David Marcus: Newsom wants to pretend that the gap between California's rich and poor has shrunk

California Gov. Gavin Newsom fights for his political life

Fox News correspondent Claudia Cowan reports on the latest.

Here’s one for you. There are few issues that progressives say they care more about than reducing income inequality, and yet in San Francisco, which is so blue it might actually be Red, income inequality is pretty much all you see. There are the well-dressed wealthy — Jack Kerouac called them the “neat kneck tied producers” of Frisco back in the 1950s — and then mostly there’s a bedraggled everyone else. 

My hotel has a rooftop smoking area with commanding views of the city. It immediately looks down on Mint Plaza, which is more of a parking lot than plaza, but an interesting place. It is bordered by the lovely structure of the old mint built in 1874, the San Francisco Chronicle building, my hotel and a set of high end apartment buildings with first floor trendy eateries.

On Wednesday morning around 10 a.m. I spotted a woman from my rooftop in a bathing suit on her posh rooftop balcony of one of the luxo buildings. In the blocks that sprawled beneath her all kinds of horrible degradations were occurring, but there she was, the lazy sunbather literally above it all. It was like something out of a low tech “Blade Runner.” 

Venturing north into the valleys of the skyscrapers, the mentally ill and addicted population depleted, though not completely. This is likely because the streets are so bereft of humanity that there is nobody to beg from. 

I went all the way to the white tower of the Ferry Plaza with its cute shops and lovely on the water dining. It turns out San Francisco can be really nice for the right exorbitant price.

There is a cute little bookstore in the Ferry Plaza that resembles a cute little bookstore in Brooklyn’s trendy Industry City. And when I say resembles I mean it is exactly the same. It has all the same non binary kids’ books and the same politics section full of Kendi, Pelosi, Obama, and CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin’s books, but not a single volume by a conservative. You see, in the elite enclaves there is only one opinion, why would anyone read anything else?

But if there are few opinions there is a lot of money. Studies have found that progressive San Francisco has the highest income inequality in California, which puts it high in the running for highest world-wide. But how? Given that the leaders of this city are the avowed enemies of that phenomenon? 

I got something of an answer to that question when after the waterfront I paid homage to City Lights Bookstore, home of the Beat writers. 

Progressives talk a great game about the excesses of the 1 percent. They also do a great job of being the 1 percent and pulling up the ladder behind them. San Francisco epitomizes this. 

Across an alley now named for Kerouac sits the Vesuvio Bar and Cafe where he used to write. I got to talking to the young woman tending bar, she told me she had been lucky to find a reasonably priced studio but that, “You have to have three jobs just to go out, just to get a sandwich, a sandwich is $15 dollars.”

I admire her. She wants to be here and she is willing to hustle. But it sure doesn’t seem like the people running her town or state want to help her out much. Instead in a recent interview Gavin Newsom just made stuff up about California having less onerous taxes on the middle class than Texas, which happens to be where many middle class Californians are fleeing to. 

Progressives talk a great game about the excesses of the 1 percent. They also do a great job of being the 1 percent and pulling up the ladder behind them. San Francisco epitomizes this. 

The economic policies of this state and its governor have demonstrably widened the gap between rich and poor.

So why is Newsom still allowed to pretend they haven’t? 

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