San Francisco Snobs Vs. New Jobs

Given the state of the economy, particularly in California, you’d think that liberals would be thrilled to have another business set up shop in San Francisco. You’d be wrong about that — and oh, how wrong you’d be,

It is too easy to make fun of the people who packed Room 400 in San Francisco’s City Hall to stop American Apparel from opening a store on Valencia Street in the Mission District last week.

They are not serious people. They live in a world where facts like 27 vacant storefronts on Valencia Street and 9.3 percent unemployment statewide and nearly 600,000 jobs lost nationally last month do not matter.

…As it happens, American Apparel is somewhat of a magical company. The company makes its clothing in downtown Los Angeles, employing mostly Latino and Asian immigrants. It offers its workers health care. It pays more than twice the federal minimum wage.

…”This is not about American Apparel,” Stephen Elliott told me. Stephen Elliott is the founder of the “Stop American Apparel” Web site and the starting point of this “movement.” Yet he insisted to me that “if you allow American Apparel to come in, you’re going to have a much harder time saying no to the Gap.”

…Though some claim that this was always about “formula retail,” as I sat watching the Planning Commission meeting I noticed something else. Most of these people were happy to sacrifice other people’s lives, other people’s dreams, for their idea of magic.

When a young man stood before the board and said that he only had health care because of his job at American Apparel, a voice in the overflow room called, “Get a job somewhere else!” Another employee told a story about a young Latino man who was able to send money to his family in Central America, and this news was met with sneers. An American Apparel representative told the board that he had gotten messages from people threatening to throw a brick through the store window, and the crowd laughed.

The commission voted against issuing the permit, and American Apparel is lucky. What a burden it would be to have a store in a magical place with such nasty elves.

San Francisco is a failing city in a failing state. It has sky high taxes, astronomical housing costs, a dearth of young people willing to live there, and morals that would probably make the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah blush.

Despite all of that, in the middle of a recession, they have a company that wants to expand there. A company that employs mostly immigrants — and provides health care to its workers. For their trouble, they were treated disrespectfully, sneered at, and violent threats against them were met with laughter.

The people at the meeting sound more like the hooting idiots and savages from Mad Max than they do like modern American citizens — which is doubly ironic, because knowing liberals as I do, I’m sure that the people in that room, with a sense smug certainty, believe that they’re brighter, more sophisticated, and more enlightened than the average person — even as they giggled at the idea of someone having a brick thrown through his window or shouted “Get a job somewhere else!”

Hat tip to Moonbattery for the story.

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