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Saturday, October 23, 2021

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OpinionThe Tom and Tim ShowThe Tom and Tim Show: What does C.W. Nevius...

The Tom and Tim Show: What does C.W. Nevius know about the SF Left?

Plus City College, gender-neutral bathrooms in public schools, and more: We review the events of the week



Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. For all of the complaining about “gentrification” by “the left” using very radical language and posturing, their response is all about getting more resources for the charity they provide and about nothing radical.

    And by radical I don’t mean whining about how bad capitalism is and proposing that we replace capitalism. What I mean by radical is getting as close to the root of the problem in the current policy framework, liberal capitalism reformism, the hand we’ve been dealt, and changing the rules as far down as possible so that everything above it response to those changes.

    Instead, we get radical sounding threats from “the left” to take a radical approach invariably turned into political chits that traded to get more charity in the form of money for affordable housing developers and minimal to no policy changes.

    Development and gentrification roll on, a few lucky lottery winners get housing stability under the benevolent landlordship of the nonprofits, and of course, the nonprofiteers keep and hopefully expand their jobs. That’s how it rolls here in SF and that is why there’s been no substantive resistance to gentrification.

  2. I don’t hide behind anonymous user names & if you had any integrity, your posts would have more validity w/your real names. This site is important to me. Yet, when some of you allow a few posters to bait you, it goes no where & leaves legitimate readers & commenters bored & frustrated, w/little interest in participating or reading on. Some people have nothing better to do, or are prompted by “the other side” to post negative comments. In particular, it’s just plain Mean for HotToddy to characterize Tom Ammiano as “screechy whiney,” a man who has dedicated his life to SF as an educator, Supervisor & Legislator. Mary Redmond, thanks for your inspired efforts to respond & rebut HotToddy, but I suggest that you not lead him on–it’s hardly worth it. BTW, I listen to talk radio & you can always tell the negative callers, spouting the daily Heritage/Fox News talking points. VTY, Jan

  3. I think the insurance companies fought regulation tooth and nail but had to give in. The federal banking regulators could do a lot more to rein in the big banks and prosecute the people at the top. The main reason they don’t is that the federal prosecutors don’t have the necessary trial skills to convict at that level.

  4. There is a difference between a national health care system and a single payer system. There have been many studies which have shown that countries which have a single payer system provide better care at a lower cost. This includes most of Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and most Asian countries. This is not free – you pay for it in taxes but it costs less because you are not paying for the profiteers at the insurance companies.
    Unregulated insurance companies are like unregulated banks – they wreck havoc on their customers and everyone else .

  5. You are correct about this. And it’s true across the US. Take unions for instance. In Europe, they are typically left-wing agitators for change and are the paymasters of the established left-wing parties. In the US they are just out for their own, and don’t really care about politics beyond that.

    A big reason why there is no national left-wing party in the US is that there is nobody to fund them.

  6. The British nationalized health service is being increasingly privatized. And there is a huge parallel private system for millions who do not want to wait in a “queue” for “free” medical care.

  7. But they were not reduced significantly until Reagan. Nixon and Ford presided over very high rates of tax. As did JFK, LBJ and Carter, more understandably.

  8. Bush wanted to privatize social security and then withdrew the idea. That was a move to the left.

    Presidents move to the center if for no other reason than that they cannot get everything through Congress.

    As foghorn notes, Obama gave up on his “public option” for healthcare for much the same reason.

  9. Based on the tax rates during his presidency, one might reasonably say so.

    Or did he repeal social security and I missed it?

  10. And in exchange the insurers got government to compel a captive market place. That was what I meant by not crossing insurers. They got much more than they gave. Ditto for banksters. Don’t confuse the appearance of careful management for the careful management of appearances.

  11. That might be true, but the operative concern is that “the left” in San Francisco is a social services, labor and nonprofit sinecure operation, not anything to the left of liberal.

  12. There haven’t really been any successful communist societies in the world yet. The communist manifesto “From each according to his or her abilities, to each according to his or her need” implies a degree of voluntary cooperation in my opinion. The false communist leaders like Fidel Castro and the former Soviet Union heads organized an involuntary government seizure of assets and ran an authoritarian government similar to China.
    Socialism means government ownership of industry. There are some socialist businesses in the US like veteran’s hospitals. If you work for the VA you are employed by the government. In Britain they have socialized medicine, which means a doctor or nurse works for the government. Most people would agree that this business model can work in some industries but probably not everywhere.

  13. That is false. The medical insurance companies are now regulated in several important ways: 1. They cannot pick and chose the healthiest customers, they have to insure people regardless of pre existing conditions. 2. They have price caps based on income. 3. They do not have maximum payment limits, ie for catastrophic insurance the insurance companies have to pay the full amount not the insured party. None of this was true prior to the Affordable care act.

    As far as banking regulation is concerned, the Dodd Frank act did not go nearly far enough to completely separate commercial banking from proprietary trading. the banks have found ways to skirt the rules. They still underwrite credit default swaps and derivatives and engage in risky trading for their own accounts.

  14. Why ‘nope’ ? I agree that he betters Obama in accomplishments. EPA, OSHA, etc, not to mention opening diplomatic relations with China.

  15. The remnant sectarian communists are expert at infiltrating and dismantling non-sectarian progressive or liberal groups that garner any support. They do this so well and regularly enough, it is as if they were paid by the FBI.

  16. Richard Nixon was nobody’s Democrat. He and his cronies (Pat Buchanan and Karl Rove) developed the Southern Strategy and pulled the Dixiecrats into the modern Republican Party.

  17. Yes, because ACA, LGBT rights, the treaty with Iran, etc. all reflect Obama’s move to the right. Those on the right adore him.

