Left Coast Media

North Bae 021 - Inequality in the Crown Jewel of Global Capitalism

October 29, 2018 Left Coast Media Episode 21
Left Coast Media
North Bae 021 - Inequality in the Crown Jewel of Global Capitalism
Show Notes Transcript

For something a little different, comrade Tiberius recently recorded a talk given by Geographer Richard Walker of UC Berkeley as part of his speaking tour for his latest book, Pictures of a Gone City, about the stunning growth of wealth and the concomitant explosion of inequality in the Greater Bay Area, a region infamous as perhaps the beating heart and crown jewel of modern global capitalism. The audience for this talk was a left liberal/progressive crowd, however both the talk and the book are well worth paying attention to for those of us on the socialist left.

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Speaker 1:

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Speaker 2:

tonight. We have also this event is sponsored by the North Bay jobs with justice and the Greenbelt Alliance, uh, Richard Walker, that Professor Walker is him as a professor to some geography or the University of California Berkeley, where he thought from 1974 from 1975 to 2012. He has written extensively on California including the conquest of breath, the country in the city and the atlas of California. Professor Walker nosebleeds. His time between Berkeley and don't tell them

Speaker 3:

just sounds so related to sustaining complacent

Speaker 4:

Copperfield's for inviting me to be up here all his life coming up here. And so I'm going to tell you about this book or what it is to begin with, why write a book about the bay area? Well, I live here and I know it really well. So of course that was the easiest thing I could do. But more importantly, people here and people elsewhere simply don't realize that this is just about the most important city in the world at this time. It is the, it is the guide and the crown of global economy, of global capitalism. And we should be aware of it. Also important. And you're talking about one place, uh, for two reasons. One, is it two or three reasons. One is it, it's, it's particular, as I just said it, it's very specific. It has features no other place has. And it's good that we understand that at the same time it shares a lot of commonalities. So, uh, with other places. So a lot of the problems in America today and around the world are we find in condensed form here, but by running about one place because you're all got trump fatigue like inequality, fatigue and all the things you now that are wrong with the world. But if I give you a book that speaks to you and your friends and your place, I think it really helps people concretize the problems we have and so that people can move conduced something and feel there's something can be done. Um, it's also a very important to write about the bay area because there's way too many books about San Francisco. There's even a handful about Berkeley, Oakland, silicon valley, but there's very little on the, there is a whole. And I've taken his mind mission as a geographer to drive that home. How much we are interrelated, how much you here in the North Bay in Sonoma are not a world apart. Your deeply integrated with the rest of the bay area. And that helps explain part of what's going on here, that you feel the changes here are linked to the broader changes of this metropolitan region. Now this metropolitan region, let me start, the book does four things. It starts, although officially it has three parts, I'm going to say it does fourth and it starts with growth and the tech industry as a motor, but not the only motor of growth, the fabulous growth of this region. The second thing it does is look at inequality and class a and the constitution of class and who's got what and what do they look like. And so that's chapter three and four. Then in the middle section, I look at the transformation of the city, of the urban area and all use the word cd. By the way, when I say city or urban area, I'm in the metropolis. I don't mean San Francisco, contrary to their opinion. It's good to kind of places other than San Francisco. So a now. So that's the middle part of the book is kind of the geography, the transformation of the whole region. And then the last part of the book, I pick up on three major topics, um, and kind of eclectic, but it's about three major challenges for the future. And the first one, our environmental challenges, which I think will be of interest to you all. Another one is about living in tech world world that the text boys have made and all the problems it's raised. And finally politics, the bay area's political legacy and current condition. Now I can't do all that in because I wanted to keep this talk to maybe half hour because I know this is a pretty well informed audience with some activists folks and I think you're going to want to shoot questions at me so I try and keep my talk a half hour here. And so what I will do is I start, I will talk with the growth and the inequality and then I will talk about the urban transformations and then as time allows, I want to talk about some of the environmental challenges and we can go from there anywhere you want afterwards. Okay. So the basic facts that's driving this place and its development and its problems is unbelievable. A growth spurt that we've had in the 2010, no place on earth is growing faster than rehab and our GDP of the twelfth candidate area and went from$550,000,000,000 to almost$800, billion dollars. That's like almost a 50 percent or 40 percent increase in GDP. It's phenomenal. Please help me out here when you say we, who is we? We have group saying the 12 county metropolitan area as defined by the census and there's a whole part in check yourself and about the problems of definition of the Bayer because it's not obvious that San Joaquin County should be in the better. It is not. It's obvious to people who live in the North Bay that you're all part of the bay area. And I do talk about the problems with definition and we shouldn't just immediately accept my definition that those are open questions actually about how integrating these places up. How integrated is Santa Rosa with cloverdale? Leaving wears brown bears are problems. Um, so standing growth in GDP per person here is higher than any place in the world. Um, so, and we had, you know, the US economy are crowing because we now have for employment. We've had full employment for several years now because this place, the growth was so steep and the uptake of workers was so fast. We've actually, I taught tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of new people coming into the region for the jobs which is added two questions, housing problems and so on. So that's the basic fact. Some of it, about 10 percent of that is due to the tech from tech growth, uh, but it's the major engine. But the bay area has an amazing array of industries are profoundly, uh, it has a very thick layer of professionals and highly educated people and it's a very, uh, skilled workforce and all that. And then all these companies that goes into a very diverse and dynamic economy, very innovative. We are basically California that these data don't exist at the bay area level. But uh, the three highest patent, uh, leaders in patents in the world or the US, Germany and California. And of course the bay area's generates duct twice and patents is la. So this is one of the most innovative places in the world as people say, so some of it's reputation is clearly deserved as a kind of the shooting star of the world economy. But cars, my challenge and challenge all of us is to understand what's gone wrong, that that's not good enough. That's the kind of business press view or the various accounts of view. Everything's Hunky Dory because there's a lot of growth that a lot of jobs without looking and people are average income was high without looking at all the dark side. And my subtitle is the dark side of prosperity in the tech. Okay. So with that growth has come so fast that puts an enormous pressure on everything. Pressure on housing, pressure on transportation, pressure on everyday law, which I will elaborate here. That's the way capitalism works. And when it's successful you get the pressure cooker, but it's not successful. You get desperation. And after the pressure cooker, when they went to blows and the little steam valve goes off, then you got to recession, which we're headed for a in pretty much all the pundits say next year. So, um. Okay, so the next thing I want to talk about is the inequality, because this place is unbelievably rich. It is probably the richest city, urban area or place on earth, large scale flint. It's not enough to save marina's rich. The whole bay is rich. Our per capita incomes$100,000 a year, which is higher than any city, any place in the world that's average being medium. That is half the people who are above half people below. That's a lot of people about$100,000 a year. It's crazy are, but it's not just that we generated norris inequality and we're encouraged about inequality and it's kind of an abstract thing, but here we are actually. We're supposed to be so virtuous and innovative and we have all our wonderful professionals that are techies and we're good people were liberal and all that, but actually we're one of the lead in generators of inequality in the world because the tech industry and certain other sectors are producing these kind of volcanic eruptions. A surplus of wealth, and so the. We ended up with most billionaires per capita in the world with a possible exception of Hong Kong, although international data is hard to compare, but definitely in the US, a New York has more billionaires. It's the only place in the Americas. It has more billionaires. Per capita of course were a third the size of New York. We're eight and a half million. New York is 25 million or so. Okay. So that's a lot of billionaires. If you look at the Forbes 400, that's how I did it. You know, we out of$450, that's not quite proportionate is also there, but there are other majors. There's measures of the top five percent. There's I show that in my book or the top one percent measures of millionaires and so on. How we lead in all of those and our Gini Coefficient, which is this very academic major in income inequality is the same as Guatemalans. So that kind of gives you pause. Now actually a nasty cheap labor economy like Houston or South Africa. So our inequality is mostly critically that the top and our tech companies of course play a big role in this because they are monopolies monopolies essentially now google and facebook, they dominate their sectors so completely, they make unbelievable amounts of money. They have so much money, they don't even know what to do with an apple. Literally us$200,000,000,000 in cash reserves that the tech companies, including our tech companies, Google and apple and facebook lead the way in money stashed in offshore bank accounts. It's about 500 billion just for those companies. So that's where our tech leading tech companies. So, and then money comes pouring into those moments because I'm an despite what trump or others may say about the world economy, it's actually done pretty crappy. Uh, the great recession of course was a disaster in the US and in Europe and in much of the world actually. And the recovery has been really lousy. I mean, they all go, oh, this is the longest recovery in history. Yeah. That's because we weren't in such a deep hole and we've grown so slowly that it's taken a long time. Have a great week, depression, the country recovered fully and nine years before World War Two broke out and this one we're still going how many years? Ten years later, and we got wages haven't budged and so on. So there's a lot of problems. Anyway. The crappy growth means that there's a lot of capital out there because the rich are so wealthy and d tax, they have all this money. They don't know what to do. Right? So they invested in tech companies, they invested in real estate investment trusts that come into the bay area and buy up apartment buildings and office building, so on, and there's just oodles of money coming in here. Bloating up the stock values. How come apple is the most valuable corporation in the world? The first trillion dollar corporation? Is that because they're so virtuous? Is it because they have good profits or is it also because there's so much money out there that doesn't know what to do is what investment and you all probably know about. The tech companies have just searched to the top of the world corporate scales. Well, why is it because of all this loose money, so our, our, our riches are not entirely our doing it. That's my point. They're also of course an entirely the doing the people on the top because they are still very good at exploiting law. That's an old idea, but it's still true apple app now where? Where on your iphones? I got one where they made. They're made by Fox con in Shenzhen in Guang Jo, a Guangdong province in southern China and remember all those workers jumping out of their dormitories. They had to put net up. Those were apple assembly workers, so a massive cheap labor internationally that even locally and that's what's kind of interesting. Now you may say, well techies or really well paid, yeah, they are well paid, but let me assure you, they don't all make a quarter million bucks like facebook claim. Partly there's lots of coders and so on. Low level covers or don't make a lot of money and the self exploitation and the are they internal exploitation. All of those beautiful workplaces where beer and games and even child care and all these good things. Why is that so you won't leave, so you'll work 10 hours, 12 hours, you'll sleep under your desk, which is what they do, but I don't want to feel too sorry about the techies. What I really want to talk about is the ordinary working class because we had this extremely well off the top 20 percent, the professional technical managerial workers. People like me, I'm in there and I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I'm what's known I think as a class renegade, but it ain't right. I'm not talking about those and I want to talk about the lower 80 percent and here as everywhere. Some of them do. Okay, okay. Because our average wages are high, but you know, everybody isn't above average. Everybody isn't even every, you know, 50 percent or more below average. Now what are they getting? Quarter of our workers make minimum wage. A third of our workers make barely lovingly given our cost of living and our middle sort of working middle class has shrunk over the last 30 years just like everywhere else in the US. So, so much for our one goal. Then kind of opportunity structure that's supposed to produce this really wonderful equality, reproducing inequality like and the capitalist, you know, they just don't seem to be able to do without a low wage minimum wage workers. The rebuilding of Santa Rosa who's up there you go. Look, it's all Mexicans. We were just up there today. Fountain, the Fountain Grove a and a mineral. All the roofers, but also the ditch diggers. They're all Mexican guys and a bunch of her career. Clearly Day labor, probably undocumented consultant. Those really cheap comparatively really cheap. So these are the people doing the work. And what's interesting about this new working class of the bay area, California in general is it's vast majority people of Color, immigrants, immigrant children, African Americans, some native Americans was all. And it's not just Latinos, Asians, there's people knew people from Africa, there's people from all immigrants and their children, as you know, are the majority of California. They have the majority of the working people and in the bay area it's probably about three to 2:30. So the whole nature of inequality is shift. I should also add that amongst the low wage work for us, it is heavily single mothers, they're really low wage, lots and lots of women trying to raise children and trying to do it on one crappy salary or two crappy salaries or whatever. So there's a whole lot of old fashioned explication. Jolene facebook does. It's really nice trick where they say our average salary is$250,000. How do they do that? Well, one of the ways is a subcontract. All the crappy work, all the low wage work down in silicon valley is subcontracts. Gardeners, cleaners, uh, food, uh, providers, everybody who does all the ordinary labor, that keeps a whole operation going. Absolutely essential. I don't think it's not an essential has custody or not pavement. So it's like that all know you get on a day without a Mexican. Well, the bay area is like that every day. So that this, this is the kind of state of the economy and a culture. Now I want to talk about that gesture opening sketch, but I do want to talk about urban change because these conditions are critical to what we see going around us every day in our local geography and and this is repeated over and over and around the bay. There's a couple of really important things going on. One is their conquest of a desirable spaces. Often Sarah, certainly silicon valley, San Francisco, the west pain, massive gentrification, and that's the word, a popular word for it, but what it is is a kind of conquest of space by that upper 20 percent or have all the money and the working people can't afford to live here and not in San Francisco, not in Silicon Valley, so they're getting pushed out rather dramatically. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in the bay area out. They'll, they'll move to Oakland or hayward or from Oakland. They end up moving into antioch and Pittsburgh and Stockton. The Old African American communities about Cisco have shrunk like this. San Francisco has a few as African Americans of any big city in the US, Oakland, or choose to about 44 percent down to less than 25 percent African American. And where are those people? Well, a lot of them either lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis or they simply can't afford to live there anymore and they've moved up to Antioch. Pittsburgh's stock and those are favorite, favorite destination number of other places. So the whole racial geography and class geography has kinda been upended. Turned over in ways as the upper classes run, charging into the central cities. So did even Oakland, which was like totally undesirable to white upper class people for years is now low. Very hip and cool. Now one of the reasons, well I'm going to Oakland and San Francisco is so transformed. People don't even recognize it. You know, it is a playground for the rich and the techies. It's restaurants and bar and it's super. He got a little money. It's even too much for me. I can't afford it. I wish I could because it's so cool. Restaurants and the bars that are ball bourbon, one bourbon and this wall is higher than this in glass cases. It's got to be 300 different kinds of urban, four or five doors down. Even Santa Rosa was going to be my point. I don't think you're missing much. It isn't. It isn't just San Francisco. You feel it here because Santa Rosa is kind of, you know, Santa Rosa, Petaluma. These areas of the north bend, which used to be kind