Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 24, 2015

700 years

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Alameda-ish, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Despite City Councilmember Tony Daysog declaring that there is “too much housing” some elected officials around the Bay Area would disagree with that assessment.  In Medium, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener points to a map produced by the MTC that shows, visually, the shortfall of housing units by 2040.   From the piece:

To address the Bay Area’s housing needs, the region adopted housing goals for the 2015–2040 time period, with each city or town having a numerical target for housing production. The Bay Area as a whole needs to produce around 660,000 units between now and 2040 to keep up with population growth.

We need much stronger incentives for local communities to accept new housing, for example, establishing a stronger connection between transportation funding and housing production. The region can provide these incentives, and the State Legislature can provide even stronger incentives.

Yet, regardless of how we approach the problem, change is necessary. If we continue to make it incredibly hard, expensive, lengthy, and at times impossible to add housing, imagine what housing costs will look like with 2.1 million additional people, and imagine what our roads will look like as more and more people are forced into lengthy commutes since they simply can’t afford housing within the Bay Area.

Unsurprisingly, Alameda is not projected to complete its fair share (at the rate its going) until the year 2740.

Yes, I did not mistype that, the year 2740.  700 years after the deadline.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 1.58.55 PM

Of course it’s not nearly as bad as some cities like Richmond which has a completion date of “never” but it’s still pretty grim given story after story of displacement that has become almost the rule as opposed to the exception.

Add to that the recent news about Uber which has signed a lease to take over the Sears Building in downtown Oakland in which only 1 of 5 employees of Uber live in Oakland will put additional pressure on the city closest to downtown Oakland (hint that’s us!).  I think it’s going to get much much worse before it gets better as long as we have the attitudes that currently exist on the Council.


  1. With the Uber lease and the expected influx of new jobs and companies who are now coming to Oakland one building owner announced his building yesterday doubled in value. People will complain because of the rising prices, but they complain when the economy is bad and there are no jobs, and now they will complain because there are too many people because of all the new jobs. My theory although not “dave” tested or backed by scientific facts is you can’t please everyone. “dave” this is just an observation based on years of experience.

    Comment by Jake — September 24, 2015 @ 8:19 am

  2. Jake, do you think we could start using “fact Check” for our facts to present to Dave??.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2015 @ 9:16 am

  3. Oakland is the home of the labor law firm which recently won it’s class action suit against Fed Ex for trying to hire drivers as contract employees and which represents, BART workers, AC Transit drivers, IBEW local 595, and ILWU local 6. Next time there is a glass smash protest, I hope they go directly to the Sears building ( new home of Uber). It’s fine that the taxi industry has to compete and evolve to adopt to new paradigm, but that should not include unregulated competition. Fuck Uber.

    Comment by MI — September 24, 2015 @ 9:38 am

  4. Say that to the hundreds and thousands of workers in Oakland who have been unemployed or underemployed for several years – and the thousands of workers who have been pushed out of the job market for one reason or another. Say that to the workers who work two or more jobs to survive in this economy. Say that to a single mom who can now feed her children and live with some dignity. Say that to a middle aged woman or man who lost her/his job and can’t find another, and who is on the verge of losing their home because they can’t find work. Uber will create thousands of jobs for Oakland residents and that’s a good thing.

    This billion dollar company made a strategic move and my bet is that they are here to stay!

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  5. I hope they adapt quickly. Last time I called a cab for pick up in Alameda it was to the Oakland Airport and it was very late. I kept calling…”we’re on the way”, called again “we’re on the way”….finally called another cab company which did show up, although not very quickly. About 5 minutes after being picked up by cab company #2, #1 calls and tried to chew me out. Made it to airport on time. Barely. I don’t know enough to endorse Uber wholesale, but I haven’t had that problem with them. I guess if the Alameda City government is the place to address regional/national issues like regional housing, job creation, etc., I guess regulation of Uber could be a new cause here. No picking up riders in city limits unless you comply with…..

