Member of city homeless community Guy ‘Mike’ Lee announces mayoral candidacy

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Guy “Mike” Lee, a member of Berkeley’s homeless community, announced Monday that he is running for city mayor in the fall 2016 elections.

Lee, 60, will be running against Councilmembers Jesse Arreguin and Laurie Capitelli for current Mayor Tom Bates’ seat. Lee believes that the homeless in Berkeley are not confident that the other candidates represent their interests.

On his campaign website, Lee outlines a 90-day plan — centered on affordable housing, homelessness and crime reduction — to take Berkeley in a “new direction” if he were to be elected.

“This is not a campaign of promises, this is a campaign of solutions,” Lee said. “This 90-day plan, we may not be able to do it. What it is is a start of a discussion of how we get into a new direction to benefit the 99 percent, not the one percent.”

The plan includes a resolution to define affordable housing as $500 per month for a studio apartment, $750 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

Alejandro Soto-Vigil, who serves on the city Housing Advisory Commission and Rent Stabilization Board, said rent is complicated, involving nonprofits, private landlords renting to federally funded programs and reduced inclusionary housing rates.

“The whole strict standard of setting rent at that level is not realistic because it’s a lot more complicated than just that,” Soto-Vigil said. “Should rent be reduced? Absolutely. Can local government do that? I don’t think so.”

Another of Lee’s 90-day plan proposals is to require future developments to provide at least 50 percent affordable housing or pay 50 percent of the project’s value to nonprofits.

Additionally, Lee’s solution for homelessness includes an urban village with semipermanent structures. This specific plan focuses on providing stability and an exit strategy for the homeless, while recognizing that some may wish to live as “free spirits.”

“The good thing about Guy ‘Mike’ Lee running for mayor is to keep the issue of homelessness front and center because it is a long-term issue that we have to tackle,” Soto-Vigil said. “At the end of the day, homelessness is everyone’s problem.”

Capitelli and Arreguin were unavailable for comment.

Lee recognizes that he lacks the professional qualifications of the other candidates but said that he is committed to strictly following the law and doing what is right for the entire community.

Lee will kickstart his campaign with a community-oriented event Feb. 12. The city mayoral election will be held Nov. 8.

Contact Amelia Mineiro at [email protected].

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  • lspanker

    Sometimes people need to be made fun of to see how ridiculous what they are saying is.

    Word. Inhabitants of the Berkeley bubble choose to live in an environment where the local echo chambers reinforce their preconceived assumptions and beliefs, whether they are applicable to the outside world or not. It’s as if the town is their own designated personal “safe space” where that South Park villain called Reality dare not intrude…

  • Daniel

    Mr. Lee is no worse than Arreguin or Capitelli. Let the best man win!

  • dwss5

    Article quote:

    “The good thing about Guy ‘Mike’ Lee running for mayor is to keep the issue of homelessness front and center because it is a long-term issue that we have to tackle,” Soto-Vigil said. “At the end of the day, homelessness is everyone’s problem.”

    Capitelli and Arreguin were unavailable for comment.

    I wonder what Big Real-estate Developer Capitelli and his well-heeled $upporter$ will eventually have to say about THAT??

    • Dan Spitzer

      It will hurt local real estate interests if the homeless situation is not addressed. And you sound so foolish to write them off. This is an echo of the absurdities heard on KPFA or by the likes of Becky O’Malley.
      The growth of homelessness impacts all economic classes in Berkeley and this complex matter requires both humane and intelligent responses. Not just some class oriented ideological rubbish…

  • Let him run for mayor of the hobos so he can allocate the collective financial resources of the hobos to fight hobo problems instead of making the rest of us subsidize their lifestyles.

  • pickles

    don’t ridicule this person because he is homeless. The homeless are always marginalized in this society. As far as I am concerned, we are all one pay check away from homelessness.

    • viking116

      But the answer is NOT using our resources to support non-workers and addicts, but turning our economy around.

    • lspanker

      Someone who is homeless has far more pressing personal issues than being mayor of a city. This might merely be a clever publicity stunt on his part to generate attention for his personal situation, but the idea that a homeless person can be an effective mayor is ludicrous. Once again, liberals value touchie-feelie displays of sympathy and “caring” over basic common sense.

      • Pwll

        It does seem to me that you don’t see this man as fully human. Why, just because he’s homeless does that mean he can’t be an effective mayor? Frankly, we don’t know enough about him to know what kind of a mayor he’d make, but he does seem intelligent and capable in his comments in the article.

        • lspanker

          It does seem to me that you don’t see this man as fully human.

          I never said such a thing.

          Why, just because he’s homeless does that mean he can’t be an effective mayor?

          Absolutely – and if you believe otherwise, you have never had any type of job requiring any type of real responsibility in your life.

          • Pwll

            You’d be surprised.

          • Jason T

            I think it makes total sense to make a homeless person mayor, especially when his platform is affordable housing. I’m sure he has a solid understanding of the simple real estate trends and business in Berkeley, and the rental community. After all, he has the experience of NOT being a part of it!

            I really like his plans for just arbitrarily setting prices for affordable housing units. I wonder what would happen to the rest of the housing market, when so many more units are required to be “affordable”? Would the new demand for housing (caused by housing all of the homeless for half price) cause the prices of other units to skyrocket? Maybe we can build another playground for the students who will no longer be able to find housing?

            I mean, you see it all the time: Teachers who were high school dropouts, Brain surgeons recruited straight from the deli counter, Military sharpshooters who were laser tag champions. Qualifications are overrated anyway.

          • Dan Spitzer

            “Qualifications are overrated.” So is commentary by those who would say such foolishness…

          • dwss5

            Dan Spitzer wrote:

            “Qualifications are overrated.” So is commentary by those who would say such foolishness…

            OTOH, questionably-rated are the terms craftily designed to PUT-DOWN Lee’s candidacy for Mayor, such as “foolishness”, “idiocy”, “absurdity”, “rubbish”, “laughable matter”…etc.

          • Dan Spitzer

            Well, one thing we know for certain: Mr. Lee has the qualifications to keep himself unemployed. But he either doesn’t have the brainpower to find some viable employment or simply doesn’t wish to work.

            Indeed, it appears Lee has the qualifications to keep himself going without ever spending an hour at work. One must conclude that while he believes he has the qualifications for mayor, as do some of his cranial-challenged supporters, he must believe that he lacks any semblance of qualifications for work. If indeed he actually desires employment, which is pretty dubious.

