News


Report: Inequality on the rise in Silicon Valley

Index of region highlights spiking housing costs, income gap

Median home prices in Silicon Valley skyrocketed in 2018, going up by a whopping 21 percent and reaching $1.18 million, according to the 2019 Silicon Valley Index. Chart courtesy Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Despite a sizzling economy and an influx of wealth, Silicon Valley remains a bastion of inequality, with more residents now struggling to afford the growing costs of housing, child care and transportation, according to a newly released snapshot of the regional economy.

The 2019 Silicon Valley Index, which was released this week by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, paints a troubling picture of a region where home prices continue to skyrocket, where tech giants are voraciously gobbling up startups and where more people are leaving than coming in.

These trends are casting a shadow over the region's continuous economic expansion, with $50 billion in venture capital flowing to area companies and average annual earnings reaching $140,000, more than double the national average.

In his introduction of the annual report, Joint Venture President and CEO Russell Hancock called this year's report a "Rorschach test," with plenty to both cheer and worry about. Hancock noted that some of the challenges, including transportation's woes, sky-high housing costs, and a "yawning income divide," remain troubling but are, in a sense, "old news."

More disquieting, he wrote, are indicators that the region's "fundamentals" — which have driven the area's economic vitality — could be changing.

Among the factors, he wrote, large companies are "acquiring smaller ones at a pace we've never seen, changing the messy way innovation has typically happened here, perhaps even stifling it."

"Fewer startups are getting their seed funding," Hancock wrote. "Our high costs (including salaries) are causing innovative companies to look elsewhere."

For the third year in a row, Silicon Valley has seen more people move out than move in, the report states. Between July 2017 and July 2018, Santa Clara County had a net "out migration" of domestic residents of about 15,000, trailing only Los Angeles and Orange counties. Strikingly, foreign immigrants are also leaving in greater numbers than coming in. Between July 2015 and July 2018, the region gained 61,977 foreign immigrants but lost 64,318 to other parts of California and the United States.

"The influx of foreign immigrants into the region is more than fully offset by the number of Silicon Valley residents moving to other parts of the state and nation; those who choose to stay within California are heading to regions such as the Sacramento and Stockton/Tracy areas where housing costs are significant lower," the report states.

The report also takes note of the region's slowing population growth, which is due primarily to the region's slow and declining birth rate.

At the same time, Silicon Valley remains a diverse region. The report showed that in 2017, Asian residents made up 34 percent of the population, marking the first time that they have represented the largest share of the region's population (in 2007 they accounted for 28 percent of the population). The percentage of white residents has decreased from 40.4 percent in 2007 to 33.5 percent in 2017, the report states.

The report also underscores the region's failures, despite recent statewide and local efforts, to increase residential development and lower housing costs. Median home prices in Silicon Valley skyrocketed in 2018, going up by a whopping 21 percent and reaching $1.18 million, the report states. And while rental rates in the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas remained steady in 2018, they were significantly higher than in any other metro area in the nation (in these two areas, rental rates are $3.42 and $3.20 per square foot, respectively; New York is a distant third at $2.67 per square foot).

Housing supply has not come anywhere close to keeping up with demand: While the region has produced close to 18,000 new units over the past two years, the new projects have not come close to making up for insufficient building over the prior decade, according to the report. The Index estimates that between 2007 and 2016, Silicon Valley created a housing shortage of about 38,000 units, which would be needed to accommodate the region's growing population.

Furthermore, new buildings are generally priced for the wealthy. Only 8 percent of newly approved residential units in Silicon Valley are affordable to residents who earn less than 80 percent of the area median income. For most potential first-time homebuyers, local prices remain far out of reach. The report shows that only 22 percent of potential-first-time homebuyers in San Mateo County — and 30 percent in Santa Clara County — can afford a median-priced home.

The lack of affordable housing, the report notes, "results in longer commutes, diminished productivity, curtailment of family time, and increased traffic congestion."

"It also restricts the ability of crucial service providers — such as teachers, registered nurses, and police officers — to live near the communities they work," the report states. "Additionally, high housing costs can limit families' ability to pay for basic needs, such as food, health care, transportation, child care and clothing. They can push residents to live with one another for economic reasons and can increase homelessness."

Despite a recent push by traditionally growth-averse cities like Palo Alto to encourage more housing, the pace of construction remains sluggish. The number of residential units that were permitted in Silicon Valley in 2018 — 8,400 — was actually lower than in 2017, when more than 9,000 units received the green light.

The report underscores the region's growing income gap, with the number of high-income households (earning $150,000 or more) in Silicon Valley and San Francisco rising by 35 percent in the past four years and 2 percent of households claiming 27 percent of the wealth. Furthermore, more than a quarter of Silicon Valley households have household incomes above $200,000, compared to 11 percent statewide and 7 percent nationally.

But for those at the lower end of the income scale, affording a living has become considerably more difficult. One of the more eye-popping statistics in the new report is the rising cost of child care, which has gone up by 52 percent since 2012 and now stands at about $20,900 annually for infants. The cost of transportation needs for a family of four has gone up by 18 percent since 2014 and is now about $6,300.

The report points to income disparities that persist between "residents of various races and ethnicities, and between men and women at the same level of educational attainment." The tech industry continues to be dominated by men. Only 18 percent of highly educated women between the ages of 24 and 44 worked in technical occupations in 2017, compared to 43 percent of their male counterparts.

The report also showed that women made up just 28 percent of the workforce at Silicon Valley's largest tech companies in 2017, and a mere 19 percent of technical roles and leadership positions.

One finding that is unlikely to surprise readers is the growing commute times. Even though the average number of miles driven by Silicon Valley residents has declined for three consecutive years (reaching 22 miles in 2017), solo commuting remains the most popular option — one chosen by 72 percent of Silicon Valley workers (down from 75 percent a decade ago). The report notes that the average commute time has gone up by 20 percent over the past decade, adding an additional 43 hours of driving time per commuter annually. In 2017, 6.5 percent of employees spent more than three hours on their daily work commutes.

Likely driven by traffic congestion, the share of commuters taking public transportation rose, from 4.9 percent in 2011 to 6.5 percent in 2016. Ridership on Caltrain, a popular commute option on the Peninsula, rose between 2010 and 2018 by 45 percent.

The cost of transportation needs in Silicon Valley went up by 4 percent over the past four years, the report found, even as it decreased statewide by 12 percent over the same period.

"Changing transportation costs affect our residents' ability to get around and still afford their other basic needs," the report states. "And the amount of time wasted due to long commutes and traffic delays affects the everyday lives of our residents — taking time away from work, participating in the community, or being with family and friends."

View multiple charts illustrating the report's findings here.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

87 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:21 am

None of this matters. The sense of community in SV evaporated a long time ago. As long as everyone in PA has their Tesla and their faux modern new home they don’t care about anything else.


39 people like this
Posted by huh?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 16, 2019 at 9:18 am

"Santa Clara County had a net "out migration" of domestic residents of about 15,000"
"the region gained 61,977 foreign immigrants but lost 64,318"

But:

"Silicon Valley created a housing shortage of about 38,000 units, which would be needed to accommodate the region's growing population."


Apparently, you can have it both ways!


31 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2019 at 9:28 am

I strongly disagree with Bob above. SV is full of some of the most giving and caring people. Anytime anyone wants help and asks they seem to get it and more. Whether it is for locals, fire victims, or other charitable causes, the help comes. Just check Nextdoor.com as one source but there are plenty of other ways if you spend time to look.


59 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2019 at 9:45 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: The sense of community in SV evaporated a long time ago. As long as everyone in PA has their Tesla and their faux modern new home they don’t care about anything else.

Agreed & it goes back to the early 1980s when the upwardly-mobile began staking their claim in the nicer midpeninsula neighborhoods.

And once they procured their BMWs, Rolexes & Ralph Lauren attire, it was 'game over' as various self-serving/self-important perspectives on life became ubiquitous.

QUOTE:I strongly disagree with Bob above. SV is full of some of the most giving and caring people. Anytime anyone wants help and asks they seem to get it and more. Whether it is for locals, fire victims, or other charitable causes, the help comes.

I imagine the transient RV dwellers & homeless might beg to differ as this charity comes with certain stipulations & mindsets.

In other words, one has to meet a particular standard in order to get any sympathy or support from these magnanimous SV types.


84 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2019 at 10:57 am

"Housing supply has not come anywhere close to keeping up with demand: While the region has produced close to 18,000 new units over the past two years, the new projects have not come close to making up for insufficient building over the prior decade, according to the report. The Index estimates that between 2007 and 2016, Silicon Valley created a housing shortage of about 38,000 units, which would be needed to accommodate the region's growing population. "

Insufficient building... Watch Flower Drum Song, it has a skyline of San Francisco from the '40s or '50s, I didn't even recognize it. There has been transformative building. It has been the office parks who were allowed to build without regard to infrastructure, safety, displacement of existing residents, etc. At the same time as this report discusses large companies gobbling up smaller ones and the environment being hostile to startups, it talks about housing demand as if it is static and all we have to do is build more to catch up.

There is no solution to any of this if we believe building more housing is the answer, just ask Hong Kong. The density just begets more density, it never makes housing cost less, it never means everyone can live next to their jobs, it never means commute times go down. In fact, in Hong Kong, which is much smaller and has the best transportation in the world with almost everyone using public transit, they have commute times like Los Angelenos, and people still can't live near their jobs. They are creating microunits so small, they are like human cages where families can't even live together, and still they have a housing afforability problem.

The answer is to stop assuming that it's possible to build a way out of this, before what's good about this region has been utterly destroyed. Silicon Valley has been impossible to buy a home in since as long as anyone I know can remember, in fact, when interest rates were closer to 9% and engineer's salaries closer to $25k, it was as difficult or even worse.

The answer is to get a few of the big companies to move. Amazon just did a nationwide search, and instead of deciding to go with a community that needed the population, the investment, the jobs, that would benefit from renewal, they decided to choose an urban area already strained by too much demand. The companies want all the things the public built, all the diversity, but they have gotten used to not ever paying for them, ever, since the '80s.

We are constantly being treated to slams over failing to anticipate the demand that these companies have created by overbuilding and overfilling office space, when the infrastructure can't handle it anyway. The public needs to just stop paying for this, and let some of the companies decide it's time to leave. Our nation, and our region, will benefit from multiplying the number of job centers. Companies who can do nothing but complain about how this region isn't just exactly perfect for them, can pay for the public investments for once, in places that want the growth and jobs. There are many, just ask Amazon.

Instead of going it alone, the companies should get together and pool their resources. Creating a few new attractive job centers will attract people who want the affordable housing, the public amenities, the arts. And it is the only way to create the affordability -- expanding the number of job centers -- while making Silicon Valley a place where startups can flourish again.

We have Stanford University to keep generating those -- companies, look for declining communities with colleges and universities that could be invested in, for environments that will be resilient in a changing world. Do a search the way Amazon did. Don't do it alone, get together with other industry leaders. What if there is a big earthquake here? Distributed job and innovations centers make for better resilience of our nation and the industries, and it is the ONLY way to solve the jobs housing imbalance. The ONLY way.

First rule of getting out of holes: stop digging. Reducing the demand side of the equation is the only way. Any report that treats the demand side as if it is static and just needs the supply side to be expanded should not be trusted. Believing that has only CAUSED the ills described abov.


58 people like this
Posted by Keep it local
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2019 at 11:12 am

These "we must build-build-build" reports always choose the lowest point to start from. Yes, transit ridership increased since 2007 because that was the low point for employment - as more people got jobs, more people took transit.

Yes, housing hasn't kept up with job growth because they chose a start date when there were a lot of unemployed people sitting at home as "consultants". There was plenty of housing but not many jobs. Job levels didn't reach 2002 levels until 2012. Housing prices were declining from 2008 to 2012. Who would build housing in a declining market?

A lot of people can't afford to live in Mountain View or Palo Alto, but a lot of people can't afford to live on 5th Ave. in NYC either. One difference is that if you work on 5th Ave. but live in Queens you can hop on a subway and be there pretty quickly. Not so easy to commute over Bay and mountains. That is the real issue - the jobs are in places which are too hard to get to. So stop building more offices in Palo Alto and other hard to get to places! (sheesh!) Somehow that option never gets mentioned.

The other difference is 5th Ave. in NYC has been expensive for over 100 years so there aren't a lot of people saying "back when I was growing up a family could afford a place on 5th Ave."

This is a bubble. We've seen bubbles before. Growth is slowing, populations isn't growing much, it will work itself out. The goal should be to stop it from becoming another LA - maybe it is too late for that.


99 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 16, 2019 at 11:50 am

So the area is becoming an overpopulated congested hell, and the solution proposed by this lobbying group is to build more so they can cram more wage slaves in....

No thanks.


22 people like this
Posted by Nothing New
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 16, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Simple explanation.

Too many people & too many jobs in the area. People have to live somewhere & ideally within reasonable proximity of their work.

This was once an agricultural region. No longer.

Happens everywhere. look at Anaheim in Orange County.

Nothing new.

So either quit complaining or move elsewhere.


47 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

The companies can more easily move, and they are the ones foisting the ills and expenses on the public. Their moving is the only thing that will create a net benefit for the area and the nation, and even their own companies eventually. It's long-term thinking.

The world is only getting more crowded but we have only stuck with the historic urban areas and even let some decline so we have fewer. Why? Because companies got the idea that they only exist where someone else pays for the infrastructure and the amenities their workers want, and the workers' educations and the education infrastructure, the justice infrastructure they use disproportionately, the transportation infrastructure they benefit from disproportionately, etc. They can't afford to pay for these things before they get into business, they should pay back when they become successful. And they should be willing to take risks on renewal or establishment of places they can grow -- which involves some public investment.

Places in the west: Corvallis, Medford, Independence Oregon. Bozeman Montana. Boulder, CO. Fairfield, CA, Logan, UT, Flagstaff, AZ, almost any place in the norther part of NM and souther part of CO. Places in the East: Pittsburgh, PA, Chattanooga, TN, Laramie, WY. Pick one. Get their blessing. Contribute to the education and civic life and transportation infrastructure. Make big longterm arts grants to attract a vibrant diverse population. Help plan for the kind of growth your company workers will want in the long term. (Try to remember - ignore at your peril - that one of the biggest reasons people commute her is not because of housing affordability alone, but so they can get a single-family home they can afford, and the majority of millennials want single-family homes.)