    Comment by MP — September 24, 2015 @ 10:31 am

  6. While I very often agree with Karen on lots of issues- in this case, the evidence that Uber is not the good guys is continuing to mount up:

    Comment by librarycat — September 24, 2015 @ 10:35 am

  7. Uber’s business model is simply to ignore regulations and pretend they’re not a transportation company. They and their fellow “sharing economy” firms want to take labor practices back to 19th century piecework and erode all progress for workers since. Not the company we necessarily want to keep.

    Re.5: I always use the local Alameda taxi firm SAI Transportation to the airport. They are really excellent.

    And yes, of course we need more housing.

    Comment by BC — September 24, 2015 @ 10:53 am

  8. I think one of the reasons they did expand to Oakland aside from cheaper rent is an attempt to expand their Political Base. Might work or could come back to bite them.

    Comment by frank m — September 24, 2015 @ 11:29 am

  9. Constant growth is not sustainable. Humanity is at (or very near) the carrying capacity of the planet.

    In California we’ve been depleting the aquifer, with no regards to the future, for _many_ decades. We’ve irrigated a vast desert to provide cheap food to the country and in some cases, the world. This aquifer re-fills on a timetable that consists of centuries. We’re also polluting that aquifer with various poisons in our quest for cheap fuel.

    Here in Alameda we’re talking about building a large number of houses barely above the currant sea level; I hope all these new homes come with flood insurance. We have the constrained resources of an island and we’re hell-bent on growth, without much regard for the infrastructure.

    We’re building a house of cards, waiting for a small breeze to collapse it.

    Comment by Chris Muir — September 24, 2015 @ 11:48 am

  10. Karen, these are elite tech jobs, not barista jobs, though there will be trickle down for those jobs too. Scold me again when Uber has flooded the market with jobs , jobs, jobs, especially for all those people you list. It’s not about how convenient their service is for consumers, or even drivers. Now that I think about it, it’s interesting to wonder how easy it is to get a cab to West Seventh and Wood street at 11 pm. Isn’t the so called success of the disruption model mostly about solving what are called “white people problems”?

    Make your speech to the minority cabby who is out of work because of Uber and the renters who will see even faster inflation in rents. I called a cab company who wouldn’t send a cab, but they referred me to Alameda Cab for a ride to West Oakland BART. I still refuse to call Uber , just like I refuse to use Amazon even if they deliver same day, on Sundays no less! I’ll just have to forego watching Transparent too. Cabs can improve service by applying apps, but there is no reason in hell companies like Uber and Air BnB should be allowed to “disrupt” the lives of many many more than the handful they employ, without being subject to regular run of the mill rules for comparable businesses. Their entire model is based on tilrting the playing field. The impact may also be to create low wage service jobs but at the same time they under cut good paying jobs with their corrosive “disruption”.

    It’s more likely they will flood the market with people who will make rents increase. Travis Kalanek is an unrepentant weazel, like the arrogant prick who bought the rights to the AIDS drug and upped the cost 5500%. The local economy never prospers as much as these individuals who make billions. Fuck ’em.

    Comment by MI — September 24, 2015 @ 11:55 am

  11. MI, you may be interested to read this blog post from Mark Kleiman, who is Professor of Public Policy at UCLA. Based on what I’ve seen and read of him, Kleiman is no friend of big business.

    Here is the key takeaway:

    “But for now, anyone who asserts that ridesharing services disadvantage poor people or poor neighborhoods is making a claim that is not merely unsupported but actually contrary to the findings of the one systematic study of that question.”

    Comment by Brock — September 24, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

  12. Off topic about Uber but on target for anti-development- just heard that Barbara Kerr died?
    Is true?

    Comment by librarycat — September 24, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

  13. MI, #10 you refuse to use Uber, Amazon, Air BnB and imagine you don’t go to Costco, Home Depot, Target?…sort of reminds me of my dad. He refused to use computers, the internet, cell phones, he didn’t get a microwave until they were 20 years old…at least you have a computer. The way people do business, and changes are going to happen around you whether you like it or not. You may not like it but it is inventible….no more records, cassettes, 8 track players, vcr’s, CD’s, floppy disc’s, Montgomery Wards is gone, Sears/K mart? not what it use to be what is the world coming to…actually Air BnB type of rentals have been around for years.