            Alas, Mr. Lee believes he has what is requisite to be mayor of Berkeley. And there lies the idiocy, both of the “candidate” as well as those who believe him worthy of office…

          • lspanker

            While not detracting from any of the valid points you have made, I’m beginning to wonder if Mike “Residentially Challenged” Lee isn’t the mayorial candidate that the vast majority of Berkeley citizens deserve, given that making symbolic, Politically Correct gestures is a far higher priority among the local political establishment than actually resolving any real issues…

          • Dan Spitzer

            You have a point. This is the city where the lefty lunacy of KPFA was born, the city which lionized (and still does) the murderous Black Panthers, the city which allows its commissions to focus upon BDS vs Israel instead of doing what they are charged to do to benefit Berkeley.

            OK, you are indeed right. Since Berkeley has remained a national laughingstock, perhaps the election of a deadbeat like Mr. Lee would be all too appropriate…

          • lspanker

            At one company where I worked years ago, we used to have an acronym that we used to describe people whose mistaken perception of intellectual superiority prevented them from progressing through the corporate training program: KELN, which stood for “Knows Everything, Learns Nothing”. This would certainly be an apropo description of the majority of bloviators who get a hair up their backsides should any of their cherished policies be openly questioned in a public forum…

          • Dan Spitzer

            I like that term KELN as it certainly sums up the sanctimonious nature of Berkeley’s PC populace. For these folks, it’s all one-dimensional quasi-Marxist analysis, with those who are poor, non-hetero and non-white being seen as put upon martyrs whereas all straight, people of European heritage, and of course Israelis are branded evil incarnate.

            This KELN rubbish can and does do some very real harm, yet in the long run, ironically, these simpletons frequently ironically undercut those they champion as in a democracy such as ours, this excreta and their ideological nonsense is ultimately flushed down the toilet…

          • Jason T

            I guess satire goes over some people’s heads? or is it just that in Berkeley, the absurd passes for normal…

          • I guess satire goes over some people’s heads?

            Yours was heavy handed. Kind of dull. Thoughtless. It reads like something written by a privileged person get his jollies shouting insults at a poor guy. You attracted a similar insensate reply from Spitzer. Birds of a feather.

            If you approached the topics with intellectual honesty and concentrated on stating your views on their own terms, if you then were willing to engage in sober and serious debate, adhere to some semblance of reason, and even change your thinking when shown wrong… that would be one thing.

            Instead, what do we get? A bunch of trite nose-thumbing? Grow up.

          • lspanker

            If you approached the topics with intellectual honesty (blahblahblah…)

            If YOU approached the topic of homelessness in Berkeley with ANY shred of intellectual honesty, you would HAVE to accept two basic facts. Number 1 – very few (if ANY) of the current homeless in Berkeley are former working, taxpaying citizens who one day found themselves out on the street through no fault of their own. Number 2 – the overwhelming majority of homeless who are currently in Berkeley migrated there NOT to find work, or find affordable housing, or seek treatment for their mental health issues or whatever caused them to wind up out on the street. They deliberately came to Berkeley because the free food, ready access to illegal drugs, lack of enforcement of vagrancy laws, and tolerance to criminal and antisocial behavior has created an INCENTIVE for them to come to Berkeley. In short, there’s homelessness in Berkeley because the citizens and government have ENABLED it and turned it into a feasible lifestyle CHOICE. Yes, it’s a CHOICE – nobody forced them to come from all over the Bay Area, or from other parts of the state (or even the country). This is nothing new either – it predates Obama, Bush 2, Clinton, Bush 1. It even predates president Reagan, so it’s not something you can pin on anything on the national scale. It’s a LOCAL issue, brought on by people like you who are more worried about hurting someone’s feelings than dealing with the truth…

          • lspanker, we get it. You don’t respect homeless people. That’s your problem. I don’t care that you don’t like them. I dont’ care that you don’t want them around except insofar as you call for the use of violence to enforce your bigoted will.

            I actually do have a pretty good grip on the causes of modern poverty. Modern poverty in this part of the world stems inevitably from the revolutionary force of capitalism in the form of its development of the means of production. As production advances by leaps and bounds, labor becomes more and more useless. At the same time a material abundance produces a vast population of working class people, the economic use of the labor powr of those people dwindles towards 0.

            The rules that govern individual subsistence for the working class are premised on the potential of full employment and living wages. Yet those very same rules render that premise impossible.

            Confronted with the terror that is imposed poverty, some people (and I gather you are like this) recoil and lash out at the symptom, too anxious it would seem to take some time to reflect on the underlying disease.

            In any event, the city needs more public restrooms and some arrangement for safer sleeping for people to whom shelter isn’t available. Period.

            If you want to concentrate instead on stereotyping and attacking the character of the homeless, well, I think we can only assume you choose anonymity because your own character would not withstand similar scrutiny. Certainly that is a reasonable surmise from your steady stream of anti-homeless bile spewing.

          • lspanker

            lspanker, we get it. You don’t respect homeless people.

            I certainly don’t respect people who have made their homelessness a lifestyle choice and demand that productive, working, law-abiding people acquiesce to their demands to be allowed to do as they please while receiving my financial support. Why would any right-minded person respect that?

            I actually do have a pretty good grip on the causes of modern poverty. Modern poverty in this part of the world stems inevitably from the revolutionary force of capitalism in the form of its development of the means of production.

            Tell us how well Marxism has worked in North Korea or Zimbabwe, commie boy. Even Cuba will probably abandon it once the Castro brothers kick off for good.

            The rules that govern individual subsistence for the working class

            Berkeley homeless aren’t members of the “working class”. That’s way more responsibility than they care to accept.

            If you want to concentrate instead on stereotyping and attacking the character of the homeless

            Point to a single thing that I stated above about homeless in Berkeley that is factually incorrect. You can’t, so all you do is post a bunch of silly Marxist drivel instead.

          • Tell us how well Marxism has worked in North Korea or Zimbabwe, [etc.]

            “Marxism”? What are you talking about?

            Seriously, this is very telling. What I said wasn’t Marxism. Keynes would have agreed with what I said. Krugman would find much to agree with. F’ing Larry Summers has even started pondering a “secular stagnation”.

            What kind of reactionary reacts to such uncontroversial examination of the world market by ranting about North Korea?

            Really?

            And you are going to pass judgment on homeless people?

          • lspanker

            “Marxism”? What are you talking about?

            Evasion noted, typical tactic for lefties like you when they get called on it. You jump up and down and protest: “Oh, well, that really not GENUINE Marxism, because in theory the workers would blahblahblah…” and try to divert attention from the issue at hand…

            And you are going to pass judgment on homeless people?

