by Simon Black
According to the latest jobs report, averages wages for US workers increased 3.1% – the strongest growth since 2009.
Median individual income in the US is now around $31,000, which means the typical American put an extra $1,000 in their pocket last year.
That’s solid extra cash.
But if you really want to see your wages grow, quit your job and become homeless.
Just be sure you move to San Francisco.
There are about 7,500 homeless people in San Francisco.
The number of homeless in the city has stayed constant for years, but the rest of the population has been booming. And that expansion means tech companies and their workers are now coming face to face with homelessness on a daily basis.
And the collective guilt of the Silicon Valley elite is just too much to handle.
Before Tuesday’s election, San Francisco was already spending over $50,000 on each and every homeless person.
That’s well above the median individual income… and it actually rivals the median household income of about $60,000.
So the average homeless person in San Francisco is using up more resources each year than the average American household earns in wages (and has to pay tax on).
And that money does NOT include the costs of police officers, nurses, doctors, and prison staff who deal with the consequences of homelessness.
But on Tuesday, the good people of San Francisco saw fit to almost double that homeless benefit. 60% of San Franciscans voted for a tax on businesses to support homeless people.
And now the city will spend over $90,000 per year, for each homeless person in the city.
If those costs were split evenly among the residents of San Francisco, each man woman and child would fork over $770 per year to support the city’s homeless.
But Silicon Valley will foot the extra $300 million.
The new tax levies an extra 0.5% on large businesses’ total receipts… No, not profit, but revenue.
So a business could turn no profit, but bring in $100 million in revenue, and it would still owe the homeless people of San Francisco half a million dollars.
That’s half a mil that can’t be used to hire new workers or invest back into the business.
But why bother toiling for 3% wage growth anyway? Homeless people just got an 80% raise.
Now, each homeless person in San Francisco takes three times as much as the median individual income, and 150% of the median household income.
But hey, San Francisco is a rich city. Maybe they can afford to lift homeless people above the middle class.
So what’s the plan then? How will all this extra money be used to alleviate homelessness?
Actually… the money was the plan.
And it has been the plan for the 30 years that spending on homeless programs has increased in San Francisco.
And that plan hasn’t changed as homelessness has increased along with the cash.
So the new plan is throw more money at the same problem, and hope it goes away.
San Francisco doesn’t even have the metrics to say what “success” is with this new tax. Where is that money going? Who is it helping? Has it improved the situation? By what measures?
The data just isn’t there. No one has bothered to track it.
For $90k per person, you could hire someone to follow every homeless person around and clean up the, well, let’s say “mess” they leave behind on the streets.
Hell for that price, you could rent every homeless person in San Francisco a room at the Marriott every single night of the year, and still have money left over… or just buy them a home outside of town.
But the streets are still littered with waste, next to the tents that house the homeless on every street corner.
It should be obvious by now that the problem isn’t a lack of funding. The problem is handing out an absurd amount of free money to the homeless population and having absolutely no plan for how that money will be put to work to solve the homeless problem.
But now that there’s a free $100k worth of benefits up for grabs, why wouldn’t every hobo west of the Mississippi come running?
It’s a gold rush fit for the times we live in.