    Comment by Jake — September 24, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

  14. Its in the “SUN” it must be true.

    Comment by John P. — September 24, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

  15. Great conversation – and thanks Library for the article.

    Here’s what I see —

    Uber has tapped into a demand that the current economic structure has not been able to meet. It has created thousands of new jobs for people from all walks of life. Something pretty incredible! I see this as an opportunity to merge the new economy with the old. The new economy has/will create thousands of new jobs through creativity and innovation, and the old economy will provide wisdom.

    This merging process is part of the evolution that is taking place in both the boardroom and the courtroom.

    But to try and destroy the new economy because it doesn’t look like the old structure that we boomers are most comfortable with, in my opinion is a waste of good energy because what Jake said is very true. They’ve arrived!

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

  16. I would like to see ‘the New Economy” survive on an even playing field with the old Economy. Then I will accept it. An Uber Driver drops off a Fare turns a corner and kills a three year old and Uber says it is only responsible if there is a passenger in the car. Of course the driver only has standard insurance so his Insurance denies the claim as he isn’t covered as a commercial driver.

    In California you have Ellis Act Evictions. So what that says that if a Landlord wants to get out of the Landlord Business he can legally evict people from (rent control) apartments paying them a fee. However he can then rent these apartment out through Air B’nB and even purchase multiple other properties and do the same thing over and over. This is having a devastating trickle down effect over the entire Bay Area. It is cheating. That is YOUR NEW ECONOMY.

    Comment by frank m — September 24, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

  17. It is quite surprising that Uber, et al, haven’t yet been required to insure drivers, or require that they be insured commercially. The insurance industry is a very powerful lobby so it’s probably coming soon.

    Comment by dave — September 24, 2015 @ 3:42 pm

  18. Many tenants are giving up their second jobs and renting out their second bedroom for $90 a night. And some are even offering Uber concierge services by picking up tourists from the airport and driving them around for a fee. This is also part of the new economy.

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2015 @ 3:56 pm

  19. Are they paying Taxes on this additional Income?

    Comment by frank m — September 24, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  20. Actually if they are just renting a room they don’t have to pay Taxes.

    Comment by frank m — September 24, 2015 @ 4:19 pm

  21. Oakland, San Francisco, and a host of other cities are making Airbnb collect and remit the taxes, but I’m not sure how Uber works.

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2015 @ 4:20 pm

  22. So lets step back a minute, Oakland, one of the most progressive cities in the Bay Area has opened it’s doors to both Airbnb and Uber — the new economy.

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 24, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

  23. Use Lyft … nowhere as sleazy as Uber.

    Comment by Lyft User — September 24, 2015 @ 5:26 pm

  24. So if an Air B’nB’ Guest is injured while staying at your (tenants) you are the one who is sued. “The New Economy”

    Comment by frank m — September 24, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  25. Uber 2.0

    Comment by Mike McMahon — September 24, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

    If you can’t afford a personal driver and don’t want to risk a DUI, or are already so drunk that nobody will serve you, Ubar’s on demand servers can help.
    Put your idle alcohol to work. Instead of just sitting in your cabinet taking up valuable space, earn great money while helping others to hit bottom.

    Ubar is a marketplace. We introduce drinkers & servers kind of the same way pimps introduce hookers and johns. For the convenience of the introduction and for handling the protection legal battles bribing of local officials billing we earn 80% of the amount charged by the server. The server incurs this fee so you the drinker don’t have to do complicated math.

    Popular ride sharing services have ignored the laws that prohibited them from operating, and look, they are still operating. Neither passengers nor drivers have ever been arrested for the service.

    Additionally you can look to services such as Airbnb for another example if you need more proof. Hotels require licensing but Airbnb decided that the law did not apply to them, so it didn’t.

