While nursing a cold pint, Cockburn felt glad for the first time in his life to catch a game of basketball. More specifically, he felt glad to hear commentator Charles Barkley say, “You know the bad thing about all this rain? It’s not raining in San Francisco to clean off those dirty ass streets… y’all gotta clean that off the streets… San Francisco needs a good washing.”
Being quite the worldly man himself, Cockburn has heard the phrase “as California goes, so goes the nation” before. However, since San Francisco is the only place to have a fecal matter map, this brought with it a subtle worry that only more alcohol could assuage.
However, Barkley may be right. San Francisco is certainly in need of a good washing. Rampant homelessness, crime, and drugs flood the streets. Rent is high; San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the country to buy a house.
That cost of living affects everything there. Gas prices have broken $6 a gallon, and the store shelves are under lock and key due to constant shoplifting. In San Francisco, theft under $950 is considered a misdemeanor rather than a felony. The heat is on the mayor, London Breed, not because of the litany of serious social issues that’s driving away her citizens, but because she boycotted a pride parade over police uniforms.
In unrelated news, San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa Boudin might be recalled on June 7, in part over his ineffectiveness and in part over his sympathy for criminals. Sentencing and bail “reform” sends convicted felons from courtrooms to sidewalks in a matter of days. As a result, crime stays high.
While Barkley’s wish for the rain to “wash” San Francisco’s streets is far from coming true, the city does serve as an important case study. That is, in how to alienate citizens, drive away wealthy inhabitants, facilitate a criminal underbelly, and still make a profit at the end of the fiscal year. The one thing it has going for it is that it isn’t New York City. Still, if the nation does go the way of California, Cockburn can’t help but think that the US is doomed.