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New poll finds 71% of Bay Area residents think quality of life has declined

Original post made on Oct 11, 2021

Bay Area residents grappling with the high cost of living, growing homelessness and high taxes say the quality of life has sunk in recent years, with a record number looking to leave the region altogether, according to a new survey.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 11, 2021, 2:32 PM

Comments (107)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Some added difficulties in the recent months include people being less friendly as they hide behind masks, difficulties in finding basic commodities such as refrigerators, household items and various foodstuffs available in retail (not including toilet paper), reduction in City services and public transport, increases in crimes of various types, and the length of time to get things done.


Posted by John
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 11, 2021 at 4:16 pm

Just returned from a week in North Florida. The streets have no trash. The highways are clean. There are no homeless encampments. No mentally ill wander the streets. No armed robbery/shoplift crews operating without restraint. Criminals go to jail. No masks. No commie mandates. No checking of papers to participate in society. No propagandizing or sexualizing the children. I’m short, it’s traditional America.

My house here goes on the market in a few weeks.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2021 at 4:47 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

One can attempt to flee from these disturbing modern day developments but it is nearly impossible to escape from the elements all together.

There is strife and divisiveness nearly everywhere and there will always be perpetual pockets of crime, poverty, homelessness, and/or chronic substance abuses wherever one goes.

And simply moving to a wealthier, predominantly white upper middle class community won't cut it either as many of the folks residing there can be be just as rude, arrogant, obnoxious, and subtly racist as anywhere else.

'Going off the grid' is the only way to make a clean break.

As we become more alienated in both our outlook and everyday perspectives, who needs close proximity neighbors anymore? Or the gridlock?

As Mick Jagger once sang, "Get off of my cloud."


Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2021 at 9:16 am

Hinrich is a registered user.

You wanted progressives at every level of government, you got that and with it social activism and culture wars at the expense of order, good fiscal management, good schools, and good public policy. You want a Governor who wants to manage your toy stores - not one who regulates the border so that people can come in but not everyone from everywhere can just walk in. You wanted sanctuary cities - good luck to the poor searching for housing You don't want crimes punished - you want your drug stores and shopping malls opened to gangs of looters. You don't care about drug addicts on the street - you care about robbing the overwhelming majority of children of their gender identities while teaching them that now we will once again divide people by the color of their skin not by the content of their character. A little girl cannot be a little girl and she must - if white - atone for her guilt. Everyone wanted to be on Facebook and no one cared if it was deeply damaging to real society. Everyone is just fine focusing on global warming and not housing. We choose Democrats with silly ideas not skilled managers for our leaders and wonder why the problems grow. People have lost faith and want to leave. That shouldn't surprise us


Posted by PA Dan
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2021 at 9:30 am

PA Dan is a registered user.

I wish they would have added a question on intolerance in this survey - as someone who is economically conservative and socially moderate - what used to be called centrist - I frequently feel intolerance from my fellow Palo Alto residents. Along with taxes and quality of life issues, political / social intolerance is one of the top reasons I would leave the bay area. I have found that our good Palo Alto liberals are often shockingly intolerant of people who don't share their political or ideological values, and they are frequently vocal and nasty about it.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2021 at 9:36 am

Online Name is a registered user.

I think the survey drastically understates the percentage of "Democrats" who are unhappy with the "progressive" direction of the official CA / Santa Clara Democrats.


Posted by sequoiadean
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 12, 2021 at 10:29 am

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I wonder if the same people who complain about the high cost of housing are also the same people who do not want to build additional housing, whether it be ADUs, duplexes, apartment buildings around transit corridors, etc.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2021 at 10:56 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

R. Cavendish: okay, so if 360 million Americans move “off grid” into the woods, where will we put all the deer? Please start tomorrow with your “off grid” experience and let us know how that goes for you via a note you pass to a carrier pigeon. Let us know how cozy it is to live without modern plumbing, HVAC or electricity.

The entire point of endeavoring to create high culture and civilization is to make life as comfortable as possible for the largest number of people as possible. The best “raison d’être” for humanity is to help make life better for each other, starting with our families and working outward. It’s the airline mantra of “take oxygen first” before giving to your child. You must be strong first in order to give to others.

As my favorite manager once said: “the main goal of this company is to take care of people.” He was an old school Japanese manager of a very old school 19th Century created Keiretsu. We were a tech subsidiary. His main point was why we all got up in the morning to get to work and produce, it was to help each other make our lives better and the world a better place. He was a firm believer in private enterprise and capitalism, and had an everyday laser focus and mission to create profits. His relentless focus on profits is what made all of us successful, put food on the table and was the singular reason we could all prosper. We also made real things, like the real USA can, not useless Ad platforms.

Having lived in Japan and learned the Japanese language in my 20s, I held a deep appreciation for the laudable Japanese values of striving for excellence and caring for the collective good. This attitude, married with the American striving for exceptionalism and freedom, is a winning combination and why the melting pot of America has been undeniably and wildly successful until recently.

The American car went off the road and fell in a muddy ditch in 2020. It’s now up to all of us to roll up our sleeves and pull it out of the mud.


Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 11:45 am

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I've been spending a lot of time over the last 2 years in Orange County. It's a very different living experience and my wife and I love it. Clean streets, No "homeless", and a genuine of mix of people with very different livelihoods living in the same town. As right of center people politically, we fit right in. We also appreciated the lax masking mandates (My wife kept telling me to take my mask off in the grocery stores because I was the only one wearing one). We can't leave Palo Alto and Bay Area soon enough!


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2021 at 11:57 am

William Hitchens is a registered user.

Ever increasing overcrowding & lack of privacy, nasty traffic, plus rotten zoning and transportation decisions made by clueless local and state governments resulting in --- a large decline in general satisfaction and quality of life. But, there are very few places that have better weather than we have here.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The state has an agenda that most problems are focused on cost of housing. An article identifies the mix of people by census information by area. Housing is the end result of the bigger problem in that the economy of the state has dramatically changed. CA used to have manufacturing, steel, car assembly, agriculure. All has been displaced by the tech industry and specifications which drive a lot of commercial activity out of the state. A lot of the population is disqualified by type of skill sets no longer being a career type job. That has been a very deliberate activity by the state government. If you don't see people who look like you it is because the have left to get jobs for their skill set in another state that has a large mix of economy drivers. And all the locals can do is blame that on societal elements which do not addrress the fact that you have to have a job in order to have a house and housing.


Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 12, 2021 at 12:15 pm

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The reason housing prices are lower in many places is because the salaries are also lower and the companies don’t give meaningful stock options. I understand folks wanting to keep their high salaries but enjoy low housing costs but that is difficult to do. Makes sense to leave once you retire though.


Posted by CalAveLocal
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2021 at 12:33 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

You know what is very interesting about the study? 74% of the respondents are not working for technology companies.


Posted by cmarg
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

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Well, I have always said, you take yourself with you wherever you go. So, if you are running from this place, I recommend you instead decide where you want to run TO, versus from. Also, I wonder if people consider purchasing homes/real estate in other areas/states and once they get some capital gain from their home, then move into areas like Palo Alto. I never thought Palo Alto would be my first home. I had a purchased 2 condos (one in Pennsylvania and one in Santa Clara) prior to having equity to move into Palo Alto. And, we do not have a huge house, it is about 1800 square feet.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2021 at 1:12 pm

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There's something to be said for that. Who notices quality of life when he/she/it works up to 16 hours per day and sleeps under their desk some nights --- kind like being in grad school, only paid in 6 figures and not 3.


Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2021 at 1:14 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

That was @ CalAve's insightful, cynical comment.


Posted by CalAveLocal
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2021 at 1:27 pm

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

William Hitchins, I did not mean my comment to be cynical. What I meant is there is a possibility of this poll being skewed (I am sure it was not intentional) by the population that was being polled. Thats all.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

This thread is a prime example of why we need a like button. I agree with so many of the above points made by different people.

Our lives have of course been forced into a spiral since the pandemic started, but it has only sped up the decline. Politically speaking the issues have been buried under political correctness. We can't talk about our own quality of life issues without being called names. We can't criticize another group's motivation without being called names.

Going back to the furore before about Foothills Park, or Preserve. Historical reasoning was irrelevant to most of us who moved here long after the Park/Preserve came into being. Racial tensions came into play even though anyone of any race can live in Palo Alto. Housing issues came into play, even though housing had nothing to do with a Park/Preserve designed for viewing nature. Affordable housing issues came into play, even though more affordable housing exists nowhere near the Park/Preserve. Bay Area media jumped on the argument without giving both sides of the perspective and just wanted to make Palo Alto look bad. Los Altos Hills residents got involved since they were not allowed in although many of them were able to walk in without having the need to drive and park.

It is going to be very interesting to see if they will issue numbers on visitors since the original opening. It is going to be very interesting to see just how much money has been taken in at the gate (or annual passes) as compared to the additional costs of opening including the amount of new signs, barriers, garbage, etc.

Palo Alto is still, in my opinion, a great place to live. The highest reason for me is that there are some great people here and we are close to so many amenities. There are many things that have gone downhill, but they are not necessarily Palo Alto issues alone as the whole region is suffering.

And I will end with the same comment as I started, the like button is needed for this thread in particular.


Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 2:46 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Surveys and polls! The tools of information...and in some cases, useless information. They often don't ask enough questions and/or the right questions. And my first question about the survey is "how many of the respondents were renters?" Another one, "how many of the respondents were home owners and how long have they been home owners in PA?" Another one is "how many of the home owners have paid off their mortgage loans?" Another one, "why are the ones choosing to stay, staying?"