    We have filed form AP-R1 and accordingly, at Ubar we do not need to follow any laws and this makes our service legal

    Most people drink heavily in the morning before work, in the evening after work, and after 2AM when the bars have closed.

    During these high demand times for alcohol, you may see your per-drink cost increase. We call this “Urge Pricing”. When the city-wide urge to drink is higher you will often see higher pricing.

    To avoid urge pricing, order your drinks during off hours such as 10AM-11AM or 3PM-5PM

    During states of emergency when our services may be essential to the public welfare of a metroplex, we may eliminate urge pricing. Examples of times when we may eliminate urge pricing are if a city’s primary sports team has lost a championship or if yet another Bush has been elected to office.

    We have no idea what brand of liquor you are buying. The servers tell us that they are selling top shelf stuff but like many bars and restaurants, it’s certainly possible that they are marrying it with the cheap stuff. Like you could tell anyways.

    It is your responsibility to complain to any server you feel is not delivering the product they promised.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — September 24, 2015 @ 10:12 pm

  27. Wow, do I agree with CBKJ?

    Karen: just labeling something “new economy” is a platitude, and says nothing about whether it’s good or bad.

    Comment by BC — September 25, 2015 @ 12:51 am

  28. Interesting read.

    Comment by frank m — September 25, 2015 @ 4:28 am

  29. I agree some of the new innovation is good, and some of it is bad — I would imagine what’s bad will not last. But in the meantime, the Bay Area continues to expand:

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 25, 2015 @ 6:12 am

  30. “Last week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick froze at a tech conference when philanthropist and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff asked him, “How do we know Uber has a heart?”

    “You know it when you see it,” Kalanick said after a pause. “We’re a company that has tens of thousands of people, so there must be something.”

    Very reassuring.

    Comment by MI — September 25, 2015 @ 8:47 am

  31. 23. let’s not forget that organic disruption of the app was not enough. Travis resorted to juking the odds by booking and canceling rides with Lyft riders.

    Comment by MI — September 25, 2015 @ 8:50 am

  32. I have a question to anyone complaining about Uber (MI or anyone else):

    How often do you take a taxi ride (ridesharing or traditional)?

    I use them weekly, now that Uber is in Alameda and Oakland. Mostly when I want to go to dinner and have some drinks and not drive or use the bus. Sometimes for work too.

    Prior to Uber, this was simply not feasible, especially in Alameda. Sure you could call one of the local “taxi” companies, but you’d be waiting 30 minutes for them to show up, at a bare minimum, and during off hours. Then prepare for the driver to be extremely pissed off when you tell them you just want to go from Park Street to Webster Street, or shorter. With Uber, this takes 5 minutes, and I don’t have to deal with someone who speaks poor english on the phone.

    Uber brought something to the Island that didn’t exist before. The existing taxi companies worked if you wanted a ride to the airport, that you set up the night before. But that is not taxi service.

    Comment by Brock — September 25, 2015 @ 11:25 am

  33. I stopped calling for airport rides the night before quite a while ago. The cabs either never showed or showed half an hour early when I wasn’t ready. Before Uber I’d walk from Webster to Park and maybe catch a 51 if one came by before I’d bother calling a cab.

    The only times I use a cab now are from Fruitvale BART, where there is usually a large number waiting & ready (and yes, they are sometimes hostile about the short ride) or from the Oakland Airport. Other than that, it’s Uber, and not because of cost — because it works.

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2015 @ 11:50 am

  34. I have never used Lyft. Politics aside, is it any different from a rider’s perspective?

    Comment by dave — September 25, 2015 @ 11:53 am

  35. From my experience Lyft it is exactly the same as Uber.

    Here’s a funny true story from when I lived in Oakland. I used to live over on the other side of Lake Merritt. My roommate and I were trying to get to Berkeley with a bunch of records (three or four crates) for some party. Both of us were “car-free” (poor). Taxi seemed the way to go.

    We called one of the fine local taxi businesses, and they told us they’d be over in “about a half an hour”. A half hour passes and no cab. We call back and they say they are “still on the way”.

