Posts Tagged ‘Caviar Liberalism’

Caviar Liberalism Segregates Housing

July 26, 2021

Berkeley was the birthplace of the caviar liberal mentality, a place where privileged liberals went to expensive restaurants, crowed in delight about it, having dinner where Bill Clinton did, and struck progressive poses among themselves… While carefully excluding those less wealthy and influential. The more privileged they got, the more “liberal” they posed… As long as their neighborhoods could stay segregated. The university itself led that mentality, by exploiting all sorts of teaching assistants and untenured lecturers, refusing, for decades, to let them form unions, as the university refused to consider that these workers were employees. Many of them had to work for no pay, because Berkeley was such an advanced, glorious place, beyond any suspicion. I had direct experience of this as a victim, for years.

The truth then was quite the opposite of the human rights picture that caviar liberals wanted to projectl: Berkeley and its sister cities refused to build low, or even middle income housing… it would “block the views”… that, and alleging developers would make profits, were the best argument the pseudo-liberals could find, while even fully employed school teachers had to live in miserable conditions. Berkeley and some of the adjoining cities have recently lifted total interdictions on multistory buildings (which is what middle income housing means there). But market demand still forces prices around ten times, per area, above national average. The only solution is massive construction. All Bay Area cities, dominated by wealthy caviar liberals, obstinately refuse it, they are all millionaires, thanks to housing.  

Caviar liberalism is the objective accomplice and servant of the oligarchical plutocracy which rules the world. The first step in sociological progress is to make caviar liberals aware of their hypocritical status. 

Patrice Ayme

***

Housing prices in Berkeley nearly quadrupled in the last two decades. However, salaries, especially of the non-upper class, did not quadruple. Actually, they stayed stagnant

The Case-Shiller Index for “San Francisco” covers the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo (northern part of Silicon Valley), Alameda and Contra Costa (East Bay), including Berkeley and its sister cities, and Marin (North Bay). It doesn’t cover the southern part of Silicon Valley, including San Jose, which is even more outrageously expensive, and the largest portions of the North Bay (Wine Country counties of Sonoma and Napa) and Solano County.

***

P/S: The preceding was (except for the last sentence) a comment to a NYT article which condemned Berkeley as the birthplace of housing segregation, a point I have long made, in various essays, and sent to the NYT in various comments. So let me congratulate myself for an alert well done.

The NYT has links to various laws and ways explaining the California housing crisis in the way I have long advocated: a crowning achievement of caviar liberalism… originating in Berkeley, as I have long said. And this is no coincidence: Stanford is honest about its elitism, and tries to compensate for it. UC Berkeley, 30 miles north, is the opposite: dishonest about its elitism, and unwilling to compensate for it (as it does not exist, hey! Never mind the tuition for undergraduates at UC Berkeley is a quarter of the median US family income… for California residents… non CA residents pay three quarters of median US family income, just for attending classes, before room and board…)

Here is an extract from

It’s Hard to Have Faith in a State That Can’t Even House Its People. July 26, 2021, by Ned Resnikoff.

Mr. Resnikoff is policy manager for the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at the University of California, San Francisco.

Even if you don’t live in California, you’ve probably seen the pictures of tents lining Venice Beach. Or maybe you’ve seen photographs of Oakland’s sprawling homeless encampments, or the crowds of people living on the street in Los Angeles’s Skid Row neighborhood. Those images, while stark, do not come close to capturing the scope of the state’s homelessness crisis.

Numbers come a little closer. California is home to nearly 12 percent of the country’s total population but, as of January 2020, 28 percent of its unhoused population, according to federal statistics. More than half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population resides in California. All told, the federal government’s most recent point-in-time count tells us that roughly 161,548 Californians were homeless as of just one night in early 2020, 113,660 of whom were unsheltered — and this was before Covid-19 plunged the United States into crisis.

The political implications of mass homelessness cut deep, cut to the very foundations of our democratic system, in fact. Widespread homelessness is both a symptom of democratic decline and a harbinger of worse to come.

It should never have gotten this bad. Homelessness is solvable. Its primary driver is housing unaffordability (not a sudden recent increase in mental illness or substance use disorder, despite claims to the contrary), and so the solution has always been more housing, particularly for those who don’t currently have it. But California has allowed homelessness to metastasize over the past few decades. As the humanitarian crisis has gotten worse, it has become a political crisis. Homelessness is one of the major themes in this year’s campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, and a growing number of commentators have cited it as evidence that the “California dream” is dying.

As I pointed out in the past, segregated housing we have now started as segregated racism, and so-called “red zoning”… which is more active than ever.

The structural factors that threaten U.S. democracy have directly contributed to homelessness in California. Take structural racism. In his landmark book “The Color of Law,” Richard Rothstein outlined how the government spent decades segregating neighborhoods as a matter of public policy, stifling Black homeownership and pushing Black Americans and other people of color into zones of concentrated urban poverty.

California was an early innovator in racist housing policies: Berkeley was most likely the birthplace of single-family zoning, which constricts housing supply and pushes up the cost of housing. This policy puts it out of reach for low-income households, in particular the people of color it was intended to keep out.

More than a century after it was first enacted, Berkeley is now in the process of undoing single-family zoning. But at both the city and the state level, other racist policies remain on the books. Some of them are baked into the state’s Constitution, which the voters amended in 1950 to restrict development of low-income public housing. And California’s decades-long effort to keep low-income Black residents out of adequate housing continues to bear fruit: today, Black people make up 6.5 percent of the state’s overall population, but 40 percent of its homeless population.

Even as the homelessness crisis has grown out of the same factors as the crisis of democracy, it has directly contributed to democratic decay. California’s continual failure to make inroads against widespread homelessness risks fomenting anger, cynicism and disaffection with the state’s political system. A state that appears powerless to address fundamental problems does not make a very persuasive case for its own survival. As such, state and local policymakers need to take homelessness seriously as not only a humanitarian disaster, but a threat to liberal democracy.

California was long the world’s dream center. It got carried away with a herd of good looking do-gooder laws which served the privileged white elite, enabling a segregated society. Some of these caviar liberals I know advised presidents, and not just US presidents. It is high time to point this hypocrisy out, and recognize it as the origin of multiple crises, so that the correct strategies can be put into place. Getting rid of corrupt, hyper-wealthy caviar liberals such as billionaire Feinstein, near billionaire Pelosi, Newsom with his eleven companies created by the plutocratic Gettys, and getting rid of many others, nearly as corrupt… is the necessary first step towards truth and transparency.

Caviar Liberals, not Republicans, is why we cannot progress. To fight an adversary frontally is just war. But, while one tries to fight for progress, racist caviar liberals stab in the back, while claiming dastardly you matter to them, and they just patted you in the back!


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