This was not my city of choice to spend any time in whatsoever, but there was no convincing a 16-year old that there are communist outposts in the U.S. Even if she did believe me, she didn't care. We went anyway.
During my brief encounter behind enemy lines, I was fascinated by what I saw and heard: a city that is in its death throes, but doesn't know it yet.
Our cabbie who took us from the airport to the hotel near Fisherman's Wharf (obviously a gay guy) was explaining with great delight his rental digs up on the hill overlooking the town was rent controlled: he was paying around a $1000/month, as he had been in this apartment for over 30 years, while his next door neighbor was paying 'market price' for identical digs: $5000/month.
I chose not to get into it with 'Gary the Cabbie,' about the effects of price controls and that they simply don't work in controlling prices (just ask Gary's neighbor). Sure, they are working for Gary, since he's already got his, but they are not working all that great for his neighbor. I am sure Gary doesn't give a damn about his neighbor, but that is the subject for another day.
We took the 'hop on, hop off' bus tour of the city, and saw all the sights, to include:
- Haight-Ashbury. This dump is arguably the dirtiest, crappiest neighborhood in town. I literally had to watch each and every step I took to avoid stepping in vomit, human feces, french fries or bird crap. The residents walking up and down the street opening smoking dope looked like they were freshly released from the asylum in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.' Haight-Ashbury is a toilet of a town.
- The Painted Ladies. You know, those lovely buildings shown in the opening scenes of 'Full House,' with the scenic backdrop of the city. They were covered in scaffolding at the time I saw them, but I was guessing that were they for sale, they would have been priced at $100,000,000 per unit, in this price controlled town. Pretty nice digs for Danny, Aunt Becky, Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey to hang out in let me tell you.
- A walk from the free bus stop to the San Francisco Giant's baseball park was enlightening. I have never in my life seen so many big, fat obese bums sleeping the day away along the many benches and sidewalks. San Francisco has the fattest homeless population in the world, where not one bum has missed a meal in over thirty years by looking at them. Pickings are pretty good for the homeless in San Francisco, if the size of the bum beer guts I saw is any indication.
- Free buses. Technically, they are $2.00 a ride each way, but the driver's really don't want to bother with taking your money, despite me trying desperately to pay my way. The angry bus driver just told me to move along, and looked irritated that I wanted to bother him with payment. Since everything in San Francisco is subsidized by Nancy Pelosi's Democrats, what's the point in trying to squeeze a profit from anything? Lots of money is available from the Democrats so why bother.
This city will someday collapse like any other socialist society in human history. The bums will overwhelm all available resources (the paradox/tragedy of 'The Commons'), and all of this free stuff will go away, and most likely not peacefully. Those bums are pretty aggressive in San Francisco and will most likely not go away quietly into the night.