San Francisco

California Dreamin'

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“I just took [my son] to our local Walgreens to buy him a toy. While there, a man shoved past me so firmly that he sent me into the shelving. Then he proceeded to fill a brown paper bag with Halloween candy and waltzed out of the store. This is one of five Walgreens stores in SF that will be closing in the next two months, in part because of rampant theft. And our city leaders all keep insisting crime is down.”

San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, by Michael Shellenberger  read more »

Meet me in St. Louis: When One Golden Gate Closes, Another May Open

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Sacramento politicians and the urban growth lobby they so diligently serve have created a narrative that there is something very wrong with living in (or wanting to live in) a single-family neighborhood. Single-family neighborhoods are -- so the narrative goes -- “racist,” “immoral,” and “evil.”  read more »

The Anecdotal "Buyback" Effect

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I spend entirely too much time listening to experts in business, government, and academia explain the economy in general and the property market in particular. Looking back, very few people who are purported to know how the economy works, based on empirical evidence, have successfully predicted the wild spikes and crashes over the years.  read more »

Exposure Density, Overcrowding and COVID Death Rates: Update

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In their new book, Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler characterize COVID and related issues as an “existential threat to the urban world, because the human proximity that enables contagion is the defining characteristic of the city” (see our review, Survival of the City: The Need to Reopen the Metropolitan Frontier (Review).  read more »

Gavin Newsom Won His Recall. What's Next for California?

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What started as a lark, then became an impossible dream—a conservative resurgence, starting in California—ended, like many past efforts, in electoral defeat.  read more »

San Francisco Muni's Difficult Choice

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The city of San Francisco provides additional evidence illustrating the hollowing out of downtown areas from the pandemic and policy responses. The city did a remarkable job in keeping its death rate low, despite its density.  read more »

Teach That Man Some Geography

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Paul Krugman needs to learn some geography. Last week, he wrote, “there’s no more room for housing” in California unless they build up. After all, he notes, “San Francisco is on a peninsula, Los Angeles is ringed by mountains.”  read more »

The One Element Missing from the Discussion of Housing in CA: Tolerance

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In California we pride ourselves on being very tolerant of a diverse array of lifestyles and lifestyle choices. Dress how it suits you; love whom you love; define yourself in accordance with your own preferences. Do your own thing. Sing your own song. Dance your own dance. The Californian thing is to live and let live.  read more »

Company Headquarters Leaving California in Unprecedented Numbers

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For the first six months of 2021, the number of companies relocating their headquarters out of California is running at twice the rate of recent years and is showing no signs of slowing, according to a study issued today by Spectrum Location Solutions and the Hoover Institution.

The research provides the most detailed and comprehensive data on relocations of California business headquarters from 2018 to the first half of 2021, documenting that departures during the first half of this year are double the rate for each of the three previous years.  read more »

The Battle for Cities

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America’s cities face an existential crisis that threatens their future status as centers of culture, politics, and the economy. Many urban advocates continue to delude themselves that U.S. cities are about to experience a massive post-pandemic return to “normal.” But the disruptive technological, demographic, and social changes of recent times are more likely to upend the old geographic hierarchy than to revive it.  read more »