More prog-on-prog class warfare in San Francisco

Thomas Lifson
If you live in flyover country, lay in a supply of popcorn and get ready to watch a continuing comedy drama being staged for your amusement by the progressives of San Francisco. The driving force is the classic dirty little secret of progressivism, greed and envy, and these deadly sins are amply on display in Baghdad-by-the-Bay these days.

A couple of days ago I noted the ambient envy in a recently-gentrified SF neighborhood called Hayes Valley. Part of it was a product of the nearby headquarters of Twitter, which was induced to locate in a formerly near-derelict building on a deeply-troubled section of Market Street that had long featured homeless people urinating and defecating in public (the stench was overwhelming in warm weather) and panhandlers. The building in question, the million square foot Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart, is a gem of an art deco structure whose fate had troubled me for years. Now, it and that section of Market Street are once again thriving.

While sane people might applaud this development, the SEIU union is angry that tax breaks were used to lure Twitter into a marginal neighborhood. You see, SEIU wants more money for its members. A lot more money. Matier and Ross reported Monday:

From fighting Google buses to protesting Ellis Act evictions, San Francisco's 9,475-memberService Employees International Union local has been leading the campaign for a more livable city. Now it's putting its members' own economic agenda front and center at City Hall.

The SEIU's proposed new contract with the city includes calls for:

-- A 15 percent raise over the next three years.

-- A $21-an-hour minimum wage for all city workers.

-- Fully paid health coverage for single workers, 98 percent paid coverage for couples and 85 percent coverage for families.

-- A free clinic just for city workers to go along with the health coverage.

-- A free $50,000 life insurance policy for SEIU workers. Seven other city unions already have free life insurance.

The union has dropped its call for a $76-a-month commuter subsidy and premium pay while off on paid holidays.

How many Americans enjoy anything approaching this deal?  Consider that already, SEIU members average “33 an hour, plus benefits. More than 1,300 of them - mainly nurses and those in supervisory positions - made more than $100,000 last year.” [emphasis added]

Yesterday, hundreds of SEIU members rallied in front of Twitter HQ to denounce the greed of the company that provides jobs and plenty of other tax revenue to assorted governments that employ SEIU members. John Coté reports for the SF Chronicle:

City nurses [who make six figures - see above], janitors and other workers marched to Twitter's headquarters on tax day Tuesday to deliver a symbolic tax bill for tens of millions of dollars for the "corporate tax giveaway" that helped persuade the company to move to San Francisco's Mid-Market area.

The protesters passed a craft beer hall, an artisanal burger joint and a 754-unit luxury condominium project that didn't exist before the city in early 2011 offered the tax break to entice businesses to move to the long-forlorn stretch of Market Street and parts of the Tenderloin - areas where the aroma of stale urine would often drift past clusters of men smoking in front of boarded-up storefronts.

It’s pretty clear that even the left-leaning Chronicle has had it with these purple-shirted clowns.

Mayor Ed Lee, business leaders and many others in the city count the Mid-Market tax break as a "remarkable," if still emerging, success story.

Since the tax break was approved, 18 technology companies, 17 small businesses and eight arts venues have opened in the area, according to Lee's administration. About 5,000 housing units have been approved or are under construction in the neighborhood, growth that is anchored by Twitter….

SEIU apparently believes money for their demands comes from the tooth fairy, not taxpaying companies and their employees.

If you live in flyover country, lay in a supply of popcorn and get ready to watch a continuing comedy drama being staged for your amusement by the progressives of San Francisco. The driving force is the classic dirty little secret of progressivism, greed and envy, and these deadly sins are amply on display in Baghdad-by-the-Bay these days.

A couple of days ago I noted the ambient envy in a recently-gentrified SF neighborhood called Hayes Valley. Part of it was a product of the nearby headquarters of Twitter, which was induced to locate in a formerly near-derelict building on a deeply-troubled section of Market Street that had long featured homeless people urinating and defecating in public (the stench was overwhelming in warm weather) and panhandlers. The building in question, the million square foot Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart, is a gem of an art deco structure whose fate had troubled me for years. Now, it and that section of Market Street are once again thriving.

While sane people might applaud this development, the SEIU union is angry that tax breaks were used to lure Twitter into a marginal neighborhood. You see, SEIU wants more money for its members. A lot more money. Matier and Ross reported Monday:

From fighting Google buses to protesting Ellis Act evictions, San Francisco's 9,475-memberService Employees International Union local has been leading the campaign for a more livable city. Now it's putting its members' own economic agenda front and center at City Hall.

The SEIU's proposed new contract with the city includes calls for:

-- A 15 percent raise over the next three years.

-- A $21-an-hour minimum wage for all city workers.

-- Fully paid health coverage for single workers, 98 percent paid coverage for couples and 85 percent coverage for families.

-- A free clinic just for city workers to go along with the health coverage.

-- A free $50,000 life insurance policy for SEIU workers. Seven other city unions already have free life insurance.

The union has dropped its call for a $76-a-month commuter subsidy and premium pay while off on paid holidays.

How many Americans enjoy anything approaching this deal?  Consider that already, SEIU members average “33 an hour, plus benefits. More than 1,300 of them - mainly nurses and those in supervisory positions - made more than $100,000 last year.” [emphasis added]

Yesterday, hundreds of SEIU members rallied in front of Twitter HQ to denounce the greed of the company that provides jobs and plenty of other tax revenue to assorted governments that employ SEIU members. John Coté reports for the SF Chronicle:

City nurses [who make six figures - see above], janitors and other workers marched to Twitter's headquarters on tax day Tuesday to deliver a symbolic tax bill for tens of millions of dollars for the "corporate tax giveaway" that helped persuade the company to move to San Francisco's Mid-Market area.

The protesters passed a craft beer hall, an artisanal burger joint and a 754-unit luxury condominium project that didn't exist before the city in early 2011 offered the tax break to entice businesses to move to the long-forlorn stretch of Market Street and parts of the Tenderloin - areas where the aroma of stale urine would often drift past clusters of men smoking in front of boarded-up storefronts.

It’s pretty clear that even the left-leaning Chronicle has had it with these purple-shirted clowns.

Mayor Ed Lee, business leaders and many others in the city count the Mid-Market tax break as a "remarkable," if still emerging, success story.

Since the tax break was approved, 18 technology companies, 17 small businesses and eight arts venues have opened in the area, according to Lee's administration. About 5,000 housing units have been approved or are under construction in the neighborhood, growth that is anchored by Twitter….

SEIU apparently believes money for their demands comes from the tooth fairy, not taxpaying companies and their employees.