Why shouldn’t someone be free to rent out their apartment or house on a temporary basis? From Fergus Hodgson at theepochtimes.com:
The city’s absurd fines, crackdowns show hostility for thrift
The most ingenious arbiter of resource allocation is under attack around the globe: market pricing. In the cross hairs stands the peer-to-peer economy, which circumvents price controls, favoritism, and central planning.
The intermediary platforms—Airbnb, Uber, Kickstarter, Turo, etc.—have enabled a flowering of mutually beneficial exchange. The beauty of these decentralized networks is surpassed only by the economic value they bring to users.
The success of these intermediaries lies in their capacity to send out price signals and allow the invisible hand of the free market to work. Where there is pent-up supply or demand, these applications make that known. The harmonious response is for new participants to enter the market, either as providers or consumers, and for untapped resources to be utilized.
If you fund the homeless they will come, a lesson San Francisco already knows and which will soon be reinforced. From Mike Mish Shedlock at moneymaven.io:
Companies with more than $50 million in gross annual receipts will now be taxed on any gross annual receipt revenue in San Francisco. The city already has a gross receipts tax, which is usually calculated by taking a company’s global revenue and multiplying it by an “apportionment percentage,” which is based on their business category.
The tax code is complex and will not hit corporations equally.
Salesforce, the largest employer in San Francisco, would pay around $10 million per year, according to estimates, while Square, which is one-third the size of Salesforce, would pay more.
Homelessness in San Francisco
Image from the San Francisco Chronicle article Situation On the Streets.
The article notes that the overall homeless population in San Francisco has fallen from 8,640 in 2004 to 7,499 in 2017. Yes, but at enormous expense. Since 2004, San Francisco has doubled the money it spends on homelessness, to more than $300 million.
And the result feels worse. Why?
- Tents:The proliferation of tents all over the city, in places where before there were mostly just blankets and tarp lean-tos, has been perhaps the biggest driver. The Occupy protest movement that flared in 2011 and died out in 2012 infused hundreds of tents onto the streets, and kindhearted residents followed by raising donations to buy even more.
- Gentrification:As the city’s tech-driven economy exploded, traditional homeless hangouts in places like central SoMa or around the Transbay Terminal were revitalized. Unable to blend in so easily, the homeless migrated elsewhere, causing fresh alarm to those unused to seeing camps.
- Panhandlers: As many as 50 percent of them, by some estimates, are formerly homeless people who now live inside but are so dysfunctional they revert to the one moneymaking technique they’ve always known. They look homeless, but they’re not.
The proposal is so stupid that even the mayor London Breed opposed Prop C.
Funding for homeless services has “increased dramatically in recent years with no discernible improvement in conditions,” she said in a statement. “Before we double the tax bill overnight, San Franciscans deserve accountability for the money they are already paying.”
If you want more of something, subsidize it. Reported homelessness is down slightly, but tents are up, panhandlers are up, and problems are up.
Throw enough money at the problem and people will move in from all over the county.
San Francisco is begging for more problems, and it will get them.
Quickly rising homelessness in the “glamour” cities on the cost demonstrates the gap between those who can afford these metropolises and everyone else. From Michael Snyder at endoftheamericandream.com:
The homelessness crisis in the United States is getting a lot worse, and it is happening at a pace that is absolutely frightening. Did you realize that more than half a million Americans are homeless right now? One out of every four homeless Americans actually has a job, but thanks to rapidly rising housing prices they are not able to afford a place to live. So every night in this country, hundreds of thousands of people are sleeping in shelters, in their vehicles or on the streets. It is a national crisis that isn’t going away, and during the next economic downturn it is only going to intensify.