            Regarding those who are homeless in Berkeley, absolutely. I have seen the evolution of the homeless scene in Berkeley over the last 4 decades, from the hippie/antiwar activtist spillover from SF in the early 1970’s when I was in elementary school, to reaching critical mass in the early 1990’s when I was an undergrad at Cal, to the 2000’s after I had left then moved back to the Bay Area, to present. The current crop of homeless in Berkeley aren’t interested in working or seeking help for the various and sundry afflictions that put them on the streets – in fact, the local social workers have a euphemism to describe them: “service resistant”. Now, if you care to flaunt your PC lefty credentials to the world and shed tears for these people, be my guest. Personally, I have no compelling urge to join you in your foolishness…

          • Evasion noted, typical tactic for lefties like you when they get called on it. You jump up and down and protest: “Oh, well, that really not GENUINE Marxism, because in theory the workers would blahblahblah…” and try to divert attention from the issue at hand…

            Hey pal, did you notice your reply is a non-sequitor? Did I complain that North Korea is not “GENUINE Marxism”? No. You are just kind of spewing at me without actually reading first.

            Capital makes labor useless. Ricardo first noticed this. Marx dwelled on the topic. Keynes observed it occurring in nature and theorized about what do about it. Krugman mostly understands Keynes. Summers et al. are openly talking about the problem. Even trashy “pop economics” is starting to talk about the consequences of “our robotic future”.

            So hey man, grow up and join the real conversation at the adult table!

            The current crop of homeless in Berkeley aren’t interested in working

            So they are realists in that regard.

            or seeking help for the various and sundry afflictions that put them on
            the streets

            Your non-scientific explanation of who winds up homeless and why is noted but it’s on you.

            – in fact, the local social workers have a euphemism to
            describe them: “service resistant”.

            Well a lot of the services suck. Wouldn’t you?

            Now, if you care to flaunt your PC lefty credentials to the world and shed tears for these people,

            Again, I don’t care who you hate until you start calling for violence (state violence or otherwise).

            I mean, I think you look ridiculous spending so much energy hating on people with so little power. You look like somebody thoroughly committed to your political agenda and insensate towards the facts. But… hey, that’s on you.

            Personally, I have no compelling urge to join you in your foolishness…

            If you honor-up and start using your real name and identity, and/or just stop broadcasting anonymous hate speech, then we have no beef here.

          • lspanker

            Capital makes labor useless.

            No, capital makes certain types of labor more valuable, and other type of labor less – and if you haven’t bothered to learn skills that make you useful, whose fault is that again?

            Well a lot of the services suck.

            Beggars can’t be choosers. That’s why some of us have jobs (hint, hint).

            Your non-scientific explanation of who winds up homeless

            Tell me where I’m specifically wrong about BERKELEY homeless. You can’t…

            I mean, I think you look ridiculous spending so much energy hating on people with so little power.

            Not “hating” on anyone, just calling it for what it is…

            If you honor-up and start using your real name and identity

            Excuse me, but I have been “online” for nearly 3 decades now. Back in the days of Usenet and the alt.california and alt.politics NGs, I posted under my real name for years until fellow travelers of yours started posting my personal info online, called up and harassed people who they thought were my employers, and made physical threats, including death threats. As far as I’m concerned, that’s how filthy extreme left-wing maggots roll, and I don’t need to facilitate them. As far as my comments about Berkeley homeless, I stand by all of them, so throw a hissy fit for all I care.

          • Capital makes labor useless.

            No, capital makes certain types of labor more valuable, and other type of labor less …

            This risks going off topic and if you will contact me with your real identity we can discuss this at length but, briefly, you are mistaken.

            Yes, yes, different job skills do better at different times. Yes, yes, there is a tendency towards advantage for skilled labor.

            BUT… the ratio of labor consumed to global product tends, relentelessly, to fall over time. This is completely uncontroversial, by the way. It is one of the most measured phenomenon in economics. (No, though, they don’t talk about it in many newspapers or tv news or news blogs.)

            Tell me where I’m specifically wrong about BERKELEY homeless.

            I think I’ve done a pretty good job of pointing out why on some points, your harsh opinion is unimportant. I don’t care if you disapprove of people.

            I think I’ve done a pretty good job introducing, at least, why there is, necessarily, a large indigent population in our economic system.

            If you want to talk about how we can increase demand for labor — and see what effect that has on homelessness — we can do that. Here’s my first suggestion: Let’s reduce the length of the work-week to 20 hours over the next 5 years. Shave 4 hours off the work week per year, for 5 years. At each reduction, keep total wages constant.

            We will simultaneously do well to give lots of tax incentive to encourage rapid investment in improving worker productivity.

            At 20 hours, we might be able to reverse the trade balance and get to 100% unemployment until other parts of the world catch up.

            I posted under my real name for years until fellow travelers of yours
            started posting my personal info online, called up and harassed people
            who they thought were my employers, and made physical threats, including
            death threats.

            Were those the same people attacking the O’Malley’s and people associated with them, like me?

          • lspanker

            the ratio of labor consumed to global product tends, relentelessly, to fall over time.

            So if we have too many people in this country, the solution isn’t to enable people being bums. Maybe we should rethink our ludicrous policy of providing financial incentives for unwed teen high school dropouts to have children that only wind up being wards of the State. Maybe we should rethink our out-of-control immigration policy that lets unskilled, uneducated foreign nationals break our laws with little or no consequence, AND benefit from social services subsidized by citizen taxpayers. But then again, you’re really not concerned about that, because the politicians of both political parties need the majority of the people in this country to be helpless and dependent on government to maintain control.

            If you want to talk about how we can increase demand for labor — and see what effect that has on homelessness — we can do that. Here’s my first suggestion: Let’s reduce the length of the work-week to 20 hours over the next 5 years. Shave 4 hours off the work week per year, for 5 years. At each reduction, keep total wages constant.

            Thanks for proving that despite all your pseudo-intellectual blather, and name-dropping famous economists, you don’t even understand the basics. You are SO wrong on just about EVERYTHING that it’s hard to tell where to start in order to set you straight…

          • the ratio of labor consumed to global product tends, relentelessly, to fall over time.

            So if we have too many people in this country,

            Ouch. You don’t understand the idea of a “ratio”.

            For a population of any size, the amount of work needed to produce what that population consumes, is far, far, far too little to give all the workers in that population 40 hour per week jobs at a living wage.

            Get it?

            Thanks for proving that despite all your pseudo-intellectual blather,
            and name-dropping famous economists, you don’t even understand the
            basics.

            Hours reduction was part of the solution to the Great Depression.

            Hours reduction is part of what gives Germany economic strength.

            Hours reduction is increasingly coming up in economics circles so you’ll have a gradual introduction to the error in your thinking over the next few years, if you don’t bury your head in the sand.

