All right, imagine you are in charge of running the paid admissions program at San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. (Now, I’m going to make things hard on you by picking December 8th, 2010 to run this exercise, so brace yourself.)
Of course, you can only charge people who can’t prove they live in San Francisco and you have two gates to worry about so it’s tough. Your Main Gate got six paid visitors on Dec 8th so you took in $42 at $7 per. And the Friend Gate (that was dude’s last name, but apparently RPD will take your name off of whatever they used your money to fund after you die (like Strybing Arboretum, the former name of the whole joint)), aka North Gate, well, three teens came in that day so that’s $15 at $5 per head.
Your gross for the day is $57. The question is how much should you pay the two ticket seller/SF resident ID checkers in your employ to make the program to charge admission to non-residents sustainable?
Maybe one dollar per hour? Check it:
Well actually, the non-unionized toll-booth collectors make $11 an hour (since the minimum is $9.92, no benefits of course) so that the Arboretum can make enough scratch to fund three (3) unionized gardeners who make a lot more and, of course, get benefits.
Here are all the deets that I have about the paid admissions program:
Click to expand.
Now, what about San Francisco residents? How is that boycott coming along? Well, you make the call:
Hey, what if we charged everybody, residents and non-residents alike, money to get in? Wouldn’t that cut down on visitors even more?
Well, sure. Its all has to do with the elasticity of demand – how many people will just forget about the arbo (as I’ve already done) when they start having to pay.
Keep in mind that you taxpayers are still giving a ton of money each year to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Maybe they should just go private? You know, could just raise money to buy the land and then the new owners could run the place as they see fit? Why not? It would save San Franciscans a lot of money every year, right?
Now, Supervisor John Avalos has a solution to all this – he has an idea to take down the pay gates.
We should all listen to him.
But guess what, the Arbo is working on newer, betterer toll gates to replace the temporary boxes on wheels they use now.
This should be quite a fight…