City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Judith Miller
San Francisco’s Pension Crisis « Back to Story

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" will cease and people will move."
When that time comes who pays the taxes that pay the pensions? Will San Francisco be able to declare bankruptcy and void its contracts? Or will the state somehow manage to manacle the citizens to their oars and make them row until they die?
Why native San Franciscans remain loyal to their council is a mystery, the Board of Supervisors continues to pass laws and enact policies that result in replacing Asians and Caucasians with largely illiterate and innumerate mestizo Central American day laborers. This fact is reflected in its increasingly bad schools (stupid children), changing demographics (wealth flight), and high taxes.
So WHERE are those weapons of mass destruction, Judy?
The Sanity Inspector November 08, 2011 at 5:45 PM
Good luck persuading those hippies to get serious about their own financial futures...
Like everything in California under Democrat control sooner or later the whole edifice will come crashing down. The result will be like Newark, New Jersey (my area), which is in a state of perpetual dependency, living off the resources of those communities that surround it.

Can't happen in San Francisco? The Detroitification has already begun. That's what happens when the money starts to run out, when the payments to the unions exceed what can be squeezed from residents and businesses, and both start to leave. We live in a world economy, and businesses that don't want to pay high taxes in San Francisco can simply go away. Who would be foolish enough to replace those who leave? It's not as if the school system is delivering such wonderful workers - so why stay?

Same thing with residents - those who make a good living can simply go away when the cost of living gets too high, crime is excessive and city services fail, as is already happening.

It's how communities die - all at once like Newark, or slowly, like Detroit, Buffalo, Los Angeles and other cities - all of which have one thing in common - a Democratic Administration, which through various policies destroyed the families of those living there, creating generations of dependency, crime and no will to be educated. The permanent underclass, created by Democrat policies, perpetrated by Democrat policies (since they deliver 100% of the vote) and from which Democrats live off like the parasites they are.
A couple of years ago I did a comparison by adding the budgets of Oakland, Hayward and the County of Alameda, and the budgets of Alameda, Hayward and Walnut Creek and the County of Contra Costa.
Both comparisons had the City and County of San Francisco spending more than double the comparison indices. Governance is a word not applicable to San Francisco.
it's the "CITY FAMILY" vs. the "WORKING FAMILY". Save healthcare for WORKING families and for Retirees.
Vote NO on Proposition C!
Eileen Fullenwider November 08, 2011 at 4:42 AM
Judith Miller for President!!!!!!! The time has come!
San Francisco has been using Ranked Choice Voting for several years now. This is not the first time to use the system in San Francisco.
There's an outraged complaint voiced by The Citizen in ULYSSES, about someone in Dublin, who fits the picture of the SF rich cops and firefighters. His name is Geraghty, and he is called "a daylight robber."
Meaning, right in your face he steals....
Why should the mayor get a salary at all?
From the opening, I thought this article had gone for the dogs! Then I caught the intro to Jeff, somewhere out on the turf looking for pet lover votes. The whole writing style thing struck me as an odd way to lead into the most important topic in this years election: City Finances.

Pension reform is just one component of good government. Some say that we pay too much. Others (like me) say we pay too little. These fiscal questions demand policy solutions, and all policy solutions require sets of assumptions. If you base your logic on a foundation of quicksand, like Mayor Ed Lee, everyone looses. But I am sure Ed knows that and he should not care really as his goal is to file bankruptcy for San Francisco as a City and a County. That will wipe everyone out, but he friends are the banks, not any employee regardless of which Union they belong to.

Jeff Adachi assumes that things are going to stay the same. Ed Lee assumes the same, but these men have different goals. Jeff wants to be able to pay everyone and make sure the City can pay for operations as well. That assumes San Francisco will try to hold on to any sense of proportion in our population segments, with a healthy middle class, not too many in our lower class, and of course the 1% has it's needs regardless of if no one else can afford to live here. Ed Lee could care about anything other than the 1%, as he knows who puts the sauce on his rice. I have a hard time imagining Ed Lee getting his bread buttered by Rose Pak.

There is a $13 billion pension fund ripe for the stealing. Willie Brown, Rose Pak and Ed Lee have that plum in clear sight. None of them want to save any of that for those who worked and earned their pensions. Bankruptcy will allow the theft of everyones pensions and give the thieves a chance to start over with everyone wiped out. That bankruptcy will wipe out all contracts, all unions, and all pensions at the same time. The Banks and bondholders will have the first claim on all that remains and the 1% can privatize all that is now owned by the public and walk away fat. If your in the 99% who get wiped out top to bottom, you can move. What did the 1% ever care about you?

