The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Peak Hipster’ in San Francisco

Posted on | March 30, 2015 | 54 Comments

“Affordable housing” is one of those phrases, like “social justice” and “sexual equality,” that sounds like a good thing, until you realize it’s a license for totalitarianism. For most of us, “affordable housing” means living someplace where we can afford the rent. The advocates of “affordable housing,” however, always want to live someplace we couldn’t afford to live — a trendy urban location — and demand a system of taxpayer subsidies and/or burdensome regulations to force others to allow them to live in a high-rent community at below-market rates. To put it as simply as possible, they’re moochers and “affordable housing” is about protecting their right to mooch.

The enemy of affordable housing is “gentrification,” which is what happens when people with actual jobs who can afford to pay rent at market value start moving into a trendy urban location where the moochers live. Regular Right Guy calls our attention to the gentrification crisis in San Francisco:

On a sunny Monday afternoon in early March, tenants from Station 40, an affordable housing complex in San Francisco’s rapidly gentrifying Mission District, joined with activists from the Housing Rights Committee and Anti-Eviction Mapping Project to hold a press conference condemning one of the latest evictions happening in the city. In late February, Station 40 tenants were slapped with an eviction notice from their landlords, Ahuva, Emanuel and Barak Jolish.
The complex houses more than a dozen tenants at 3030B 16th Street in the Mission. It sits right across the street from the 16th Street Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stop. Station 40 has provided affordable housing for its residents for the past 11 years. It is also known for housing members of activist groups like Food Not Bombs, which shares home-cooked, free meals on the 16th Street BART plaza every week, and Coffee Not Cops, which shares free coffee and pastries at the same plaza and organizes against police patrols in the area.
“Station 40 has been home to anarchist, queer and transgender refugees, broke people, veterans against war, those healing from the prison system, lifelong San Franciscans, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those who were previously homeless,” according to the groups’ press statement. Station 40 has also “hosted and/or organized hundreds of anticapitalist-oriented events, including fund-raiser, critical discussions, film screenings and performances, assemblies, book releases, art shows and workshops, and indie media projects, contributing to the rebel spirit of the Bay Area.”

Gosh, we’re sorry to hear about the end of your anti-police/anti-capitalist “anarchist, queer and transgender” scene, hipsters.

Maybe you can organize for social justice in Mom’s basement.



54 Responses to “‘Peak Hipster’ in San Francisco”

  1. Regular Right Guy
    March 30th, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

    Dang, Stacy. You use half the words and give us eloquence to boot. Thank you so much. PS — Notice the protestor with the $20,000 Gucci alligator handbag?

  2. ChandlersGhost
    March 30th, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

    They should all be relocated to Victorville.

  3. Regular Right Guy
    March 30th, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

    … or Needles.

  4. Jerry
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:14 pm

    So, let me get this straight, because this a problem in NYC too, when life long residents of minority communities are pushed out of their homes to make way for middle class whites who will pay more rent the people being pushed out are “moochers”? Can’t argue with that logic! And of course there is nothing wrong with that and the laws of supply and demand are immutable holy writ from God. It’s clear that the left needs to really take the culture war to economics and away from the already won fights over gay marriage and abortion.

  5. badanov
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:21 pm

    And of course there is nothing wrong with that and the laws of supply and demand are immutable holy writ from God

    And laws which seek to counter supply and demand are holy writ, as well, right?

  6. Kirby McCain
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:22 pm

    Gentrification helps deadbeats poor by getting them out of substandard housing.

  7. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:26 pm

    The enemy of affordable housing is land use regulation advanced by progressives. Such regulations take the form of architectural rules to “preserve the character” of a neighborhood, environmental rules to promote “sustainability, and zoning rules to prohibit high density, lower cost housing options. In other words, it is the government intervention in the free market which causes the escalating cost of housing.

    Berkeley, California is notorious for such regulations. Elderly people who’ve lived there all their lives are suddenly told to make tens of thousands of dollars of improvements to their home or have it condemned. Thus they’re forced to sell and their property is purchased by some rich Silicon Valley exec, while proposed developments of tract homes are delayed indefinitely because they’re “out of character.”

    The protesters have a point, but the object of their scorn is misplaced. They need to be showing up with torches and pitchforks at the city counsel meetings demanding sanity in land use regulation.

  8. Gentrification Is The Latest Outrage | The Lonely Conservative
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:27 pm

    […] to buy properties in their formerly distressed neighborhood and they could be cashing in now, too. But that’s not what social justice activists are all about. They prefer to make a big stink and mooch off of […]

  9. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:31 pm

    See my comment below. The problem is city counsels preventing private developers from creating affordable developments. It happens everywhere in cities and communities controlled by progressives. Where you have freer use of land, the supply of it goes up which lowers the cost for the end consumer. Yet, progressives restrict the supply and artificially raise the cost of housing by enacting myriads of land use regulations which have little or anything to do with health or safety of consumers. They have to do with aesthetics, and they facilitate the gentrification you despise. It is by design in order to increase the value of the real estate held by the elite.