Results that puzzled me: "The opinion was felt strongest among people ages 50 to 64 and those making a household income between $100,000 and $250,000". I'm guessing they are still renters. Very low income and low income families are still shut out.

Now I'll share discussions we had, members of a former Avenidas Life Stories class led by Sheila Dunec, at our reunion party at Eichler S&T Club. I hosted the party because I'm a member. Most of us Lifers are in our 70's-80's, maybe some sneaking in under that range. We talked about what brought us here, when we moved here, and where we bought homes here. One of my favorite ladies in the group explained it very succinctly: it was the neighborhood...everybody knew their neighbors and they did things together...and she also mentioned our weather. Then I challenged her with a question, "do you know all your neighbors today?" I think I heard "Um, uh, er, not as many". Of course we shared the memories of the 60's-70's when life was so much different, and in my opinion, better.

Then, when the discussion got around to the question about leaving, we heard all the reasons for staying, but I think the number one reason was how close and accessible we are to the best medical and dental care in the country.

Okay, I have to confess...I read the results of surveys and so I have this pile of data, the same data that our PA commissions, committees, manager and his staff, and our city council members have. The big question is "what do we do with it?"


Posted by Mandy Koo
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 12, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Mandy Koo is a registered user.

We re-situated from China 15 years ago and could not be happier to live in the SF Bay Area with its exquisite homes, excellent public schools, close proximity to high-end shopping, and fine dining options.

There will always be ingrates & curmudgeons who are truly incapable of appreciating all of the bounties and outside opportunities they have been blessed with living here on the mid-peninsula.

Having left behind a highly-congested and populous region abroad, residing in Los Altos is a godsend & we are genuinely grateful to have had the means to do so and to enjoy the finer material things in life.

Unfortunately not everyone can be prosperous or happy and it is up to them to make the most of what they do have or dwell in personal misery.

We are not planning to leave CA anytime soon and our relatives in China are anxiously awaiting their upcoming opportunity to relocate & own a nice home in either Palo Alto or Los Altos.

This is a wonderful area in which to live!


Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Good for you Gertrude! Do you have house cleaners and gardeners? Where do they live?


Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Oct 12, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

If you feel uncomfortable here and more comfortable in the OC or North FLA, please be our guests. OC is generally too hot for me in the summer. I prefer an earthquake every 30 or 40 years to Florida's annual hurricane season. As for masking and mandates, look at county health information before you move anywhere these days. The Pandemic is not over yet. As a community, PA might overthink things from time to time.


Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 3:42 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Mandy...your story might be compelling except for the fact that you came here, and within a few years had enough money to buy a home in one of the most expensive communities in the area. Shame on you for calling those who can't afford to live next to you "ingrates and curmudgeons". You were blessed with the money you had, however you earned it, to be able to come to this country, buy a home here, and live the American dream that so many Native Americans, long time ancestors of the invaders from European countries, and their black slaves, have been denied. Be proud, but not overly proud, and contribute to your community and the new society you live in. You left China...now be the good citizen we need, and expect, in this country. Boasting about your wealth is not a good quality or virtue to be proud of.


Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2021 at 4:08 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

What happened to Gertrude's comment? Or am I losing my mind or suffering from dementia?


Posted by P2L1
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2021 at 4:11 pm

P2L1 is a registered user.

Tech has not been kind to Palo Alto and the Santa Clara Valley. Tech brought ground water pollution, overpopulation, sky rocketing home prices, and their obnoxiously entitled techies to Palo Alto. Tech has done nothing for the quality of life here, and the sooner these people and their companies leave us, for greener pastures, the better off Palo Alto will be.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2021 at 4:25 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

@Martha Dogood/a resident of Old Palo Alto

"...so if 360 million Americans move “off grid” into the woods, where will we put all the deer?"

Answer/response: Highly unlikely (and unrealistic) that 350 million Americans as a whole would go off-grid in a pro-active effort to escape population density and its encumbrances. Besides, if everyone went off-grid one might easily experience even more gridlock in various preferred and perceived nature-land nirvanas as some areas are far more hospitable and enjoyable places to go 'off-grid' than others. As for the deer, they would probably just wander into the suburbs to forage as they do now.


"The entire point of endeavoring to create high culture and civilization is to make life as comfortable as possible for the largest number of people as possible."

Reply: Sounds good but will Congress ever be fully convinced of this humanistic ideal?


Lastly...your reflections of working in Japan are most likely from the 1980s when 'Japan Inc.' was at its zenith. Things have changed over there as well. Lifetime employment in Japan is now a thing of the past and with it went the subordinate and cultural acceptance of corporate vision. Much of Japan's manufacturing is farmed out to 3rd world countries and with the lost internal jobs, company loyalties are OUT especially if one is employed below an executive level.

Times have changed in both in Japan and Palo Alto.

One cannot go back in time and the only options are either to 'stay put' OR 'exit, stage left'.

And things are not going to get any better as reflected by the topic itself and following commentaries pertinent to this thread.



Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Or you could just live your life and count your blessings, regardless of circumstances. It works for a lot of people because they have the right mindset. Peace.


Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2021 at 5:19 pm

Eric Filseth is a registered user.

Well, this is for the nerdiest of the nerdy, but there was a great academic paper Web Link a couple years ago out of Yale arguing that the Silicon Valley suffers from something called “Dutch Disease,” a term coined in the 1970’s by the Economist, that has nothing to do with tulips but instead the social and economic consequences of having one superstar industry that’s so strong it warps your country’s currency value. The Yale paper argued something analogous is happening in Silicon Valley, except the fulcrum here is land prices, not the guilder; but otherwise a lot of the impacts are similar (among other things, it’s pretty good for people employed in the boom sector, considerably less so for everybody else).

I thought that was one of the most astute perspectives on that Bay Area I’d ever heard, but it turns out ameliorating Dutch Disease is really hard. You have to reinvest a bunch of the gains from the boom sector (Tech in our case, vs oil and gas in the 1960’s Netherlands) back into society, and even that only goes so far, and that’s when it’s politically feasible. Have we reinvested enough of our tech windfall back into housing, transportation and social services here? Yeah not really, I think, and the results are as you see. So I’d be inclined to rephrase P2L1’s comment above as, “tech has been kind to the Valley financially, but we haven’t spent the money wisely - not yet, anyway.”

If you look at a lot of the directions we’re trying to take at least in Palo Alto on things like impact fees, topical this week, it’s trying to spend the money wisely, including paying our full freight every day and not dumping it on the future. The tech boom may or may not outlast the pandemic, but no boom lasts forever. The Netherlands had a tough few years when theirs finally ended. Here in the Valley we really need to reach a point of structural sustainability while we still have the economic latitude to do it.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2021 at 6:39 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Eric is right that no boom lasts forever but let's look at what many of the tech whales will leave behind as they "move fast and break things" -- like entire sectors of the economy and professions.

We've already seen what outsourcing has done to workers displaced by cheaper foreign worker but how many NEW sectors/professions is Silicon Valley eagerly working to automate out jobs: cashiers, cab drivers, truck drivers, factory workers, knowledge workers, programmers... Look at the supply chain / shipping crunch chip shortages and what's happening to sales of high tech gear like phones and computers and industries like home and kitchen remodeling where getting your appliances etc. takes months!

What good is cheap globalization and Just In Time Manufacturing when everything's stuck in ports?

Does Silicon Valley even think about the shrinking middle class or the costs to society while they spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against paying gig workers benefits and living wages and local business taxes.

Ask yourselves how many of your techie friends are still here or plan to stay here after they "age out" of their jobs and their kids graduate.

Densification is killing what made this area fun because you can't get there from here due to congestion. You can't take the train because the station parking lots are now housing and resident-serving businesses are being replaced by more housing.


Posted by Paly02
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2021 at 8:19 pm

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I'm not surprised people think the quality of life has gone down - it has, due to the pandemic among other things. What does surprise me is how low traffic is on the list of issues. People say that we can't build more housing because of traffic, congestion, parking - but traffic concerns are wayyyyy lower on this list than housing concerns.


Posted by ndn
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2021 at 8:22 pm

ndn is a registered user.

Neighbors from way back who bought houses with covenants they signed specifying that "no persons of African, Japanese, Chinese or Mongolian descent were to use or occupy the houses" apparently are still lamenting those good old days calling them "traditional American". No wonder that they want to move to whiter pastures, floods (hey Houston) hurricanes and oppressive summer heat be denied. Also those states' homeless, dictatorial policies that don't respect the right to feel safe in their one schools, business, etc and the cruelty of a law that would force a 12 year old rape victim to have a child ravaging their young bodies and minds .... Go please go.


Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 12, 2021 at 9:26 pm

chris is a registered user.

Mandy is one end of the spectrum of people who really appreciate living here.
There are also a lot of people who would appreciate living here in less luxurious circumstances.