of the outlier suburbs rapidly developing suburbs are now more and more urban and denser more people and more of these. Well to do west Sonoma is filthy. I mean filled with silicon valley, San Francisco. People with lots of money and I think I probably don't go in Sonoma geography enough to know where they all are, but they're here and they're changing things and you've got your Tequila bar next door in this rather humble mall who would have guessed that? You know, I mean it's very cool on one hand, but the problem is it's cool for those kind of Florida. It's like New York is a wonderful city if you can afford it, but most people can't, so that's the problem. We're getting to be like that increasingly and what's happening to those people that can't afford it or displaced and far out, which is the other side is process, which is growing sprawl. The berry just gets bigger and bigger. We talk a lot about density and height, you know the CD's going up, which we can argue about some more. I'm sure somebody will want to, but at the same time, you know it's not sonoma's no longer. The edge is the lake county, Mendocino County. It's way beyond. I mean I, I make the loose assertion in my book that's a 100 miles in every direction from San Francisco. There are people who live in the Sierra foothills who work in the bay area, construction workers, so big group. Either way to come in and live in their, their suv, their car, their truck for a week or three weeks while they work. Air People commuting from places like Modesto and beyond to silicon valley or even to San Francisco. We have the most long distance commutes have any metropolitan area in the world or in the country. Sorry, so that's from the US census and it's only gotten worse and we have a really crappy public transportation system. You guys had least built the smart train, which is a huge improvement in are kind of very innovative and I think brilliant idea, but even that, you know, stills one line in the middle of this very big area and Bart, we're so proud that we have our fourth at two, three years ago we passed a ballot issue for Barton, the central bay area for a billion dollars so they could upgrade their 50 year old equipment which rattles and squeaks and is completely, you know, going to hell because they're carrying no a full load all the time. Now she ain't never did la, which is supposed to be so backward. We're so progressive. Atlanta just passed$120 million dollar bond issue for their transit system and they're building light rail all over the place. They're building another subway line to the sea. I mean, la is completely transforming itself and they area, you know, hobbles along behind, um, so the bay area now not only is growing up here going south, it's in San Bernardino County all the way to hollister goes to Watsonville and Santa Cruz County and in the east, that's where the biggest development is inland and it's San Joaquin County has now been added by the census to the bay area and that's kind of uncertain. But so many people are commuting from Sacramento statistic I saw recently was it 20,000 people a month are moving from the bay area to Sacramento and commuting back to Sacramento. We're starting to merge with Sacramento and we're uh, certainly merging with stockton and there are people lay out. So we an inland empire to the bay area, which a lot of people are buried and a, I'm when la understand them. And then when the empire and to us it's kind of news and we liked it, believe only the bay area started ends at the hills or which yields now it's a Sierra Nevada. So, uh, you know, we have to pay us up in terms of planning, environmental struggles, installing and labor struggle. Are these things all extended in the central valley now and you know, it's huge penumbra and obviously the places only you know, isn't tightly integrated, but it isn't a great truck, traffic, commuting traffic and so on, communications. And so, um, so the urban area has really been vastly transformed. In fact, one of the things I've learned, but I lived in a long time in studying cities, is that cities are turned upside down once a generation. It's astounding how much cities change and I'm not sure people in the barrier having completely adapted to this. Um, you know, there's two parts. One part is the knack, you know, if you grow price has gone, you know, land values go up, transportation gets thicker. I'm against that. He gets more and heights go up. That's what the market landmark it does. And to some extent that's sort of normal and we have to adapt. In other words, Cupertino, I won't say anything about Santa Rosa because I don't want to step on toes, but I think it's the same cooper, Gina to people in Cupertino. I had a movement to stop a dance, massive to all on an old shopping mall, kind of like this place that's a model from apple and they said, oh, we can't have that. We're up. We're a city of single family home. No like you're not anymore. You live at the center. One of the great cities of the world in Silicon Valley for having seen and you can't claim to these old ideas. I'll come back to us. He saying, double going, I'll come back to you. So you do have to get. On the other hand, and this is my important point in the book, is that there's not just a normal growth. There's fast distortions due to the extraordinary expansion in a very short period. That puts a huge pressure, as I said, on everything and everybody and especially on the housing market, on the land prices. Then you add to the fact we're incredibly rich and then that richness is read. Those riches are incredibly concentrated in that top upper classes. The top 20 percent. Well guess what? Then the lower 80 percent 70, choose your percentage 75 percent to things that can't afford to live here. And the data is very clear. We have some of the highest, if not the highest housing prices in the country for a metropolitan area. San Francisco's rates are higher than Manhattan on average or London on average. Um, but the bay area is higher than New York Metro, La Metro, Boston, any of those and probably higher than London, the only ones in the world that are less. And then the other thing is, even though we're rich, okay, if you're rich, you expect prices to go up, right? You have more money. The problem is of course it's concentrated. And the other thing is, um, no because averages are, are very misleading because the question is, okay, given the average income can those people for the average house? And the answer is no. That in the boom periods like this, only the top 20 percent can afford the median priced house and a whole berry. I mean, that's how to San Joaquin County, that's Sonoma county. I'm a science with Solano county's not just San Francisco. San Francisco is more like five percent you can afford and rent of course, which is in San Francisco, but everyone that if you know the clients from the center, So San Francisco's a word that San Jose, Oakland are not far behind that all in the top five in the US and in unaffordability are in probably were at the top. You're only international cities comparable or Singapore, Hong Kong and Vancouver in terms of unaffordability. So it's not just high. Why is this now? Because I said I, I kind of wrap this up. The housing crisis. Why the standard analysis that you hear over and over again? Apparently there was a on a car for gay qed this morning. There was guys from the bay area council and he said, you know, the problem is we don't build a thousand. That's where housing prices in the standard analysis put out by economists, by think tanks by the California legislature because they got steady from Mckinsey and company. Um, by you know, economist at Berkeley by the newspapers, by the developers is housing prices gone up because you, you and you and you have gotten in the way. If you would just shut up and let us build. We went, we wouldn't have this problem. And they said, well, you know, it's the law of supply and demand. Well, wait a second, the law of supply and demand, it doesn't just have supply and yet they put all the blame and we have this human movement that started in San Francisco. The yes, in my backyard. It spread around the United States said, yeah, the problem is these oppositional groups like the mission district is causing all the problems. And, and it, it's crazy. It's so crazy. And so first of all, demand. What have I told you here? What are tell you them both. It's demand, demand, demand, demand, demand is out of hand. And only the top 200 percent can afford housing for them. There's no housing crisis for my kid, my daughter and her girlfriend, living line, little rental house. Because since I got divorced 20 years ago, I couldn't afford to buy a house even on a professor's salary. It's a little 1000 square foot house in west Berkeley. We're adding on the whole working class area. These were self build houses, a lot of them kid houses and they're living with me along with a giant dog. They can't pay the rent. They have jobs they're trying. They're good kids. They can't afford to live in the Berrien. So even the children of professionals can't afford to live there, let alone the working class, let alone African Americans and Latinos and so being in droves. Okay. And demand is a funny thing there. There's plenty of studies of housing market's going back to homer hoyt and Simon cruise nets. In the 19 thirties chart, housing market's always go like this, and during the boom you get bottled medical effects. You get squeezes that squeeze toothpaste, squeeze the prices even higher. So that's the dynamic on the demand side. What about the supply