  10. Daniel Freeman
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:31 pm

    It’s clear that the left needs to really take the culture war to economics

    That is a silly thing to say on its face, since economics has some logical principles that are not subject to cultural interpretation. One of those is that an opportunity cost is a real cost, so denying a property owner the opportunity to rent to someone else for more money is the same as taking the difference from them.

    The tenants of Station 40 are effectively trying to take money from their landlords. Therefore, yes, they are moochers.

  11. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    I would suggest you go online and see what it takes to develop high density low cost housing in San Francisco versus what it costs in Kansas City. The difference is extraordinary and it is based primarily on the cost of development necessitated by regulations enacted by the San Francisco board of supervisors. There’s a reason my house in the Midwest would cost five times as much west of the Sierra Nevada. You don’t need rent control or subsidies. You need free use of land and the cost goes down.

  12. ChandlersGhost
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    …or Weed.

  13. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:40 pm

    Maybe the “Rent is Too Damn High” to drive out scum like this? Because Dems love to fight causes but always revert to NIMBY in the end.

  14. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

    or about 300 nautical miles west of Santa Catalina.

  15. Jerry
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

    He uses the residents of Station 40 as an example because they’re easy for the right to depict with contempt and as “moochers”(a stupid and ugly term to apply to disabled people and with shades of Weimar Germany),even though most people that live in these areas, especially in NYC are long time residents, and do indeed work, but are now being forced out due to rapidly rising, and obscene rent costs. It’s amazing how displacing people is morally acceptable to the right because of supply and demand even though there are huge costs in human suffering in each of these transactions.

  16. M. Thompson
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

    San Clemente. For 5″ practice.

  17. M. Thompson
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

    That would require real thought.

  18. Daniel Freeman
    March 30th, 2015 @ 8:50 pm

    The Portland metro area is kind of going in both directions. The “urban growth boundary” does drive costs up, but with the goal of protecting some of the best farmland in the world; and density is generally encouraged, even to the point of “mixed-use” developments (with apartments above stores) and MUDs without sufficient parking. It’s also at the forefront of the “tiny house” movement.

    But that’s Oregon. It’s commonly perceived as liberal, but that doesn’t match all of the facts on the ground, and its mixed set of liberal and conservative values has produced unique results.

  19. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

    You continue to act as though the rise in rent is occurring in a vacuum. It most definitely is not. Invariably, such a rise can be traced to NIMBYism practiced by city councils and/or boards of alderman. I’ve seen it a thousand times in my job. Propose a high density low cost housing development in a nice area of town and the rich, progressive elites appear en masse to oppose it. The city fathers go along and those city fathers are invariably Democrats and progressives. They don’t want poor people brushing past them in their sidewalk cafes while they drink their lattes.

  20. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:08 pm

    Certainly, there are countervailing trends in some places. I would also note, part of the problem in Cali is the absence of sufficient water resources to support all the people who want to live there. Some environmental regulations are necessary because the infrastructure cannot support the demand. That means supply has to be restricted. This increases the cost, of course.

  21. RosalindJ
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:11 pm

    “..organized hundreds of anticapitalist-oriented events..

    While (no doubt) advocating for more of the OPM that capitalism makes possible.

    Do these people even listen to themselves? Buckets of eels, I tell you. Buckets.

  22. robertstacymccain
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

    “… life long residents of minority communities are pushed out of their homes to make way for middle class whites who will pay more rent …”

    Do you see what you did there? A rental property is not owned by the tenant. To call a rental property “their homes” is to attribute ownership to the tenant. As for particular neighborhoods being “minority communities,” you will find certain neighborhoods in New York that are now predominantly Dominican that were previously mostly African-American and before that mostly Jewish, and before that Irish, and before that German, and so on back until the natives sold it to the Dutch for $24 worth of beads. Are demographic changes in a community wrong, simply because whites are moving in and blacks are being displaced? But what happens when Mexicans displace whites, as has happened in many communities in the past 20 years? Isn’t that the same thing? And if not, why not?

  23. ChandlersGhost
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:26 pm

    “[S]hades of Weimar Germany…”

    That’s all I needed to read.

  24. RS
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:30 pm

    Classic Progressive argumentation: Assume a starting point–in this case, “long time residents”–which is artificial and ignores salient facts.

    Some years back, I had someone tell me that it wasn’t fair that he had to buy something from my business, because “you’ve got the business; I’m at a disadvantage.” In other words, he acted as if I just woke up one day and found a business under my pillow.

    Same thing with “Jerry.” Ignore salient questions; beg salient questions. Only then can you ostensibly seize the moral high ground.

  25. ChandlersGhost
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

    To add to this, what about the situation that we have in L.A. where Mexicans are displacing blacks, often violently?

    Personally, I’d rather have to find new digs than get firebombed. Jerry wanna cracker?

  26. tricknologist
    March 30th, 2015 @ 9:58 pm

    The anti-gentrification crowd has no problem with State sponsored block busting which has the same effect.