For better or worse, there are a lot of people who have been here for 20, 30, 40, or more years who feel they have the right to dictate the conditions under which other people are able to obtain housing. These "old-timers" should be able to have their voices heard, but their opinions and values should not be the only ones heard.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2021 at 10:02 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

Mixed opinion of views in posts here.
I follow the news and know our state and regional government (ABAG, anyone?) is currently very poor: stupid, focusing on wrong topics, state legislature is the playground of Mr. W.
We are highly taxed - and then spoken down to…
Gov. Newsom and Mayor Breed are hypocrites in their behavior vs. the very laws or mandates or heavy statements on several aspects re: Covid. We should all be equal under the Law.
The excessive focus on “the homeless,” decade after decade, clearly being a magnet for ever more transients coming here indicates lack of responsibility towards public safety and public health and not prioritizing citizens and legal residents.
SF ever increases homeless and drug budget; pockets are lined by city officials who must be caught by FBI (lax prosecution); SF is not safe at all.
Very discouraging to those working very hard here in Tech, taken advantage of by persons such as Newsom: we are reprimanded by condescending “representatives” while being incredibly productive, and a major economic part of the U.S.
I fear for the future of this country if massively in debt.
…All while our tax dollars are given to illegal persons - see: Newsom, w/o legislature agreement. Inviting in undocumented is the most bizarre thing for public officials to prioritze in their work.
The weather is mostly good here, but I’m close to leaving. I disagree with endless support of transients, drug addicts, criminals at my expense and risk. The Kate Steinle killing is somshocking! Oh, shrug, say some.
P.S. Regional residents here fallen on hard times are invited to access social services, outstanding food bank, multiple charities, of course. The US people are very generous and truly needy must be helped including disabled and mentally ill.


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2021 at 11:24 pm

Chuck is a registered user.

California is being ruined by terrible policies and hypocritical politicians like Newsom, London breed, and perhaps the worst of them all… Chesa Boudin. I mean Mr boudin is largely responsible for making SF much more dangerous, by letting violent criminals out.

The “rich” have it good. Whether it’s high income tech workers, or millionaires who are professional athletes and movie stars, and of course the very few billionaires. They have the luxury and means to live in pristine and often gated communities, cut off from the real world both figuratively and literally.

I mean the great example is African American superstar athletes like Lebron james, Steph curry and others. They’re big on certain political movements and race is a big topic for them even though their biggest skill is tossing balls in baskets and most of them are not well educated. Yet the hypocrisy is funny and sad… these Black millionaires all live in rich wealthy neighborhoods that are predominantly White, I thought there’s nothing worse or more dangerous than rich privileged Whites?

Of course the homelessness is a big issue go to oakland or sf… it’s crazy. Words cannot describe it.


Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2021 at 7:44 am

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

This proves without question the stupidity of the American voter and in particular California voters. Keep voting those progressive liberal Democrats into office and it will get even more worse than it is now.


Posted by Herb Goodman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2021 at 7:49 am

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Palo Alto grew and expanded over the past few decades and no longer has a small town feel.

High tech was once relegated to the Page Mill Road area (HP, Watkins Johnson, Varian Associates etc.) and both California and University Avenue shopping districts were dominated by smaller businesses that served the community well.

Palo Alto also had an excellent public school system under the direction of Dr. Henry Gunn.

As a result, more and more people wanted to come and live here and the existing housing supply + new demand = further congestion + development.

By the late 1990s, housing prices began to skyrocket and today one cannot find a house for less than $2M in Palo Alto.

Palo Alto has become an exclusive community and only prospective homeowners who can afford to pay a $4-7M+ for even a modest dwelling can afford to reside here.

That said, the younger folks clamoring for more 'affordable' housing in Palo Alto should probably look elsewhere as it is not the city's responsibility to provide supplemental housing for those who cannot afford to live here and this includes the growing homeless population.

The Palo Alto yesteryears are long gone.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2021 at 9:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Here's an example of PA's "density / affordability" in action. What a farce our "planning" is, along with car-free fairy tales are only another money-making scam given what they're charging for a parking space.

Maybe our "planners" and lobbyists could comment on AltaLocale, the complex at the corner of El Camino and Page Mill.

"AltaLocale has 57 units, with 45 market-rate, and 12 BMR, ranging from $3400 to $4700/month. I thought this was a SB35 project, but it turns out it is a PA “Workforce Housing” project, which has similar elements to SB35 in that the developer gets “concessions" to comply with the Workforce Housing rules. In this case, AltaLocale was able to build 57 units rather than normally zoned 40 as its concession.

The BMR elements for the 12 units in this program is for people working within 3 miles of the facility and make no more than 120% of the median income for Santa Clara County.

*But’s here the kicker: the BMR units are only $200 less than the market rate apartments: $3500 vs. $3700, for a 443 sq.ft studio.*

Before I told the PA Planner the BMR rates, he estimated they would be <$2800, and said they were for the “missing middle” of teachers and nurses. He had all the Scott Wiener promotional statements down cold, just not the facts."

Maybe the PA planner could comment before he goes and pushes through another project like this one??


Posted by Raul Montez
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 13, 2021 at 10:34 am

Raul Montez is a registered user.

If the SF Bay Area is becoming such a distasteful place to live, why are so many people still striving to rent or own residencies here?

And if the more lucrative jobs are actually declining in the area, why would anyone still want to move here?

It takes money in order to reside comfortably in Palo Alto.

With the possible exception of our newer and far wealthier Asian residents from abroad, perhaps it is best if Palo Alto gradually evolves towards a community formerly comprised of aging, white NIMBY residents still yearning for the past while complaining about the future.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Chronicle article today -" Majority plan to leave Bay Area, poll finds". All about
"consultants" who have set themselves up as experts who are monitoring the dilemna of housing related to people leaving. Fail to note that the people who are leaving own homes. The papers have very large real estate lisitngs of houses for sale. The Bay Area Council and others are in the tech industry. They don't even have their employees in their buildings. Common sense has gone out the door.
The papers provided a disaster supplement that shows earthquake and flood predictions. A major predicted flood area is the location in Oakland's port where the A's keep trying to build a stadium and housing. Forget that the papers also are talking abou the supply chain and the ships waiting to be offloaded. Does the City of Oakland not connect the dots? The employee sector working the ports in not the high tech groupies. Does that mean they are expendable? The state at the top level is not protecting the diversity in the labor force that allows a diversified work and housing criteria - need a job to get a house and live here. If you do not have a job here then you need to go to a location that can provide a job.

Cosco is going to build a distribution center in the Hayward-San Leandro area with housing. It is all happening in locations that can provide jobs. It is not going to happen in this city - we are built out border to border. All we can produce is activitst who keep rummaging around trying to stir the pot. We are becoming a joyless place filled with disgrunteled employers and people.



Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:24 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I think Herb started something here: all the posts are suddenly funny, accurate, and smart.


Posted by Madison Barkley
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 13, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Madison Barkley is a registered user.

Quality of life has diminished in many areas outside of Palo Alto as well.

It's always about Palo Alto. No wonder some folks refer to PA as 'Shallow Alto.'

There are simply too many people residing here and/or hoping to reside in the presumed nicer communities within the San Francisco Bay Area.

And if one cannot afford to do so, go live somewhere else. It's that easy.


Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2021 at 1:18 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Thanks Online Name for "digging down deep, to get to the bottom, to stay on top". That's an old line from the Frank and Mike morning radio show...if any of you old timers remember them. I wish I could recover all the articles written about the project several years ago and I had lots of comments attached to those articles. The result was predictable, but remember the makeup of CC when the project was approved under the clever marketing guise/name, "Workforce Housing". They didn't say it, but it was for a very narrow and specific workforce...the high tech workers in PA. That other workforce, our teachers, policemen, firemen, gardeners, caregivers, house cleaners, restaurant workers, et al, didn't share the privilege of the high tech work force. I remember my challenge to the 120% median level as a BMR concession. At that time it was at least $75,000 above the annual incomes of our low income workers.

Many of the commenters above have hit the nail on the head for what has happened in/to Palo Alto and why this isn't the same town it was back in the 60's and 70's. There's plenty of blame to go around, but please, please, don't you YIMBY's who own your homes in the north end of town get on my case. Yes, I'm a NIMBY, but you know what, I think you're disguising yourselves as YIMBY's, when in fact you are probably YIYBY's. You're smart...I know you can figure out the acronym.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2021 at 3:19 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Gale Johnson, thanks but I can't take credit for the actual digging which was done by the same group the organized Zoom meetings with Berman and Becker to present them with facts before they voted for the 2 housing bills after making excuses that they "couldn't wrap their minds around the details."

Unelected ABAG continues to reject legitimate protests their housing mandates that specifically ignore the effects of drought, fire risks, working remotely, etc etc. on THEIR agenda. Fortunately one judge rejected a big proposed housing development in area with high fire risk.

Perhaps more pressure to be objective could be brought to bear on PA's "Planning" officials who always seem to come out on the side of the big money developers, shopping center owners and prep schools until the outraged community presents them with facts and calls to define the terms like "medical retail" BEFORE wasting time and money.


Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2021 at 7:53 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

@ bystander .... I agree with you on like buttons. I believe, IMO, they were removed because most likes agreed with those posting a more conservative point of view and that simply does not fit the narrative of the Palo Alto Online publishers. Perhaps we can start a bring back the like button post!


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2021 at 9:10 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Or maybe the like button was removed because it was being abused. People liking their own posts. I believe PA Online explained this in the past.


Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2021 at 10:57 pm

Eric Filseth is a registered user.

“perhaps it is best if Palo Alto gradually evolves towards a community formerly comprised of aging, white NIMBY residents still yearning for the past while complaining about the future.”