  18. The SF left hate Obama almost more than they hate Bush, because they bought into the hopey changey thing and actually believed, briefly anyway, that Obama was the great black hope that would bring about a socialist revolution.

    It turned out that he was merely a slight more cuddly version of the previous militaristic, neoliberal presidents who was ultimately unwilling to challenge the status quo.

    Obama moved to the right just as Bush moved to the left.

  19. Whether OWS or the run-of-the-mill SF progressive, it’s the same problem. They are not policy makers – they merely oppose everything that the majority parties do. They are knee-jerk gainsayers of the status quo, while offering nothing to replace it with.

    Redmond etc consider it a major achievement if they stop a few new homes being built. How sad and utterly unambitious is that?

  20. And they have zero effect on anyone or anything. You might as well cite the existence of fringe right-wing extremists groups.

  21. 60% tax rates do not affect tax evaders because tax evaders pay no tax. The higher rates just spread to everyone.

    I pay my taxes in full but I do utilize perfectly legal tax avoidance strategies, such as paying myself in dividends rather than a salary.

    I submit that all US presidents from FDR until Reagan were socialists because they presided over high taxes and an unaffordable expansion of welfare. Especially LBJ.

  22. You routinely turn on those with whom you disagree, which is almost everyone. You do not have an ounce of tolerance in what passes for your soul.

  23. Yes, one of the sadder reasons for the demise of the left is the way that people like Gary and sffoghorn sullivan cannot encounter diverse opinions without quickly resorting to personal attacks.

    The supposedly tolerant left can be very illiberal.

  24. Obama was not able to pass the type of banking reform we really should have . In my opinion the heads of the major banks in the U.S. Who profited from fraudulently underwriting bad mortgages should all be in jail . Civil penalties do not result in real reform .
    He was able to pass comprehensive health care reform which may not be perfect but was better than the unregatrd oligopoly . of thieves we had before .
    He has many other accomplishments too many to be listed on this blog but unfortunately we have term limits so he can’t run for a third term.

  25. The nonprofit industrial complex arose as former sectarian leftists, abandoned by the fall of the Soviet Union, decamped to the social services nonprofits. Communists did exist, both in nation-states as well as in Leninist political parties here in the US. These entities still exist, Leninists, Stalinists and Trotskyites, right here in the Bay Area. International ANSWER is one such group, PSL is another, ISO a third. The RCP occasionally slithers out of its lair as well.

  26. The fact is that there is no substantive left in San Francisco to speak of. What we’ve got are remnants of refugees from the CPUSA after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union ceased to exist who decamped into the poverty nonprofits. They still mouth the platitudes of leftism but have made a 9-5 job out of cutting deals with neoliberal capitalists to take care of the trophy poor.

    I do not support neoliberal solutions to the economic problems that we face in SF, CA and the US. Therefore I cannot support nonprofit corporations which mouth to the left but act to the right and in so doing, give the neoliberals cover.

  27. Communist? Sam, 1950 called and they want you to return their hyperbole and ignorance.

    And those 60% rates are needed because of tax cheats like you.

  28. Nixon, like other Republicans before Reagan, would be considered a Democrat by today’s standards. From WW2 until Reagan, the GOP effectively just carried on from FDR’s quasi-socialist policies even while supposedly witch-hunting communists.

    Newsflash – if you enact 60% income tax rates then you ARE a communist, even if you call yourself a Republican.

  29. Thatcher and Reagan were wildly popular at the time, else they would not have been elected and re-elected. Reagan won 49 out of 50 states the second time around – a record that will probably never be equalled.

    The fix to the 2007-2009 financial crisis was initiated by Bush. Obama merely carried on with the same policies.

    I do not particularly like the GOP candidates this time around. But I would like to see a new face in the White House, which would exclude Bush and Clinton. And if the GOP runs the White House then at least we will no longer have the current gridlock where the President cannot get anything he wants from Congress.

  30. As usual, you drag down a decent discussion with your insulting abusive personal attacks on others. Why do you constantly try and sabotage Tim’s good faith attempt to set up a civil discussion venue here?

  31. FYI, you’re responding to Sam/Phil79/Siddle/MadHatter/et al.

    Same troll with yet another new name. You can’t reason with strident stupidity and selfishness.

  32. Perhaps you have forgotten what it was like in the 2007 to 2008 economic disaster in the United States. The deregulation of financial services which started under Reagan and metastasized under Bush 44 brought the world economy to its knees. If Obama had not been president we would have been looking at a situation similar to Europe in 1938.
    I don’t like political labels because they are always misleading . I am conservative on some issues and liberal on others like most people. Conservative should mean someone who takes a slow rational method for evaluating and solving problems. Unfortunately conservative in the U.S. now means self hating homophobic nativist and anti government extremist. Do you know any rational intelligent conservative politicians running for president? I don’t. People keep deifying Reagan and Thatcher after they both died of Alzheimer’s disease. Sad.

  33. I didn’t listen to the piece because I can’t stand Ammiano’s screechy whiney voice. But you and Nevius are correct that there is no meaningful left in SF. Or, for that matter, anywhere in the US.

    The left in the US have never been true socialists with an international outlook, like some in Europe and elsewhere. But rather a parochial opportunistic loose alliance of single-issue advocates. Union members, greens, NIMBYs and non-whites at best form a disparate set of interests with little in common with each other, and who will happily sell each other down the river for a cheap win.

    Reagan and Thatcher woke us all up 35 years ago and socialism has been in full retreat ever since. What is masquerading as the left enjoys some success in social issues like gay and abortion rights which the smarter conservatives ultimately do not care about. But where it really matters – economics and foreign affairs – progressives are in disarray. The best contender they have for 2016 is the de facto Republican Clinton.

    Having a black and a woman as successive Presidents is a win for identity politics but a loss for anything that should matter to the left

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