This problem will not be solved by even a lot of families moving. The problem can only be solved by multiplying the number of job centers that companies want to grow in. We have too many job producers for the infrastructure. The public paying the price of their wanting to continue to grow beyond reasonable will not solve any problems. The only holistic, long-term solution is to multiply the number of job centers. Companies will have to get together to do this, because this is no longer a democracy, and the public has no power to do that like might have in the '50s. You pushed for a plutocracy, you have one. Now man up and make the investments to create the additional job centers your growth necessitates.


14 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm

All booms run their course. Moat real innovation in Silicon Valley had finished by the early years of this century. Since then an illusion of good times has built on faux innovations in service to the tired old gray-flannel Madison Avenue and Wall Street formulas. It's time to bid our illusions goodbye and go find the next lode.


44 people like this
Posted by The Demographic Change
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

We just sold our house to a nice Chinese family from overseas. There are now about 3-4 families from China residing within a dozen homes on our street.

The elders take care of the grandchildren & many are seen pushing strollers while the parents are at work. The parents dress very nicely & drive expensive European-made cars.

Perhaps this is the new wave for mid-peninsula housing. I understand that Palo Alto is now 40% Asian & other communities like Cupertino even more.

Many can afford to pay CASH for their homes which makes closing for the home seller almost effortless.

We are very grateful to have gotten even more for our home than we expected.

Now it's on to Sedona, AZ.


49 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 16, 2019 at 9:13 pm

@resident I disagree. Nextdoor is an empty tech gesture that doesn’t generate real community. It’s great for finding a lightly used couch tho! Humans have been building communities for millennia, we don’t need tech to do so. I’m talking about actually taking 5 minutes out of your day to stop and say hello to your neighbor. Maybe even let your kid play with the neighborhood kids after school. Maaaaaaaaaaaybe even have a super bowl party with the neighborhood.


33 people like this
Posted by From A Former Palo Alto Resident
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Best to have lived in Palo Alto from about the post-war WW2 period to about 1980 at best. That was PA's Golden Era.

PA is a horrible place to live & work now yet many still want to move to the area...go figure.

Crime is on the upswing, too much traffic & housing prices highly inflated. Exorbitant rental pricing is also reflective of the increased property values.

Wealthy families from overseas are about the only ones who can afford to purchase a home in Palo Alto & more power to them as they seem to have the available resources.

Some Palo Altans may inherit pre-Prop 13 homes when their parents pass on...most won't.

Most of the the wiser Palo Altans (aka former Palo Altans) moved out of the city by the late 1990s when an average home here could still be purchased for just under $1M...nothing overly fancy but liveable.

There were no caravans of transient RVs lined along the streets in those days or residential skyscrapers along San Antonio Road. Life was still somewhat normal.

Today the abnormal has become par for the course and many remaining PA residents cry out for the days of old.

They are deluding themselves as you can never go back to the way things once were.

They complain about over development like my grandmother used to complain about the rising price of eggs...how silly & pointless.

Old timers tend to be the older residents & they are lost in the past...how sad.

Everyone at one time had an opportunity to forge an exit strategy. Some didn't & preferred to look the other way as the developments emerged...it should have come as no big surprise if their eyes had been open.

But like ostriches, some figured that life would never change as long as they didn't have to witness the emergence of a new reckoning.

The complainers have only themselves to blame...not the PACC, the developers or the
many new people who now wish to work in & inhabit their fair city.

An opportunity to Exodus with a nice nice nest egg was available...it still is if you are a residential property owner.

Take the money & run. Whining about local politics is utterly useless as further changes are on the horizon whether you like them or not.

The talk of a modern train viaduct even confirms this.

The old Palo Alto is gone forever. Re-visit it in local history books or wait for the movie to come out. Your choice.

My great uncle & aunt unhappily clung to the 'old' Palo Alto & complained bitterly.
They held their ground but now it is at Alta Mesa. Again, your choice to stay or leave.

Justin
Boulder, CO



45 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm

The funniest thing is the signs in Spanish/Arabic that claim "we love all our neighbors" or the "In our America, we care about the disabled and climate change, etc." signs.
The signs make me laugh.
It is virtue signaling to offset the stark income inequality in the Bay Area. They flaunt how much they care about "racial equality" which compensates for income inequality. I am always bewildered by what motivates people in this area to put up such signs. If you care so much, you need a yard sign to prove it? Or maybe you just want to express that you hate Trump?

This is moral licensing and its what Palo Alto/the Bay Area does best.


17 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Ridiculous over-simplified propaganda that uses median values rather than any distinctions for age, education, experience level, # years living in valley etc.

In a free society, there will always be inequality. However, as Milton Friedman famously warned,

"A society that puts equality–in the sense of equality of outcome–ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.."


13 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2019 at 6:52 pm

Yes, there WILL be inequality.

But the way things are going in Sillycon Valley, there won't be anyone left to do the things necessary to keep the area functioning.

But hey, stick to Drunken Friedman and ignore what's going on...


17 people like this
Posted by Our Town
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2019 at 9:01 pm

There will always be inequality. To expect economic equality is unreasonable.

Those who can afford to live in Palo Alto will do so. Those who cannot will have to reside elsewhere.

Palo Alto is changing. It is getting more compressed. Some abhor the concept. Others embrace it. To each his/her own.

Complaining about change is pointless as there is no going back to the fabled Palo Alto of yesteryear.

As mentioned above, demographics are changing as well. Our new Chinese friends and neighbors have already become a highly visible part of our community and it is theirs for the asking (or taking) if they have the resources to do so. More power to them if they are able to as home prices have escalated to unreal monetary proportions.

Increased traffic is a natural byproduct and cars eventually have to stop and park somewhere. This is not rocket science.

Palo Alto also attracts many transients and they too have become members of our growing community as well. Not everyone can afford a $5-7M home but a used $3500 RV is an attainable goal for some.

Congestion has become a natural way of life in Silicon Valley & Palo Alto has now become a paradise for some & a hellhole for others.

It's essentially your decision where you opt to live.


34 people like this
Posted by Thad
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:10 am

22.6% of the school children attending elementary school in Ravenswood school district were homeless at some point last year. No one seems to know, no one seems to care.

Silicon Valley has become incredibly dystopian and 3rd world.


19 people like this
Posted by Looking The Other Way
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:12 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


17 people like this
Posted by Thad
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:41 am

Is the above comment parody? Either way, bravo for being the perfect example of my point.

There is an invisible line between me and my Menlo Park neighbor (literally the house next door), do I not care about them because they are in the other municipality? Does each of our actions not effect and influence the other?


22 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2019 at 9:42 am

I worked for the city of PA for 34 years, retiring in 2004. I had to go back last year to pickup some paperwork from city hall. The sad part, I couldn’t wait to get out of PA. Didn’t even want to look around. It’s not the same city I remember.


31 people like this
Posted by Don't be EVIL companies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2019 at 10:34 am

@Ron,
A lot of people in the south part of town don't even get to City Hall or downtown anymore for the same reasons (and traffic).

Do you have any insights for why the City staff have been such advocates for this negative transformation? Every time I have had to deal with staff, there is no ability to collaborate, just a sense that they're trying to do an end run around residents to achieve some agenda related to overdevelopment.

It's not just that the City is so different, in 10 years, many residents' lives have been substantially negatively hurt, in terms of time, productivity, noise, ability to get around the Bay Area, pollution, loss of views and daylight plane, traffic, accessible amenities, accessible services and resources for youth, local retail, etc.


8 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2019 at 10:48 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

I am relieved, when I went from the email blast to the actual headline that this wasn’t thevthing about the guy from Facebook whining at a public appearance recently in Menlo Park that he is having a hard time finding homes for 20,000 of his closest millennial friends. And how tough it is to find a good bus driver for the private fleet.
I’ll post a partial transcript in a minute.


15 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 18, 2019 at 10:58 am

The fact that that town, in a different county, changed its name to “East Palo Alto” doesn’t impose a greater duty on us than that borne by Redwood City or San Mateo. We share neither city nor county governments with it, not to mention the lack of shared history, industry, or culture.

I’m all in favor charity, but “East Palo Alto” has no more claim on my sympathy than Fremont or Sunnyvale.


14 people like this
Posted by Karr L. Markes
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2019 at 11:26 am

The top richest people force everyone else to pay their taxes. They
complain that they pay 90% of the taxes, but they own 98% of the
country. They also control the mouthpieces of the media though they
do have to be careful not to overplay that hand or people will catch on.

Then the top richest buy up the real estate in Silicon Valley and suck up
the money of the people they hire and pay that way too.

They buy up government and cut regulation so they can play tricks on
workers such as hiring them for stock options that never materialize
if they do finally vest.

Regular people have to survive long enough to get to college, and then
they have to go into debt to get a degree and a job. Then they have to
work 80 hours a week with no time to learn the realities of life until they
are get closer to retirement age at which time they cannot rock the boat
or they will lose their positions to younger more deperate workers who
are don't understand the scam and do not want to hear it because it
makes their lives too complicated if they want to survive in the work
world.

Meanwhile the top level CEOs and politiclans are designing a
"surveillance capitalist" system that no one voted for and no one
wants, but it sucks up more political control and reduces the freedom
of choice.

And to top all that off, they call it the free market.

The big problem here is how do you get people who are so smart to be
able to understand the complex softwares systems that make up social
and economic networks that do not see or do not care about the networks
that are manipulating their lives and futures? The answer to that is the H1
visa program.


21 people like this
Posted by Madias
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm

For those who don't like the situation (including myself) you should all just leave.
Palo ALto is a congested souless heartless shell of what it was.
I left. Much happier where I am now. Pity those of you still there.


15 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

I see shadow is back.

In honor of its return, I have created a simple poem in terms it can understand.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to slander a Nobel winning economist
They hit an intellectual wall
Because their ideological brains were too small
And decided instead to become socialist

You see, there is plenty of wealth
In the means of production
Thus, for the collective health
They seek the capitalist destruction

If you have something they envy
They will surely come and take it
And if you resist the Antifa frenzy
They will simply burn or break it

They invent intersectional grievance groups and oppressive power systems
And use false words like diversity, equity and inclusion
Then promptly persecute toxic, deplorable, white, male, heterosexual Christians
As unfortunate sacrifices to the social justice revolution


17 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2019 at 3:48 pm

So very many words. So very little sense.

You know what, chuckles? Libertarianism hasn't worked either -- mainly because it's a worthless theory, with NO basis in actual facts. Never mind that Drunken Friedman didn't actually get that...


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Love that poem.

It should be the anthem of the people along with We Shall Not be Offended and Blowing in the Breeze of Hot Air.


27 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2019 at 6:01 pm

I rather like Palo Alto! I have lived here since I married my husband in 1993 - and we raised (are still raising!)our 2 kids here. Yes, Palo Alto has changed - but hasn't every place? If you move to a new place, it will have changed and people there will miss the way it used to be. I love all the things there are to do here - from activities at Stanford to wonderful hiking in the nearby hills to running at the Dish and good restaurants. I also love our proximity to San Francisco - and to Marin and the wine country (where I used to live in my "singlehood"). Let's appreciate our city - and work together to solve our problems.


7 people like this
Posted by Selby Lane Is Not Penny Lane
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:07 pm

Better to be rich & clueless rather than poor & clueless.


43 people like this
Posted by sad
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Wow this is making me depressed about living here.


2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 19, 2019 at 12:41 am

Annette is a registered user.

I hope at least 4 copies were sent to the Palo Alto City Council.


6 people like this
Posted by Chuckles
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2019 at 9:57 am

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by @Chuckles
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2019 at 10:09 am

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by AP
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 19, 2019 at 9:01 pm

From the Silicon Valley Report:

Foreign Born Share of Employed Residents Over Age 16, by Occupational Category
Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties, 2017

Ages 25-44, Woman and Men Total

Computer & Mathematical
70.5%

Architectural & Engineering
63.1%

Natural Sciences
52.7%

Medical & Health Services
37.8%

Financial Services
48.4%

Other Occupations
45.8%

Total
50.2%

How is diversity helping US residents, when half the jobs are taken by foreign born workers? Why does the city and schools constantly have the mantra of diversity, diversity, diversity? City leaders and Tech companies don't care about US citizens. How come the term diversity doesn't apply to the residents of East Palo Alto?


11 people like this
Posted by Happy Here
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:18 pm

We moved here shortly after the dot-com bubble burst, and I can't imagine living in a better place. Excellent weather year round, bikeable, walkable, farmer's market(s), Stanford, excellent restaurants in walking distance, excellent grocery stores, excellent schools, friendly thoughtful people (random folks say hello walking down the street). We are conspicuous immigrants, but we fit right in. What traffic are you complaining about? Go to Taipei (or any mid to large Chinese or Indian city) and see what real traffic and daily life troubles are like. You are getting soft if you find anything to complain about in Palo Alto.


10 people like this
Posted by Happy Here
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 20, 2019 at 12:05 am

@AP: Just noticed your post. Companies go through periods where it is difficult to hire anyone because of intense competition for talent. During those periods it is a necessity to import workers from other countries. There is no effort to discriminate against American workers. If they have the necessary skills, they will be hired. The real issue is why insufficient number of Americans have the necessary skills. That is more a cultural issue, I think.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 20, 2019 at 4:57 am

@AP, Palo Alto is 40% foreign born, East Palo Alto 45%. Don't your statistics favor EPA?

@Happy, fully agree on the merits of Palo Alto, but as a native I am biased.
As for necessary skills, yes, more a cultural issue, regardless of origin.
Though I am probably biased there as well.


18 people like this
Posted by Selby Lane Is Not Penny Lane
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:35 am

> How is diversity helping US residents, when half the jobs are taken by foreign born workers? Why does the city and schools constantly have the mantra of diversity, diversity, diversity? City leaders and Tech companies don't care about US citizens.

