Here it is:
The Biggest Problem With San Francisco’s Rent Crisis – The Suburbs, by Henry Grabar
This is in Slate, so it can’t be ignored, right? Read along with me, by the numbers.
1. “Crisis.” Well, our current sitch of high inflation of rents and property values is a crisis for some, but not for all. What if certain people, certain industries actually approve of this “crisis,” what then? Of course most renters in town pay slightly to substantially less than a market rate rent because most have the benefits of rent control. Is the author aware of this? We’ll see.
2. Photo. This one – I’ve seen it before. Since we’re toning down the words in Slate, let’s take the time to do the same to Slate’s illustrative photo illustrations. Here’s my stab at how things really looked in this part of Frisco, the ‘burbs of Frisco, if you will. Note the lack of nuclear yellow trees:
3. San Francisco “doesn’t deserve to be the poster child for inaction in the face of inequality?” Uh, why not? (One suspects author Hank has been talking with too many local urbanists.) Why doesn’t SF build more housing if it wants more housing? That’s what I’d ask myself before demanding other towns and counties to “do more.”
4. “The biggest problem with housing in San Francisco isn’t actually in San Francisco.” There’s your SlatePitch, there’s your everything-you-know-is-wrong. I’m not seeing any possibility of this article being useful at all. But let’s continue.
5. “‘The smaller communities, in my opinion, need to step up, and I don’t see that happening,’ San Francisco planning director John Rahaim says.” This sounds like a another pitch for regional government. I’ll agree – I too don’t see that happening. This is a big non-starter.
6. Prop 13. Yep. But are you going to get rid of Prop 13? IDTS. Hey, we’re halfway through.
8. “For municipalities, Rentschler said, the offer is simple: Build more housing, get more money.” So this is the point – a promised $1.5 billion per year for transit from the MTC? I’m not seeing this as a game-changer.
9. “Naturally, some conservatives see Plan Bay Area as part of the broader, Soviet-style plot to urbanize America.” Whoah! Uh, the people who are against all that this Slate bit endorses mostly voted for Obama – they’re mostly big “D” Democrats, right? (This could be confusing to Slate’s readers, non?)
10. “Agenda 21?” Man, poll Bay Areans about “Agenda 21″ and less than 5% would have any idea what it means, just saying.
11. “Writing in National Review, Kurtz warned AFFH would ‘urbanize suburbs and Manhattanize cities.’” Uh, Dude, didn’t you have the same person making the very same point two just grafs above? Get me Rewrite!
12. “But a modern-day building boom in the inner suburbs wouldn’t repeat those mistakes—it would correct them. This time, it would do a city like San Francisco good.” Huh, so that’s it, huh?
Well, I don’t see a modern-day building boom happening anytime soon in Frisco’s “inner suburbs,” so I guess that’s that. We’re talking Pie In The Sky here. JMO
And sorry, Newcomers. Everything’s stacked against you here in the 415.
Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who’s in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that’s good enough for me