Speaker 5:

side? Is it really so bad? When I looked at the data, surprised despite the fact that all the pundits say, oh, we're not building any housing. Actually we're building water, housing, look at their data for I could find it for Silicon Valley and for a San Francisco. Now there isn't any gate on building at the level of the bay area without adding up every county and I was too lazy to do that, but if anybody wants to do that, please do so. Those two areas are doing a SF metro actually, which includes the five intercounty and Silicon Valley. They're above average for us metropolitan area in terms of the amount of building going on since 2010 now it took a long time. Housing is very slow. It takes a long time. You've got to put the band together, got to get the financing and you've got your engineering study, you've got an architect, you got to get your contractor and in a boom when everybody wants those guys, it takes even longer as you all know, for rebuilding Santa Rosa. So it's slow. And these guys who said, Oh yeah, I don't have a supply problem is you and your. And you know, it's the way housing always work. It always liked about 2015. It really started taking off from the mayor and since then it's been booming mean. How do you explain on these cranes in San Francisco and Oakland and San Jose cranes everywhere. They're building housing. Thousands of units, mostly rental because nobody can afford a house anymore. So we come in above average. We're, we're doing better per capita than New York or Chicago. Yes. We build fewer than Miami and Houston, but half of the ones Houston built or third on her underwater. So that's no way to do so. On that note, I think I've used my time. We can talk about wildfires. I'd love to talk about wildfires and other challenges. Why don't I open it up to you since we have 20 minutes left. Okay. Thank you sir.