          • lspanker

            Ouch. You don’t understand the idea of a “ratio”.

            For a population of any size, the amount of work needed to produce what that population consumes, is far, far, far too little to give all the workers in that population 40 hour per week jobs at a living wage.

            So we have too many people, correct? Sounds like a great reason to restrict immigration from third-world countries if we don’t need all that labor, wouldn’t you agree?

            Hours reduction was part of the solution to the Great Depression.

            Which is why it lasted as long as it did. It wasn’t till we got on a war footing in early 1941 anticipating our eventual entry in WWII that employment fell to anything close to pre-Depression levels. That’s not in defense of war as an economic stimulus policy, just pointing out that many of FDR’s policies prolonged the Depression, not brought us out of it.

            Hours reduction is part of what gives Germany economic strength.

            Post-reunification Germany has a lot of institutionalized problems you are probably not aware of, such as high unemployment in the former DDR and resultant friction between unemployed Ossis and Turkish/Kurdish gastarbaiter who really aren’t foreigners but not German either. I wouldn’t point to anything they are doing as a recommended course of policy for the US.

            Hours reduction is increasingly coming up in economics circles

            Only two things are possible with “hours reduction” as you put it. Either those with reduced hours lose income or if you have your way and wages remain the same (yeah, right), businesses go under because the output for wages isn’t justified in productivity. It’s about as ill-considered policy as continually raising minimum wage to improve the economic prospects of low-income workers: as a worker, it sounds like a great idea until you lose your job because misguided government policies have priced you out of the market.

          • [for a population of any size, the consumption of that population consumes but a small fraction of the labor available from that population]

            So we have too many people, correct?

            No, not correct. A ratio is like “a divided by b”: a/b. Think of the ratio: “work needed for a population of size X” / “work available from a population of size X”.

            A population is hungry if that ratio is greater than 1.

            At our level of technological development, that ratio is less than 1 and it is falling.

            That means that we can easily produce enough for everyone to be comfortably well off, but we can’t produce anywhere near enough 40 hour per week jobs to give people the money to buy that level of comfort.

            The idea of the “welfare state” is to redistribute money to people out of work.

            The idea of “hours reduction” is to, instead, give everyone more free time and divide the work more evenly.

            It’s not that we have too many people.

            It is that the amount of work for any number of people does not add up to 40 hour per week jobs for that many people.

            Do you get it now?

            Hours reduction was part of the solution to the Great Depression.

            Which is why it lasted as long as it did

            Wrong. History proves you wrong. Hours reduction and deficit spending staunched the bleeding. Then expansion of deficit spending for the war achieved full employment. Then the slaughter of 10+ million workers and the razing of countless factories around the world ensured the US would be a powerhouse for about 20 years after the war. Then with population and factories rebuilt, only better, the crises around 1970 occurred.

            I know they don’t teach this in schools because if they did, people would be taking to the streets demanding things like hours reduction.

            Post-reunification Germany has a lot of institutionalized problems

            No doubt. Nevertheless, Germany has achieved record-high productivity by cutting hours. In contrast, the work week in Greece is among the longest and consequently they lag the field in productivity.

            Only two things are possible with “hours reduction” as you put it.
            Either those with reduced hours lose income or if you have your way and
            wages remain the same, businesses go under because the output for wages
            isn’t justified in productivity.

            Close!

            Hours reduction without wage reduction instantly kills some low-productivity businesses.

            Many businesses continue but they see reduced profits.

            The reduced profits stimulate investment aimed at improving productivity.

            Initially that stimulus helps to create more jobs but in the long run, employment must again fall as the average level of productivity goes up.

            When that happens, we can just lather, rinse and repeat — reduce hours to 15 and then 10 per week.

            it sounds like a great idea until you lose your job.

            Wages have been flat for most of your life. Un- and under-employment steadily rising. The wealth gap and the prospect for our kids falling.

            How many times do you have to see things get worse this way before you want to fight for the working class?

          • lspanker

            No, not correct. A ratio is like a divided by b: a/b. Think of the ratio: “work needed for a population of size X” / “work available from a population of size X”.

            I know quite well what a ratio is. You’re the one who doesn’t get it – you have this fallacious assumption that the PRODUCTIVE work available per person is the same through the population, when it is clearly not. Some people are far more productive than the general population, others aren’t productive at all.

            At our level of technological development, that ratio is less than 1 and it is falling.

            That’s because the skill set necessary to be at the forefront of the tech curve is only found in an increasingly smaller set of the population. The advances in tech will make some people further down the ladder far more productive, and in fact increase their earning ability. The proportion of labor that you are speaking of, which is in excess, is down towards the bottom rungs, basically uneducated, unskilled workers. I agree that we don’t have work for all of them, so once again, why are not our immigration policies reflecting this reality?

            That means that we can easily produce enough for everyone to be comfortably well off

            if there’s incentive to do so, but it still requires someone willing to do the work – and what you in your collectivist myopia don’t understand is that those same people you are counting on to provide all this extra wealth to make everyone comfortable are NOT going to continually bust their @sses (or take risks) if you take away the rewards for doing such. As Maggie Thatcher said: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”. You seem awfully enamored of high-minded ideas that sound nice in theory but fall flat on their ass when applied in reality.

            The idea of the “welfare state” is to redistribute money to people out of work.

            A bad, bad idea that has done far more damage to this country than all the wars, famines, and natural disasters combined.

          • Charles Siegel

            You both might be interested in this graph showing that work hours in
            the US fell historically but stopped falling after World War II
            http://flexibleworktime.com/economic.html#USWorkHours
            and in this graph showing that hours continued to decline in Europe when they stopped in the US
            http://flexibleworktime.com/success.html#USEuropeWorkHours

            We would be better off – people would be happier – if we took some of the
            benefit of increased productivity in the form of leisure and had with a
            better work-life balance.
            As you can see by scrolling down to look at the graph on this page
            http://flexibleworktime.com/goodlife.html
            we in the United States have reached the point where increased production and consumption do not increase happiness.

          • Amen Charles.

            Of course, capitalists fight tooth and nail against hours reduction because in the short term it harms their profits and in the long run it ends capitalism entirely. When capitalists restore profits by improving productivity, they are in the same move causing communism to arrive that much more quickly (i.e., that time when social production no longer requires wage labor at all).

          • lspanker

            You ever run a business or been in a position where you had to supervise or manage employees? Apparently not.

          • lspanker

            We would be better off – people would be happier – if we took some of the benefit of increased productivity in the form of leisure and had with a
            better work-life balance.

