the streets of San Francisco, every bit of what is recounted  is experienced on a daily basis by those living here in the city run in the fog by Regressives.

I lived in NYC in the late-1970s/early-1980s, and the homeless situation and, out and out, mental nutjobs on the streets did not come anywhere near what is going on now in SF.

From the NYT report:
From her apartment at the foot of the celebrated zigzags of Lombard Street, Judith Calson has twice peered out her window as thieves smashed their way into cars and snatched whatever they could. She has seen foreign tourists cry after cash and passports were stolen. She shudders when she recounts the story of the Thai tourist who was shot because he resisted thieves taking his camera.

And that is her tally from the last year alone.

“I never thought of this area as a high-crime neighborhood,” Ms. Calson, a retired photographer, said of this leafy part of the city, where tourists flock to view the steeply sloped, crooked street adorned with flower beds.

San Francisco, America’s boom town, is flooded with the cash of well-paid technology workers and record numbers of tourists. At the same time, the city has seen a sharp jump in property crime, up more than 60 percent since 2010, though the actual increase may be higher because many of the crimes go unreported.

Recent data from the F.B.I. show that San Francisco has the highest per-capita property crime rate of the nation’s top 50 cities. About half the cases here are thefts from vehicles, smash-and-grabs that scatter glittering broken glass onto the sidewalks.

The city, known for a political tradition of empathy for the downtrodden, is now divided over whether to respond with more muscular law enforcement or stick to its forgiving attitudes.

The Chamber of Commerce and the tourist board are calling for harsher measures to improve what is euphemistically called the “condition of the streets,” a term that encompasses the intractable homeless problem, public intravenous drug use, the large population of mentally ill people on the streets and aggressive panhandling. The chamber recently released the results of an opinion poll that showed that homelessness and “street behavior” were the primary concerns of residents here.

“We are the wealthiest big city in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world, and we have this situation on our streets,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the chief executive of San Francisco Travel, a tourism organization.

“People believe that everyone has the right to be on the streets. However, I think there is a tolerance limit to bad behavior.”

Visitors come to bask in the Mediterranean climate, stroll through the charming streets and marvel at the sweeping views of the bay and the Pacific. But alongside those views are tent encampments on sidewalks and rag-covered homeless people in front of some of the most expensive real estate in America.
There is remarkable wealth in this city and yet the streets contain thousands, who looked like they are from a third world country where there has been soap, water, and clothing for decades.

It is proof that Regressives can destroy and place, anytime, with their regulations.



  1. A coworker of mine was checking her phone on her walk to work, across Union Square on her way to the financial district. Her phone was snatched right out of her hand. She yelled for him to give it back and he started screaming at her that she stole it. She said a couple people just watched and most just kept going about their day as if nothing had happened. When she was discussing it at the office, a few other people had similar stories. Apparently this is common.

  2. Rothbard would point out that all these are problems of "public" property that everyone "owns" so no one owns. A lot like government (public) schools, where the inability to refuse entry to the ill-behaved fosters similar behavior.

    Here in Charleston, SC, the city decided to remove a recent "tent city", it's just about gone now. We read in the paper of a claim that all these people would be moving into apartments, but that's not to be believed, unless it's very temporary.

    Not being as rich a city as SF, and more dependent on tourism, they've been harsher, such as prohibiting handing anything out of a car to another person. This makes pan-handling still legal, but receiving the gift in that way a violation of the safety code. Amazing how the panhandlers just disappeared after it passed.

    1. I'm from Aiken, and my family and I enjoy travelling down to Charleston. We're not the only ones. Many here in town make the 2.5 hour trip because Charleston is such a great place to visit. The neighboring towns of Mt. Pleasant and Summerville are nice too. I don't recall ever seeing any problems with panhandlers, though. Just a matter of timing, I guess.