Speaker 6:

You mentioned you were going to talk a little bit about politics and being a former politician and one running for office now. I wanted to get your take on the metro kind of political governance if you will, is. Do you see that that in Sonoma county, in the north,

Speaker 5:

the question is what do you see in terms of the politics of Metropolitan Governance? Not much. MTC is like our one. We have to metropolitan. Well we got her hands with metropolitan level planning organizations. BCDC Bay Conservation Council does really well, but that's the bag. MTC which does our transportation money and goals at just loves highways and they are always a really skimping on buses and have highways and bart extensions and I didn't love Bart, but it's really expensive compared to buses and we don't fund buses enough. And in general we're just cheap. Um, we don't invest enough in infrastructure in California we haven't because we were a neo liberal state. Now we're all blue and we're very proud of ourselves that we forget that the last quarter of the 20th century were red read, read and we voted and Republicans and horrible propositions. And that was our politics for many, many years. So I don't see a lot. A bag just got swallowed, which is supposed to be our planning Oregon. It got swallowed by MTC. Fortunately, mtcs a new director apparently is better. Can See. Old woman was really terrible. I just don't see much. And this comes. This chicken really comes to roost on things like planning for a wildfire planning for sea level rise. The state is trying to impose things, carbon control. Um, to its credit we kind of now jumped to the state. We realized that metropolitan government, we tried to get that in the fifties. We tried to get it in 20, it never worked. So we're kind of forced to go to the state and California on certain issues like carbon have been ready, has been really good. Forced by bay area politicians, barrier representatives as well as southern California. I'm not real optimistic on that one thing. It's a real problem for us. It's partly why you and I and people in Cisco can't see beyond the bay or people in Oakland can't see beyond the hills and people in Sonoma can't see beyond Petaluma because you don't have anybody talking to you about. And if there's anything we learned from trump, if you have a leader talking about something like I hate immigrants, then suddenly all kinds of people are talking about it even if it's bullshit. But if it's valid, it'd be nice to have somebody another question. This or in the back. I just did. I just did. That's exactly what I say. It's a combination of excess demand and inequality and developers. There's housing being built, but it's all been built for the top 20 percent. Nobody's building for the middle income workers, let alone the poor. And the only time in American history when you had mass commercial building while you didn't really have mass commercial building until the 20th century, but the only time he was 20 century when you got mass commercial building was the one period that was the most egalitarian in our history. Real here, at least since the early republic. If you forgot slavery, um, uh, which they shouldn't. But anyway, it was a post war era because of high taxes. She do the new deal, Franklin Roosevelt policy of soap, the rich so that you can invest in the people. That's my other. That's my other favorite thing. Living New deal with Gi Bill, Gi Bill. All Man.

Speaker 6:

Okay. The other question is what do you think about. Why has it taken so long?

Speaker 5:

I'm sorry, the second part, why is it taking so long to do what

Speaker 6:

structure the freeway speed? Nobody. There's nobody.

Speaker 5:

The wide range. Why does it take so long? Well, things, that's an interesting question. Um, so in the first part is why it took so long. First part, what's the solution? Well, there is no one solution. Okay. Unlike, uh, the bay area council, the young bees, I don't have a simplistic solution. I will talk about housing solutions if you want. Just the question of the freeways. Um, mostly there's not the money. Secondly, when you're our client or laying kind of slow moving a caltrans bureaucracy, um, I'm afraid and they have not, they're not very good. They don't know. At one point they were fabulous at building freeways and bridges. I mean they build a bridge across the bay and it's, you know, resting cracking and then they build a Trans Bay terminal that's not doing so well. So that was kind of construction skills and California have really deteriorated, which is interesting because in the middle of the 20th century, California was the high tech of California was really construction and we were the greatest center of construction in the world from the Knights interwar period and willing to the post work or in terms of freeways, dams or oil refineries, bridges, you name it. We rebuilt it and you know, Kaiser built the Bay Bridge and Canaan under under time, under budget. And it stood there for how many years without no cracked. Once in a, in an earthquake in one place. It was pretty amazing achievement. And we'll come to solutions,

Speaker 6:

ma'am. Yeah. I want to raise two issues. One, fluid tourism. One of the things that we're considering now, and it's through all over the bay area, is that a lot of people use their houses to rent to chores, houses. So that's one, uh, another problem with housing. The other thing is we should not look to freeways as a solution because they always get overloaded. Public transport trains. Those are the real solution and they do not contribute so much to global warming either.