            Tell that to the middle class and working class people who have seen their own standard of living fall over the last few decades, because they are forced through their taxes to pay more and more for an expanding dependent class (case in point: the bums, derelicts, substance abusers and petty criminals that comprise the majority of the homeless in Berkeley) as well as expanding state and federal governments. Most people aren’t working long hours because they are just greedy and want more stuff. They are working more hours because they HAVE to. You clearly don’t have a CLUE what rolls in the real would outside of Berkeley…

          • Charles Siegel

            Did you look at the graph at
            http://flexibleworktime.com/success.html#USEuropeWorkHours
            How do you explain the fact that work hours in western Europe are shorter than in the US? In Germany, average work hours is 82% of the US, and in the Netherlands, 80% of the US. Why is it that they don’t HAVE to work as long hours as Americans, though they produce about the same amount in one hour of work?

            PS: I would appreciate it if you could respond using “facts and logic” – as you sometimes say – and if you could omit name calling such as “You clearly don’t have a CLUE what rolls in the real would outside of Berkeley…” Based on the graph, I do seem to have an idea of what is going on outside of Berkeley in Europe.

            We can either discuss the issue civilly, or you can continue name calling and I will ignore you. I can tell you what I think are the three major reasons why work hours are shorted in Europe, but I won’t bother if you just want to respond with insults.

          • lspanker

            How do you explain the fact that work hours in western Europe are shorter than in the US? In Germany, average work hours is 82% of the US, and in the Netherlands, 80% of the US… Why is it that they don’t HAVE to work as long hours as Americans, though they produce about the same amount in one hour of work?

            Het spijt me, maneer… what makes you think they get the same amount of work done in one week there as we do in the States? If you ever SPENT any time working IN Europe, you would know that German and Dutch workers as a whole are NOT as productive as American workers, especially if you had to deal with various labour union issues, and unique-to-Europe issues like entire establishments shutting down for 4 weeks so their staff had to take their obligatory vacations in Ibiza or Mallorca. When was the last time either you or Thomas had to work outside the country again?

            if you could omit name calling such as “You clearly don’t have a CLUE what rolls in the real would outside of Berkeley…”

            That’s not “name-calling” – that’s pointing out what is painfully evident. Berkeley has a plethora of individuals who pontificate as if they are fountains of knowledge and wisdom on various and sundry topics, but when actual facts are discussed, their demonstrable knowledge base of what happens outside their little world of government policy and academic theory is quite thin. That applies for the town itself as well as the university. It’s clear, however, that the egos as well as the sense of self-importance of many Berkeley denizens are quite fragile, as they are clearly not used to criticism…

          • Charles Siegel

            If you had ever looked at the numbers, you would know that Dutch and German workers are about as productive per hour as American workers. Anyone who is economically literate knows that productivity refers to output per hour, so long vacations do not reduce productivity.

            But, as I said earlier: We can either discuss the issue civilly, or you can continue name calling and I will ignore you. Now that you have proven you cannot have a civil discussion, I will ignore you.

          • lspanker

            If you had ever looked at the numbers, you would know that Dutch and German workers are about as productive per hour as American workers.

            I’m not interested in your numbers with no context attached to them. I’m interested in actual output in terms of WHAT GETS ACCOMPLISHED. I have worked in Germany, the UK/Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, and Sweden (I was there in 2014). If you had ANY real experience in the EU, you would understand what a PITA it is to get things done in a timely manner in Europe compared to similar tasks in the States- and if you don’t choose to believe me, feel free to talk to people who have worked there in the private sector. My former boss from several years back was a British expat who used to work for Philips in Eindhoven (NL), and we used to exchange stories about his experiences trying to move things forward there vs. my 6 months working for Seagate in Limavady, Northern Ireland. There’s a reason why most “bleeding edge” development either happens in the States, or when it does happen overseas, in facilities owned and controlled by US companies.

            Bottom line is you try to talk the talk but have never walked the walk. You clearly have never strayed far from the protective cocoon of Berkeley, yet lecture me as if you’re such an expert on the issue. You’re clearly not, so give it a rest.

          • dwss5

            Charles Siegel wrote:

            … Anyone who is economically literate knows that productivity refers to output per hour, so long [as] vacations do not reduce productivity.

            But, as I said earlier: We can either discuss the issue civilly, or you
            can continue name calling and I will ignore you. Now that you have
            proven you cannot have a civil discussion, I will ignore you.

            Likely an excellent move to deal with this high verbal-output and somewhat uncivil/abusive commentator who obviously has an ENORMOUS amount of time (“productive” hours? NON-“productive” hours?) on his/her hands to keep on commenting and responding! Him/her and yet ANOTHER prolific commentator.

            Wait for the impending response……

          • > “you have this fallacious assumption that the PRODUCTIVE work available per person is the same through the population,”

            No, I am not making that assumption. Variation among individual producers is not important to this argument.

            By far, the main source of productivity gains through history is technological improvement. For example, 100 years ago, agriculture required about 30% of the workforce. 200 years ago it was more like 70%. Today, it takes much less than 5% of the workforce to produce all of the food.

            Similar gains are found in every sector of production.

            You mentioned high skill jobs, e.g. STEM jobs. The tendency in those sectors is even stronger. It takes very few workers, as a fraction of the overall workforce, to hold all of those jobs. Many STEM sectors are already showing signs of labor over-supply. The rest are expected to follow. We should be discouraging young people from spending a lot of money for STEM degrees!

            The macro-economic point of the ratio of work to workforce size is that so long as employed workers are over-worked, un- and under-employment are inevitable. So too is asset inflation like excessive real estate inflation. Real output struggles to expand. Central banks are pushed into liquidity traps. …

            And there must, inevitably, regardless of any person’s personal virtues, be large amounts of homelessness and deep poverty.

            Worse, even that miserable circumstance is not stable. With consumption suppressed and with growth coming to a halt, capital faces a deflationary crisis that eventually can not be stopped.

            You are free to look down on homeless people but you should understand that homeless is not caused by homeless people, it is caused by over-work of the employed workforce.

            You wrote:

            > “[the welfare state is] A bad, bad idea [….]”

            That’s fine. And as you say, people shouldn’t mooch.

            The solution is to reduce the number of hours in the work week, holding pay steady.

            That will force higher-productivity firms to hire more workers but have less profit.

            It will force low-productivity firms to improve their technology or go away.

            Whenever persistent un- or under- employment is a problem the solution is the same: reduce hours and prod investment in productivity.

            Keynes figured that by today, in 2015, our society would probably need to reduce hours to a little over 15 hours per week.

          • lspanker

            No, I am not making that assumption. Variation among individual producers is not important to this argument.

