July 28, 2006

The People's Republic of San Francisco

From UPI:

SAN FRANCISCO, July 26 (UPI) -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously in favor of a plan to provide universal health insurance for San Franciscans.

Officials are still working out the details, and the Chamber of Commerce predicts a court fight because businesses that do not provide health coverage would be required to help fund it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The program is projected to cost $200 million, with funding coming from the city budget, individual premiums and business payments.

"Still working out the details..." Heh. Yeah, let me know when you get them figured out - I've got a perpetual motion machine to sell you.

Posted by Sterling at 05:37 AM GMT
Comments
#1

It will happen and SF will continue to function as a vibrant city and the US's 2nd top tourist destination behind NYC. That's what cracks me up about people who bitch and moan about progressive programs like this. They get passed and the world doesn't end and a few more people have their standards of living raised up.

Posted by: sac on July 28, 2006 03:02 PM
#2

So we're extending the life span of the world's smuggest homeless population? Great.

I don't know why you knock it Sterling -- it seems like the ideal place for you: whiny, irrational, doctinarie types who assiduously avoid miliary service while yammering non-stop as if they were foreign policy experts.

Though they might not forgive your vinicultural ignorance.

Posted by: 99 on July 28, 2006 03:57 PM
#3

sac, San Francisco will not continue to function as a vibrant city if it's impossible for new businesses to start up, and drastically cheaper for existing ones to relocate. And that's what's about to happen.

You can only burden productive people so much before they leave. Massachusetts, New Jersey and Upstate New York are all experiencing dramatic outflows as a result of burdensome taxation and government fees - I can attest that Richmond is full of people moving out of the Northeast and New England. (I am one of them.) The East Bay, Silicon Valley, etc., will experience more people and businesses moving there from San Francisco. In return, even more deadbeats will flow into San Francisco.

There are a hundred reasons why this is doomed to spectacular failure, but what it really boils down to is this: a socialist economy can not function over the long term, and it cannot function even in the short term if it is forced to compete with a much freer market, side by side, because participants will flee to the freer market.

Posted by: Sterling on July 28, 2006 04:00 PM
#4

You could be right. We'll see.

99, your description of SF is incisive. Ever been there?

Posted by: sac on July 28, 2006 04:56 PM
#5

If we have to explain the differences between Hartford and San Francisco to Sterling... well, he did move to Richmond after all.

Funny, it seems that generations of smelly hippies and leather queens haven't dissuaded tourists (some, I hear, even go there in pursuit of this). Now, at least they will be smell but healthy.

sac: enough. But like any of good, prejudiced jerk, some of my best friends are (well, were) Franciscans.

Posted by: 99 on July 28, 2006 05:33 PM
#6

Yes, but have you been there?

Posted by: sac on July 28, 2006 05:38 PM
#7

Did I say enough? I think I said enough.

Posted by: 99 on July 28, 2006 05:52 PM
#8

So you haven't.

Posted by: sac on July 28, 2006 05:56 PM
#9

Um, no, enough would mean after a couple visits I had my fill. Well, not specifically, so I guess I could have said 'plenty'. I could get all hipster cool and say I admire the size of a double at Zeitgeist, but that would be tiresome, wouldn't it.

Posted by: 99 on July 28, 2006 06:30 PM
#10

Sterling

Does the National Health service mean the UK is a "socialist economy"?

I was offered a job a while back in San Francisco. Whilst I was sort of aware that free health care was not part of the local set-up, this was not the reason I turned it down. Nor would the prospect of free health care have made me accept. Does this make me a "dead-beat"?

Posted by: Claude on July 28, 2006 07:55 PM
#11

I think the UK qualifies as a recovering socialist economy.

I don't see how you would qualify as a deadbeat if you were there for a job.

Posted by: Sterling on July 28, 2006 08:58 PM
#12

I live in SF and this bill is such a bad idea. First, anyone who's sick in the Bay Area (or anywhere near?) will move into the City. Second, anyone who owns a struggling or barely profitable business will be FORCED to close. Finally, there is a HUGE population of marginal to useless people living here already. I don't just mean homeless people or chinese quasi-baglady grandmas who collect cans to live in their rent control apartments.

When my burrito in the city goes from $4.80 to $7, I am bouncing as fast as the next engineering manager job in Seattle, Chicago, or *substitute name of intelligently progressive city* opens up.

Posted by: andrew on July 29, 2006 07:56 AM
#13

How many dodgy apartment owners will charge people to get fake SF addresses just to get free health care? Yeah I could live in Oakland or the ghetto Nor-cal Richmond and say I live in the City and get free health care, how much is that worth?

Seriously, how much is it worth? $2000, $5000 a year? Get a fake address and a BART pass!!! Free health care for all scammers!

Posted by: Andrew on July 29, 2006 08:06 AM
#14

How many dodgy apartment owners will charge people to get fake SF addresses just to get free health care? Yeah I could live in Oakland or the ghetto Nor-cal Richmond and say I live in the City and get free health care, how much is that worth?

Seriously, how much is it worth? $2000, $5000 a year? Get a fake address and a BART pass!!! Free health care for all scammers!

Posted by: Andrew on July 29, 2006 08:07 AM
#15

Well, notwithstanding the faint support among leftists for federalism, this sort of thing is one of the reasons federalism works so well. Rather than adopting socialized medicine nationally, by all means let's have local jurisdictions try it out first.

Welfare reform started in Wisconsin. Charter schools started in Minnesota. The concealed carry movement began in Florida. In the U.S., typically one state or jurisdiction tries something new, and if it works we copy it elsewhere.

Better still, if it fails, as I expect the San Francisco initiative will fail, then its failure can be used as an argument against those who try to enact it nationally.

(I have to admit, just the thought of Bay Area progressives destroying their own cultural ecosystem gives me a thrill.)

Posted by: Sterling on July 29, 2006 02:04 PM