Speaker 5:

No. Uh, you have to be like London, New York and Paris. It's all public transportation. All have terrible traffic to London. Has No freeways in and out of the center. Used to live and people come by train. I mean, where's our trains? We're now a smart train. Great wrap. One train goes out to the San Joaquin Valley and one goes to Sacramento. Not Too often. Not too large. It's not enough. It's ridiculous. So, and buses, buses are really important. Rapid. But Hey, you know, we say boy, private enterprise knows how to do it. So how does Google do it? They get big blockbusters. Oh yeah. It actually does save a lot of freeway vehicle miles by having those buses. Okay. The other question was about shoot, how tourism, what's happening, your wife? Brain tourism. Yes. And it was hilarious. One of my favorite political points about the tech industry is like every new industry in the history of America starting where you started in reading, let's say the railroads, automobiles for at least a generation, maybe 50 years, maybe 75 years, they get a free pass. Everybody goes, oh, that's the way we want to live. That's where the Americans model live in their cars. So let's do everything we can to help the call. And then at the end we go, oh shit, they're noisy. They're polluting the air absurd. And then global, you know, the number one emission problem in California's car. So, you know, we've got to change that. Right? Okay. So we're done with tech to Saturday. So Hillary's example. Well there is a number, hillary. I liked the scooters in San Francisco, but one day the streets are full of scooter. Nobody's asked permission. Nobody's looked at how to do this. They said, okay, we'll put no. Any parts. They are pumping in the old ladies and smashing themselves and leaving them around. And so the city put a moratorium. So now it had been reintroduced a little more carefully. Okay. That's the way it should've been done from the first book, Airbnb, Airbnb in San Francisco just ran a monk because San Francisco, the banner is the testing ground for most of these technologies, whether it's buying teslas or drinking north county, north Bay wine, where are the biggest consumers of our own technology in the early days? And so if airbnb, just random knock and finally the radicals, radical housing people said, wait a second, I'm pulling all these housing units off the market to use for therese and I don't know, that's not true. Finally, the county supervisors in San Francisco passed an ordinance that you cannot commercial, you cannot put commercial buildings into airbnb. It's got to be your, your resonance. What happened, half of them went off the market, have they went from 4,000 or more than 2000 listing. So it turns out they were lying all the time and it did have an impact on the housing market. And I'll bet it's having an impact up here too. Yes sir.

Speaker 7:

Um, I enjoyed in your book when you mentioned about all wealthy communities, cutter Caloris cloistering themselves off. Um, uh, like a Palo Alto, I live in Sonoma and so then you link that to the, the proliferation of districts and, and like the miniaturization of municipalities and wealthy nimbys closing themselves off, but then you need all these districts to administer that urban.

Speaker 5:

This coming to this gentleman's question, you've got well over a hundred minutes and you've got twice as many special districts and then you've got school districts on top of that. So you know, just sent you. Other economists have argued about this for the Oh, is it efficient? And so yeah, it may be more efficient or time, but it's absolutely opaque. And so your management of key resources like water, he's spend money is done by agencies that nobody understands, are absolutely undemocratic even when they're elected and, and they're just, you know, it's a way of obfuscating and clouding the way things are actually managed so that the citizenry can't throw their monkey wrenches in the gears of development, which is what the game is all about. Let's build, build, build. That's what runs American cities has always run. American city still runs American cities including places you wouldn't believe, like Berkeley and San Francisco, let alone Santa Rosa where clearly you're other growth coalition and a nice little cabal once his name Bosco Bosco is. So we've got a problem, sir.

Speaker 7:

Well, I wanted to ask about how the way that we, um, grown and constructed our cities affects the way in which we, um, as especially as progressive and labor movements are, are able to actually effectively organized. I'm specifically thinking about how the massive over construction of the suburb tends to individualize and isolate us and, and, and really break up the, the power of having a large number of working class people living together in communities that can build solidarity.

Speaker 5:

I then that's one of the many ways in which working class solidarity and strength has been undermined. The other things like changing industries are changing division of labor, changing geography. We're in tech grows up in silicon valley, but the big unions are back in the Midwest, that sort of thing. But you're riding community solidarity has always been essential goal always to union organizing, political organizing, and even in California, Snow Torreos that northern California is known for the fact that you do more political organizing by walking precincts and in La they'll pump the money into the ads because I was a harder place to get around. The sad thing is it la? Despite that, it's probably more politically organized today. Then we are on a regional basis amongst the working class and to their credit, the labor unions to California, we have the highest percentage of unionized workers in the country despite, you know, 50 years of removing attacks on organized labor unions and legally and every other way. We still have almost 20 percent unionized California, which is pretty darn good considering. Although no, we're at the high point in America would have been a California was over 50 percent. So we have a long way to go. Uh, but community is really important. And when you're scattered people, what's happening with displacement is we're scattering people like crazy. And you're mostly heard about this through like Rebecca solnit's rotting on certain systems that scattering the Bohemians and the radicals and the art artists, which is true, but she forgets to talk about scattering working class. Oh, this poor lady, I keep choosing men with yours. How about you? And then you.

