AP: "San Francisco’s downtown becomes a wake-up call for other cities"


Sad, but no surprise

Well, robertpri, the article does admit that the downtown areas of Seattle and Portland aren’t doing too well either. I imagine you are aware of the fact that the central business districts of various cities and towns in the United States went into decline during the 1956-91 period due to freeways bypassing CBDs.

A natural result of extremely poor leadership…


Well, butler, you might want to check out this piece by Aaron M. Renn:

It does not diminish what butler said. In fact, poor governing is noted in the article. “…and bad governance.”

Not all cities are in trouble…you just have to look at the ones in trouble and see what they have in common.

Well, butler, we need to keep in mind that TPTB don’t want these message boards to become too political. Still, I’d like to hear what Clark Howard has to say about how big-city downtowns can remain relevant.

I think a lot of folks jump to conclusions to match their view of the world when it comes to things like the homeless in our cities. When you look at the situation objectively there are lots of explanations for it that are easily overlooked. Here are two examples:

  1. Cost of Living
    There’s a direct correlation between the cost of living and the number of homeless people in most places. The highest percentage of homelessness occurs in those areas with the highest cost to live. ie: HI, DC and most cities in CA rate among the highest cost-of-living and also rate among the places with the highest rates of homelessness.

  2. Income
    There’s a direct correlation between the places with higher average income levels and homelessness as well.

It’s no secret that the rise in remote work is a big reason why so many big-city downtowns have been struggling as of late. Clark Howard acknowledged New York City’s recent office issues in today’s edition of The Clark Howard Show.

I recall shopping in downtown San Francisco in 2005. Wonderful stores. Walkable city. The urban outdoorsman were already moving into Union Square Park and harrassing people. Don’t think interstates caused people to abandon San Francisco’s downtown.

Well, sefortenberry, I imagine that residents of small cities with struggling downtowns would like to tell San Francisco residents, “Welcome to our world.”

The whole article danced around the crime problem. San Fran has the neat little rule that anyone can walk into an establishment, load up their shopping cart and leave without paying as long as it’s under $950. If you’re caught (highly, highly unlikely) and charged, it’s a misdemeanor, and more than likely thrown out by a progressive judge. Not politically correct to mention this as a reason for SF’s decline, is it?


As I have previously said, mikie, we need to keep in mind that TPTB don’t want these message boards to become too political.

Seattle has the opportunity to elect a lot of new city council members later this year. So, that might start a change. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I think the $950 limit to prosecute shoplifting was voter approved at the state level, but I am not sure of that.

And all this time we were told it was drug abuse and mental illness as primary causes of homelessness.

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Wife and I lived in SF for years. We met there. As time passed, we would return to visit our fave places, restaurants, parks, etc. We stopped some years ago. Too dirty, run down, and dangerous.

We used to walk Market St for the shops, but didn’t even want to drive it.

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Mental illness and drug abuse would be among many if not most cases of homelessness. But you’ll have to admit there are many people affected by both who are not homeless nor destitute.

In many cases it’s a matter of the two you mentioned plus things like debilitating accidents or any of a host of other reasons. Luck plays a role in everyone’s life, including yours and mine.

It begins with good or bad luck in your choice of parents. :slightly_smiling_face: