A Matt Gonzalez and Zuckerberg Tale

Photo from Uptown Almanac

Photo from Uptown Almanac

In this week’s New York Magazine, one devoted to the San Francisco tech scene, author Daniel Alacón weaves an interesting tale of the just shy of $10 million offer for the home that Zuckerberg is now renovating at 21st and Fair Oaks and former Board of Supervisor president and mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez’s housing situation.

In the midst of it, he posts this as a sort of Rorschach Test:

What shading do they give to the word boom? Do they use it to evoke a colorful futurist dream, or do they use it to imply destruction? Do they say it with a hint of awe, or as though they simply hope to survive it?  READ MORE.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

9 Comments

  1. John

    Matt who?

  2. Sean

    40 years ago the people of San Francisco turned against their city workers because they said they made too much money. When the workers were forced to strike because of contract conflicts people once again blamed them for their difficulties. When Harry Bridges president of the Longshoremans union went in front of his people and the Teamsters union and told them that this strike was a unionbusting strike, they voted that they had their own needs to cover. Cross union support was over.
    Today people complain about other people making too much money. Bart employees are paid the same as other transportation locals across the nation. But people say they make too much money. Tech workers outbid other renters in San Francisco. And people say they make too much money.
    The truth is other people make too little money. We Pride our town for having an over $10 minimum wage. That would be a great wage it is city warehouse is cost $100,000. But that was years ago in San Francisco. This city needs to have a $25 or $30 minimum wage to even be close to have the buying power $10 has in other cities in the United States.
    Unions created the five-day workweek. The 40 hour limit before overtime rule. They negotiate for their rights. But those people are laborers and they’re different than everyone else. They don’t deserve what they earn. Or so the nonunion person who works no overtime up to 60 hours a week, has to save up for their retirement, gets no paid sick leave, must wait for our city government to make their life possible. Where are the unions today? Why can’t the wealthy unions support the Less well paid unions? Why can’t the white-collar people support unions at all? The problems we face in this city are of our own making.

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Errr….and what does this have to do with zucki or gonzo?

    • John

      Sean, your mistake is looking at incomes theoretically, in isolation, and purely in terms of what you think people need to live or would like to receive to support their desired lifestyle.

      But that is not how incomes are set. Rather, incomes can only derive from the value someone adds and the additional productivity and profit they generate.

      If your work adds value of $10 an hour then it is self-defeating to pay you more than that regardless of what you claim your income needs are.

      Moreover, income levels in the US are higher than in many other nations, while the quality and productivity is no higher. This is why we see outsourcing and offshoring, elevated levels of imports and immigration, and a weakening dollar.

      The paradoxical truth is the exact opposite of what you claim. In many cases workers in SF are paid too much, particularly where unions and/or the government is involved. While many who create a lot of value and who are routinely envied, actually make less than the value they add.

      • Sean

        John, Thank you for your well thought out and lengthy reply. Yes what you say has been true in the past. What I perhaps suggest is that we need a new paradigm for these particular issues. In many cases income is set by lots of other conditions. Such as the rarity of the person who has the skills. Also the property values in the country where the workers are.
        What you suggest would definitely be true if what the workers were producing was a product which then has it’s price set by its demand. Today much of what happens in this country is a service industry. These jobs may not be outsourced as they have to be close to the consumer.
        What I am suggesting is an answer to the same kind of objection that is made to raising taxes in the particular community. The argument against that is that the businesses will then move. That is absolutely not true particularly in the case of our area. The price of services in an area with high land value has to be tied to the cost of living in that area. Or else there will be no one there to supply that service.
        What I am also suggesting is that an industry that discards older talent for cheaper younger talent could be served by a union system. And that union system itself could then support other unions negotiations for wages that would support them in the same area.
        The rejection of the idea that workers should band together to negotiate their living conditions with their employer is what I’m commenting on. This rejection by white-collar workers and their attitude of superiority over those who dirty their hands by their labors or the differential between higher paid unions and lower paid unions has undercut the concept that everyone should deserve a living wage.
        __________Sean____

        It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.

        FDR June 16, 1933

  3. Pamela

    Matt Gonzalez probably regrets not buying property when he had the chance.

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