            Oh, REALLY now. You make some silly, unsubstantiated claim that somehow sufficient wealth can be had to bring everyone to an acceptable standard of living if everyone were just to work half of the time, and get paid for full time. That ignores the reality that the reason many (certainly not all) people are unemployed is because they are simply UNEMPLOYABLE in that they lack the skills, education, or productivity to justify their employment. Cutting the hours of productive people to give chronic unemployables is NOT going to increase productivity in this country one bit.

            The rest of your post is simply more of the same, evidence that you really don’t understand what you are babbling about. You seem overly impressed with certain academics and mainstream media pundits who call themselves “economists” who have demonstrably NO working experience or understanding of basic employment-related economic principles. I’m sure rehashing their comments (which you clearly do not completely understand yourself) gives you the warm fuzzy feeling that you are engaged in some type of deep intellectual thought processes here, but in fact you make it quite clear that you’re completely out of touch with reality.

          • Cutting the hours of productive people to give chronic unemployables is NOT going to increase productivity in this country one bit.

            I don’t know what to tell you. The positive impact on employment and then later productivity has empirical support. It worked during the Great Depression. It worked more recently (1980s-1990s) in Germany.

            You seem heavily invested in attributing mass poverty to personal failings of the poor. You’re not alone like that. But logic, math, and empirical fact all contradict you.

          • lspanker

            I don’t know what to tell you. The positive impact on employment and then later productivity has empirical support. It worked during the Great Depression. It worked more recently (1980s-1990s) in Germany.

            Total BS, given that Germany for several decades (certainly post-reunification) has had lower productivity than the US, and except for a brief period of time thanks to Obama’s dereliction on our own economic issues, has had higher unemployment than us as well. The days of Konrad Adenauer’s Wirtschaftwunder are long gone. Methinks you have never been to Germany, much less have any working knowledge of German economic history post WWII.

            You seem heavily invested in attributing mass poverty to personal failings of the poor.

            I attribute unemployability as primarily the fault of those who are unemployable (a group distinctly different from those who are merely unemployed). I will concede, however, that liberal social and economic policy, which has encouraged dependence on government) has indeed acted as an enabling factor when you have several generations of individuals living under one roof, none of which have ever had any semblance of long-term employment due to the dysfunctialism that is incentivized by the Welfare State.

          • Ach. Fallacy here:

            Total BS, given that Germany for several decades (certainly
            post-reunification) has had lower productivity than the US, and except
            for a brief period of time thanks to Obama’s dereliction on our own
            economic issues, has had higher unemployment than us as well.

            Productivity in Germany and the US are actually pretty close but it doesn’t matter: that’s the wrong comparison to make.

            German productivity per hour has grown faster than the U.S. for a few decades. While Germany has taken steps like reducing the length of the work week to juice employment and productivity, the US has moved in the opposite direction. Germany has fared better, at least from the perspective of the working class. (This is not to say Germany policies are aimed in a wise direction today!)

            Comparing the absolute level of productivity in Germany in the U.S. is kind of meaningless unless you (1) start to break it down by detailed economic sector; (2) control for differences in the prices of non-labor input factors.

            Similarly, comparing US and German employment rates or poverty rates tells us nothing at all about the effect of reducing hours. German-to-German comparisons, though, tell us that reducing hours was at least correlated with rising employment.

            Methinks …

            [shakes head sadly]

            I attribute unemployability as primarily the fault of those who are unemployable

            As a counter-example, almost overnight, the Great Depression rendered many millions of people unemployable at any price. The proximate cause was the breakdown of exchange-based production brought on by massive deflation of capital brought on by… vast improvements in global output (which of course then promptly collapsed).

            As another counter-example, almost overnight, WWII led to full employment. Suddenly, fewer than 2 in 100 were “unemployable”.

            Those counter-examples help to show that “unemployability” has considerable external causes.

            Race and race history is also certainly a factor that can’t be ignored in the U.S. As late as the 1940s the U.S. had blacks who were kept unemployable by laws forbidding their migration and laws encouraging labor theft. As late as this year the U.S. has discriminatory practices in banking and real estate sales interfere with wealth building in black families. To this day we have substantially segregated housing, schooling, and economic opportunity. We have discriminatory law enforcement and a barbaric “justice” system that renders millions of people, black and otherwise, unemployable even for victimless offenses.

            Some guy like you comes in to this picture, struggles with a few bad hires and/or your own bad management, and suddenly you want to sweep aside all of this empirical reality and say “I attribute unemployability as primarily the fault of those who are unemployable”. Well, says more about you than reality.

          • lspanker

            As a counter-example, almost overnight, the Great Depression rendered many millions of people unemployable at any price. The proximate cause was the breakdown of exchange-based production brought on by massive deflation of capital brought on by… vast improvements in global output

            My G-d, you’re clueless. The Great Depression started out as a typical cyclical correction due to an overinflated stock market, where production did NOT keep up with valuation due to overspeculation, followed by various government policies to try to “fix” the problem.

            Race and race history is also certainly a factor that can’t be ignored in the U.S.

            What unfortunate wrongs happened to blacks in the us PALE to what happened to the Jewish citizens of Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s, yet today Jewish people are some of the most successful on the planet. Slavery and Jim Crow did far less damage to black economic empowerment after WWII than the welfare state policies with provided perverse economic incentives for single motherhood, raised minimum wage to the point that many young blacks were priced out of the opportunity to gain that critical first job, and pushed dependence on government on black America. You’re repeating the same old liberal nonsense by pointing to poverty in black America being the result of things that happened before most people (or their parents) were even born.

            Some guy like you comes in to this picture, struggles with a few bad hires and/or your own bad management

            My “bad management”? And you accuse ME of making insults and attacks?

            and suddenly you want to sweep aside all of this empirical reality and say “I attribute unemployability as primarily the fault of those who are unemployable”

            No, I’m acknowledging reality, not sweeping it away. You’re just rehashing the same tired, failed old liberal talking points, throwing them against the wall over and over in hopes that they will eventually stick.

          • What unfortunate wrongs happened to blacks in the us PALE to what happened to the Jewish citizens of Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s, yet today Jewish people are some of the most successful on the planet.

            I am really amazed and a bit saddened to see that crude kind of primitive, ethic rivalry.

            My G-d, you’re clueless. The Great Depression started out as a typical cyclical correction due to an overinflated stock market, where production did NOT keep up with valuation due to overspeculation,

            That’s not false it’s just only half the story.

            Your story raises the question: Why were capitalists directing profit into asset inflation rather than than investing in expanding or improving production? Why did they have so much cash with so little productive activity to invest in?

            Leading up to the crash, lots of commodities were heading towards global gluts. Inventories were high both in absolute terms and relative to demand. Crop prices went into in a ditch.

