With a median rent for a fair-market two-bedroom apartment of $5,043 per month, San Francisco has become one of the most expensive cities on Earth in which to make one’s home. Taking the standard rule of thumb that one should spend no more than 30% of their gross income on rent, someone who wants to live in one room of a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco should make $100,860 per year, or $48.49 per hour. And this isn’t even including the cost of raising a family in town. Meanwhile, the liberal wing of the San Francisco Democratic Party establishment offers us a local minimum wage of…$15 per hour. While businesses wring their hands and cry about how these wage increases will put them out of business, and leftists crow about the enormity of this achievement, we say we will take it, but we still can’t live on it.
Ideally, the trade unions would take the lead in fighting for wage increases and establishing a minimum wage for all workers that people could actually live on. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that unions used to include cost-of-living allowances to insure that workers’ wages would rise with the cost of living in the area where they worked. Years of functioning hand-in-glove with the Democratic Party have led to union bureaucrats demobilizing workers in order to create a collaborative atmosphere with bosses in which supposedly everyone was going to thrive, but, which, as any fool can plainly see, hasn’t really worked out.
Our economic proposals are aimed at indexing wages and rents to the cost of living in San Francisco (please see An Eviction-Free District). This way, landlords can pressure businesses to raise wages, and businesses can interest themselves in getting landlords to lower rents, and the City can stop collaborating with these two interest groups against us. As such, we propose:
- A living wage of $40 per hour.
- Index the wages of elected officials—notably the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors—to the minimum wage in San Francisco. Let them try to live on the same amount of money as we do and see what happens.
- The divestment of all City funds from the big corporate banks currently managing them and for the formation of the Municipal Bank of San Francisco, administered by us for us.