    In fact, block busting has people leaving like war refugees, abandoning houses that have been in the family for generations.

  27. Daniel Freeman
    March 30th, 2015 @ 10:37 pm

    I am not familiar with this “block busting” of which you speak, which probably just makes your point.

  28. CruisingTroll
    March 30th, 2015 @ 11:08 pm

    heyyyyyyy, don’t be baggin’ on Weed.

  29. CruisingTroll
    March 30th, 2015 @ 11:10 pm

    I would also note, part of the problem in Cali is the absence of sufficient water resources to support all the people who want to live there.

    Not exactly correct. The problem in Cali is the absence of sufficient water resources to support all the people who want to farm there. Agriculture uses 90% of their water.

  30. CruisingTroll
    March 31st, 2015 @ 12:12 am

    To call a rental property “their homes” is to attribute ownership to the tenant.

    No, it isn’t. A home is NOT a piece of real estate. Home is something else entirely. That specific word was likely chosen because a home is more than a house, it is more than an apartment/condo/flat/pad/etc. Your home is where you’re rooted. Most children have a home, but they don’t own it. When you say “I’m going home”, it doesn’t matter whether you own the property or not, it’s still home.

    These folks ARE being pushed out of their homes. I’m not saying they have any right to stay in them beyond whatever contractual arrangement they have with the owners, they don’t.

  31. Rob Crawford
    March 31st, 2015 @ 6:00 am

    These clowns are “disabled” only in the sense they’ve rendered themselves retarded via drugs and Marxism.

  32. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 6:14 am

    Well, that’s a distinction without a difference. Farming in the central valley is not exactly a new phenomenon. It preexisted the influx of large numbers of non-agricultural residents.

  33. texlovera
    March 31st, 2015 @ 6:36 am

    You can make your home anywhere.

  34. texlovera
    March 31st, 2015 @ 6:37 am

    Why don’t they just get their deep-pocket SJW buddies to buy them the property?

  35. Quartermaster
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:06 am

    “Mooch” is not the proper term. they are thieves and they use government to handle to enforcement for them. Leftist government is simply a criminal enterprise.

  36. Quartermaster
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:09 am

    They attempt to steal the moral high ground. They’re not able to take it honestly.

  37. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:08 am

    They’re not being ”displaced” they’re being outbid.

  38. wbkrebs
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:32 am

    “Affordable housing” = “Our last round of activism f***ed up the housing market”

  39. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:02 am

    See, e.g. the Kelo case and its progeny. Private, well-heeled and connected developer casts his/her eye upon an area, usually residences with long time owners, and has the government declare it “blighted.” The property is taken via condemnation and sold to the developer for use as something else, whether commercial or upscale new residential.

  40. JohnnyL53
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:08 am

    “…when life long residents of minority communities are pushed out of their homes to make way for middle class whites…”

    Actually it’s when the former class of residents want to move back into what was once their community. It’s a continual change. Middle class to low class back to middle. It’s an ebb and flow that New York City neighborhoods have experienced many times over the last 300 years.

  41. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:34 am

    “Jerry’s” understanding of economics is typically progressive, wherein everything is and must be imposed by some omnipotent human agency. The “laws” of supply and demand are merely observations about human behavior in world where finite stuff exists to meet infinite wants. Jerry and his ilk can try to screw with it all they want, but they’ll never change it. And using terms like “fairness” –an ambiguous moral concept–to describe an amoral process is imbecilic in the extreme.

  42. Squid Hunt
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:39 am

    When I lived in Brattleboro, VT, I was often exposed to conversations where these 50 year old homeless people that hadn’t worked in 20 years would claim it wasn’t fair these buildings were sitting empty when they needed someplace to live. SOMEBODY should do something.

  43. Finrod Felagund
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:42 am

    This reminds me strongly of a famous scene from _Labyrinth_:

    Sarah: That’s not fair!

    Jareth: You say that so often, I wonder what your basis for comparison is?

  44. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:50 am

    See, e.g. this article from The Atlantic from a few years back. It supports the assertions I’ve made in these comments about land use regulations and cost of housing. Obviously, The Atlantic is not a right wing tabloid.

  45. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:22 am

    That distance is so they don’t wash up again on the beach

  46. Regular Right Guy
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    Why mess around? Saskatchewan.

  47. arcadius
    March 31st, 2015 @ 3:48 pm

    It’s ok if it’s white communities, though right?

  48. arcadius
    March 31st, 2015 @ 3:52 pm

    Are there really “huge costs” in moving from an apartment in an expensive part of town to one in a part of town you can afford to live in? Do you think you’re being a little hysterical?

  49. arcadius
    March 31st, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

    Ah, but free use of land doubtless endangers some species of turtle, so we can’t allow that either.

  50. arcadius
    March 31st, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    Plus almost all of these new wealthy white residents in SF are probably Democrats.

    But the response is always, “No, Republicans did it.”