            The world market had come roaring back after WWI. Because of the resulting over-supplies, productive investment staggered. Profit went more towards asset inflation. Debt expansion propped up consumption. Then the crash of 1929.

          • lspanker

            I am really amazed and a bit saddened to see that crude kind of primitive, ethic rivalry.

            It isn’t “primitive, ethnic rivalry” (I’m assuming that’s what you meant to say). It’s a statement of fact. Some groups overcome adversity and move on, other wallow in victimization.

          • It’s a statement of fact. [namely: “What unfortunate wrongs happened to blacks in the United States PALE to
            what happened to the Jewish citizens of Germany in the 1930’s and
            1940’s, yet today Jewish people are some of the most successful on the
            planet. Slavery and Jim Crow did far less damage to black economic
            empowerment after WWII than the welfare state policies with provided
            perverse economic incentives for single motherhood, raised minimum wage
            to the point that many young blacks were priced out of the opportunity
            to gain that critical first job, and pushed dependence on government on
            black America. You’re repeating the same old liberal nonsense by
            pointing to poverty in black America being the result of things that
            happened before most people (or their parents) were even born.”]

            It is not fact. Not true. It is not even wrong.

            It establishes you as a racist and I suppose as a Jewish supremacist. It displays an ethnic-essentialism tendency in your thought.

          • lspanker

            It establishes you as a racist and I suppose as a Jewish supremacist.

            So pointing out that the Jewish people seem to have a better track record of overcoming justice and adversity than African-Americans makes me a racist and/or a Jewish supremacist. Thanks for that wonderful example of why liberal progressives have FAILED to deal with issues such as poverty, crime, and homelessness – every time somebody dares point out the truth, you start calling them “racist”.

          • every time somebody dares point out the truth, you start calling them “racist”.

            Overt racists always believe they are in possession of the truth.

          • lspanker

            Overt racists always believe they are in possession of the truth.

            Yeah right, whatever. Let’s just get all self-righteous and start calling people who point out uncomfortable truths as “racist” and “supremacist” if they dare point out that some people have not done as well as others. Your tired old reliance on blaming the horrible level of failure and dysfunction of the urban African-American community on events that happened 50, 100, 150 years ago suggests as if somehow their DNA were modified to create some genetic memory of events that happened in the past. Right now, half of the black kids in this country don’t even know who their own FATHERS are. That can’t possibly be a factor in your mind, but somehow instead they are supposed to be traumatized by the “memory” of things that happened well in the past, NOT to them but to someone else, BEFORE they were even born?

            You liberal progressives are a real hoot. Half a century of your pet social and economic theories have resulted in massive rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, rampant crime, and a culture that disses education, hard work, and personal responsibility and instead glamorizes the gangsta/playa/pimp-and-ho lifestyle. Yet you keep blaming “racism” by evil nasty conservatives, Republicans and businessmen for all the ills of the black community, even in places where you lefties have had political control for DECADES! But keep on blaming white racist bogeymen (and Jews, Asians and Hispanics who work hard and overcome adversity on their own) for making black people look bad. It’s a lot easier (and more comforting) to point the finger at someone else than considering how your own oh-so-caring-and-compassionate liberal policies might be part of the problem as well…

          • Racists gonna racist, I guess.

          • lspanker

            Racists gonna racist, I guess.

            Yep, throw around the R-word when you can’t win the argument. Enjoy it while you can, because in case you didn’t know it, people in this country are getting tired of being called “racist” every time they challenge the views of people like you. Learn to tell the difference between genuine racism and viewpoints that merely make you uncomfortable.

          • people in this country are getting tired of being called “racist” every time they challenge the views of people like you.

            And then the South will rise again?

          • lspanker

            And then the South will rise again?

            No, but I’m sure you will continue to make your snide comments, reflecting your inability to move beyond your pat demonization of anyone who dares disagree from your PC orthodoxy.

          • That’s part of the problem, pal. You aren’t disagreeing with me. You made up a bunch of stuff, assigned it to me, and then ranted.

          • lspanker

            Yeah, whatever. I systematically went through and pointed out specifics on just about everything you brought up – all you did was cry like a baby and scream “Racist!” because you really couldn’t refute my points. Fine, if it makes you feel better – you can strut around the internet all day puffing your chest out about how you’re single-handedly fighting racism/sexism/homophobia/global warming/missing socks/whatever, but at the end of the day, the problems I point out still exist – and you don’t have a clue how to solve them.

          • I systematically went through and pointed out specifics on just about everything you brought up

            If that is your impression you have some interesting blind spots.

          • lspanker

            You’re the one that’s bling, Thomas. You regurgitate the same old left-wing drivel, then blame blame those who dared point out the problem as being the ones that caused it.

          • Poverty is caused by capitalism, lspanker. But please, spare me the demonstration of how you misunderstand that statement, too.

          • lspanker

            Poverty is caused by capitalism, lspanker.

            Tell that to the border-jumpers from Mexico, the boat people from Cuba, or the refugees from Vietnam. But thanks for merely pointing out that you’re merely another left-wing Berkeley kook, one who doesn’t get out in the real world. Do you even have a job?

          • Tell that to the border-jumpers from Mexico, the boat people from Cuba, or the refugees from Vietnam.

            Even the communists?

          • Charles Siegel

            Go to http://www.flexibleworktime.com/economic.html and scroll down a bit to see the history of labor productivity during the 20th century. You will see that the average employee produced almost 10 times as much in an hour in 2000 as in 1900. Of course, this was because of better technology.

            Do you agree so far?

            Now, try imagining that technology keeps getting better and productivity keeps increasing 10-fold every century. In 2100, the average employee produces 100 times as much in an hour as in 1900, in 2200 1000 times as much, and so on.

            That increase in productivity is the fact behind what Tom is saying. The interesting question is to look at the very long term and to imagine what the economy might be like in a few hundred years, rather than thinking about contemporary political battles.

            I don’t completely agree with Tom on this. But what is your opinion? What do you think the economy will be like in 300 or 400 years if productivity keeps increasing as quickly as it did during the twentieth century?

  • Liberal Mariah Yonce

    Guy “Mike” Lee, I’m glad your running because Homeless people are REAL and too often ignored. There’s Got to Be A Way- Mariah Carey’s lyrics still ring true… “Broken man without a home, destitute and so alone. A victim of society, no one really wants to see. Some of us don’t even wonder, some of us don’t even care……” Allowing homeless people to exist is itself a Crime of Society considering that Profits continue to soar. Let’s not forget that many cities around the US criminalize being Homeless and make it near impossible for homeless people to survive or break their cycle of homelessness aka Ridiculous fines for Trespassing, Bicycling without a light, loitering, public indecently or not having nice looking cloths- hmm as if Homeless people can afford to do any different.