    An hour passes and still no cab. We call again. “Yeah they’re not coming”. What?? “Yeah there just aren’t any cabs available to come and get you.” What about the one that was on the way? “There are no cabs available at this time!”

    In this situation is there any point in even getting mad? Wasted hour. Intransigent taxi dispatcher. No way to get where we were going.

    It was the last time I tried to use a cab in Oakland, from anywhere other than the BART stations as Dave mentions.

    Comment by Brock — September 25, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

  36. no time to catch up on posts , but just heard this on NPR. In many cities taxi medallions are sold in limited numbers like liquor licenses. An Indian immigrant cabbie in SF who has been driving for twenty years bought on of these coveted medallions three years ago for $250,000 after scraping and borrowing. Along comes Uber, just putting their app out there and letting it catch on. Now the medallions are are next to worthless. This Immigrant is $250,00 in the whole just like that. The efficacy of the taxi industry is not really at the heart of the matter. The problem is that this guy was playing by the rules and then the City let Uber run rough shod over the guy by not holding them to the same regulation. Uber claims it should not be held to the same regulations such as license fees because it is run on entirely different basis. Instead of waving at a cab you email them. BFD. It is still paying for a service and cab companies are coming round to using the same system, but for a number of reasons they are at huge disadvantage in regaining their cut of the market. Meanwhile this immigrant can’t quit driving because of his debt or he would. There are law suits out there which may succeed but the wheels of justice are slower than the wheels of Uber. Oh, I have an idea! Let’s just do away with the legal system and replace it with apps!

    Comment by MI — September 25, 2015 @ 4:51 pm

  37. MI are you running around Oakland and Alameda somewhere I don’t, where you see lots of cabs you can “wave at”? They don’t exist! And furthermore, I’d point out that they don’t really exist in SF either outside of some select areas.

    I’m sorry but the efficacy of the taxi industry is very much at the heart of the matter. Should Alameda go back to not having a functioning taxi service just so the immigrant cabbie from your example can guarantee a return on his investment?

    People make investments that don’t turn out the way they hoped all the time. Life is tough.

    Are we bailing out taxi medallion holders now?

    Comment by brock — September 25, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

  38. The reality is I feel bad for the taxi drivers but a lot of this they brought on themselves…Last taxi ride home from the airport the driver was rude….the car filled with his paperwork…..and it was expensive….I recently used Uber for the first time in Boston….sorry…. but it was great….both times wonderful drivers …clean nice cars…and best of all….the price….also having two 20 something year old kids they swear by it……I no longer have to nag and say….don’t drink and drive…they just don’t do it…they call Uber…I guess I’m just a bad Dem….

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 25, 2015 @ 6:24 pm

  39. it is not about bailing out medallion holders it is about being reasonably decent as a society and not blind siding them by allowing the rules to be changed over night. Twenty year cabbie gets one upped by Travis the Uber cool tech bro. Excusing that by saying “life is tough” is cold.

    The waving line was straight from the radio piece. Last time in SF waving didn’t work because the taxis were full believe it or not. In Alameda I cal,l and they show up on time.

    The heart of the matter is the heart.

    ““Last week, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick froze at a tech conference when philanthropist and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff asked him, “How do we know Uber has a heart?”

    “You know it when you see it,” Kalanick said after a pause. “We’re a company that has tens of thousands of people, so there must be something.”

    Yeah ten of thousand pieces of meat.

    Comment by MI — September 25, 2015 @ 6:40 pm

  40. Here’s an interesting article about Uber’s effects on traffic and parking in San Francisco:

    “A member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors said services provided by Uber and Lyft are “indispensable” to the city’s residents, particularly those with low or moderate incomes. In an interview with re/code, Scott Weiner said ride-hailing services like Uber Pool and Lyft Line, which enable the car service customers to ride together for a lower price, ease the strain on San Francisco’s traffic and parking while also making it easier for those who work at night to get home in a cost-effective way.

    “I think we would have much worse congestion and parking problems,” Weiner said. “More people would feel the need to have their car around with them.”