Census data doesn’t entirely support this projection of a monoethnic retirement community. While the median age of Palo Altans has increased, our share of households with school-age children has also grown steadily since the 1980’s, as has Palo Alto’s under-18 population. Children seem to be locked into our future; the combination of more households with kids, but average-older Palo Altans, may just reflect people starting families slightly later in life.

In terms of ethnicity, Palo Alto’s white population has been falling for decades, in both absolute and percentage terms: in 1970, Palo Alto had 50,524 white residents, 90% of its population; in 2020 we have 34,191 white residents, or 49.9% of Palo Altans. The white share of PAUSD is still lower at about 37% of enrollment, suggesting the trend will likely continue in the future.

All of which suggests the dominant dynamic may not be stasis, but an ongoing shift of long-time residents ageing out and being replaced by professional families moving north from the Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County is about 32% white, with AAPI the largest ethnicity at 40%), drawn by Palo Alto’s good public schools, services and suburban feel; and that we’re primarily transitioning from a mostly-white family town to a more diverse and slightly older family town.

Data from US Census 2010-2020, Bay Area Census 1980-2010, and US News and World Report.


Posted by Aron Spector
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 14, 2021 at 10:36 am

Aron Spector is a registered user.

With the possible exception of Ms. Koo/Los Altos, we haven't heard anything from the alleged 29% who are apparently satisfied or overjoyed to be residing here.

Are shifting demographics playing a key role in the defining of 'quality of life issues'?


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 14, 2021 at 12:58 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

ABAG and their dictates propels the disconnect in urban cities. They supposedly base their calculations on how many employers there are in the city and how many employees they have. How many employees you have becomes irrelevent if they do not come into the office. And the companies are not encouraging them to come into the office. If you have empty buildings then the commute is reduced. And all of these "employees" presumbly are working from home - what ever Home is at any one time.

My Son's employer has moved it's corporate headwquarters to Tennessee. Though the major lab is in the San Leandro area. The lab people have to go to work to produce a product. They are not "techies" who think up Apps at home.
From where I sit ABAG has seen it's last valid grasp at pushing mandates based on irrelevlent data. No one wants to live in a tiny apartment if they have to be there all day.

All of the data and assumptions are flawed and cherry picked to meet some goal that will further drive everyone crazy. And there is no money to make all of the demands achievable. Quality of life is best if the government gets out of evryone's hair.


Posted by Lillian Taylor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Lillian Taylor is a registered user.

I would love to leave Palo Alto and embark on a new life somewhere else but at 78 my days are numbered.

The coronavirus variants, an ongoing threat of Islamic terrorism, and rampant inner city street crime have become an active part of everyday America and Western Europe remains plagued by the same issues. So there's no point being an expatriate.

And so perhaps it's best just to remain in old PA and when the time comes, I've got a simple plot at Alta Mesa in which case I will be a lifelong and permanent resident of Palo Alto.

Besides unless one is a famous person, no one cares about or remembers you after you are dead and gone.

Ego and vanity have no place in the real world or afterlife.



Posted by Ryan
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 14, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Ryan is a registered user.

My friend immigrated to the United States 15 years ago. He earned a graduate degree from Stanford, then worked at some of the best tech companies in the Bay Area. He's one of the brightest people in tech. He has done everything right, followed every law, exceeded every expectation. He's still trying to get his green card. He may not get it because of quotas.

He wonders why he is still waiting, while other people who break the law and follow none of the rules instantly get free healthcare, free education, free housing.

I don't have an answer for him. Maybe someone here does.


Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 15, 2021 at 1:06 am

chris is a registered user.

Herb,

I guessed you missed the point. Palo Alto is not being asked to provide $5 million houses. I t is being asked to provide affordable rental housing for individuals and families with less than 120% of median income.

NIMBY Palo Altans love to make up straw man arguments that collapse upon minimal examination.

Many land parcels in Palo Alto would be upgraded by using them for multi-unit housing. Palo Alto has some of the trashiest sections of El Camino on the Peninsula. Has anybody noticed what Menlo Park and Mountain View are doing along El Camino? Not the Palo Altans that live in their NIMBY bubble.


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2021 at 5:05 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Chris - have to disagree with your point on El Camino. Go south down to Grant Road. A mixture of older buildings - some residential and some commercial. Lots of empty buildings. El Camino in Barron Park area is now showing upgrades. PA should be going after empty buildings that just sit there and degrade. And the property tax on those older buildings is so low now what is the point of their usefulness. Get tough on empty buidings - force owners to upgrade or take over by eminent domain. Same on East Bayshore - comercial buildings that sit with signs For Lease. If a building sits empty then it degrades internally. Either provide somw use to the city or get out and sell to someone who will redevelope it and create housing.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:21 am

Bystander is a registered user.

To address Ryan's very good point.

This type of scenario is very common and I have heard similar anecdotes. For those who go through the red tape of arriving here legally, doing all that is necessary to get visas and green cards, they are being ignored compared to those who arrive illegally and get the benefits without the paperwork. It takes time and money to do it right and then they see others getting an easy pass. Where's the compassion for those who want to do it right?


Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2021 at 9:35 am

Hinrich is a registered user.

Ryan - I would hope all of us and all America will always want to elevate the hardest working and highest achievers. Whatever we choose to achieve we will always want to have the best among us. It's anybody's guess why we have allowed the immigration debate to go on so long with most politicians quite happy to just leave the door open. Early on, one side painted the other as racist, etc, etc but in truth it's always been about wanting a regulated border rather than the chaos it's become. Under the current regime - with so many things in a mess - there is no rhyme or reason - just an open door to flood the labor pool at the bottom and grow the voters on the left. These policies will prove disastrous. But you are right - we are and should always be a meritocracy - select people for their talents and character and not by their skin color. This is what we are doing now and it won't work. We are way off the mark during this regime but hopefully soon your friend will find a permanent place here. Hopefully, soon, we will send back those who came by breaking the law.


Posted by John Donegan
a resident of another community
on Oct 15, 2021 at 10:56 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

I already left the Peninsula, moving to the San Luis Obispo area. Great climate, friendlier people, less traffic and congestion, fewer homeless and less crime, and lower housing costs. I never looked back.


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Chuck is a registered user.

Hinrich-

Great points you make. The border should be regulated because it is sensible for any country to screen people who are coming in. This country already has a hard enough time taking care of us citizens, we cannot afford to take on more refugees and illegal immigrants who will just provide cheap labor without regulation.

As for meritocracy, good luck. Stanford, one of the top academic institutions in the entire world, has fallen into the “woke trap”. While holding Asian and possibly even some White student applicants to higher testing and grade standards, they are giving lesser qualified individuals a spot over those who are better students (according to standardized testing) based on skin color. Reverse discrimination. And I’m all for diversity, so where is the diversity on the Stanford football or basketball team?


Posted by Ron Davis
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 15, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Ron Davis is a registered user.

Quality of life declines whenever there are too many people either residing or circulating within a small radius.

Picture a horde of rats all stuck in the same cage or an aquarium filled with too many fish.

Something has got to give.

What Palo Altans are experiencing is no different than what is taking place in other desirable and costly CA residential communities..

In the North County of San Diego, residents are faced with the same issues including over-development, eco-stress, traffic gridlock, and homelessness.

There is no escape unless one re-situates to some backwards 3rd world country and no one wants to live under those conditions.

Which is why we are also experiencing an immigration crisis from abroad.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 15, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

Ms. Koo’s comments, originally from CCP (Chinese Communist Party) controlled China and now in Los Altos hills and so very happy, reminds me of one point not yet covered here: globalism. Globalism hit Palo Alto by early 2000s in a big way. This is when the dot.com boom had brought many Americans from all over USA to SV (Silicon Valley) for great paying jobs. Then the bubble burst and SV shifted to importing labor from India and China. Concurrently the US opened wide doors to allow CCP backed investments and companies to flood PA and SV. By 2008, or soon after Obama was elected, new immigration rules allowed any foreigner to invest $500k or more in a Biz and/or real estate and receive automatic green card and fast track citizenship.

Someone ought to do a study on how many CCP related individuals took advantage of our dumb USA “come and take what you want” policy.

How many know someone who sold their PA home to a CCP related investor for 2 or 3x what they ever thought they’d get for their house? I know at least 20, and now the sound of mandarin fills the streets of PA. But hey, they’re happy, so terrific! How did all this effect housing supply/demand in PA?

Who cares about average Americans, their education, housing, long term family welfare, etc? I mean we’re “globalists” now right? That means there’s no America anymore, no Americans, no Constitution

I don’t accept this vision for America, and I’m fighting to restore Americanism and check the CCP to limit their heretofore unchecked run through the USA candy store. We can and will remake America for ALL Americans (no matter race), based on our solid meritocratic heritage that will not be replaced. Yet it will take a new awareness of the CCP threat and a renewed commitment to Americanism.

It’s good if China remains successful, however not at the expense of America, and best w/o CCP. The problems in PA today are all linked to this massive dislocation of unchecked globalism and it can and should be reset.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2021 at 6:53 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Disagree strongly with Ms. Dogwood's xenophobic screed about all her fears of 'evils' she sees on Fox News, that all happened, she tells us, 'soon after Obama was elected': globalism, China, foreigners in general, other languages especially Mandarin, but also Indians with their automatic greencards not meritocracy that the US, uh, always had; and all those sort of other 'un-American' things that she worries will' destroy our constitution' and 'will not replace us'. Some of us though may be worried more about what she means by fighting and checking the un-Americans, and why repeat anything close to the phrase 'will not replace us'? like, Say hi to Jon Gruden for us, Ms. Dogwood!