(1) Diversity creates new restaurants reflecting various cultures...so it enhances the dining experience (for some).
(2) Diversity (i.e. H1-B work visas) allows corporations to spend less on payroll...enhancing their profit margins & dividend checks to shareholders.
(3) Due to the increased residencies & enrollments reflecting the diversity of its population, city & schools must further address 'politically correct' considerations or risk being branded as insensitive to diversity. The mantra exists to avoid further conflicts & complaints (i.e. lawsuits).
(4) The venerable 'Nike Business Model' by Phil Knight says it all...the mantra is cheap labor = higher profits. Diversity on the peninsula is the result as H1-B visas provide more payroll cap space + many of the wealthy newcomers from overseas have been using this business model effectively in regards to their overseas manufacturing facilities. Keep operating costs down & there will be more money to line one pockets with.

Regional diversity is the result of profiteering by various parties who have the unlimited opportunity to do so.

To many, it is better to be the profiteer than the average worker...it buys further happiness in the material world.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:55 am

The H1b visas is a fallacy as far as I can see.

From what I know from those who work in high tech, the H1b visa workers are not paid any less than comparable US citizens and in fact getting the H1b visa for a prospective employee is costly and time consuming. I am told that they are being hired because they are the ones willing to work for companies that do not offer the FAANG type perks and they are the ones applying for jobs in greater numbers than comparable Americans. They have the skills, they have the willingness to work and the ability to do the jobs they are qualified to do with minimal supervision and hand holding.

The truth as far as I see it is that foreign trained high tech workers are being employed here because of a dearth of American trained workers willing to do the jobs. Perhaps if the schools and colleges started training students for real world jobs in real world professions with real world competition, they might perform better.

Liberal arts degrees don't get American grads into high tech jobs.


8 people like this
Posted by Selby Lane Is Not Penny Lane
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2019 at 10:13 am

> Perhaps if the schools and colleges started training students for real world jobs in real world professions with real world competition, they might perform better.

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

> Liberal arts degrees don't get American grads into high tech jobs.

Which essentially means that most Liberal Arts majors shouldn't be wasting their time trying to get into high-tech jobs.

The true American Dream is fulfilled by achieving success in professional sports or in the entertainment field. Not everyone can do it but those who succeed...

(1) can afford just about anything they want
(2) do just about anything they want
(3) can hire other people to do the things they don't want to deal with

This beats a high-tech job any day of the week...so liberal arts majors, there is still hope for you somewhere. So make use of your other talents if you have any.

If you don't have any talent in anything...you're screwed.


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Unfortunately, Jane Austen is not studied much in high school these days, the current fad trending towards the dystopian. I certainly can understand that, but, Pride and Prejudice and Emma are such hilarious satires about-- our age.

Just as in Austen's day, when aristocracy was giving way to plutocracy, today, representative democracy is giving way to plutocracy. If we can't do anything about the rising tide of plutocracy, we should at least have a few laughs about it while we still can.

I disagree with one of the premises of the original article above, though:

>> Silicon Valley remains a bastion of inequality

On the contrary, Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the new plutocracy, the new inequality-beyond-all-reason, driving this acute inequality to new heights.


25 people like this
Posted by You Cannot Buy Class
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm

> Unfortunately, Jane Austen is not studied much in high school these days, the current fad trending towards the dystopian. I certainly can understand that, but, Pride and Prejudice and Emma are such hilarious satires about-- our age.

Speaking of which, the great American Novel 'The Great Gatsby' by Scott Fitzgerald points out a key element about accrued wealth in America...

It's not about how much money one has but rather 'the color of the money'. Thus the nouveau-riche will never be able to buy 'class' or total acceptance into the upper echelons of American society. Old WASP money trumps newbie cash 365/24/7.

The 1980s era yuppies & recently arrived residents from overseas have never figured this one out. As a result, many of them are conspicuous consumers in a never-ending quest to show they are people of class, distinction & good taste.

Sounds incredibly shallow but it keeps the high-end stores in business.

And the joke is on the conspicuous consumers.


15 people like this
Posted by Selby Lane Is Not Penny Lane
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 20, 2019 at 7:46 pm

> Thus the nouveau-riche will never be able to buy 'class' or total acceptance into the upper echelons of American society.

This is true. Social stratification is well-defined in the United States & it always will be regardless of the dollar sign. There are countless people with more money than 'bluebloods' but money will not get you through the gate. Easterners know this all too well & the farther west one travels in the United States, the further people delude themselves regardless of how much money they are worth.

Manufacturing & high-tech mega-money will only get you as high as upper-middle class. The true upper-upper class in America have been here for centuries having originally settled on the east coast & most are of Dutch & English origins. And to top it off, most of them aren't flashy when it comes to the material world

It's a tough nut to crack because even the Kennedy's who are considered lower-upper class will never break into the upper echelon because of their Irish heritage + shady background in big-city Boston politics & bootlegging.

The lower-middle to middle-middle class makes up most of America and again, money doesn't fully enter into the equation because the skilled upper-lower classes (i.e. tradesmen) often make more money than the middle classes.

So the bottom line is to eradicate any false sense of self-importance & go with the flow. Unless you marry into royalty, you ain't going nowhere up the ladder & about the best most folks can do in America is to go from lower class to middle class at best.

There is no upper class in Atherton or Hillsborough...just some people with a bit more money. And the sooner some Palo Altans get off their high horse, things might get a run a bit smoother around here.


13 people like this
Posted by The Wonk
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:08 pm

The only thing funnier than signs calling for open borders posted next to locked gates was the "slave holder diary" letter to the editor from the woman who lived in another prestigious suburb - this one closer to Saratoga. She expressed anger that her illegal alien day workers would not be "welcome" in her local parks as they lacked proper tennis clothing, golf wear, etc. My personal thought was it seemed ridiculous for her to complain about how underpaid they were as she was the one paying them. Of course, she would not consider paying them more so they could have such clothing - because at that point she would be losing all of her "savings" from hiring the undocumented!


8 people like this
Posted by Our tax dollars
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm

Some on this thread appear unaware our Palo Alto property tax dollars support a Palo Alto K - 12 public schools, including the generous gift of the Tinsley transfer program, wherein East Palo Alyo and Menlo Park students may attend school here - in another city, in another county. MY tax dollars go toward this. My property tax bill is high though my house isn’t particularly impressive.
There is always someone worse off than you and someone better off, too,
What goes endless, pointless complaining about “income inequality” get us?!


20 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 21, 2019 at 11:16 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

The three biggest lies:

1. The check is in the mail
2. I am from the government and I am here to help
3. There is not enough skilled US tech workers so we need to import more


33 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 21, 2019 at 11:16 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

I love the way the people who have benefited from globalist policy are sanctimoniously believe it is their talent instead of exploitation that enriched them. So let's take a hypothetical example of the proverbial smart kid from Kansas to illustrate.

He is brilliant and wants to apply to a top 10 computer science college. Unfortunately, their business models depend on about 25% international and full price out of state admissions. Another 50% is based on diversity targets and 1st generation or undocumented objectives, 15% legacies and the last 10% are made up of legitimate prodigies. Fortunately, he invented a zero carbon emissions tractor combine in his garage and gets in.

He is considered middle class because his family owns an occasionally but moderately profitable farm and he does not qualify for financial aid. He gets an academic scholarship but it only covers about half his costs. He takes student loans for the difference and graduates with honors and $100K in debt or about the cost of a new John Deere tractor.

He starts looking for a job. Unfortunately, he has a European last name and a red state address. His resume is systematically filtered and surprisingly never gets selected for interviews. He is not eligible for the numerous minority recruiting fairs or disadvantaged group tech clubs. Still, he ends up taking a job with a contracting firm that works on campus at one of the top global tech companies.

Once on the job, his intelligence and work ethic shine. During a boom phase in the economy he is able convert to a full time regular employee along with over 30 H1-B applicants. He continues to excel and focuses on his work.

Over time he starts to notice a trend. Many of the people in support functions like program management are friends and family of his H1-B cohort. They are nice people so he doesn't give it much thought. Besides, HR is concerned that due to his race and background he must have implicit bias. So he attends annual diversity, equity and inclusiveness training and is publicly evaluated in front of several women's and LGTBQ groups within the company. He is tracked and discussed in dedicated corporate chat forums to make sure he stays in line.

Even so, his talent and quality of work shine through and he eventually comes up for a promotion. Despite his real contributions to the company, the promotion panel over rules his chain of command. The diversity ratio within his business unit is considered substandard and his slot goes to an "excellence" hire who does not have a technical degree but is an articulate advocate for her grievance group. There was one other promotion opportunity but it was taken by one of his H1-B peers because his friends and family from across the organization worked as a coordinated block to make sure he moved up. The expectation being once promoted, the new manager would do the same for them next time.

Time went by quickly and after 10 years the kid from Kansas was middle-aged. The H1-B who was promoted got promoted again and moved back to the home country to start a test and support center. He hired about 100 people from the home village after they completed a six week course provided by one of the international tech service companies.

Three years later, the middle age kid from Kansas was laid off. His job was outsourced to the international tech and support center his peer had started. He tried finding a new tech job until his money ran out. Even after 13 years and a stellar performance record he did not get much severance. Two weeks plus one week for every year of company employment. In this case, 15 weeks.

Unfortunately, other big tech firms had a policy to not hire men unless they could expressly prove there were no other minority candidates available. Startups were suspicious of his age and didn't pay enough for him to support a family. Many of their engineers roomed together to save money and spent most of their time at work anyway.

Thus the middle aged kid from Kansas returned home to the farm. He accepted it and was grateful in some ways for the experience. Then, he finally had time to notice the nonstop preaching from the media, the universities, Hollywood and his own politicians. You are privileged, racist, homophobic, misogynist, xenophobic and deplorable. You are worthless, lazy and stupid. Because of you there is a shortage of skilled workers who need to be imported.

Of course, none of those things were true and for the first time in his life he realized what was happening. There was an intentional set of cultural and governmental policies designed to pillage the wealth from the middle class and transfer it to the global elite of the world.

So in 2016 our middle aged farmer from Kansas voted for Trump.


15 people like this
Posted by Ta-dah!
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2019 at 11:31 am

@Sanctimonious........nailed it


17 people like this
Posted by View From Hoover Tower
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 21, 2019 at 9:09 pm

"There was an intentional set of cultural and governmental policies designed to pillage the wealth from the middle class and transfer it to the global elite of the world."

"So in 2016 our middle aged farmer from Kansas voted for Trump."

As did many proud Americans who feel it is not their financial obligation to support 3rd world/developing countries as many of them are proliferated with sweatshops whose owner/operators steal manufacturing & assembly jobs from hardworking Americans.

And then...many of these wealthy owner/operators from the 3rd world/developing countries come to America where they try to change our venerable American culture in the name of diversity.

Except for the occasional revolutions, sometimes it's best if many of these 3rd world/developing countries had remained colonies or independent territories like Puerto Rico.









6 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2019 at 10:33 pm

And what did that middle-aged farmer from Kansas get when they voted for -45?

- A trade war with China, which has directly affected farmers from Kansas (and other Midwestern states) by having one of their major markets for their goods restricted significantly.

- Having the most brazenly incompetent Secretary of Education ever placed into office, whose policies have made getting an education from an actual university much more difficult, while allowing ripoff "colleges" (Trump University, anyone?) to operate without any sort of accountability.

- Delivering the office of the Presidency to someone who would rather believe Vladimir Putin than this country's intelligence agencies.

It's amazing how the -45 cult is blind to the very obvious failings of their "god."


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm

@sanctimonious city

So your saying, historically, white men have had a tough time making money in silicon valley? Seriously?
[Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by @@
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 22, 2019 at 1:03 am

That’s the point . An explanation and context for an irrational, self-harming decision.


20 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 22, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Let's explore the experience our figurative protagonist would likely have had with global trade while working in Silicon Valley.

Before being laid off, our diligent "Sili-Kansan" had the exciting opportunity to be the technical lead for his company's new strategic initiative to bring its products to market in China.

Despite the fact that their currency was pegged at 6 RMBs to 1 dollar, U.S. technology products already had an applied 25% tariff and Chinese businesses had few health, safety or environmental regulations, he was confident that superior American quality, features and know-how would allow his company to compete.

Sure enough, the products were highly respected and well received. The Chinese government was eager to allow them in the country with a few minor changes. Since there were not many native Mandarin speakers in the US company it only made sense that it should hire and educate 300 hundred local employees because they understood the culture. There was no need to bring in Americans as they wanted a successful roll out and the Chinese consumers preferred to do business with Asians.

Of course, they would all need to be trained in the detailed architecture, design specifications and inner workings of the product in order to support Chinese customers. Also, in case of national emergency or an invasion by western imperialists the product would need to be modified with special monitoring and encryption technology for the Chinese government. Assuredly, these capabilities would only be used for the good of the people or to resist an invasion which they noted had happened multiple times by Japan and Europe over the last century.

As a last step, the government requested a few product samples. A joint Chinese/American team spent two weeks conducting a hardware and software design review to make sure it performed to specifications. Source code analysis was conducted to confirm the government requested user monitoring and communication features worked and no foreign spyware was hidden in the software. All the source code libraries needed to be stored in escrow at a Chinese financial institution in case there was ever an unlikely, but unforeseen problem.

Everything went smoothly and the product was successfully launched with strong results. After nine months, the Chinese government complained about US interference in its culture and economy and halted the sale of the products. The American team went home and six weeks later an almost identical version of the product was up for sale under a Chinese label on Alibaba. Sadly, the US funded, multi-year effort unintentionally created a new industry in China.

Our middle-aged boy from Kansas listens to the false hysteria about a trade war and thinks back to his experience with the unfair practices with China. He knows it is economic suicide to run perpetual trade deficits and he sees the relationship between trade deficits, the demise of a middle class and national deficits caused by exploding entitlements. It is only continued because a very small group of politicians and international professionals are getting rich. It is obvious because he recognized how some of them bought expensive houses in D.C., Palo Alto and Manhattan with their windfalls. He also noticed how they mostly followed a revolving orbit of executive positions in High Tech, Government, Banking and Academia. China was always criticized for currency manipulation and industrial espionage but never confronted or punished.