    To Weiner, who has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood for 20 years, the ride-hailing services have played a key role in easing strain on a public transportation system he says has failed to keep up with the city’s population growth. From July 2013 to July 2014, the San Francisco Bay Area’s population growth rate doubled what it had been from 2000 to 2013, from 0.7 percent to 1.3 percent.

    “I see what happens personally when transit works and doesn’t work — what it means for a city and a region when you’re growing by leaps and bounds and congestion is getting worse and your transit systems are ancient and don’t have the capacity to keep up with the growth,” Weiner said.

    The two ride-hailing companies, which are both headquartered in San Francisco, have essentially transformed the city’s transportation landscape over the past five years. Last year, the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association released research showing a third of the city’s more than 5,800 taxi drivers had abandoned their registered cabs in favor of a contract with Uber, Lyft or Sidecar”.

    Comment by Karen Bey — September 25, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

  41. You’ve probably realized that there can be a big difference between the fares from driving for Uber, say $62,000, and what’s left over after paying Uber’s commission, your gas, car maintenance, health and car insurance expenses, and your federal income and self-employment taxes, or about $27,600. And you may still have to pay state and local income taxes, which might add up to another thousand dollars or so.

    Keep in mind that you don’t get fringe benefits as an independent contractor. No paid sick leave or vacation days, no subsidized health insurance or free coffee or snacks in the company cafeteria. No employer matching contributions to your 401(k) savings plan. No educational assistance, group term life insurance, health savings accounts and so forth.

    Things would be different if you worked for Uber Technologies. You would receive a 401(k) plan, gym reimbursement, nine paid company holidays, full medical/dental/visions package and an unlimited vacation policy. You might even get snacks in Uber’s lunchroom.

    Because the value of most of these fringe benefits isn’t included in your taxable income, you don’t have to pay taxes on them. Thus, they’re really good for your bottom line.

    Despite all of this, you may still decide that you would like to be your own boss and make extra cash in your spare time (According to Uber, more than half of its drivers work fewer than 16 hours a week).

    But, as you consider your employment options, it’s worthwhile to keep in mind that the “independent contractor” business model may not be as attractive as it may first appear.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — September 25, 2015 @ 10:14 pm

  42. If UBER paid it’s Drivers 1000 a week and all the drivers car costs, insurance,employee taxes, and fees it would cost the company 14.4 Billion a year on 10 Billion a year in Revenues. It will be interesting how this model works out and how they can justify a 50 Billion Dollar Market Cap.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — September 25, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

  43. Will Uber’s questionable marketing tactics force you to choose Lyft, or a taxi?

    Uber app removed from my iPhone. Tying up Lyft drivers with false calls is total bullshit.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — September 25, 2015 @ 10:44 pm

  44. How much do UBER drivers really make?

    In the end, after giving 100 UberX rides and achieving Uber “VIP” status, Guendelsberger figured she had made about $17 dollars an hour in “gross fares.” But this was before Uber took their 28 percent. Then, subtracting another 19 percent for “expenses” – such as car wear and tear, insurance, gas, etc. – Guendelsberger ended up with $9.34 an hour as an UberX driver.

    So what was Guendelsberger’s UberX verdict?
    “Driving for UberX isn’t the worst-paying job I’ve ever had. I made less scooping ice cream as a 15-year-old, if you don’t adjust for inflation.

    If I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week with one week off, I’d net almost $30,000 a year before taxes. But if I wanted to net that $90,000 a year figure that so many passengers asked about, I would only have to work, let’s see… 27 hours a day, 365 days a year.


    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — September 25, 2015 @ 11:10 pm

  45. After spending time reading all the articles posted here…all I can say is I’m so bummed out…I really hadn’t thought about the negative sides of a company like Uber ….I might have to rethink things…..Uber I can give up but Airbnb or VRBO will never happen…I’ve rented wonderful places all over the world with amazing results….

