You may have heard the phrase, “Get woke, go broke.” It has become a common phrase in the past few years, mainly because it keeps proving itself true.
San Francisco is a prime example of the death spiral going broke puts cities, businesses, and people into.
The city has long been a bastion of liberalism. When it became fashionable after the death of George Floyd to defund the police, the city jumped at the chance. The people elected a prosecutor who was willing to allow criminals to go free.
This led to police resigning and crime in the city skyrocketing. Not only did violent crime rise, so did public drug use and homeless encampments because no one would enforce those laws.
The citizens and some government officials suddenly realized that police were needed. Politicians tried to refund the department as citizens called for police to enforce the laws.
The problem was the city has slipped into the death spiral. Even as politicians tried to pull it back, the crime problem led to citizens and companies leaving the cities in droves. San Francisco now has some of the lowest office occupancy rates in the country, “thanks to the tech companies that make the city’s lifeblood retreating to remote work, San Francisco has seen residents move to the suburbs – pushed also by rising crime,” the Daily Mail reported.
This has reduced the tax base, which means there is less money available to fund cities programs and services.
To compensate, programs and services will need to be cut or taxes raised. Both of which will drive more people from the city, leaving behind those most in needs of programs and less likely to be contributing much to the city’s coffers through taxes.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has let city departments know they need to reduce their costs by 5 percent next year and 8 percent in 2024 to help close the $728 million budget shortfall expected over the next two years.
As these citizens’ need increase, crime will continue to rise, driving more businesses out further reducing the tax base. Property tax revenues are expected to fall $261 million over the next two years.
See how this works? If you do, you are ahead of most liberal politicians.
So how do they get out of this spiral? The best way (which means it won’t be the way the politicians choose) is to cut unneeded personnel and services from the city budget and focus on getting crime down.
A leaner budget is easier to fund, and crime must come down if there is any hope of attracting citizens and businesses back.
“We know the challenges facing San Francisco are significant, and we have a lot of work ahead of us to maintain the city’s recovery efforts,” Breed said. “As we work to close this deficit, it will require tough choices and real tradeoffs.”
The city has a fine location, and people would be willing to return, but they are less willing to deal with woke nonsense. They can see it’s not working, even if governments and businesses can’t.
Michael A. Letts is the CEO and Founder of In-VestUSA, a national grassroots non-profit organization helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs.