San Francisco continues to shine a light on what Leftism does to civilization

In the 1970s, San Francisco, as was true for most major American cities, had gotten shabby.  While tourists still flocked to the neighborhood directly north of Market Street, where they could find Union Square, fancy stores, and upscale hotels, those who crossed Market Street and headed south found themselves in a four-block-square area of squalor.  There were always a handful of drunken men sleeping it off in the doorways of decrepit buildings, and the sidewalks stank of urine.

By the end of the 1970s, San Francisco began a massive plan to revitalize that area.  It tore down the decayed buildings and, in their place, built the Moscone Conference Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Metreon theater and shopping center.  It was all beautiful and inviting.  People loved coming to trade shows and conferences in San Francisco, and families happily took their children to the museum, the garden, the skating rink, and the movie theaters.

Things aren't like that anymore.  While it was once just the South of Market region that was icky because of a few sleeping (or rambunctious) drunks, some stinky pee, and some shabby buildings, tourists are discovering that San Francisco's entire downtown is inundated with hundreds of scary homeless people, mounds of fecal matter, thousands of discarded needles, and clusters of tents and shopping carts.

That the buildings still look nice is irrelevant.  To get to them, one has to do the urban equivalent of walking across slippery stones spaced at far intervals in a slimy, alligator-filled swamp.

Ironically, all of this foulness and decay lives cheek by jowl with incredible wealth and excess.  San Francisco's Leftist government has effectively recreated a medieval city, in which the wealthy hide behind gilded walls while the poor wallow in filth and despair.  And no, that's not just a disenchanted native San Franciscan speaking.  That's according to Bloomberg, which reports on the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference being held in San Francisco this week, an event that attracted thousands of bankers and executives:

The JPMorgan gathering at the Westin St. Francis, which attracts about 10,000 people, has long drawn the ire of some attendees. Conference-goers have taken to Twitter and blog posts to express concerns about the homeless situation and watching city officials clean up human feces, all while spending thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and resorting to holding meetings in bathrooms.

[snip]

Most of the hotels in the conference's vicinity were completely booked weeks ahead of time, with rooms that were available going in some cases for more than $2,000 a night. A more affordable option, the Lombard Plaza Motel, was sold out Monday but had rooms for as much as $500 a night starting Tuesday, according to Alex Patel, a front desk attendant. That's nearly four times its normal rate.

[snip]

"I've been coming to JPM for five years, and the homeless situation has gotten much worse," Selin Kurnaz, co-founder and CEO of New York-based Massive Bio, said at a party Monday night in the Tenderloin. "I feel unsafe walking around at night, especially as a young woman."

What's sad is that, while many people recognize that San Francisco has become a dystopian landscape, too few make the connection between its decay and its hard Left governance.  Mental illness and substance abuse are certainly a problem, but letting people get away with everything short of murder, and subsidizing their worst behaviors, is more of a problem.

As the tagline to the movie Field of Dreams so memorably said, "If you build it, they will come."  What's happening in San Francisco is not how you make the problem go away.  It's simply how you grow your government at the expense of ordinary citizens and businesses:

In the 1970s, San Francisco, as was true for most major American cities, had gotten shabby.  While tourists still flocked to the neighborhood directly north of Market Street, where they could find Union Square, fancy stores, and upscale hotels, those who crossed Market Street and headed south found themselves in a four-block-square area of squalor.  There were always a handful of drunken men sleeping it off in the doorways of decrepit buildings, and the sidewalks stank of urine.

By the end of the 1970s, San Francisco began a massive plan to revitalize that area.  It tore down the decayed buildings and, in their place, built the Moscone Conference Center, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Metreon theater and shopping center.  It was all beautiful and inviting.  People loved coming to trade shows and conferences in San Francisco, and families happily took their children to the museum, the garden, the skating rink, and the movie theaters.

Things aren't like that anymore.  While it was once just the South of Market region that was icky because of a few sleeping (or rambunctious) drunks, some stinky pee, and some shabby buildings, tourists are discovering that San Francisco's entire downtown is inundated with hundreds of scary homeless people, mounds of fecal matter, thousands of discarded needles, and clusters of tents and shopping carts.

That the buildings still look nice is irrelevant.  To get to them, one has to do the urban equivalent of walking across slippery stones spaced at far intervals in a slimy, alligator-filled swamp.

Ironically, all of this foulness and decay lives cheek by jowl with incredible wealth and excess.  San Francisco's Leftist government has effectively recreated a medieval city, in which the wealthy hide behind gilded walls while the poor wallow in filth and despair.  And no, that's not just a disenchanted native San Franciscan speaking.  That's according to Bloomberg, which reports on the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference being held in San Francisco this week, an event that attracted thousands of bankers and executives:

The JPMorgan gathering at the Westin St. Francis, which attracts about 10,000 people, has long drawn the ire of some attendees. Conference-goers have taken to Twitter and blog posts to express concerns about the homeless situation and watching city officials clean up human feces, all while spending thousands of dollars on hotel rooms and resorting to holding meetings in bathrooms.

[snip]

Most of the hotels in the conference's vicinity were completely booked weeks ahead of time, with rooms that were available going in some cases for more than $2,000 a night. A more affordable option, the Lombard Plaza Motel, was sold out Monday but had rooms for as much as $500 a night starting Tuesday, according to Alex Patel, a front desk attendant. That's nearly four times its normal rate.

[snip]

"I've been coming to JPM for five years, and the homeless situation has gotten much worse," Selin Kurnaz, co-founder and CEO of New York-based Massive Bio, said at a party Monday night in the Tenderloin. "I feel unsafe walking around at night, especially as a young woman."

What's sad is that, while many people recognize that San Francisco has become a dystopian landscape, too few make the connection between its decay and its hard Left governance.  Mental illness and substance abuse are certainly a problem, but letting people get away with everything short of murder, and subsidizing their worst behaviors, is more of a problem.

As the tagline to the movie Field of Dreams so memorably said, "If you build it, they will come."  What's happening in San Francisco is not how you make the problem go away.  It's simply how you grow your government at the expense of ordinary citizens and businesses: