Monday, September 10, 2007

San Francisco liberals drive blacks from the city

USA Today reports:
African-Americans are abandoning this famously progressive city at a rate that has alarmed San Francisco officials, who vow to stop the exodus and develop a strategy to win blacks back to the city. In June, Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed a task force to study how to reverse decades of policies — and neglect — that black leaders say have fueled the flight. ...

According to Census estimates, the number of blacks here shrank from 13.4% of the population in 1970 to just 6.5% in 2005 — the biggest percentage decline in any major American city.

The problem, as far as I can tell, is not that San Francisco's policies are anti-black. Rather it is that they are anti-poor and and anti-lower-middle-class. San Francisco's minimum wage, $9.14/hour, is the highest in the nation. Its apartments are subject to rent control. As a consequence, few jobs are available for low-skilled labor and living space is hard to find. These liberal policies, which nominally are intended to help the poor, always seem to have "unintended" consequences.

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