He considers all of what happened to his company and then quickly reaffirms the decision in his mind to vote Trump in 2020.


1 person likes this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:24 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:39 pm

eileen is a registered user.

@Sanctimonious Poster, You are dead wrong! >>>Sanctimonious City, is absolutely correct.
Just do a little reading and you will be able to understand the Chinese business model. It's not what you think!


10 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:48 pm

eileen is a registered user.

BTW, I agree with >>>Sanctimonious City on China business practices, but I am NOT a Trump supporter or a Republican!! Feel the burn....


2 people like this
Posted by @eileen
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:55 pm

Oh, you poor, poor soul...then again, a Bernbot isn't *all* that different from a -45 cultist, when it comes right down to it.

Methinks it's you that needs to improve on their reading skills.


6 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2019 at 12:26 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

[Post removed.]


31 people like this
Posted by Rich Man/Poor Man
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 23, 2019 at 10:30 am

I think there will always be economic inequality wherever one goes.

The socialist model doesn't fly with hard-working individuals who wish to be rewarded for their efforts.

That is why Bernie Sanders & Olivia Ocasio-Cortez will never become President.


4 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2019 at 9:54 pm

And of course, in the comments on an article on wealth inequality, there are plenty of Palo Alto homeowners sitting in single family housing worth well over a million dollars still turning their nose up at building taller and denser housing in the center of Silicon Valley. You're part of the problem.


21 people like this
Posted by Quit Your Griping
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 24, 2019 at 9:47 am

>> there are plenty of Palo Alto homeowners sitting in single family housing worth well over a million dollars still turning their nose up at building taller and denser housing in the center of Silicon Valley. You're part of the problem

Yes & it has to do with not turning the Bay Area into a massive complex of compressed high-rise housing which only contributes to more gridlock + these buildings are very mundane in appearance.

Go somewhere else to live and/or buy an electric car to commute if you must.

Those who can afford to live here will...those who cannot, well tough luck.


14 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 24, 2019 at 10:27 am

Apparently one reason New York rejected the Amazon HQ2 is that they don't want to become like Palo Alto (as a stand-in for the greater Bay Area). That should give our build-build-build council members some pause.


4 people like this
Posted by @Quit Your Griping
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 10:36 am

"Yes & it has to do with not turning the Bay Area into a massive complex of compressed high-rise housing which only contributes to more gridlock + these buildings are very mundane in appearance."

Oh heavens! Wealth inequality in Silicon Valley is exploding, with housing costs being the primary driver, but just think of those, ugh, MUNDANE buildings that they want to build! It will just ruin the neighborhood character!

History is not going to look kindly upon you.


2 people like this
Posted by @Rick
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 12:11 pm

"Apparently one reason New York rejected the Amazon HQ2 is that they don't want to become like Palo Alto"

I'm sure you can at least cite where you heard this from. The main issue was that NYC citizens didn't want to pay tax dollars just so Amazon would choose to build there. I'm not sure what "not become like Palo Alto" is supposed to mean, unless Amazon opening up shop there was threatening to turn Brooklyn into a low density uber-wealthy senior village.


27 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 24, 2019 at 12:18 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

History will look very kindly on those who wanted to sustain Palo Alto within its natural geography and infrastructure capabilities: a small college town with narrow streets that cannot be widened, no subway or real public transportation, completely unequipped to becoming a major job center and a Manhattan type metropolis, which is what the build-build- build crowd wants to accomplish.

History will look extremely unkindly at tech companies who kept bringing in workers into an extremely congested and pricy area when they could have moved and expended to other areas that desperately needed them, areas that could offer much less expensive housing to their employees.


16 people like this
Posted by Actionable
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 24, 2019 at 1:06 pm

How hard is it to mount a successful recall of a council member who during election misrepresented the interests they drive and votes against the city’s own interest?

Is this impossible or possible?


10 people like this
Posted by Actionable
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm

It is well understood that increasing density increases inequality.

The guilt trip that developer advocates try to promote has no merit. Those who wish for measured development are not as evil as these advocates want you to believe.

Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by @mauricio
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm

"History will look very kindly on those who wanted to sustain Palo Alto within its natural geography and infrastructure capabilities"

Yeah, when the books on the housing crisis are written decades after and Palo Alto comes up, people are totally going to say that it was worth keeping millennials buried under housing debt and high rent so that the elder Palo Alto residents could "sustain" a suburban neighborhood character for themselves.


4 people like this
Posted by @Actionable
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 2:52 pm

"It is well understood that increasing density increases inequality."

You literally live in the middle of a region that is the real life repudiation of this statement. Not increasing density in job centers like Palo Alto has caused housing costs all over the Bay Area to increase and forced poorer residents to move further away or out of the Bay Area entirely, exacerbating income inequality. Building high density residential puts downward pressure on housing prices regionally as fewer people need to seek housing further away.


15 people like this
Posted by @@
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Au contraire.

It is the increase in commercial and residential density of Silicon Valley that has brought us to our current state of inequality.


12 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

I think it's pretty clear that increasing density doesn't guarantee affordability. Otherwise, San Francisco would be the most affordable city in the Bay Area.

I think it's also clear that inequality increases because of "influx of wealth", not "despite" it. If you increase the number of highly-compensated people in an area, then housing, products, and services will increase in price as suppliers take advantage of the change in the customer base. People with lower incomes who are able to move will be displaced when they can no longer afford the increased prices. People with lower incomes who are unable to move will be squeezed into smaller spaces and tighter budgets, until they go homeless. Drastically increased inequality and a hollowed-out middle.

As for building our way out of the housing situation, there are at least three major obstacles.

One, offices are still significantly more profitable than housing, so that's what developers want to build and banks want to finance. See the "rationale" recently offered by some Council members for eliminating the downtown office cap. Making housing cheaper makes it less profitable, so that tilts the balance even farther in favor of offices.

Two, demand is still increasing and no one on the pro-growth side is seriously discussing constraints on it. This is about dollars coming into the local economy as much as it is about people; as long as you continue to raise incomes in the high half of the distribution, the low half is going to get squeezed out by price increases, even if the number of people stays the same. Consider what's going to happen to housing prices in Palo Alto when Palantir goes public, even if there is no more hiring.

Three, infrastructure (particularly transportation) is already hitting limits. Building it out in order to handle significantly increased numbers of people isn't going to be economically feasible in many areas and isn't going to be smart in others (cf maps of rising sea levels around the Bay). To fix this, large employers are going to have to accept significant tax increases.

Compared to these problems, zoning restrictions are negligible. Look around at the developments that are under construction and being proposed. Even Google's transit-oriented "village" has a 2-to-1 jobs/housing imbalance. Most impediments to building housing in downtown Palo Alto have been eliminated, but the ARB recently approved a new mixed-use building at 190 Channing. Why isn't it all housing?


16 people like this
Posted by @@@
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 24, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Exactly! It is the increase in office space that is driving the inequality, not the lack of residential space. The more high-paying jobs, the greater the demand for premium residential and the pricing out of the service worker. The Palo Alto City Council bears the responsibility of driving the inequality by courting developers and giving away our infrastructure to do so. The Council doesn't care (except Lydia and friends), the developers certainly don't care. THAT is why we are where we are today.

I think the Weekly really needs to do some investigative journalism and find out exactly what the developer-friendly council members are getting out of this.


Like this comment
Posted by @Allen
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Your understanding of how housing markets, supply and demand, and how increased density affects prices on a regional level is extremely flawed. San Francisco is always going to be more expensive to live in because there's always going to be more demand to live there. Adding more density to San Francisco makes OTHER cities around it less expensive because the more density in SF, the less far out people need to go for housing. Housing in the Bay Area is expensive because cities like SF, Palo Alto, and Mountain View fought housing for decades. Adding more housing in Palo Alto makes housing in San Jose, Fremont, and other surrounding cities cheaper.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 24, 2019 at 6:47 pm

History will be written by the survivors.


9 people like this
Posted by Actionable
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm

Adding more density to San Francisco makes OTHER cities around it more expensive.

Because building more densely increases the cost for the same size unit. And that in turn raises the price of existing housing in the neighborhood, and also raises the price of real estate.

And those increases in price in turn increases the price of housing for nearby cities.

The whole idea that density lowers housing price is a myth. It can do it if urban decay sets in, but we’re not looking for that. Otherwise, more density, commercial or residential, increases the price of housing. For many it also reduces the quality of life, but for others a higher density drives a more desirable environment. But it always raises the price of comparable housing.


2 people like this
Posted by @Actionable
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 9:08 pm

"Seattle construction boom means lots of empty apartments, even some cheaper rents"

Web Link

Amid building boom, 1 in 10 Seattle apartments are empty, and rents are dropping

Web Link

It's basic supply and demand.


Like this comment
Posted by @Actionable
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2019 at 9:34 pm

Also, let's just unpack this:

"Because building more densely increases the cost for the same size unit. And that in turn raises the price of existing housing in the neighborhood, and also raises the price of real estate."

So, first off, wow. Second, what do you think actually drives the market cost of a unit? You seem to think that "cost" is some wave that radiates out from something and makes surrounding things more expensive. That if you build something expensive in a place, the things surrounding it go up in price simply by being near it. That's the only way I can interpret this, and it also fits why you'd think that building a bunch of large and dense buildings in a city with tons of unmet demand would cause prices throughout the Bay Area to increase, not soak up demand and put download pressure on housing regionally.


6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 25, 2019 at 1:48 am

^ Gentrification defined: "That if you build something expensive in a place, the things surrounding it go up in price simply by being near it."


2 people like this
Posted by @musical
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 2:29 am

More like your poor education defined. The cost of housing (rent and property values) are based on demand. Demand sets the price. Building something that is costly in and of itself has no bearing on what the market price of it will be, or the market price of things around it. If something is built that people want to be near, or that attracts things that people want to be near, then the property around said thing will go up in price as demand to own property / rent near it increases.


16 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2019 at 6:52 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Well, London has gone through a massive gentrification wave in the last 25 years or so. According to the poster, housing prices and rents should have dropped, right? Not so fast. The gentrification orgy has made London the most expensive city in the world, because when you build something expensive in an expensive place, it just makes everything more expensive.


1 person likes this
Posted by @mauricio
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 10:00 am

.... You do realize that London has a housing shortage as well, right? That London has become so expensive because there's way more demand to live in London relative to the available supply of housing there, and market prices have risen accordingly? That there's also a strong contingent of anti-housing older folks in London that use political means to prevent new construction?

This makes so much sense now. You guys literally have no idea how housing markets actually work. You've gone this far into your lives without ever learning this. And you've formed opinions on housing policy that are founded on this poor understanding.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

London is not a good place to use as an example. Brexit has caused so much concern and with many International institutions pulling out as well as the uncertainties for those who want to buy and sell residential property, nothing in London can be similar to anywhere else at present.


12 people like this
Posted by RE Agent
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm

By following the traditional American model of exploiting cheap labor while maintaining a socialist/communist political system, the Chinese are now the new wealthy in Palo Alto & the surrounding areas.

If inequality means being to pay CASH for a $5-7M home in Palo Alto, so be it.

Every dog has its day & there is a new pooch in town.

As an RE agent, it is far easier to close a residential sale when the money is already there rather than waiting for bank loans & escrow to clear.

Those in the RE business are grateful for our new friends from overseas.

May they live well & prosper even further.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland

>> Well, London has gone through a massive gentrification wave in the last 25 years or so. According to the poster, housing prices and rents should have dropped, right? Not so fast. The gentrification orgy has made London the most expensive city in the world, because when you build something expensive in an expensive place, it just makes everything more expensive.

On the bright side, the densification of London has made Yorkshire/north, and Wales, more affordable. As the Bay Area joins New York City in becoming ever more unaffordable and unequal, it must be getting more affordable somewhere else. Let's say "Oklahoma". Well, maybe not Oklahoma City. Let's say "that part of Oklahoma far from a city". It must be very affordable there. Supply and demand does work, it just doesn't work the way that Actionable and others above think it does.

As for the Amazon issue mentioned by some -- why should NY give Amazon a huge tax break. We need a -level playing field- for businesses, not a big break for the biggest businesses.


7 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 25, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

The Seattle Times article is interesting. From the tagline, you might think rents are going down. But as the article explains, rents are still going up overall. Expensive areas have gone down a bit due to overbuilding, less-expensive areas have still risen substantially. What slowdown there is, is expected to be short-term. And in fact, a quick search for more up-to-date data shows (Web Link) that the overall rate of increase has already picked up again this year.

One thing that's consistent across all the examples that have been offered here is that as long as there is unlimited demand, no area has succeeded in keeping housing prices down, regardless of the density at which housing is built.

Maybe where you go from there depends on your personal values. If you believe unlimited growth is an unquestionable good, then it's obvious that low-density areas have to be destroyed and replaced with high density. If you're concerned about the negative consequences of unlimited growth that you've seen in other places, then you're going to want density to be carefully managed, or even strictly limited.

Whatever your preference, it may collide with other realities. It's going to be hard to build a lot of decently-priced housing here because it's not profitable enough to attract financing and developers. (See Web Link for the situation in San Jose, and Staff Report comments Web Link for Palo Alto.)

For perspective on the supply and demand dynamics for Bay Area housing, I recommend chapters 5 through 7 of Richard Walker's recent book "Pictures of a Gone City".


13 people like this
Posted by jh
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 25, 2019 at 3:29 pm

jh is a registered user.

As long as the large companies bring in tens of thousands of new employees to the bay area every year there is no way, in an already built up metropolitan area, housing creation can keep up. These companies know full well that by expanding their campuses here and not creating satellite campuses elsewhere to absorb their growth each new hire is going to evict/displace someone who is less well paid, that is the people who have been the backbone of our communities.

The engineering demands for building above four or five stories soars exponentially so new-build high rise apartments will always be more expensive.

And don't forget that because of loopholes in Prop 13 for commercial property there are ways to structure a change in the ownership without triggering a property tax assessment. As a percentage, commercial property taxes are now only 25%, going down year by year. Unless a company is producing a product that generates sales tax in Palo Alto, the only people who are running to the bank are the landlords. The food court on University Avenue may not even bring in as much sales tax as the retail that Palo Alto patronized and whose retail tax dollars now go to surrounding towns.


2 people like this
Posted by @Allen
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Allen, are you familiar with what a "rate" is? It doesn't matter if rent still went up in places, what matters is the rate at which it did. The rate at which rent increased slowed, and in some places went into a negative such that rent began to decrease, due to the introduction of more supply. Which is exactly what would be expected when you start increasing the rate at which supply is introduced into the market.

There is no such thing as "infinite demand", just as there's so such thing as a frictionless surface.


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 25, 2019 at 5:44 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Those flaunting the supply&demand fantasy assume that cities can build an infinite number of housing units, which is of course false. especially in a town like Palo Alto, whose infrastructure is already bursting at the seams. Palo Alto does not have wide avenues and boulevards capable of accommodating buses, a subway or light rail. It has small town narrow residential streets and even its main arteries are narrow.

Even London with an unprecedented 25 year gentrification hasn't been able to meet the demand, not even close, so in real life terms, there's such a thing as infinite demand, just ask London, NYC, Sao Paulo and numerous other desirable cities, all of which have world class public transport, unlike Palo Alto.

As long as local tech companies refuse to build satellites elsewhere and keep hiring thousands upon thousands of new employees into this area, it will suffer from infinite demand and housing prices will continue to go up and up and up.


2 people like this
Posted by jh
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 25, 2019 at 5:47 pm

jh is a registered user.

Curious. Is Seattle bringing in tens of thousands of new employees per year from outside the area as the companies that are expanding here are? Google, Facebook, etc. etc.


Like this comment
Posted by @mauricio
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 5:57 pm

I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but you don't need wide streets in order to build densely and accommodate a larger population. How do you think European cities, built before cars and buses, managed to do this otherwise?

Infrastructure can be built and upgraded.

Palo Alto doesn't need a subway in order to build taller. Dense construction can be focused in downtown, walking distance from shops and Caltrain.


1 person likes this
Posted by @jh
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Yes, Seattle is a tech hub that is home to multiple tech HQs and satellite offices. It's where many in the Bay Area are moving for cheaper housing while still being close to jobs. Seattle's growth coincided with restrained housing construction, which caused it's initial housing cost explosion. They've recently been on a tear with building new units, and even with more people moving to the city constantly the new construction has helped rents start to level off.


12 people like this
Posted by Why make Things Even Worse?
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2019 at 6:04 pm

> I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but you don't need wide streets in order to build densely and accommodate a larger population. How do you think European cities, built before cars and buses, managed to do this otherwise?

Then go live in Europe.

> Infrastructure can be built and upgraded...Dense construction can be focused in downtown, walking distance from shops and Caltrain.

Yes. let's turn this entire area into a series of mundane-looking rat cages called high-rise dwellings with mixed usage for commercial interests.


15 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 25, 2019 at 8:53 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

Let me try to be more clear about several points.

Is housing in Seattle getting more affordable? No. The price is still rising, and the price (not its rate of change) is what determines affordability.

Has building new housing reduced the rate at which housing is getting less affordable in Seattle? Yes. Increasing supply does improve the supply/demand balance.

By how much? I don't know, because I don't know how demand changed over the same period of time. If you want to make an honest case for supply, you also need to research the demand and report back.

Why is there more per-capita housing construction in Seattle than in the Bay Area? Again, I don't know. Hint: There is ample land available in the Bay Area (even in Palo Alto) zoned to allow high-density housing, so "NIMBY zoning restrictions" is definitely not the answer. I did a quick search, which turned up results that housing is more profitable per square foot in Seattle than it is here, but the numbers were only for limited rental properties, so I doubt we can conclude much from them. See if you can do better.

Why haven't we constructed any dense housing in Palo Alto in decades? In fact, we have. Elaine Meyer's spreadsheet (Web Link) shows around 3800 units built or approved in the last 20 years. I've lived downtown for almost 35 years, and I remember a few projects that predate those in Elaine's list.

How much housing would we have to construct in the Bay Area to make it more affordable? Interestingly, there is a little information on this. UCLA research (Web Link) concludes that if we add 20% to our total housing stock, we could reduce prices by about 10%, taking us all the way back to the halcyon days of 2014! However, the reports on this that I've read don't describe the assumptions that were made about increases in demand.

And by the way, I didn't use the phrase "infinite demand". Demand can be limited in many ways; for example, you can limit the rate at which it increases, limit the subsidies used to support it, limit the conditions under which increases are permitted, and so on. Demand without such limits is "unlimited", not "infinite".


Like this comment
Posted by @Allen
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 10:57 pm

"Is housing in Seattle getting more affordable? No. The price is still rising, and the price (not its rate of change) is what determines affordability.

Has building new housing reduced the rate at which housing is getting less affordable in Seattle? Yes. Increasing supply does improve the supply/demand balance.

By how much? I don't know, because I don't know how demand changed over the same period of time. If you want to make an honest case for supply, you also need to research the demand and report back."

I can't tell if you're pulling a Poe's Law on me or if you're determined to not see the forest for the trees. If you're paying rent, and the rate at which your rent goes up year to year has decreased, that's fantastic. That is a huge step in the right direction. No one paying rent is going to look at that and go "Oh, but my rent didn't go down, so just undo everything and go back to how my rent increases used to be."

I've just made an honest case for supply: the rate at which rent was increasing in Seattle went down and in some cases reversed as a glut of new supply hit the market. Boggles the mind, right? Who would have thought that making more of something that's in heavy demand might be a good idea! Unless you're going to Thanos Snap half the population away, or take away human desire for shelter, or collapse the economy in Seattle, then you're not going to adjust the demand side of the equation. There's nothing to debate here as far as the role adding more supply plays in the price equation, what should be discussed is how can the rate of housing construction can be increase.

"Elaine Meyer's spreadsheet (Web Link) shows around 3800 units built or approved in the last 20 years."

Oh wow, 3800 over 20 years? What an amazingly productive two decades that's been. *clap, clap, clap*


Like this comment
Posted by @Why make Things Even Worse
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Even worse for who? The Millennial generation is struggling under obscene cost of living increases, housing costs being one of the biggest issues, and you're griping about having to see "mundane" apartment buildings? Yeah, what a hard life for you.


14 people like this
Posted by Why make Things Even Worse?
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2019 at 11:36 pm

> The Millennial generation is struggling under obscene cost of living increases, housing costs being one of the biggest issues, and you're griping about having to see "mundane" apartment buildings? Yeah, what a hard life for you.

Every generation has endured its own set of struggles. For some it was The Great Depression, for others wartime economies & conditions (i.e. I-II, Korea, Cold, Viet Nam etc.)...some worse than others.

So boo-hoo. Poor Millenial cannot afford to buy a high-rise rat-cage to live in. You know what animals do? And as humans we are essentially animals...

They find somewhere else to build their nests. And try to keep in mind that alpha species also drive the weaker and in the case of humans, the poorer ones out.

Welcome to the jungle.



12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2019 at 8:46 am

As I see it, there are some in their 20s or thereabouts, call them millennials if you see fit but not all of them, have grown up with a different type of parenting. They have all been given participation trophies, they have all been given smiley faces and good job stickers just for handing in homework, they haven't been given the opportunity to learn that real life is hard and not fair. There will be winners and losers and there is a benefit to hard work, saving for the latest video game and chores as a fact of life. They are used to parent involvement in every aspect of their life as well as if they are having a hard time at school it is the teacher's fault but not theirs. They expect everything to be given to them as a right, because it is fair and because anyone over the age of 40 is living in the past. They can't tell the difference between want and need and their sense of entitlement is because they have always had the latest gadget. They never had to record their music from the radio, never had to get an after school job to get spending money or to pay for what they felt was necessary to their lifestyle.

I think we are now feeling the reality of this type of parenting. They don't know how to do without to pay for what they truly need, to have second hand hand me downs, or second hand.

Not all are in that mindset, but enough are to tell me that we have to go back to some old fashioned parenting norms.


11 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 26, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

For those of you who think Office caps are the issue, I have a solution for you.

Just elect a Socialist like Bernie or AOC. The talk of 70% taxes, wealth redistribution, historical reparations and guaranteed jobs for people who don't want to work will kill the business expansion faster than you can say Amazon Headquarters.

It may be impossible to stop climate change in 12 years, however, with ideas like that I bet they could certainly destroy Silicon Valley. But hey, one out of two ain't bad.


17 people like this
Posted by The Trouble With Millenials
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Good insights @resident!

>>They have all been given participation trophies, they have all been given smiley faces and good job stickers just for handing in homework, they haven't been given the opportunity to learn that real life is hard and not fair.

Yes. A false sense of self-esteem is highly overrated


>>They expect everything to be given to them as a right, because it is fair and because anyone over the age of 40 is living in the past.

Most have the attention span of a gnat & no concept of history or their predecessors


>>They can't tell the difference between want and need and their sense of entitlement is because they have always had the latest gadget.

Or it's been given to them.


>> never had to get an after school job to get spending money or to pay for what they felt was necessary to their lifestyle.

How many kids do you see cutting the lawn these days? Or washing cars?


Blame their BabyBoomer parents many of whom who never took the time to grow-up either.


7 people like this
Posted by The Trouble With Millenials
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

>> Just elect a Socialist like Bernie or AOC. The talk of 70% taxes, wealth redistribution, historical reparations and guaranteed jobs for people who don't want to work will kill the business expansion faster than you can say Amazon Headquarters.

Bernie Sanders & Alexandria Ocasio Cortez will NEVER get elected POTUS. Some idealistic Millenials may get swayed by their rhetoric but common sense will prevail at the polls.

The USA wasn't built on the Scandinavian model...it was built on the Calvinist model.


7 people like this
Posted by @@Mauricio
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Walking distance to CalTrain and shops in Downtown PA? Is that the life you imagine living for those "blessed" with the still un-affordable stack-and-pack housing some "housing" advocates believe is their end game? Please. :rolleyes"

Wait a few years and you will be able to buy my single family dwelling and you, too, can pay $45,000 in property tax.

And some poster here believes that a reduction in the rate of increase of the rate of increase (second order) is a WIN for renters? Pleeese....

This is a very big country. If you choose to move to a place you cannot afford and demand that the existing residents compromise the life they have worked to create to make space for you you have a very broken concept of reality.


2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2019 at 2:20 pm

@@Mauricio

Walking distance to CalTrain and shops in Downtown PA? Is that the life you imagine living for those "blessed" with the still un-affordable stack-and-pack housing some "housing" advocates believe is their end game? Please. :rolleyes"

Wait a few years and you will be able to buy my single family dwelling and you, too, can pay $45,000 in property tax.

And some poster here believes that a reduction in the rate of increase of the rate of increase (second order) is a WIN for renters? Pleeese....

This is a very big country. If you choose to move to a place you cannot afford and demand that the existing residents compromise the life they have worked to create to make space for you you have a very broken concept of reality.


2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Off topic. Mods can delete if they want, but what, exactly, is wrong with a 70% marginal tax rate? People who rant against 70% taxes always manage to leave out the word marginal.


7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 26, 2019 at 3:03 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

"What is wrong with paying 70% marginal tax rates?"

If everybody paid it you might have a reasonable question. Since roughly 50% (much more if you include the cash-based underground economy caused by open borders) pay no income taxes then I think you have your answer.


6 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm

@Sanctimonious City

"Marginal Tax Rate" means that people with a higher income pay more tax on the upper tier(s) of their income. They pay the same tax on the lower percentage of their income as everyone else. No one pays tax on the deductible amount. In what way is this not fair? Implying that Bernie, or anyone else, is proposing a 70% across the board tax is disingenuous.


8 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 26, 2019 at 4:28 pm

^ When the most productive use of your time is tax avoidance, then taxes are too high.


12 people like this
Posted by A Wealthy Millennial
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Feb 26, 2019 at 8:07 pm

My parents recently moved to Sedona, AZ & left me in care of the family house. It is a 5BR/3.5B home near the country club off Alexis Drive & it will someday become mine years later down the road when they are deceased.

I work at Google and manage to gross about $22,400K per month...my take home pay is roughly about $13K but who's counting because...I RENT out 3 of the 5 bedrooms for $2500K per month + utilities. That makes for a NET of around $20K monthly & my only major expense other than food & my own utilities is a 2014 Prius that I bought used two years ago.

I am saving about $180K+ per year & my parents are still paying the property taxes on the house...which is about $2500K I think. I cover the homeowner's insurance because I have elected to have tenants.

I've been doing this now for about 3-1/2 years so there is no complaint when it comes to accumulating the dollar signs. Right now I'm good for about $750K in liquid CASH assets & it's just collecting interest at the bank.

I am also a vegetarian so my food costs are relatively low & since I don't have any hobbies or interests, there's really nothing to spend surplus money on other than some clothes & personal items.

I plan to remain single as I see no reason to share this wealth with a partner unless she also brings sizable assets to the table.

My uncle has warned me to stay clear of opportunists who will spend my money unwisely & that makes sense.

Though I am fortunate to have this housing opportinity, the key for Millenials is too keep your expennses to a minimum. Many whine about the cost of living because they overspend on dining, designer clothes and material items. Most do not know how to restrain from spending beacuse they are complulsive & immature.

Yes. There will always be economic equality but most Millennials do not know how to save money. It is like a foreign language to many.



10 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 26, 2019 at 10:06 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

@Rick

I did not claim the 70% was marginal, effective, total or otherwise. Besides, what is most disingenuous is the notion that the wealthy in the U.S. don't pay their fair share.

Our Capitalist system is based on individual property rights which means workers get to keep what they earn. They earn income by producing goods and services and then selling them in a free exchange in the marketplace. Buyers and sellers act as individual entities to decide the price and value of the transaction. Citizens grant the government powers to tax those earnings to meet its constitutional obligations and to meet public policy objectives.

People who can't afford a house in Palo Alto may feel like their freedom is limited. However, they can decide to stay with several room mates, save and invest for a later time, live in the east bay to commute or even take a job in a lower cost of living city like Austin, TX. What they do with their own time and money is up to them.