Speaker 8:

Okay. So, you know, um, you said that, um, we've got the silicon valley people, all these rich people at the top two percent. I'm thinking about, um, the California debt and I heard once that we pay like a million dollars a month to China, um, because when we can't meet our budget, we borrow from foreign countries. So my question is how much interference from foreign countries, you know, supporting health fornia with loans and so forth. And I'm concerned about the infrastructure, like the old pipes and the bridges that need to be repaired. How are we going to do that? And why can't we get these rich people down in silicon valley or wherever they are to be the investors rather than borrowing from China, of course. So it has something to do with the banks,

Speaker 5:

California as we've gone through four massive tax cuts over the last 40 years. We've really beggared ourselves and then we take the money and we have and we put it all into military and that of course healthcare costs have gone sky rocketed because we do that badly. So we have the most expensive healthcare system of all the advanced countries and the lowest life expectancy. So that's not good. In California led the way we produced Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, remember him come out of southern California wine. It was reactionary and it was the center of the New Right, which now runs America, starts in southern California and the Aleks Reagan governor, and then take, you know, Reagan's first bombing raid was on Berkeley, tested out in an attacking, you know, attacking the students about Amia and of course equal housing overturning or room for that. Which fortunately at that time we had a supreme court in California while we still do this. Reasonably sensible. So they overthrew that. Um, that seems like so long ago anyway. Well, well no. What I want to say is we've been begging ourselves, we're bankrupting ourselves systematically, California. When we passed proposition 13 and 1978, I immediately went into bankruptcy. All the local government lost two thirds of their money. Who made it up? State of California. What happens as soon as they have the first, uh, the first recession in the early eighties, California goes deeply in the red recession. Early nineties, California goes deeper during the recession in 2000 California goes even deeper. And in 2008 California deficit state deficit was equal to all the other states put together something is wrong. California systematically bankrupted itself by under taxation. All you hear is, Oh, California taxes people to death. We do not. Our tax effort is in not a third, maybe the top quarter, but it's nowhere near Massachusetts or New York are actually much more reasonable states and our, I mean, look what we did in that time. We managed to, uh, have the highest prison population in the world. So we spend all our money on useless. This useless idea of putting men in cages, black and brown men that really worked out great and then and this instead of spending on all the infrastructure we should have been spending on, and I'm in education and then education our per pupil, k through 12. Any wind from the top five states to the bottom foot. We went to Mississippi. Coincidentally, it was just one of those people moved here and their kids, they want their kids to have schooling. So a last point about politics, because you raised. What's turning politics around in this state is that new working class of color. They want a kind of social democracy. They believe in schools for their kids. They believe people should have health care. They believe in social safety nets. They believe in the infrastructure and parks. They believe that stuff much more than white people believe in it. A vote for it, much more than white people. And the reason we're such a blue state is not simply because you and me and me, a liberal educated white people or so in advance. So the country is because we have a real work in class. The votes blue now and that of course points out from with the Democrats and their inability to speak to the problems of working people all working people at one time.

Speaker 9:

Wonder if you could look at a couple of years, you think the pyramid

Speaker 5:

real, real shaky stuff from corporate loans off the shadow banking, which isn't in housing anymore. It's another things is as big as it was proportionally in 2008, 2007 when a collapse of their trade wars on helping. Um, so there was a lot of bloat. The real estate bubble is really serious. So part of the housing crisis is this as a massive real estate bubbles, the prices make no sense. People can't pay. You can have renters paying 40, 45, 50 percent of their monthly income in rent. He doesn't work. And that's probably why in both New York and bay area, the prices finally have leveled off. People can't pay any certain with that. Oh, sorry. I said the wrong lives looking at him. I'm sorry. Yeah. The other one

Speaker 9:

before the operation.

Speaker 5:

Now why is this? Is this because we needed somebody who could make a lot of money for that?

Speaker 9:

No car ownership. The point is that they're supposed to replace each car. Each vehicle replaces 10 analysis of what they're saying is within a five year period or 10, but maybe even type in a decade you could fit three. San Francisco's inside the footprint of the existing La. The question is, are we looking at a transformation in the housing market? Actually courtesy occurred. I'm shifting transportation as much as we did when the automobiles became principals of.

Speaker 5:

That's a really interesting question to answer. I just have couple a footnotes to what you said. One is one of the big reasons for doing it is to replace. They'd like to replace a couple million truck drivers. That is probably like truck driving some horrible job in a way, but that doesn't mean the problem is, is not that this might not being away to path better cities. I can only hope it is. The problem is we just prostitute ourselves to the new whatever new technology. You have cities gone do it, dos do it to us. Here we are, and then somebody gets run over and they're gone. Well maybe not now it's true. Trains ran over people and trolleys ran over people and cars ran over people. So that's not an argument against stopping cold, but it is an argument for regulating a evaluating and just because the industry meets a certain evaluation, is that the one we want them to and this is a responsibility also government to consider these things and you know, it's always a question about slowing down the Jogger, not the job. Might Have Tech Americans love tech capitalists love technological change and we bound to that. God, this is wonderful book called the American technological sublime. I love that title we've used. Oh, it's an another technology. Oh, pretty solid. You know, it's crazy. So he got up like introduce it in a reasonable way and we're not very good at at doing that. Thinking it through and helping think about the jobs lost or the people that run over or the implications for overall on transport. I hope it can get rid of a lot of cards that they said that about Uber and the transport and the traffic jams in San Francisco are much worse because they're something like, what's the figure? It's thousands of Uber cars on the streets any time, and that turns out not to be efficient actually turns out to be really inefficient. A fill on the back fell on the back. You can ask little public banking problems when it comes to. Somebody asked me about solutions for housing. The most important thing in the short run is to slow down the train. It's racing down the tracks and it's going to go off the rails. It's going off the rails. You know, snow at that rent control, which controls are unbelievably important to slowing it down. You've got to have some restraints. One of the reasons we don't, can't, shouldn't just throw our and seeing open to developers is because they'll build a lot of really crappy cheap, shoddy housing. It'll fall apart.