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 26, 2015 @ 6:30 am

  46. 43. is the true ethos of Uber, which is the point. If the taxi industry does not deliver they will eventually be replaced even with an even playing field, but it will just take longer which is ultimately more humane because it doesn’t pull the rug over night. But the greed of many of these people is unvarnished. Benioff is and always has been a great example of what these people who rake wealth from the landscape ought to be doing. Even Gates was a notorious prick and monopoly capitalist until Melinda loosened him up and they started their foundation which they use to tinker with pet projects like charters schools, but also fighting malaria, hip, hip, hooray. And Jobs? Stingy M-F-er.

    Sorry J.E.A., but Air BnB has already pumped $8 million into scaring voters from passing Prop F, and it is with deceptive advertising. If they would just agree to pay hotel taxes and meet other regulations of hotel industry, then you could have the same great service for maybe a little more money, and maybe there would be less choices. My wife’s nephew who lives in the Mission said he literally has seen the changes of hundreds young European speaking people all over the Mission and they are AirBnB tourists.

    You can’t consider yourself a progressive and have it both ways. The kind of sacrifices we are talking about ( boycotting Amazon, Uber and Air BnB) are kinda what is called “white people problems” aren’t they?

    Comment by MI — September 27, 2015 @ 10:08 am

  47. #46….you always bring the conversation down to a personal level…, since you are a better Dem how about stating that the people that rent out their places have the responsibility to pay the taxes…. you don’t use Airbnb or VRBO so you seem to be lacking some knowledge of how it works….Many times (not all) it says the rate plus taxes or it will say taxes included……seems simple…..bottom line I will continue to use them and enjoying seeing as much of the world as I can afford….And, you can pat yourself on the back for being the perfect “Progressive”….

    Comment by J.E.A. — September 27, 2015 @ 10:43 am

  48. 47. when I use the word “you” I should maybe use the word “one” as in “one can’t call oneself a progressive etc.” If you take it personally, that’s up to you. I don’t think it takes a lot of imagination to understand general impacts of Air BnB without actually using it. It obviously can be a life line for people in economic straights renting an in-law as a hotel room which you didn’t even mention. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to conclude that over all Air BnB is not just used by people in economic straights or by others to subsidize cost of a vacation by renting one’s digs while taking a trip. Taking units off the regular rental market to make huge profits ( even after taxes) badly disrupts the over all rental market by decreasing supply increasing average rents. I made a mistake in referring to taxes specifically instead of saying regulation in general, but the loss of hotel taxes to a city is the least problematic part of Air BnB. But the principal is not fair. Those of us who can afford vacations at all may be above the mean. Of course one can call oneself whatever one wants and there is no real measure other than ones conscience. As a self proclaimed self back patting progressive I’m trying to make a point that the people who have owning interests in many of these companies are arrogant and greedy in the face of some real negative impacts for which they won’t take personal responsibility. Some of them are proving to be really despicable people. I know some folks who consider themselves very progressive who make ends meet by renting their places while staying with romantic partners a couple times a month. I don’t fancy myself some kind of morality policeman nor am I naive enough to think a personal boycott will have any significant impact, but I don’t want these bums to profit off my transactions.

    Comment by MI — September 28, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

  49. just for yuks. a discussion about altruism in Silicon Valley.

    Comment by MI — September 28, 2015 @ 1:00 pm


    “Uber used Colbert like the State Department used Judith Miller

    Stephen, I realize it’s only entertainment and that your job is to make people laugh. But when you bring on a very un-funny fellow like Travis Kalanick, it seems you and your production team should think a little more cleverly about how you put lipstick on that pig.

    This is not at all a defense of Big Taxi, which in many cities has provided crappy service for years. Those who believe that ride-sharing companies like Lyft, Sidecar and even Uber have provided a badly needed alternative will get no argument from me.

    But that doesn’t mean that Kalanick wasn’t dancing circles around you, Stephen. It’s not just that you edited out of the final TV broadcast the shouting dissenters in your audience who tried to dispute the Uber CEO’s typical claims. But your fact checkers and production team should have prepared you better for not letting Kalanick turn you into his tool, like Judith Miller and the press pack at a State Department briefing.”

    Comment by MI — September 29, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

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