Contrast that scenario to Socialism where a small group of unaccountable technocrats/kleptocrats have a right to all your earnings and get to decide how much they give back to you. If they want to squander all of it on a HSR that never gets built or a New Green Disaster that is unachievable, that is their prerogative. It is basically just stealing from one group and giving arbitrarily to another.

So the ultimate question is how much should someone get to keep? If everybody has a right to a job, housing wherever they want, free college tuition and Medicare for all then the answer is none.


4 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 7:38 am

@Sanctimonious City

I know you didn't claim the 70% was Marginal, but it -is- marginal. Paying a marginal tax is a very fair method of taxation.

We don't have a Capitalist system and never have. Participants in our society are expected to contribute to the common good, be it defense of our country, roads, or sewer systems.

No one has the "right" to live wherever they want, but they may have an expectation of a clean and safe pace to live.

The ultimate decision is should society allow a few people to keep -everything- to the detriment of society of a whole. I believe that is where we disagree.


3 people like this
Posted by @Rick
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:28 am

Rick, how is someone keeping "everything" when they are certainly paying taxes?


8 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:44 am

^ What makes you think everyone is paying taxes, much less their fair share?

In any event, Bezos, Gates, etc are prima facie evidence that wealth distribution is grossly out of whack. I do have a soft spot in my heart of the robber barons of old bringing us libraries and the transcontinental railroad, so I also have a soft spot for our current crop of robber barons bringing us spaceflight and cheap gee-whiz stuff from China, but I don't -trust- them. I don't really trust our elected officials (especially the Palo Alto City Council - to bring this back on point), but at least elected officials are -supposed- to be accountable to us (another nod to the Palo Alto City Council giving away our public infrastructure to developers).


3 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:51 am

Amazon's HQ2 Circus Is Nothing New—It's Been Playing Governments Since the Beginning

Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by Inequality Is Often Based On A Lack Of Cultural Assimilation
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 27, 2019 at 9:02 am

>> The ultimate decision is should society allow a few people to keep -everything- to the detriment of society of a whole.

This is the root of all cultural & economic revolutions regardless of the respective political doctrines.


>> The USA wasn't built on the Scandinavian model...

And the last time I checked, the Scandinavian countries haven't had any major cultural, social, or economic based revolutions...then again, they are predominantly homogenous countries in terms of ethnicities. this could eventually change however with 'open door' policies for immigrants from elsewhere.

Look what happened to France & Great Britain when they opened the doors...big problems based on lack of assimilation. Germany is perhaps next.

Melting pot/diversity is OK providing the newcomers get with the program & don't cling to the old. That's when the inequality really sets in...unless one immigrates with lots of money to begin with.




2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 10:06 am

> Look what happened to France & Great Britain when they opened the doors...
> big problems based on lack of assimilation. Germany is perhaps next.

> Melting pot/diversity is OK providing the newcomers get with the program
> & don't cling to the old. That's when the inequality really sets in.

Cultural assimilation <> financial inequality. That is a more complicated dynamic as indicated by the taint of racism in this comment. This is perhaps better understood in the context of institutional racism as shown with African Americans here in the USA. Contrast and compare.

I do, however, agree with your statement "This <financial inequality> is the root of all cultural & economic revolutions regardless of the respective political doctrines".


13 people like this
Posted by Inequality Is Often Based On A Lack Of Cultural Assimilation
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 27, 2019 at 10:42 am

>> Cultural assimilation <> financial inequality. That is a more complicated dynamic as indicated by the taint of racism in this comment. This is perhaps better understood in the context of institutional racism as shown with African Americans here in the USA. Contrast and compare.

No racism intended...just observational given the degree of social services programs geared towards the recently arrived from 3rd world/developing countries. The translations on the required paperwork are extensive, almost bordering on overkill.

At one time, there were only English, Spanish & Cantonese translations...now there are over 30+. Ridiculous.

Assimilation is the key to getting better settled in the US & other countries where one is immigrating to. It should take two generations at best.

Institutional racism is a problem...especially in France & England where Muslims tend to be further isolated from mainstream society.

On the other hand, many are responsible for this predicament by clinging to the 'old ways' & again...not getting with the program.

Preserving cultural identity is fine but immigrants shouldn't be expecting to radically alter one's newer surroundings overnight.

Learn the ways of your new country & then GRADUALLY initiate & address the diversity issues.


2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 11:04 am

"Learn the ways of your new country & then GRADUALLY initiate & address the diversity issues".

Agreed. Although I point out it is easier said than done. From reading, thankfully not first hand knowledge, my Polish ancestors were discriminated against by the just barely earlier immigrants from other European countries :rolleyes: Both sides need to assimilate.


10 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 27, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

If you carefully study history, the root of all revolutions is actually not financial inequality. Rather, it is the lack of personal liberty and upward mobility.

We may all be born with inherent value but as individuals we are not equal. Some are tall, some short, some skinny, some fat, some smart, some less intelligent, some hard working and some lazy, some handsome and some homely. In the field of endeavors, these differences manifest themselves into differing abilities.

Over time, this creates a pareto principle where a small number of people are most productive and dominate any given activity. It is true in sports, the arts, the sciences, the law and also true in business. The solution to this problem is not to guarantee equality of outcome in any one industry but to allow individuals the flexibility to participate in multiple types of activities and identify the ones for which they are best suited. Look around, the top echelon of every industry becomes wealthy and everybody underneath benefits disproportionately by their achievements.

Freedom is the inverse of equality. Social research over the last three decades has shown that free societies have more inequality because individuals are allowed to choose what they like and are best at doing.

Ironically, it is government intervention with excessive regulation, favoritism and tax policy that limits freedom and impairs upward mobility. As pointed out by someone I knew from a high tax country in Europe, high tax rates are particularly devastating to the middle and upper classes because families are no longer able to save and invest their way into a higher standard of living. In effect, the tax and regulatory structure solidifies the power of the elites.

Thus, I am surprised by the examples of Bezos and Gates. Sure, they became enormously wealthy but we all benefited by what they created. Better examples might be politicians who made $100s of millions while in office (Clinton, Pelosi) or rent seeking corporations in the banking or healthcare industries who successfully lobbied taxpayer funded exemptions.


9 people like this
Posted by New Money = No Class
a resident of Woodside
on Feb 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm

> Over time, this creates a pareto principle where a small number of people are most productive and dominate any given activity. It is true in sports, the arts, the sciences, the law and also true in business. The solution to this problem is not to guarantee equality of outcome in any one industry but to allow individuals the flexibility to participate in multiple types of activities and identify the ones for which they are best suited.

So basically...if one is not talented, intelligent, athletic or of inherent wealth, they deserve to be poor. Call them worker ants.

That makes sense as everyone cannot be any or all of the above.

So when will people finally learn to accept their lot in life rather than stir up trouble?

> If you carefully study history, the root of all revolutions is actually not financial inequality. Rather, it is the lack of personal liberty and upward mobility.

In America, most personal liberties are ensured providing they are not against criminal or civil law. In other countries this is not the case.

Upward mobility in America will always be limited as the best one can aspire to is upper middle-class.

The doors to the true upper-class in America are closed off by birthright. So buying designer clothes, expensive houses/cars/jewelry etc. is not the ticket. Amazing how many people delude themselves into thinking they can buy 'class'.

Are they not ignorant or what?


2 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 27, 2019 at 1:25 pm

"If you carefully study history, the root of all revolutions is actually not financial inequality. Rather, it is the lack of personal liberty and upward mobility."

Do carefully study history since you have seemed to miss the point that lack of personal liberty and upward mobility is enforced by financial inequality. No one has said anything about equality of outcome, only equality of opportunity.

Ironically, it is government intervention with regulation which (not often enough) prevents those already on top from despoiling the Commons. Your digs at Clinton and Pelosi also apply, even more so, to the Republican politicians who aid and abet the aforementioned exploitation for personal gain.

"Social research over the last three decades has shown that free societies have more inequality because individuals are allowed to choose what they like and are best at doing". Uhhh, no. You do not understand what "free society" means, or at least have some personally distorted definition of it.


11 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2019 at 4:29 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

If you study history carefully, the root of most revolutions is the emergence of an oligarchy that assumes all financial and political power and prevents others from upward mobility. In a crony capitalism system like we have, it allows the oligarchy to not only control and bend the political system to its will, it always creates virtual monopolies that fix prices, outsources jobs and hides income through clever banking maneuvers, thus not paying their share, taking advantage of favorable business playing field. Since that corporate oligarchy also controls the entire mainstream media, it has turned it into entertainment and gossip outlets, instead of information tools that inform and educate the public watching them. They use sports, and entertainment gossip to titillate the public, in the tradition of decadent Rome, so its attention is diverted from what the oligarchy is really doing, which should have triggered a popular revolution.

It is the failure of the government to regulate the oligarchy and tax it properly, thus preventing their excessive and immense power and influence, that is destroying our democracy,


8 people like this
Posted by Justin Blake/Age 11
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 27, 2019 at 7:07 pm

The true American Dream is fulfilled by achieving success in professional sports or in the entertainment field. Not everyone can do it but those who succeed...

(1) can afford just about anything they want
(2) do just about anything they want
(3) can hire other people to do the things they don't want to deal with

----Selbly Lane Is Not Penny Lane/Atherton

^^^^ Nolan Arenado/Colorado Rockies just signed an 8 year contract for $260M & Manny Machado signed with the San Diego padres for $300m over ten years.

Now that's talent & reward. While most MLB players are in the $550,000 to $12M range & while most people are gifted enough to have this opportunity, it sure beats being some computer geek at Apple or Google.

I'm at the age where I am beginning to appreciate cute girls & I've noticed that most of these elite athletes also have really good-looking girlfriends & wives (unlike many of those high-tech guys)...the same with guys in the entertainment industry.

I'm playing Babe Ruth League baseball at a very high level & hope to get drafted someday. I might even skip college as the signing bonuses are very lucrative if you are projected to be a top prospect. No guarantee but a kid has to have a dream & creating apps is not my passion or interest. OK for others.

So monetary inequality will always be prevalent. Steve Kerr of the 'Dubs' got fined $25,000.00 for tossing his clipboard one night. How many people can afford that kind of penalty? If you've got the cash, anything goes...within reason.

My Dad says the key is not to marry a goldigger as they will take you to the cleaners.

Worse case I can always go to college & become a PE teacher.


Like this comment
Posted by Justin Blake/Age 11
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 27, 2019 at 7:10 pm

correction...'most people aren't gifted enough...'


Like this comment
Posted by Actionable
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 27, 2019 at 8:09 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:04 am

Hey Justin,

Much less work to become a YouTube or Esports personality. No need to sweat or worry about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy by becoming involved in what "sports" your grandpa likes to watch on broadcast television. :)


8 people like this
Posted by Justin's Dad - 37
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:33 am

> Much less work to become a YouTube or Esports personality.

Many of them have never even played the respective professional games they are commenting on. Their opinions & 'expertise' are worth a grain of salt. Sportswriters are also in this category. The only valid commentaries are from the sports analysts (former players).


> No need to sweat or worry about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy by becoming involved in what "sports" your grandpa likes to watch on broadcast television. :)

You are thinking of football & other contact sports. Baseball is a bit different unless you are getting beaned every game or bump your head while chasing a pop-up.


"Baseball has been very good to me." Remember that line often satirized but conveyed by countless Latin American MLB players?

The money is good. Upwards of $30M per season for elite players & a minimum wage of $555,000.00 for rookies/players with less than 3 years of service time.

Of course if one doesn't have the talent or gets injured prematurely, the money is out the window.

But there are no guarantees in life so pursuing what you enjoy or love is all that really matters. And if staying behind a computer all day or being a crooked lawyer floats your boat, so be it.

BTW, I'm Justin's dad & I heartily support his ambitions.



Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 28, 2019 at 11:32 am

@Justin's Dad - 37,

I think it is great that you are supporting Justin in his endeavors! That is far too rare an activity these days. Kudos. Hope to read about his life in the Majors one day.

Minor point: Esports are playing video games for (possibly) big money and YouTube stars are not sportscasters. These are entirely new ways of monetizing life in a connected world.

Thinking that becoming a crooked lawyer might be a fine way to supplement my retirement though...


Like this comment
Posted by Ore-Med With A Back-Up Plan
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 28, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Big money in NBA basketball too. Beats being a computer nerd.

And like Justin/11 said...improved access to attractive women, Just stay clear of the shallow ones who are purely out for lifestyle enhancements.

Everyone should follow their dream but have a viable alternative in their hip-pocket in case something goes awry.

That said, I am majoring in pre-med but if all else fails, I would like to take my photography skills & become a high-fashion photographer.

Like Justin, I am drawn to beautiful women too.


11 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

The Democrat Party has become the platform of "Robbing" Hood with a primary objective of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

Front runners like Kamala Harris, AOC, Elizabeth Warren and the mis-named Beto fall all over themselves to embrace the poorly-understood-and-probably-never-read ideas of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Bonnie & Clyde.

Currently, residents in California from the highest income levels pay 58% on each marginal dollar once they hit the highest bracket (Federal, State, FICA). With the proposed 70% marginal tax proposal, it would go up to 91% of each marginal dollar in that bracket.

These are taxes on W-2 earnings, not capital. So they go to the heart of work incentives for the professional class of doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and athletes. The top 1% of taxpayers already pay more than the bottom 90% combined.

Such unfair practices are equivalent to theft. Two good tactics to avoid being robbed are to not carry any cash (ie. stop working) or move to a better neighborhood (ie. establish residence in Florida). Both very good reasons why the diminutive governor in New York has a very large budget deficit.

There is an old saying about the phenomenon that 90% of family wealth is gone within 3 generations. It describes going from shirt sleeves (white collar) to short sleeves (blue collar). With the new Democrat version, we will all end up in a tank top.

To avoid that fate, mega-rich, hypocritical billionaires like Warren Buffet claim they don't pay their fair share yet put their fortune in foundations to provide their kids jobs for life and avoid paying 40% estate taxes.

What's worse, new extreme views on infanticide and Medicare for all will turn our healthcare system into some kind of Rodney Dangerfield parody:

"When I was born, my doctor told my father they did everything they could but he pulled through anyway."