Posted by Trevor Donlevy
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2021 at 8:16 am

Trevor Donlevy is a registered user.

"...we are also experiencing an immigration crisis from abroad."

Most of the current & aspiring immigrants to America are seeking a better life and trying to leave behind a substandard existence that prevails in their native countries.

And this migration is not limited to those migrating from the 3rd world.

Many of the software and health care professionals from India and China have established comfortable lives in America and have no intention of ever returning to their native homelands except maybe to visit.

Meanwhile countless refugees from places like Africa, Haiti, the Middle East, and below the southern border are attempting to flee countries where their everyday lives are plagued by poverty, crime, and terrorism.

To them, America remains a land of hopes, dreams, and added opportunities to succeed.

The Japanese nationals are an exception to this perspective. During the 1980s when Japan dominated the high-tech world, executives and staffers from Japan serving at U.S. divisions generally returned home after a 1-2 year stateside assignment because this practice was not only company policy but also preferred by the Japanese nationals who consider Japan a more desirable place to live.

This cannot be said for regions like India, mainland China, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America including parts of the Caribbean.

Nobody in their right mind wants to live there permanently.


Posted by Klaus Wittnauer
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 16, 2021 at 10:27 am

Klaus Wittnauer is a registered user.

The current refugees and immigrants striving to establish residency in the United States are primarily people of color from impoverished or unstable nations.

Citizens of Germany, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries are not beating down the doors to resettle in America and this in itself speaks volumes.

And speaking of the earlier Asian immigrants now permanently settled in the United States for generations, the Cantonese laborers and Japanese agricultural workers who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had initially planned to work and eventually return to their native countries with their savings.

Many were detoured by the restrictive Asian Exclusion Act and the relocation camps of World War II which resulted in long term U.S. residencies and besides, many of their children were already American-born citizens and fully assimilated.

In Europe, highly skilled workers from Italy and other European countries often work in Germany and Switzerland as seasonal employees and then they return to their native countries during the off-season.

This is not the case in the United States where most of the current refugees and immigrants are actively seeking either asylum or a permanent sanctuary.

Can America actually afford to take on this insurmountable task while maintaining 'quality of life' assurances for those already here?

The straw will eventually break the camel's back if the United States continues to be a haven for every immigrant or refugee fleeing from substandard countries.






Posted by III
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2021 at 11:15 am

III is a registered user.

Personally I do not feel my quality of life has diminished.
And I am 65 with sadly unhealthy parents, my own minor health issues,
my wife has some minor issues. Part of aging and life.
Every desirable food or product I can think of is at my finger tips. It can
be delivered to me within 3 days or I can go get within 1hr or less.
What has changed is the news. We are bombarded all day, everyday.
Nothing but bad news on every channel and lips of those who expose us 24/7.
That is why I believe people believe bay area life has declined.
Everywhere you turn is the world is ending.
I agree, covid 19, water shortage, one of our political parties gone nuts,
hostage to an ex president, and global warming is a pressure. Costs have gone
up, but so have salaries, and ways to save your assets.
I go to my career job, (last few years of). I try to take care of clients. I garden,
play poorly now my last sport of tennis (LOL).
I enjoy my family, pets to best I can. I watch local sports which is pretty good.
I strive to keep my personal/family debt down.
I watch the news for 15 minutes max per day. That is the scariest part of life IMO, news.
They can make a 10yr old tree root caused crack in the sidewalk into a massive
rolling right this minute earthquake. LOL
III


Posted by Klaus Wittnauer
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 16, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Klaus Wittnauer is a registered user.

Immigrants and refugees who are of self-sufficient means, English-speaking, highly educated, professional, and capable of providing viable and valued services in the best interests of the American public should be allowed to enter the United States, establish permanent residency and become naturalize citizens (if so desired).

Those who cannot should be turned away as many of them will only become additional burdens on the various state social and welfare service systems.

Humanitarianism and good intentions aside, restricting widespread immigration seems to be 'over the heads' of countless progressive and liberal politicians who seem intent on turning the United States into another dysfunctional welfare state modeled after a number of Western European semi-socialist countries who now regret ever allowing the large-scale immigration of non-western expatriates into their respective countries.

If America wishes to recover and flourish, it needs to terminate all non-productive and resource-sapping immigration into the United States.


Posted by toransu
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2021 at 12:49 pm

toransu is a registered user.

@Klaus You're such a ghoul. We go into their countries and destabilize them just so the upper crux of society can fill their pockets, the least we can do is take in refugees from there. Of course, you like the thought of having no responsibility or culpability for any of your actions! Typical conservative.


Posted by Klaus Wittnauer
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 16, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Klaus Wittnauer is a registered user.

@toransu

Both conservatives and liberals have exploited 3rd world countries whether for cheap labor or ease of access to cost-effective raw materials.

And both conservatives and liberals have also been known to support corrupt dictatorial regimes that exploit and rip-off not only their own citizens but American taxpayer dollars.

Didn't former President Ghani escape Afghanistan with $169M in American cash + four cars and a helicopter to transport his personal 'spoils of war'?

And he is now living comfortably in the UAE alongside other wealthy political expatriates now living off misappropriated U.S. money.

Interpol has issued a warrant for his arrest and Afghanis on both sides of the spectrum would like to see him pay the piper.

Perhaps best if the United States suspended all foreign aid and applied those fiscal resources (aka billions of dollars) to improving American life as a whole.

BTW...Pakistan (which also receives U.S. foreign aid) provided sanctuary to Osama Bin Ladin while U.S. forces were scouring the mountains of Afghanistan for years.

Why give American taxpayer money to foreign-based ingrates and crooks while their disgruntled constituents flee to the U.S.?

There is minimal ROI on U.S. foreign aid and besides, the problems That most 3rd world countries encounter are really not our problems or concern anyway.

Just play and stay on one's own tennis court.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2021 at 1:38 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

The SF Bay Area has simply gotten too congested and compressed due to an increase in population and subsequent resident/consumer necessities.

Regarding U.S. foreign aid/assistance to other countries, the projected $18B allocated to Pakistan since 2009 probably wouldn't constitute a good 'ROI' considering that Pakistan harbored Osama Bin Laden while the U.S. military was scouring the mountains of Afghanistan looking for him.

Or the fiscal concessions granted by the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal awhile back.

The last time I checked, very few people (or countries) turn down free money with minimal stipulations or obligations.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2021 at 3:33 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I always idealized California for tolerance of others and forward-thinking. When I gave both South and Northern CA a first person review, I concluded Northern CA was more like that California ideal. It was, as Ms. Koo said, wonderful, so I stayed. Now I see scapegoating the other to blame for our own mistakes and problems. I don't think scapegoating immigrants of color began with Obama, but it was undeniably fanned into acute status by the election of President Obama, and he only had one parent who was white, instead of two...

Reading other's posts, I have questions. What was so bad about Obama's Iran nuclear deal? Why can't we share tennis courts? Why does Mr. Trevor think that no one in a country of more than a billion people would be 'in their right minds' to want to live in China? I think to certify insanity to more than a billion people makes one a dubious mental health professional. and/or he just never visited there.


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 17, 2021 at 7:57 am

Chuck is a registered user.

These comments reflect a true diverse view. It is interesting to see various opinions regarding the CCP, Islam terrorism, inner city street crime, and unchecked illegal immigration. I think people these days may have a hard time not taking into account of their own biases.

Let’s start with the CCP. The threat of the CCP is real… as in threatening the status of USA being the sole global superpower that can do whatever they want, bully and even INVADE sovereign countries when they don’t want to play our games. Of course Russia is another military power but their economy is in shambles. China is projected to become overtake USA gdp wise within a decade and this has the modern day American slave masters very worried…

For those wishing the collapse of the CCP or even China itself.. be careful what you wish for. I’m not a huge fan of the CCP but they are not the country that has been responsible for starting numerous wars in the past decade, killing countless innocent civilians, and establishing puppet dictatorship and destabilizing sovereign countries. China is deeply linked with the entire global economy, a collapse of China (politically and socially) would have devastating results worldwide. We would also be… f*cked.

As for Islam terrorism… certain elements of Islam does not gel with the western world. However, the threat of extreme islamists is mitigated by simple geographic barriers. People from Muslim countries cannot come to usa easily and in large numbers, as opposed to Europe, when a 45 minute boat trip could land them on the coast of Southern Europe.

Also… if our government and military is responsible for meddling into Islamic countries domestic affairs under the guise of fighting terrorism or even liberating their people when in actuality it is a simple geopolitical move at the expense of common citizens, along with killing millions of their people, why wouldn’t they hate us?


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 17, 2021 at 8:04 am

Chuck is a registered user.

And since there is a character limit here, I’ll go on. Please excuse my grammatical errors and typos, I’m not spell checking, I still take pride in being more literate, or on par with the literacy level of Stanford football players. Go Stanford!

Inner city street crime is increasing thanks to soft and lax policies on crime and progressives caring more about criminals than victims of crime. Also certain groups are given a carte de Blanche when it comes to crime, people are hesitant to speak about it in fear of being labeled as racists. This ironically will only create more discontent, divisiveness, and possibly drive more people to the far right.

Unchecked illegal immigration should be checked. I personally believe most illegal immigrants do not commit crime at a higher rate than average Americans, however number wise out of that many illegal immigrants you’re going to get criminals. after all most criminals are younger, single men. What’s the majority of illegal coming here? Younger, single men. Go figure.