Speaker 6:

Uh, yeah, that brings me back to the fire, but I

Speaker 5:

got to stay away from them. So there are, there are reasons to slow it down and knock. You're saying, oh my God, we're in a panic. Get rid of all regulation. Which is bill, Bill, Bill now. What about. Yeah, to get communal finance. How about housing land trusts? That worked fabulously for open space. Why don't we try it for housing and some people are. That would be a wonderful way to channel rich people's money into buying land that then we'll be out of the market and it's really important to either slow the market down or take things out of the market and we do that all the time. We have plenty of parts of our lives that are outside the market. We don't raise our kids by wagon. Maybe we do we hire a babysitter? No, but essentially we don't raise our kids. I putting them out to the highest bidder where he raised them ourselves to non market place. There are some things like healthcare for example. A lot of the best of it is done at home and it's outside the market and so on and so. So if we can get land trust and that's what the environmental is proved you could do, if you think you're going to think of generation, hey, you get that land out of the market and then you look around at the end of the day and go, Oh wow, this is really pretty area. You know, people come to bear and they look at the golden gate and it's wow. That's so beautiful. Yeah. What have been covered with houses if it hadn't been for the conservation? Oh one. You make each wonderful wine. Well, Napa Valley would be paid for Dorothy ers. The conservation is so um, you gotta put your, you got to put a monkey wrench in the machinery or at least a little sand under the wheels. Alright. I guess what got more questions? I got one year and one guy, last question you're going to be the last bookstore is coming down on that.

Speaker 6:

One of the problems that we've had with restricting supply that it's been across the board, restricting single family homes and the things that shouldn't be coming along with it as restricting high density developments that are seen as growth and seen as promoting more traffic and and obviously the typical nimby a response to low income housing and affordable housing, but the problem that we've seen is then the mega computers that you mentioned, actually the same guy from Barry counseling gave a better presentation last week to still state of the Latino community, but how the majority of mega computers are low wage Latino work, which also disperses their ability to organize and Cheryl here because they don't work. You're getting more than two hours. So what ends up happening is if we don't accept that, we need to increase the supply to even how the people who are already here, the topology, the diversity of the housing we need to. News is what's lacking. Not necessarily the.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I don't want to mind my argument to be taken as an argument against increasing supply. If you're a growing city and you're drawing in hundreds of thousands of new workers, they're growing, you gotta have more housing. Well, even for the workers that we already have that too, but you got to have more housing. We need more housing. No question about that. And density is a. These dense development are tricky because on the one hand we need more density. I'm all for it. I am Sierra Club, you know green belt alliance. We've got a strategy to build around Bart Station, smart train station. This is a smart strategy. The problem is it arises in a totally distorted market and they're distorted market means that any housing that's built is going to rich people and working class people and people of color. Look at those. You know, we get this really clearly in Oakland. It's on Nicole. Yeah, but if you know that bart development is kinda start to gentrify our neighborhood and then we're gone and are not wrong about that. If housing were egalitarian, if 50 percent of every housing development where low income housing, then I'd say great builds your high density building, but the best we have at West San Francisco is up to 22 percent, maybe 28 percent on Oakland. Josh put in something like that, Berkeley and the rest of the bear. He doesn't do entities, so we have a very serious problem of inequality and so yeah, you can't just say supply and demand. You have to look at the character, the demand, the character of the supply, and don't forget geography, pe, guys, neighborhoods matter, townes matter. People know. Look, the, the proof of that is it rich people run off and create whole cities for themselves. There are called Atherton Orinda. What can I use up here? That's a good example of noma, so noma won't allow a partner. Vendor are the worst offenders and then when working class people say, well, I'm not sure what the high density. Yeah, me and my kind of poor neighborhood where the train had to go with the bar grill because the bart was built through poor neighborhoods because they're precisely the ones that couldn't stop it, so they go, Oh God, you know, I think it's a problem here and now we go, yeah, stopped at you're, you're, you're, you're the cause of all our pro. Well, when Azur didn't builds more housing in Palo Alto and marine kennedy add more, more high rise apartment buildings, then you can say how the mission district and other places, okay, it's your turn now, but it's never. It's always their turn and never enrich people's turn. And that's the problem. Inequality class, race privilege. Look at a map of the bay area. If you erase map of the bay area to white people who are now really, why don't we? Why don't we down to, we're down about 40 percent and you look at this, we dominate, we must control 75 percent of all the space in the bay area and people of color all cram down in East Oakland and southern. You know the mission. Married, marina city and Daly city and so on. So what's fair about that geography matters. Managed management inequality.

Speaker 3:

Shutting up also matters.