With single payer healthcare you might have a doctor but I wonder if the patients will get any respect.


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 28, 2019 at 3:13 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Public policy is dedicated to keeping people like Ivanka Trump and kin extravagantly wealthy, and very little helping to level the playing field for everyone else. The ultra-rich are free to hide their money in far-flung tax havens like the Cayman Islands, or to park it in luxury real estate markets like the ones on which the Trumps and Kushners – the family Ivanka married into – have built their empires. The top marginal tax rate currently sits at just 37% in the US, down from above 90% in the mid-20th century. And the country’s biggest corporations frequently pay no taxes at all.

The poster above seems to favors policies that would further deregulate the oligarchy and enable it to shield even more of their wealth from taxation. We have become a society in which the oligarchy is robbing everybody else to further enrich itself.


3 people like this
Posted by The Color of Money
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm

But how much money does one really need?

You can't take it with you upon death & material things eventually get boring.

Is it because greedy rich people have no soul?

Silly question...obvious answer.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 28, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Had to go review George Harrison's Taxman lyrics.


9 people like this
Posted by Stanford MBA Student
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 1, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Economic inequality serves a function in America. It encourages initiative & entrepreneurism.

If you don't have any initiative, you deserve to be on the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

On the other hand, there are way too many crooked people who are wealthy.

Then again...."behind every great fortune lies a crime"...Honore De Balzac in Pere Goriot


22 people like this
Posted by Alternative Measures To Perpetuating Inequality
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm

What's the point of caring about inequality? It is a human condition regardless of culture, political system and/or society at large.

Government entitlement programs funded by higher taxes won't solve the problem because for many, living off the free & cheap has become a viable lifestyle + there are too many non-naturalized & illegal immigrants qualifying for these benefits.

Non-American citizens should not be entitled to food stamps, county rental assistance vouchers or Medi-Cal. These programs should be reserved for American citizens only.

While building a 'wall' is both impractical & not a cost-effective counter measure to illegal immigration, there is nothing stopping the National Guard from assisting in border patrol or the US Army Corps of Engineers stringing-up barbed-wire or temporary barricades along the border.


23 people like this
Posted by Gateway To Entitlements
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm

>>...there are too many non-naturalized & illegal immigrants qualifying for these benefits.

Which poses a fiscal problem...can tax-payer dollars adequately support all of the recently arrived immigrants applying for social services benefits?

And do Americans have a moral responsibility to provide for them?

Since America was built on earned/accrued wealth, perhaps only immigrants who can afford to settle in the US without having to apply for rental assistance, food stamps & Medi-Cal should be admitted.


11 people like this
Posted by Show me The Money
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 2, 2019 at 8:59 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


2 people like this
Posted by Please Explain This One
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 4, 2019 at 9:06 am

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Politics As Usual
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 4, 2019 at 9:55 am

> Left wing right wing is perhaps less important than I.Q. The talented tenth, 120 I.Q. and above, the varsity team vs. the others.

And some 'varsity members' are in prison as well.


> Only about one out of a thousand people has the ability and purpose in life to work on and on.

And the rest are just highly disposable 'worker ants'


> Economic inequality serves a function in America. It encourages initiative & entrepreneurism.
> If you don't have any initiative, you deserve to be on the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

This makes sense. Why should deabeats be rewarded off the labor of others as everyone in America has an opportunity to be a worthless army ant regardless of their take-home pay.

MAGA


5 people like this
Posted by Roll With The Dice
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about tradedeficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:30 am

Your rant about trade deficits a few weeks ago appears to be ill-timed; want to re-up? Now would be great to double down on Trump's 'fantastic' trade policies (or utter lack thereof...)

---

Trump just set a RECORD TRADE DEFICIT with China. $419 BILLION trade deficit with CHINA in 2018. Must be all those side deals and bribes for Ivanka's product line!

from al jazeera:

"US trade deficit surges to 10-year high; a record gap with China
The skyrocketing US trade deficit hit the highest level in a decade last year despite Trump's global-trade offensive."

"The United States trade deficit surged to a 10-year high in 2018, with the politically sensitive shortfall with China hitting a record peak, despite the Trump administration slapping tariffs on a range of imported goods in an effort to shrink the gap."



Like this comment
Posted by @Why make Things Even Worse?
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2019 at 11:39 am

"They find somewhere else to build their nests. And try to keep in mind that alpha species also drive the weaker and in the case of humans, the poorer ones out."

We might have to tweak this hypothesis a bit, because if the suggestion is that Palo Alto is where the alphas live, you seem to break the mold.


9 people like this
Posted by Not Buying It
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm

> Trump just set a RECORD TRADE DEFICIT with China. $419 BILLION trade deficit with CHINA in 2018. Must be all those side deals and bribes for Ivanka's product line!

from al jazeera:

al jazeera is a biased news agency just like Fox, MNBC & CNN. More editorial than actual news.

Many people don't realize that.

MAGA


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Posted by Not Buying It, a resident of Barron Park

>> al jazeera is a biased news agency just like Fox, MNBC & CNN. More editorial than actual news.

Do you think that facts are biased?

Quoted by Reuters:

“Perhaps Donald Trump will now discover that tweets and bluster alone won’t dramatically shrink the trade deficit,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing in Washington. “The administration’s fiscal policies have helped to boost the trade deficit.” Web Link



7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:29 pm

The simple explanation for the record trade deficit is that Trump economic policies have created a record setting US economy. You just proved the point that the Trump pro-growth policies of lower taxes and lower regulations have worked like a charm.

Now, once the unfair trade practices like currency manipulation, dumping, IP theft and trade barriers are addressed and congress stops its war on US labor by securing the border and reforming immigration policy, then we will see a real wage growth boom for the middle class.

I am proud of you shadow. You have demonstrated that if one keeps watering and watering and watering a rock, eventually it sprouts roots and begins to grow.


13 people like this
Posted by Not Buying It
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 12:33 pm

“Perhaps Donald Trump will now discover that tweets and bluster alone won’t dramatically shrink the trade deficit,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing in Washington. “The administration’s fiscal policies have helped to boost the trade deficit.”

Tweets & bluster will not improve American economics BUT cutting-off major trade with China will as certain jobs will return to America.

The key is to boycott the purchasing of ALL Chinese-manufactured goods by reading the labels prior to POS.

While China may in turn boycott various US-produced exports, so be it...Let them grow or make their own goods for their domestic market.

America will win in the long run as Congress can subsidize farmers & exporters.
This beats lining the pockets of overseas countries.

If something is made in China...I am Not Buying It. Period.

MAGA


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:08 pm

@Sancti/@Not

The point is the strategy isn't working as advertised.

Web Link

Are economists surprised? Nope. Time to spin some alternative facts.


11 people like this
Posted by MAGA
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:39 pm

> Now, once the unfair trade practices like currency manipulation, dumping, IP theft and trade barriers are addressed and congress stops its war on US labor by securing the border and reforming immigration policy, then we will see a real wage growth boom for the middle class.

> The key is to boycott the purchasing of ALL Chinese-manufactured goods by reading the labels prior to POS.
> If something is made in China...I am Not Buying It. Period.

YES...there's no need to empower other countries. Let them pay their own dues from within.

Economic nationalism is good...to a certain extent.

America 1st, then everybody else.


3 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:58 pm

Build the wall and deport those her illegally. End birth right citizenship for babies of mothers from other countries. And voila affordable housing will increase. We won’t run out of water every summer. Less cars on the road= less pollution. Make foreign owned houses a 99 year lease. This is a win win for this country.


10 people like this
Posted by @Portola Valley
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm

"Build the wall and deport those her (sic) illegally."

1) Learn how to spell.
2) Who will do your dirty work? I mean, the locals in PV aren't known for getting their hands dirty...

"We won’t run out of water every summer. Less cars on the road= less pollution."

Nice try, sport. But blaming all of that on foreigners is typical "thinking" by the -45 cult, whose ability to think critically is rather lacking.


10 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about tradedeficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

We have one Trumpy who doesn't believe numbers, and another Trumpy who tries to use numbers to take credit for the continuing Obama recovery from the Bush Recession (ie.. the 2nd Republican Great Depression.)

GDP 1990-2018 chart (Clinton Bush Obama Trump) Web Link Note: Clinton and Obama the only ones to reduce DEFICITS

What a world.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Economist
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:15 pm

> Note: Clinton and Obama the only ones to reduce DEFICITS

Curious...who would reduce the federal deficit better, Rand Paul or Bernie Sanders?


10 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about trade deficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 7, 2019 at 10:04 am

> The simple explanation for the record trade deficit is that Trump economic policies...

So funny! Trump's stated goal (lie) over and over and over again: he promised to REDUCE the trade deficit with China!

The trade deficit blows up, and the poster above invents a magical "Trump won!" fairy tale. Just like Trump blowing up the budget deficit - Trump wanted that all along!

Is that Trump Koolaid available just in single serving, or do you get it in six-packs?


15 people like this
Posted by AnthroMan
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 7, 2019 at 10:16 am

>The Democrat Party has become the platform of "Robbing" Hood with a primary objective of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
>Public policy is dedicated to keeping people like Ivanka Trump and kin extravagantly wealthy, and very little helping to level the playing field for everyone else.
>The simple explanation for the record trade deficit is that Trump economic policies have created a record setting US economy.
>We have one Trumpy who doesn't believe numbers, and another Trumpy who tries to use numbers to take credit for the continuing Obama recovery from the Bush Recession (ie.. the 2nd Republican Great Depression.)


Perhaps Bob Dylan said it best in Subterranean Homesick Blues..."Don't follow leaders & watch your parking meters."

Time is running out for America.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2019 at 11:16 am

"Not buying it" -seems- to be arguing in favor of Autarky. Web Link

"Sanctimonious City" -seems- to be arguing in favor of Mercantilism: Web Link

You two must have livened up your econ classes back in the day, but, what is it that you want? More economic equality, or, something else?

BTW, here's another analysis from Reuters:

Web Link





6 people like this
Posted by Old Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2019 at 11:23 am

This will further depress Palo Alto home prices.
Palo Alto homes are currently down 10% off their peak last year.
Not surprising.
With the SALT cap and Mtg cap on taxes in place, the Palo Alto homeowner is getting creamed.


2 people like this
Posted by @Old Joe
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2019 at 11:33 am

Yet another setback for the opressed Palo Alto Home Owner! Will they and their million dollar properties ever catch a break?


Like this comment
Posted by @Portola Valley
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2019 at 1:32 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Crocodile Tears For The PA Wealthy
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2019 at 1:36 pm

> This will further depress Palo Alto home prices. Palo Alto homes are currently down 10% off their peak last year.

Boo hoo. Especially if you are Prop 13 capped (which means you probably purchased your home at pre-1976 prices). Let's not get too greedy over a lousy 10%.

>> Yet another setback for the opressed Palo Alto Home Owner! Will they and their million dollar properties ever catch a break?

The privileged will always have something to complain about.


4 people like this
Posted by @Barron Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about trade deficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Manafort gets 4 years on the first set of charges, with more to come on the next set of charges. Dirty dude, with the Ukrainians and the Russians. Going to die in jail.

Trump's campaign manager. Ran the Republican National Convention. Here's a photo of Dirty Donnie and one of his crime family members - Web Link

Has there ever been such a criminal presidential political campaign as Trump's?

Santi - still calling it fake news????? After all, the judge who threw this crook in jail is a Reagan appointee.

Another administration filled with criminals (Reagan had more crooks than any administration ever, well, before Trump came along.)

Reagan: "I am proud of you shadow."


26 people like this
Posted by A Gesture Of Good Faith
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2019 at 8:49 am

One way to calm the waters of inequality would be for the United States government to offer monetary reparations to all African-Americans who were descendants of slaves, displaced Native American Indians & Hispanics whose families lost their land to American settlors during the westward expansion. Specific Chinese descendants should also be included due to the Asian Exclusionary Act.

This would be step in the right direction.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2019 at 10:20 am

Someone may want to pick this up in another thread, but-- we haven't seen the end of this:

Web Link

Executive summary:

"Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive"


2 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 8, 2019 at 10:33 am

Allen Akin is a registered user.

@Anon: And locally, we have less than a year before the Palantir IPO.


6 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:28 am

On the topic of reparations, since Sen. Cory Booker believes he is Spartacus how about asking Italy to give him a payout too given the Romans practiced slavery for at least 600 years. It was not abolished in the Ottoman Empire and Arab world until the late 2oth century so Rep. Rashida Tlaib might want to send Turkey a bill for their troubles.

Closer to home, maybe we could ask Spain to contribute since it practiced slavery much more broadly and longer in the Americas than the US ever did. Perhaps AOC deserves something since Puerto Rico only abolished slavery in 1873 almost a decade after the Civil War.

Then of course, there were the indigenous people like the Aztecs who built an entire society out of enslaving other tribes until they ripped the beating hearts from their bodies in religious sacrifice. For millennia, all over North America dominant tribes like the Cherokee and Comanche practiced slavery over the weaker ones. It was the norm and not the exception. Good thing the 13th amendment finally put an end to that madness.

Don't worry, I am not forgetting the Japanese. Their "Rape of Nanking" was so bad it drove the poor author (RIP Iris Chang) who chronicled it to commit suicide. Japan has never even recognized or apologized for what they did only a few decades ago to China, Mongolia, Korea and Vietnam. I am sure the check was somehow lost in the mail.

Last but not least, let's save a few coins for all the indentured servants and share croppers as a catch-all of every race and creed. They were free in name only and surely deserve something.

If you can't afford it now, I propose as a "gesture of good faith" that you put 20% down and finance the rest on a payment plan.


2 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about trade deficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:45 am

Reparations? Yes, Reconciliation and Reparations open a door to healing our fractured society, starting with one of our nation's worst sins.

Besides, President Trump is a big fan of Reparations.

Just this week, we saw all those checks (with Trump's signature) to Michael Cohen to pay for Trump's Reparations to the hookers and porn actresses he weakly chose to fool around with while his 3rd 'wife' gave birth to a child. Family Values!

Reparations make sense.


