Mid-Atlantic - conversations about US, UK and world politics


Vice President Harris at the boarder and the Kamloops scandal in Canada

Comments from Alex Bishop in Hamilton Canada, Marce Butler in California. John Gunnison, AB in Texas and Duc Vu in Philly and Peter Chou

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Is San Francisco a failed city?

During the first part of the pandemic, San Francisco County lost more than one in 20 residentsSan Francisco now has the fewest children per capita of any large American city, and a $117,400 salary counts as low-income for a family of four.I’d gotten used to the crime, rarely violent but often brazen; to leaving the car empty and the doors unlocked so thieves would at least quit breaking my windows.The budget to tackle homelessness and provide supportive housing has been growing exponentially for years.In 2021, the city announced that it would pour more than $1 billion into the issue over the next two years. But almost 8,000 people remain on the streets.Every tent costs taxpayers roughly $60,000 a year.The San Francisco Bay Area is 52 percent white, 6.7 percent Black, and 23.3 percent Asian.SF isn’t turning red on any electoral maps.The widest income disparities in the Bay Area are in San Francisco County, where the top 5% of households makes an average of $808,105 annually, compared with $16,184 for the lowest 20%.Bay Area residents in the 90th percentile of incomes earned $384,000 a year, compared to just $32,000 for those in the bottom 10th percentile.Despite California’s strong economy, low- and middle-income earners have seen fewer gains than those in the top bracket in recent decades.San Francisco remains the most expensive rental market in the U.S. – with average one-bedroom rent costing $2,700 per month as of December 2020 (a 23% decrease year-over-year).“San Francisco has some of the most extreme inequality anywhere in the world, and many of the best-known companies growing here have some of the largest gaps between executive pay and worker pay.San Francisco voters overwhelmingly backed a new law that will levy an extra 0.1% tax on companies that pay their chief executive more than 100-times the median of their workforce. The surcharge increases by 0.1 percentage point for each factor of 100 that a CEO is paid above the median, up to a maximum of 0.6%.Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, was paid $134m in 2019, more than 2,300 times the firm’s median pay of $57,600.1 in 4 Bay Area families isn't making enough to live here,8,011 homeless individuals were counted in San Francisco's 2019 point-in-time street and shelter count. This was an increase of more than 14% over the 2017 count.