I take a clean sheet of paper approach intent to re-design San Francisco's fiscal systems so that rather than eternally fixing a broken set of systems, we can start fresh and establish financial structures that will last, by design. I remember "Made in America". I remember San Francisco being the City that knows how. What went wrong and why?

What we thought we had, we never had. Freedom of opportunity requires personal property, trust, faith and credit in our medium of exchange, and regulation. The notion of our Constitution and Bill of Rights stem from these seeds. When we lost the rule of law, and regulation walked out the door with integrity, the new bankers who moved in dealt a set of cards that few then knew would deliver us all to ruin. If you doubt those facts, look at Wall Street. All the major private banks including the Privately owned Federal Reserve Bank (owned by Chevron, the Bank of England, and a few others) are all bankrupt. Our whole economic system that is built on private banking is bankrupt. We need a new system that works, and that is why I am running for Mayor.

Noting that, allow me to start off by offering a public option forward, in our financial services based on our American Principles of prudent Banking and Accounting Standards. I suggest our new State Chartered County Bank of San Francisco be our repository of our commonwealth. This new Public Bank of ours, would work as our own Public Owned Reserve Bank. We could assist our Credit Unions and Pension Funds, and provide the money needed for all our City and Civic needs. We would not need the financial services of Private Banking further. We would also no longer need to bond fund our needed financial resources as we could create what we needed, and then restructure our processes based on sound growth and the development of repayment processes based on use and revenue income. We would focus on prosperity, net worth and owned assets, rather than austerity, debt, and leased and rented resources.

We simply need to terminate our reliance on private banks, private banking services, shaky and controlled casino stock and bond exchanges, the absolute failure of all the various Federal Regulators, and all the corruption that come with those things, which are currently allowed by the Offices of the United States Attorney, due to total failure to uphold the law.

In a nutshell, we would take Hetch Hetchy, our City owned Water Works, Crystal Springs and all the watersheds involved, and deed those to our Public Bank. Since we would own our own Bank and our own assets, we would never loose our sovereignty as a people and we can build on what we own, which will never be taken. Next, we deed City Hall, Golden Gate Park and all our 270 City Parks to our Bank. Then we deed all our Streets, Infrastructure, and all other City and County Assets not used and operated by the City and County Government and deed all that to our Bank. Since we own everything, there is not change in ownership. But what we get is valuation of our Bank Reserves. With well over $100 billion in reserves, this is far more wealth than needed by our pensions. In fact, our pensions would be stable, and we could open up our City & County Pension Administration to any Citizen of San Francisco who wants to buy in. Maybe our first responders would like to move home, as there may be new strings to our pensions. I am open to ideas, as long as people retire with full benefits and no one make more than the Mayor. Right away, the mayors salary comes down from $250,000 to $170,000 and that would be the cap on income and pensions.

Based on prudent reserves, that $100 billion in assets would allow us to create $1 trillion in new money. I suggest we take $200 billion and build a new world class high-speed Subway and operate it for free. This is how you attract tourists from near and far. I propose 100 to 150 miles of new tubes in San Francisco for 90 mph service between stops. We should build a totally new grid pattern under the City so that it would take no more than 15 minutes from any station to cross town anywhere, and then our backbone would link to new Bus and Lite-Rail services. Bikes would be allowed on our new Trains. We should run at least one "bike car" per train.

We also need a Northern SF Bay Loop to service Marin, form Sausalito to San Rafael, and cross the San Pablo Bay to a new MUNI Ferry Terminal in San Pablo to open up Ferry Service to Sacramento, Stockton, Napa, Vallijo, and Petaluma. Our Loop would come back to San Francisco from San Pablo, stop in Marina Bay and terminate at a new Hub in Treasure Island. We need to open up Treasure Island for all the people of the Bay Area.

Our Central SF Bay Loop would run from Treasure Island to the new Bullet Train Statewide Transit Hub, and head south to ATT Park, Hunters Point, and SFO (in a tube under the Bay). From SFO we need a tube to Oakland International and Alameda, Downtown Oakland and back to Treasure Island.

Our system would operate for free.

There are more solutions and you can read them on my campaign website: I am on the ballot and I ask for you #1 vote. Thanks !