24 people like this
Posted by Flavio
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2019 at 1:20 pm

>One way to calm the waters of inequality would be for the United States government to offer monetary reparations to all African-Americans who were descendants of slaves, displaced Native American Indians & Hispanics whose families lost their land to American settlors during the westward expansion. Specific Chinese descendants should also be included due to the Asian Exclusionary Act.

excellent idea. it is time for America to make good.

@Sanctimonius City/Barron Park

other countries can do as they please. their history is their problem. we are talking about America...land of free, home brave, all men created equal. not just rich white people.


4 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:14 pm

[Post removed.]


40 people like this
Posted by Rolanda
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2019 at 9:17 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2019 at 11:03 am

It is possible you have reparations confused with California Penal Code 211.

“Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear."

There is no way to determine who, as individuals, would deserve compensation or who should be responsible for paying for it.

Your living wage of $150,000 would require one or more people to work indefinitely without compensation to pay for it. Some would call that slavery.

Who would pay the reparations for that?


42 people like this
Posted by Latrelle
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2019 at 12:46 pm

>>Reparations to people of color whose ancestors were either enslaved or exploited by the wealthy visionaries of the 17th-19th American centuries should be accommodated.

Yes! Congress should enact these reparations immediately. Slavery was wrong & it was the wealthy white people who were responsible for this injustice. Make them and their descendants pay.

>>The wealthy could easily cover this by more extreme tax measures on their disposable income.

Yes again. Especially the corporate CEOs who get rewarded with golden parachutes for doing a lousy job.

>> There is no way to determine who, as individuals, would deserve compensation or who should be responsible for paying for it.

Yes there is. Everyone with even the slightest trace of African-American bloodlines going back to slavery would be qualified. Recent immigrants from Africa to be largely excluded.

Records of Southern slave owners are traceable & their descendants should be forced to pay...sins of the father.

Stanford University should also make reparations to the descendants of Chinese laborers. They can afford to given all the money their development department takes in.

Some white folks just don't want to pay up or fess up to their responsibilities & involvement in this injustice.


47 people like this
Posted by Soul Brothet
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2019 at 2:16 pm

The Desendants of Africans and Arabs who enslaved their own people and shipped them off to America should also pay. Along with Puerto Rico who did not end slavery until almost 40 years after lincoln and the Republicans ended Slavery

The DNC should also be forced to pay as they endorsed canidates who supported Slavery and led us into a civil war.


32 people like this
Posted by Latrelle.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2019 at 2:50 pm

[Post removed.]


50 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 9, 2019 at 5:32 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Post WW2 Germany paid many billions in reparations to victims of the Third Reich. The free democratic republic of Germany took responsibility for the actions of their predecessors. In principle, slavery was no different from what the Nazis have done, and what we have done to the indigenous people of this land is similar to the Holocaust. The least we could do is pay reparations for our crimes. If possible, it would be great if we could force the descendants of the slave traders, Arabs and others, including Jews, to pitch in, but regardless, we are guilty and must pay for our crimes.


30 people like this
Posted by Lance Chow
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


28 people like this
Posted by The Economist
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 9, 2019 at 8:29 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


6 people like this
Posted by America Must Atone For Its Past
a resident of Portola Valley
on Mar 9, 2019 at 9:53 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


6 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

Ok, you convinced me.

Who wouldn't want to address the injustice if the perpetrators could be found. I would support reparations if the following people AND/OR their direct descendants are held accountable:

1. All slave owners
2. All people who voted Democrat from 1850 through 1964 because they were responsible for the policies of slavery, the creation of the KKK, Jim Crow laws, segregation and the WW2 internment camps.
3. Anybody who worked as an academic in the Ivy League schools or Stanford up until the 1930s for propagating racist intellectual frameworks like Eugenics
4. Home owners in Palo Alto up until the 1980s who had racist home owner association bi-laws preventing the integration of EPA with PA.
5. Anybody with a net worth over $1 million including the value of their homes

Exemptions
1. People of color whose ancestors were not here during the time of slavery are not eligible for reparations. Sorry President Obama, Senator Kamala Harris, Susan Rice, Eric Holder and Valerie Jarrett
2. Descendants of Union soldiers who were killed or wounded in the Civil War attempting to liberate the South do not need to contribute because they already paid in full.

We can do a simple DNA test for up to seven generations back and anybody with .78% match or more is culpable.

So break out the checkbooks.


5 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Latrelle
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 10, 2019 at 2:50 pm

One of my best friends is Jewish & during the course of our discussion on this topic he suggested that the Egyptians & Italians are also responsible for reparations to people of Jewish descent going back to biblical times.

Since post-war Germany addressed this issue, post Old Testament Egypt & Italy should also consider the courtesy of acknowledging their past deeds & remuneration in kind.

It's not just African-Americans who deserve consideration for past injustices.

@mauricio
Your points were well taken.
@Sanctimonius City
Yours not so much.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Posted by Sanctimonious City, a resident of Barron Park

>> 4. Home owners in Palo Alto up until the 1980s who had racist home owner association bi-laws

Anything surviving on paper until the 1980s was legally unenforceable. Racially-restrictive covenants were invalidated by the Supreme Court in Shelley vs Kraemer (1948), the Oakley decision of 1958 that disallowed discrimination with regard to properties purchased via FHA and VA loans, not to mention the Fair Housing Act of 1968 which included actual federal enforcement. As an aside, in 1958 the Palo Alto builder Joseph Eichler was criticized for selling to minorities, and he resigned from from several organizations because they continued to push for discrimination. Web Link Not to say that it was easy for black people to purchase houses in Palo Alto in the 50's; minority buyers were often steered towards East Palo Alto after 101 was made into a freeway (and barrier). Web Link

>> preventing the integration of EPA with PA.

In what sense? East Palo Alto is north of Palo Alto and in San Mateo County. The California constitution describes cities as entities within a single county, and by California law, city boundaries may not cross county boundaries. Menlo Park could easily have annexed EPA at one time, but, I doubt if EPA wants to merge with MP today.

In any case, I'm not sure what your point was. I'm just adding a little history.


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 10, 2019 at 6:10 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Slaves were not paid for their labor, which enriched millions of people, so reparations for their descendants is a no brainer. President Obama, Kamala Harris and others like them never demanded reparations for themselves, so the poster is just posturing.

The constitutional amendment that allows for the immoral, feudal, awful electoral college was originally designed to favor the slave owning states who had counted a slave as three quarter of a person in the census. Before reparations, we must do away with this immoral, awful, undemocratic abominations that allows minority rule.


14 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:07 pm

Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland

>> the slave owning states who had counted a slave as three quarter of a person in the census.

It was three fifths. Article I, Section 2, paragraph 3. (Right up front.)


6 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:59 am

Good News
The good news is those who wish to pay reparations right now you don't need to wait for government intervention. You can do so today at the following web site:

Web Link

Bad News
The bad news for those who wish eliminate the electoral college is you will need to amend the constitution. It turns out it is a fairly important mechanism to keep the country together. If it is eliminated, all the small population states will be motivated to either leave the union or merge to counter balance the small number of highly populated ones.

If you care about minority interests and representative government, you should be for the electoral college.


10 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about trade deficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Tyranny of the minority - 70% of the electoral votes represent only 30% of America. Perhaps 30% should represent, oh, I don't know, maybe, hmmmm, let me get out my calculator, okay - 30%? With ample legal protection, of course. So...

> all the small population states will be motivated to either leave the union or merge

Leave? Sure, if they don't care about America, then begone.

Merge? Those tribalists out in the sticks merge? Hah. Sure. Be my guest. North and South should become Dakota.

And when Donald Trump finishes up selling Mar a logo memberships to massage parlor pimps that report to the Chinese government, he won't have to visit as many states.


Founder of Florida spa tied to Robert Kraft case offered access to Trump and family at Mar-a-Lago to Chinese clients
Web Link




Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm

If you are looking for disproportion, people in the US are less than 5% of the world.


12 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:22 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Except that in the USA, the electoral college actually entrenched enables the tyranny of the minority. A population minority represents almost three quarters of the electoral college. The GOP has no chance of winning presidential elections if the candidates who wins the popular vote gets elected. In our system a vote in a small state is worth more, much more, than a vote in a large state. Small, sparsely populated states determine the election outcome.


7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:43 pm

If some people are against the electoral college then I assume they are against the Senate with 2 representatives per state or 2/3rds majority rule? How about the veto as the ultimate one against many tyranny? Maybe we could get rid of those checks and balances too.

Remember, just because the Super Delegates could be rigged in the primaries against Bernie it doesn't mean it works the same way in the general election. I am sure it must also be frustrating that corrupt election methods like ballot harvesting and allowing illegal immigrants to vote haven't turned the country into a single party system yet. From the looks of things, it is not working very well in California.

From previous posts its obvious many do not like the Bill of Rights either. Perhaps all those elitist boondoggles to Davos or private jet hypocrisy trips to climate change festivals or flights to off shore more jobs to India and China have caused some jet lag.

Are you sure you are in the right place? It has been this way for over 200 years. Or maybe you could admit that you don't like sharing power and can't tolerate different points of view.


5 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm

By the way, the US is 5% of the population but over 25% of the world's GDP. What is your point?


4 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm

"Are you sure you are in the right place? It has been this way for over 200 years. Or maybe you could admit that you don't like sharing power and can't tolerate different points of view."

You actually said that.

Pot, meet kettle.


25 people like this
Posted by History Repeats Itself Again
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 11, 2019 at 8:59 pm

"The GOP has no chance of winning presidential elections if the candidates who wins the popular vote gets elected. In our system a vote in a small state is worth more, much more, than a vote in a large state. Small, sparsely populated states determine the election outcome."

That's how Donald Trump won the 2016 election. The larger metroplitan states knew better than to vote for him but the smaller rural states with myriads of disenfranchised & lesser educated white voters opted for a candidate they felt would bring economic security to the working classes...a rejuvenation of sorts.

This is happened in post Weimar Republic as well. A charismatic persona often has a way of swaying those who feel left by the wayside. In the long run, most still are.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:04 pm

At Chevron my vote counts proportional to how many shares I own.


16 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 12, 2019 at 6:13 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Even the claim that a the electoral college protects small states is false. Candidates don't even bother to visit small states, as their vote is known. If the president was elected by a popular vote, a vote in Wyoming would be of equal value to a vote in NYC, Los Angeles or Chicago. Every vote would be important.

The electoral college was enacted to protect the slave owning states, and now it allows angry, ignorant, sparsely populated states to entrench the tyranny of the minority.


6 people like this
Posted by History Repeats Itself Again
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:32 am

Big or small, winning the 'swing states' is the key to scoring the electoral college vote...which is why presidential candidates devote their energies in those locations.

Of note...

Arizona: 11 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in nine of the last 10 elections.

Colorado: Nine electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in seven of the last 10 elections.

Florida: 29 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in six of the last 10 elections.

Georgia: 16 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in seven of the last 10 elections.

Iowa: Six electoral votes. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in six of the last 10 elections.

Michigan: 16 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in six of the last 10 elections.

Minnesota: 10 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in each of the last 10 elections.

Nevada: Six electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in six of the last 10 elections.

New Hampshire: Four electoral votes. The state has split its vote between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees in the past 10 elections.

North Carolina: 15 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in eight of the last 10 elections.

Ohio: 18 electoral votes. The state has split its vote between the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees in the past 10 elections.

Pennsylvania: 20 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in seven of the last 10 elections.

Virginia: 13 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Republican presidential nominee in eight of the last 10 elections.

Wisconsin: 10 electoral votes. The state has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in eight of the last 10 elections.


7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:51 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

I guess you don't consider Iowa or New Hampshire small. Then there are also key swing states like Nevada and New Mexico.

Your anger just proves it is working by design perfectly. A few small states can mean the difference in the election or grouped together in a block can counter the large states so that everybody is represented.

By the way, parlimentary democracies have the same issues and are even less stable. Can you imagine how many times special "loss in confidence" votes would have been held here to reform a majority over the last two years?

In the US, citizens get to vote every 2, 4 and 6 years to affect power. There is no need to have silent coups by making up fake Russion collusion hoaxes.

It is your misplaced bigotry that is more concerning. Labeling half the country as white and uneducated may assuage your guilt but it prevents you from seeing clearly.

The truth is when the world was made flat 30 years ago, a small number of greedy people sold out their compatriots to temporarily enrich themselves while infrastructure, education, access to healthcare, budget deficits and wealth inequality suffered.

The ethical crime was the globalists weren't more talented or harder working. Like most elitists, they were just more ruthless and willing to stab others in the back.

Give the deplorables some credit. At least they were smart enough to figure that out and use a fair and democratic election to stop it.


12 people like this
Posted by @santi city - lies about trade deficits
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

> Give the deplorables some credit

Yes, they elected the guy who cut taxes for the corporations and billionaires who are the very "...small number of greedy people sold out their compatriots to temporarily enrich themselves while infrastructure, education, access to healthcare, budget deficits and wealth inequality suffered."

In the meantime, Trump just told us he will cut services for His Deplorables.

Medicare cuts of $845 billion
Social Security cuts of $26 billion

Yay, deplorables; but guess what? the Liar-in-Chief's still distracting you by calling for a stupid, useless wall.


7 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:36 am

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by History Repeats Itself Again
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:47 am

Speaking of inequality...today's breaking news about the rich & famous being indicted for altering high school transcripts, SAT scores & bribing college admissions officers speaks volumes.

Excessive amounts of money & trying to 'keep up appearances' are the great corruptors of souls.

Vanity/ego + big money = bad news...including POTUS & various Hollywood celebrities.


6 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:48 am

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

A new home in Redwood City for Mademoiselle Colette's croissants
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 8,239 views

Electric vs Gas Heat: Which wins?
By Sherry Listgarten | 18 comments | 3,832 views

Lights Out! Foods to Snuggle With in the Dark
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,680 views

What to do with all those cardboard boxes
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 1,465 views

Some answers, please, PG&E
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 859 views

 

Race Results Are In

Thank you for joining us at the 35th annual Moonlight Run & Walk! All proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday fund, supporting local nonprofits serving children and families.

Click for Race Results