Also as many have mentioned here, can our government take on the task of supporting so many illegal immigrants and refugees? This goes beyond being compassionate and caring,


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 9:12 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Thanks, Chuck. You got my vote, if you are running for something.

There's a really good Jody Foster movie on Showtime now called 'The Mauritanian.' It's a true story about a north African Muslim who was scapegoated by the US for 9-11, and ended up at Gitmo. It ends with a nice Bob Dylan song. You should check it out.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2021 at 9:43 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

John Sails, there is nothing xenophobic about anything I’ve written, it’s all fact based. BTW, my own family consists of Americans of African, Asian and Latin American ancestry, legal immigrants, and we represent the typical American family of today. Most American families include people with many different ethnic and racial backgrounds. The radicals trying to paint all “white” Americans or Republicans with one broad brush as racist or xenophobic is pure nonsense and counterproductive.

If you read my post carefully you’d see that it is directed at the issue of globalism and CCP (not Chinese) negative influences on PA and SV. This massive trade imbalances w/CCP for past 20+ years, along with unfettered access to our local real estate market, has had a direct economic impact on PA real estate.

You also completely misunderstand the concept of Americanism and its history, which helped make America very successful since its founding. The concept is simple: America is most successful when we focus on our shared values of freedom, free enterprise and rule of law, starting with our Constitution, and helping all new arrivals understand and share these same core values. We are a nation of immigrants and cultivating our shared value structure for every generation is important.

I wrote “We can and will remake America for ALL Americans (no matter race), based on our solid meritocratic heritage that will not be replaced.”

That means our core VALUES will not be replaced with Maoist CCP values, which are polar opposite of American core values. We welcome a diverse America of many different people of various ethnic and racial origins - it’s our current reality anyway. How to manage an orderly and legal immigration policy is another topic.

Americanism is a critical value structure for the success of America. It can and should be reinvigorated for the 21st Century. Good relations with China are important too, including careful checks of CCP hegemonic power plays.


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 17, 2021 at 10:37 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

When the founding fathers drafted the U.S. Constitution, a fledgling America was far different than it is today in terms of ethnic diversity.

There were only indigenous Native Americans, white colonists, & African slaves.

And the only religious factors to be actively addressed was the promotion of Protestant ideals while curtailing the repressive & interfering elements of Catholicism.

Fulfillment of Manifest Destiny and the additional need for cheap human labor gradually altered the American landscape & opened the floodgates for immigration from abroad.

Prior to the Viet Nam conflict, America was also very adept at winning wars and therein lies the problems that we face today.

Had the United States lost the Mexican War, it would not have been able to expand into California and most of the land mass west of the Louisiana Purchase would still be a part of Mexico.

And had the United Sates lost the Civil War, then we would have a USA north of the Mason-Dixon line and a CSA in the south as eradicating slavery was not a primary concern of the Lincoln administration.

Losing the Spanish-American War would have curtailed expansive American 19th century imperialism and even Hawaii would have remained a country in its own right.

By getting bigger, the United States inherited even more problems on the social & economic fronts as the changes allowed for and eventually required additional ethnic diversities to work the lands.

Immigration is different today as it involves mostly refugees and immigrants fleeing countries that former President Trump openly disparaged during his term in office.

Thus we now have 17 different languages printed on our various CA state forms along with other religions & ethnicities that the founding fathers of America had probably never even heard of at the time.

Going back to the original topic, Palo Alto like the United States has simply gotten too crowded by trying to accommodate too many people wishing to reside here.







Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 11:10 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I am on record then as not being as afraid of the Chinese Communist party as is Ms. Do-good. btw, Mao's picture may still be on money, like George Washington is, but in the modern PRC, he's really not that influential any more about making public policy.


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 17, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

One cannot blame or judge the Chinese people for the questionable actions of their leaders.

The same applies to countless Russians living under the Putin regime or Americans during the Trump/Biden administrations.

World leaders rarely serve the best interests of their respective constituencies.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 17, 2021 at 6:10 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

John Sails, I’m not “afraid” of the CCP, I only wish to have policy that addresses the reality of geopolitical forces. It’s indisputable that the CCP is absolutely focused on world domination and cultivating itself as a hegemonic power play. If you don’t see this, you’re either naive or not well informed.

Roberta Lancaster, I don’t blame the Chinese people entirely, although they are certainly complicit in enabling the CCP. Of course you can’t or shouldn’t generalize about ethnic populations and their political views, I didn’t. I only refer consistently to the CCP.

The United States, for all its faults, has been a fairly darn good world leader overall. As for winning the Mexican American war, good thing we did! Imagine living the past 100 years under mexican drug cartel run corruption, beheadings of police and politicians, endemic poverty, the sickly and debilitating economic policies of socialists, etc, etc. No thank you! Do you not understand why over 50 million Mexicans have fled there since 1880s to make new lives in the USA!? Most long term Mexican Americans understand this. Oh the irony is rich!

I wish all of the uber privileged and wealthy palo altans who hate on America would move down to Venezuela and go wallow in the beautiful mud of socialist devastation, starvation and poverty. Hard to put your money where your mouth is tho isn’t it!?


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2021 at 8:57 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

It's not so much that we are hating on the U.S. to notice that the Chinese Communist party is not as threatening to the U.S. as: Trump's Big Lie, and subsequent efforts to overthrow democratic elections in the U.S. I would like to think that we have an advantage over China: that is, we are more democratic and open than they are. If those two things go, and we are just another authoritarian country with a leader for life that overturns all elections, then, frankly, I wonder if we will be as good as China at everything else, including quality of life. I am personally more afraid of Chinese grandmothers getting attacked by strangers in Bay Area cities, than the CCP--which only a small percentage of Chinese people even belong to. How about NOT throwing stones at other countries and immigrants from our glass house and addressing our own problems?


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 18, 2021 at 9:34 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

Sadly we still must rely on China to manufacture those $19.95 TV specials and a plethora of other cheaply-manufactured goods.

And if not for China, a new Apple iPhone would cost a lot more than $1K.

We have so much to be grateful for.


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2021 at 11:44 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

The CCP is not a 100% Communist country but rather a 'socialist-capitalist' society if that makes any sense.

In other words, they worship the dollar sign and various avaricious opportunities just as much as any card-carrying Republican.

Try not to be overly surprised.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 18, 2021 at 3:01 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

You mean I cannot blame the Chinese Communist party when our police shoot black people all the time? or for internet spam such as by Peters above? or when my local body shop charges multiple thousands of dollars for small scratches on my car because they know I am insured? How about when Catholic priests molest little boys? The CCP? If so, damn that CCP! they are the worst!


Posted by Andy
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 18, 2021 at 6:14 pm

Andy is a registered user.

71% say quality of life has declined, but more importantly the 29% who didn't think so are the same 29% who make the base of voters that elect incompetent leaders across local, state and federal gov from California.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2021 at 7:13 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

Despite all the sarcastic and unserious comments, this is for those with actual open minds capable of independent thought and intellectualism.

John Sails: CCP is not a country, it’s a political party which happens to control China, the most populated nation on earth and poised to eclipse USA in size of its economy and military force, with the Biden regime helping speed up the date this occurs.

The CCP has a very firm control over China, despite what some here have posted, and their dominance and infiltration of major American education institutions, some media, some corporations, and Hollywood are well known to those who read serious journals and thought leaders (hint: not Facebook, not Twitter).

There are about 90 million members of the CCP, with about 1.4 billion people, about 6% of the population. Of this number about 12 million are the managing class elite, about .008% of the population controls 1.4 billion people and a 26 Trillion economy. They are not organized like a democratic republic. One person mentions they are a “socialist-capitalist” country, not quite. You need to read Chinese history, including recent history from Mao through Xi to best understand their command and control apparatus.

Most Palo altans can live blissfully in their little bubble and not concern themselves with the dislocations the CCP causes Americans and Bay Area residents. It doesn’t really affect us. The people that are affected by CCP dislocations and their US allies pushing socialist and anti law enforcement policies are those in the lower 60% economic strata of American households living in less desirable areas, eaking by to put food on the table. But hey, just “let them eat cake” as another famous elite once said.

Ignore reality at your own peril.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

[Post removed; consecutive comments not permitted]


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 9:03 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

The question remains...how many more immigrants and refugees can the United States feasibly sustain while ensuring 'quality of life' parameters for those already living here?

And getting back to Palo Alto...how many more newer residents can Palo Alto feasibly sustain while at the same time, ensuring 'quality of life' parameters for existing Palo Alto residents?


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2021 at 10:24 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

Basic requirements for future refugee/immigrant admission should include some degree of English speaking proficiency and literacy, a clean bill of health, viable trade skills, and no criminal rap sheet or past ties to terrorism.

A fully enforced quota system and comprehensive vetting process is paramount.

As far as Palo Alto is concerned, the high cost of owning a home along with its respective property taxes will prevent many prospective residents from ever residing here.

And it is highly unlikely that Palo Alto will ever experience an influx of poor and undereducated refugees/immigrants...only the wealthier and educated ones.

There are many Palo Altans who already feel that PA is far overcrowded as it is and in response we have the various anti-growth/anti-residential development sentiments and movements.




Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:15 am

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

"New poll finds 71% of Bay Area residents think quality of life has declined" Huh...I wonder how perception of quality of life in other parts of the country has been affected by Covid and all of its many impacts on community life and the economy. Without knowing how the Bay Area compares in this regard, I don't think this is very useful data.

We are all saddened by the current state of the world--Covid, climate change, angry political divisions.

Here's how I am coping...making an effort to spend volunteer time working to help others. This connects me with kind, optimistic, and generous people who want to make a difference in the world. It lifts me up and gives me hope. It helps me see a path toward positive change and a brighter future.

BE the change. Join people who are doing volunteer work that is meaningful to you. Reject the dark noise of social media. If we want change in the world, we have to work toward it. That starts with me and you reaching out to each other in love and kindness to achieve common goals.


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 11:52 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

Martha Dogood has brought up some valid points.

The CCP is intent on establishing total control over Taiwan (aka Nationalist Chine) which currently produces most of the world's semiconductors for consumer goods.

Like in Hong Kong, the PRC is not pro-democracy and will do anything within its power to squash or destroy any aspects of personal freedom.

An eventual war with China over global economic sovereignty is not that farfetched.

Hopefully this will never occur as the losses on both sides (including American military personnel) will be astronomical.

The U.S. Marines stationed in Taiwan are currently training in anticipation of a future attack from the PRC who have been flying multitudes of warplanes into Taiwanese airspace as a symbolic show of force.

The CCP is not a friend or ally of the United States and never will be.



Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 12:11 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Disagree. Hand-wringing over poor Taiwan is exactly the same as wishing you were back in the land of cotton, where old times there are not forgotten, look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land. Like Trump, such whiners need to man up and accept that they lost. I even disagree with all the other absolutes thrown around, such as having fist-fighting senators means Taiwan is fully democratic. Yes, of course, if Trump is president again and believes it would help him remain in office forever, he would be happy to send US troops to die fighting a war against China over such a small island. The CCP is mentioned WAY too much around here, by dummies who think RISK is real. There should not and could not be a war between the US and the PRC. For those who have watched Fox news less than actually traveling to China, it's no stretch at all to consider the Chinese both allies and friends. The others, driven apparently crazy by too long COVID lockdowns, are delusional.


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

@John B. Sails

Maybe you can introduce high school football to the PRC.

That way way, any battles can be decided on the gridiron.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2021 at 1:42 pm

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I would be glad to, but it might have a worrisome side effect. What if they decided to free Hawaii from the military occupation by the US? or the American Indians of the great plains? or on behalf of reparations that should be paid to the black slaves ? What a calamity for us!


Posted by CC
a resident of University South
on Oct 19, 2021 at 2:21 pm

CC is a registered user.

"Majority believes things have gotten worse after 1.5 years of a global pandemic during which substantially all normal personal and business associations were illegal"

I find our local and state government as frustrating as many others here, but it seems like there is a pretty obvious explanation for specifically why quality of life is worse over the last two years. The test is now on for whether we (both our leaders and us as community members) can turn it around.


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Chuck is a registered user.

For those worrying about Taiwan being invaded by China… I have bad news for you.

It’s going to happen sooner or later.

I pity the Taiwanese and truly have empathy for them. After all no one who has lived in a democracy with freedom of speech would want to choose otherwise, especially under the ultra strict surveillance of the CCP where the internet and media is heavily censored.

But the reality is the American media is heavily censoring certain elements and news too… as a political moderate who dislikes politicians from both sides, I can’t help but wonder if the ccp should learn a thing or two from our wonderful country on how to TRULY AND PROPERLY BRAINWASH AND INDOCTRINATE PEOPLE. many Chinese I have spoken to know their government proganadizes certain things and lies. But are we aware of our own rulers and their atrocities?

Back to Taiwan… respectfully I would say that I would prefer Taiwan to remain a sovereign nation, but geopolitically is is impossible. It is a strategic island and it’s huge semiconductor industry has the ccp drooling. Of course, it doesn’t help when our government stations thousands if not more troops along with high tech grade weapons surrounding China, in Japan and South Korea… I mean, if China started building military bases in Canada and Mexico, how the f*ck would we feel? Let’s try to see things from different vantage points…

If China invades Taiwan I doubt America will risk a full on military conflict, it would be utterly stupid. If anything I think the president and his henchmen and hench women would make a secretive deal with the ccp ruling members…

We’ll let you have Taiwan but you must give us favorable trading and business terms. After all that’s what Trump wanted, to erase the trade deficit? Maybe if we stop relying on China to produce almost half if not more of the crap we consume, we wouldn’t need them? Btw, if any of us think we can handle working in sweatshops in Asia or Latin America.. we can’t.. someone has to do the dirty work most people don’t want to do.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2021 at 5:59 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

I think being a cold-war warrior is wearisome, and definitely reduces your quality of life. My best friend in HS was a cold war warrior, so was his dad--who watched silos in a state where his family did not live. Last time I saw my friend, he was in his 20's, communicated: his 30's, and he died in his 40's. A 'cold war warrior is NOT something to be.'


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 20, 2021 at 8:30 am

Chuck is a registered user.

@John

Mr Sails, I see you’re a voice of reason during these trying times where a club is a spade and people can walk out of stores with less than 900 bucks of unpaid items and not fear any legal punishment.

The end of the Cold War led us to a new era: where two superpowers were no more… with the dissolution of the Soviet Union our country officially became the head honcho, the big boss and the one and only superpower in the world, able to do whatever the hell we wished. Whether it’s topple governments we didn’t like and install our own guys, or outright invade a country on entirely false and made up premises (till this day war criminals like Colin Powell, Bush jr and others walk FREE), manipulate the global market based on the dominance of our currency, the list goes on.

Many Americans probably don’t know, or don’t want to know the CCP helped us “defeat” and dismantle the Soviet Union. They chose to side with us. We were friends back then, or at least amicable business partners. If they had sided with the Soviet Union, who knows what the world will become… perhaps we’ll be living in the communist utopia so many Americans especially younger ones fantasize about and push for, calling each other comrades,

The relatively peaceful rise of China has our rulers worried. My take is if you’re used to being number one and having your own way, you might not tolerate anyone who wants a slice of the pie from you. I believe peaceful coexistence and cooperation, especially in the era of countries possessing nuclear weapons, is always far more viable and sensible than going to war.


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2021 at 9:02 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

What Chuck said!

btw, just anecdotal, but point of info, I have been to the PRC many times. The first time was so long ago I needed an invite from an editor, have a state dept. briefing, and they still had two currencies (but if you paid foreigner currency, you often could skip to the front of the lines, so it was not such a bad deal). Actually being there was eye-opening to say the least, talking not just to expats from different countries but also on college campuses talking to their version of bilingual elite students tolerating my questions with polite answers, such as, 'yes, Cai Ling was brave, but we don't like her.' etc.

What I would like to emphasize is that essentially everything from the briefing was false (e.g., the PLA will be filming you everywhere you go, including from trees outside your hotel room, and you will be arrested if you ride in a taxi with a local, especially of the opposite sex.). Day 1 was when I figured out these warnings were all nonsense. Then I had to wonder why the State Dept. did not update these briefings, didn't they care about accuracy, and so forth? I've been back many times, and always with good interpersonal experiences, other than a minor speed bump when someone on our side must have believed President Clinton was getting too popular with the PRC, so ...we bombed their embassy in the former Yugoslavia and blamed it on an old map. Can you imagine US reaction if China had such an excuse for bombing one of our embassies? But this blew over, and with the normal people, I get along well. True, you cannot really complain much about the CCP, but they do good too, such as painting every single apartment building in Beijing over one summer (!) and they always dive into deep rivers with sandbags after floods and whatnot. The average person there has complaints both public and in private but does not hate the PLA or the CCP. and yes, their quality of life is very good, comparable to us, maybe better for the poor...


Posted by Hinrich
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 20, 2021 at 9:17 am

Hinrich is a registered user.

Everyone might applaud China's successes (better that they have gone to free markets than internal conflict) but that success is frustrated by a culture that steals other's intellectual property, that partner's to steal away business, cheats at trade, and now threatens the rest of the world with rapid militarization. Chinese welcomed into Bay Area laboratories and schools have stolen technology, women on visas have come here to have anchor babies (as many as 5 million by one estimate) no intent to settle and contribute but to steal citizenship, Chinese flush with cash have run up BA housing prices. All of that has happened and all of that because we let them. Our leaders let them, we let them. Our young are getting brainwashed by teachers who have stolen the curricula to advance foolish activism instead of preparing our young to compete and succeed. We've let ideologues take our governments so that our priorities are energy fantasies and race pandering rather than building the necessary landscape for the 21st century. We MUST get our politicians focused on better priorities. Build more rental housing and taller housing in places where higher density can be sustained. Declare hard limits to growth where we can no longer sustain more growth and encourage decentralizing. We don't need a stupid bullet train - we need better inter-city transit. YOU elected wall-to-wall Democrats. This report is on them - make them fix it


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 20, 2021 at 9:22 am

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

@John B. Sails

Very reassuring to learn that the PRC has our back.

Question...if "their quality of life is very good, comparable to us, maybe better for the poor..."

Then why do so many of the wealthier PRC citizens opt to relocate to the United States whenever/if possible?

Is it because they do not wish to associate (or be around) the otherwise well-taken care of poorer PRC citizens?


Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

perhaps, Mr. Lancaster, like us, they are pretty separated already. Again, I am just reporting 1st hand observations, not any scientific study. However, I know poverty in red states that seem to me to really hate the poor, so even my relatives who don't go to college have few or gnarly teeth and no health coverage and no savings and a car that may at best be only minimally insured. I have also been to villages in Guangdong where people share vegetable gardens and farmed fish by rationed share. They can see a doctor. They have cars, and I watched the NBA finals from their cable. I think they like well-functioning bullet trains more than Mr. H does above...

I believe what makes the US special and best is the statue of liberty and those kind of nice things we offer to immigrants willing to work hard to reach the American dream. I like competition, the two job person getting ahead of the one job person, no matter the color or ethnicity. I believe the US should take care of the poor better and yes, China should of course be more open and democratic. I see reasons to talk not to go to war.


Posted by Martha Dogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 20, 2021 at 10:31 am

Martha Dogood is a registered user.

Chuck, the history is a bit more complex than you paint it, tho it’s hard to cover everything in a PA online post.

First, the CCP would have been moronic NOT to side with USA once the trend was to open up our markets for them. Kissinger talked Nixon into the “triangulation” strategy, conveniently took the focus away from the coming loss in Vietnam. By mid1980s everyone in USSR and some in USA knew economic ruin was near for them. CCP made the right bet on $ versus Rubles. CCP saw the markets in USA and West as their cash register. In 1987 I made my first trip to PRC and saw first hand the planning already well in place. They had already taken the textile machines from southern USA by that time and started with this industry.

Over the past 20 years CCP controlled China received what amounts to a big ATM withdrawal of cash from US consumers and industry of about 30 Trillion dollars, add the euro transfers and that’s a lot of hard currency to build a country and its military. John Sails: yes you can paint a lot of cinderblock apartments with that pile of cash! They made the right bet with the right cash machines as USSR rubles would not have done much for them.

Oh how I’d love to do Biz with some of the folks commenting here, such push overs! Let’s make a deal!

I travelled to and did Biz in China, Japan, Taiwan, other Asian countries, most of Latin American and most of Europe between 1987-2016. I witnessed the stunning rise of the CCP at the expense of American and other countries’ workers and our quality of life since they play a zero sum game and don’t share our values. I don’t blame the Chinese or the CCP for this, they act in self interest. I blame our leaders’ poor choices and naive trade policies from 1990-2016, and now back again to America led by children.

We can and should have a good relationship with China, even the CCP. My point is we can have this but not at the expense of our culture, quality of life or security. Buy American!




Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2021 at 10:53 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

yes, but not all Chinese cultural values are bad, Ms. DG. For example, do you ever watch that PBS show 'Finding your roots with Henry Louis, Jr.'? and so many guests know next to nothing. Well, even in that so-called poor Southern Chinese village, they had a family shrine and could proudly go back generations and generations and generations. By comparison, my red state country relatives, rather than keeping the nice farm house on acreage purchased by payment from a trucking company who ran over a son/uncle/and wife, the multiple now grown kids, when the parents died, greedily sold the property to all receive maybe less than $5K a piece. Now, there is no place for the family to meet. That is America, isn't it?


by the way, you seem to forget just how many Chinese loans have gone to the US. Is being such a debtor nation an American value? I think maybe it is at that. Yet, what do we get for our debts? a military that seems way too much to me, but not enough for Mr. H? Why must we war-monger so, Ms. DG? Is that an American value? Even Biden tries to do something nice for the poor and the neo cons blanch. Is that an American value? but I thought we liked Jebus who said that thing about the camel through the eye of the needle and he washed the poor prostitute's feet. Why did the Fox News not hold on to any of those values? Go ahead and hate on Bernie for caring...


Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2021 at 11:11 am

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

QUOTE: "Buy American!"

Many Americans gravitate towards cheaply-manufactured disposable consumer goods believing they are getting a good value and the PRC successfully fulfills this mantra.

This in turn creates a revolving door of even more U.S. money leaving the country, lost American jobs, and a plethora of additional junk/garbage (much of it non-recyclable).

Only when American consumers commit to purchasing longer-lasting and higher quality domestically manufactured goods can the 'Buy American' concept achieve fruition.

And this includes boycotting or refusing to purchase even some of the better-made Chinese manufactured goods like Apple products.

^ And very few American consumers are willing to do that.




Posted by John B. Sails
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2021 at 11:44 am

John B. Sails is a registered user.

Ms. DG referenced Vietnam. Did America's time and money there, not to mention deaths on both side, improve our quality of life ? How about Afghanistan? Did we do better this time?


Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2021 at 11:45 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

I believe in Buy American, but I'm also well aware that some Americans can't afford longer lasting higher quality domestic goods. Made in China is right up their alley, and so is shopping at the dollar store and Wal-Mart. There are poor people in America. And some of them probably do know that what they're buying isn't good quality merchandise, but if it's all you can afford what are they supposed to do? Would you prefer they buy higher quality products on credit and not make the payments because they don't have the money? Not everyone is wealthy, and even the middle class will continue to struggle.


Posted by Chuck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 20, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Chuck is a registered user.

To those urging to buy American, it’s a nice proposal but borderline idealistic and unrealistic.

Whether we like it or not, companies are primarily concerned with profit. By shifting production and manufacturing out of China to let’s say … back home, would drastically lower their profit margins and makes goods more expensive for us. Would you be willing to pay for an iPhone thats 2000-3000 bucks rather than the current price? And this is a reason why some manufacturing is shifting from China to Southeast Asia and Latin America, because cost of labor is going up in China.

Also find me enough Americans who are willing to do these jobs that poor low income Chinese from the rural areas are gladly taking up. Seriously. And find me companies willing to pay Americans a market wage without destroying their own profit margins.


Posted by Roberta Lancaster
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 20, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Roberta Lancaster is a registered user.

@Chuck

Good points as America has apparently chosen to become a consumer slave of the PRC due to various perceived & imagined necessities.

Ans since most Americans are unwilling to do any manual labor, this consideration should also provide an added impetus for the further influx & immigration of unskilled laborers from abroad.

So we will continue to purchase consumer goods from China and import those capable of handling our most menial of tasks.

This is the story of America and its ongoing economic downfall.


Posted by MarthaDogood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 22, 2021 at 11:45 am

MarthaDogood is a registered user.

This is the story of America and its ongoing economic downfall.”

Roberta, this sounds like words of surrender. Americans don’t give up, we forge ahead and try our best to make a brighter future. Sadly our culture has been inundated with cynicism, negativity, misinformation and divisive political dysfunction. Hollywood has been churning out dark and uninspired garbage and no one is tending to the heart and soul of our culture in any uplifting way, which is why a rejuvenation of Americanism is needed. Once again, Americanism is the concept of our fostering positive shared culture through our best shared values: rule of law, US constitution, love of country, etc.

I disagree with all the capitulation here on Made in USA. First of all, with robotics and AI the factor of cheap labor is not the same going forward. The 21st century will see huge changes in manufacturing which will result in far fewer workers needed doing drudgery jobs. Yet our country would need smart trade and economic policies to foster 21st Ctry manufacturing here. Also, there is no reason Americans and the rest of humanity can’t wake up and realize that buying cheap plastic stuff that falls apart makes no sense for any of us, poor or rich.

Most of our furniture is from the 1800s, it can last another 200 years easily if taken care of properly. Most of my home goods are from antique shops, made in USA or from other countries I’m happy to send my dollars to (Portugal, Italy, Peru, South Korea, El Salvador, India, Germany, Norway, Mauritius, etc). Sometimes I have to buy something made in China, but not often.

If Americans only shop in the big chain stores then yes it appears you must buy everything from CCP controlled China. Otherwise, you can buy American and from other countries easily, and usually get much higher quality that will last multiple lifetimes.

Americans need to remember, every dollar you send to PRC ends up helping to build missiles and aircraft carriers pointed at us.


Posted by Erin Jacobs
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 22, 2021 at 11:57 am

Erin Jacobs is a registered user.

"Americans need to remember, every dollar you send to PRC ends up helping to build missiles and aircraft carriers pointed at us."

The PRC is not a friend of the United States and never will be.

Both Trump and Biden have attested to that.

And WW III could easily commence with the PRC invading Taiwan.

An unchecked PRC is akin to ignoring a routine health or dental check-up.

Further problems and issues will arise later and have even more dire consequences.

A 21st century Declaration of Independence should focus on freeing ourselves from further economic and consumer dependence on China.

If China has no one to sell its substandard goods to, they will in turn have fewer financial resources from which to dominate the world.




Posted by R. Cavendish
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2021 at 12:23 pm

R. Cavendish is a registered user.

We have resigned ourselves to residing in a disposable society whether it involves consumer goods or humanity as a whole.

This is simply a sign of the times and there is no going back to the myopically-perceived/idyllic yesteryears of the past.

And fat chance that most Americans (including Palo Altans) will ever excuse themselves from buying Made in China commodities including Apple products.

When well-to-do Palo Alto residents start boycotting the Apple Store on University Avenue perhaps some headway (albeit on a small scale) will be made.

Until then, welcome to the jungle where Chinese manufacturing remains the ubiquitous tiger.




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Using heat pump specs to answer your common sense questions
By Sherry Listgarten | 11 comments | 5,154 views

Home brews to home base: Brewing With Brothas aims to open East Palo Alto taproom
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 3,293 views

Jumping on a bandwagon that ends up breaking down
By Diana Diamond | 16 comments | 3,214 views

"A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,943 views