    • lspanker

      Allowing homeless people to exist is itself a Crime of Society

      Many of the so-called “homeless” in Berkeley are in that situation as a personal lifestyle choice. Are you advocating throwing them in jail or what?

      • dwss5

        lspanker wrote:
        “Many of the so-called “homeless” in Berkeley are in that situation as a personal lifestyle choice”

        OTOH, I think that many more REAL homeless in Berkeley are getting into their situation out of dire necessity, due to increasingly DELIBERATE city government policies non-transparently directed against them!
        Are you advocating decidedly AGAINST keeping the issue of homelessness front and center or what??

        • lspanker

          Word up: the vast majority of homeless people in Berkeley were not working, tax-paying local residents who one day found themselves out on the streets through no fault of their own. The vast majority of people who are homeless in Berkeley are people whose homelessness, OR the conditions that precipitated such homelessness (substance abuse, mental illness), occurred PRIOR to their arrival in Berkeley. Those people, along with the group of young drifters and vagrants who have made homelessness a lifestyle CHOICE, did not come to Berkeley to escape homelessness, either through availability of employment, affordable housing, or to seek treatment for their mental illness or substance abuse issues. They came to Berkeley SPECIFICALLY to live their lives AS homeless people,. because of the misguided sympathy and incentives that have made the town a “bum friendly” environment. If you really wish to solve an issue, you need to be honest about learning and acknowledging the causes for that issue. Why don’t you stow the Politically Correct silliness, and deal with reality like a grown adult?

      • Liberal Mariah Yonce

        No one chooses to BE Homeless!!! Homelessness is a creation of the Colonists. Before the Pilgrims messed up Native America the environment was clean and supportive for all People to live of the land w/o the need for Money worship or Mindless Economics.

        • lspanker

          No one chooses to BE Homeless!!!

          You have obviously never met a gutter punk.

          Homelessness is a creation of the Colonists. Before the Pilgrims messed up Native America the environment was clean and supportive for all People to live of the land w/o the need for Money worship or Mindless Economics.

          Wow, what a profound observation. How many bong hits did it take you to come up with that gem, Princess?

  • Pwll

    To Dan Spitzer. Why do you think this is idiocy? Are you dismissing this man’s very serious campaign for mayor and his very serious discussion of a big community problem because you don’t really see homeless people as human? I’m very glad to read this and after considering all the candidates could very well vote for him.

    • lspanker

      The homeless epidemic in Berkeley is due to deliberate policies that provide incentives for indigent people, vagrants, criminals and mentally ill people to migrate to Berkeley from other locales. It’s a “community problem” that Berkeley has created for itself – electing a homeless person and promising more goodies won’t solve the problem.

      • Pwll

        Actually Berkeley does not take care of their homeless nearly as well as many other cities. This is an old saw that’s been around for many years and simply is not true.

        • lspanker

          Actually Berkeley does not take care of their homeless nearly as well as many other cities.

          Simply because Berkeley has proportionately far more homeless than most other cities, because it’s policies ATTRACT homeless from other places. It’s the pigeon effect – you go to the park and start feeding the pigeons on a daily basis, eventually more keep showing up, and you will never be able to feed them all.

          • dwss5

            lspanker wrote:
            “Simply because Berkeley has proportionately far more homeless than most other cities, because it’s policies ATTRACT homeless from other places.”

            OTOH, have you considered that Berkeley has proportionately far more homeless than most other cities, because the CoB’s recent anti-homeless policies are actually CREATING more homeless than before??
            For example, through regressive taxation and the Gentrication mea$ure$ of non-transparently approving more Market Rate housing projects that have the ill-effect of driving the Middle Class financially downward (and possibly into homelessness???)

          • “Berkeley has proportionately far more homeless than most other cities, because the CoB’s recent anti-homeless policies are actually CREATING more homeless than before??”

            Can you cite real evidence to back this up?

          • lspanker

            OTOH, have you considered that Berkeley has proportionately far more homeless than most other cities, because the CoB’s recent anti-homeless policies are actually CREATING more homeless than before??

            The COB’s policies aren’t “creating homeless”. You sound foolish when you make such comments.

        • bukhario

          Berkeley is home to 7% of Alameda County’s population but a full quarter of its homeless. Clearly there’s something which makes them want to live here and I don’t think it’s the gourmet restaurants.

      • dwss5

        lspanker wrote:
        “The homeless epidemic in Berkeley is due to deliberate policies that provide incentives for indigent people, vagrants, criminals and mentally ill people to migrate to Berkeley from other locales.”

        I think rather the contrary; the homeless epidemic in Berkeley is more likely due to the City of Berkeley’s deliberate policies AGAINST the homeless!
        Heavily influenced of course by wealthy DEVELOPER$ (:ahem ahem: Capitelli) non-transparently INTENT on driving out the Middle Class through mutiple Market-rate housing projects and other variou$ Gentrification measures.

    • Dan Spitzer

      The homeless are indeed an important issue. But they need someone who can better articulate their needs than an individual who most voters will laugh-off. Sorry, but he simply is not a “serious” candidate…

    • Dan Spitzer

      Other than the DC and the reactionary leftist fools who listen to KPFA, do you really believe many citizens of Berkeley are going to take this dolt seriously. Homelessness is a tragedy and the means to combat it are complex–a realm I’m afraid is quite outside Mr. Lee’s capabilities. Indeed, if he had the insights, he won’t have been living on the streets for such a long time…

      • lspanker

        Indeed, if he had the insights, he won’t have been living on the streets for such a long time…

        Yep, and it’s amazing how people get this idea that someone who can’t resolve his own homelessness issue is somehow going to help others resolve theirs…

  • Dan Spitzer

    Why would the Daily Cal waste time on this idiocy? Really–doesn’t the paper have more important matters to cover with whatever staff is around during the school holidays?

    • dwss5

      Dan Spitzer wrote:
      “Why would the Daily Cal waste time on this idiocy?”

      While not an “idiocy”, I’d easily guess that more Socially Conscious Daily Cal staff members wanted to devote some attention to this locally-important matter of the homeless living IN THEIR VERY OWN BACKYARD (so-to-speak).

      • Dan Spitzer

        As I’ve noted below, the plight of the homeless is a serious issue. And their concerns should be addressed by a “serious” candidate–not someone who the voters will either laugh off or, as the Daily Cal should have, ignore…

        • dwss5

          Dan Spitzer wrote:
          “… not someone who the voters will either laugh off or, as the Daily Cal should have, ignore…”

          Besides “idiocy”,”laugh off” and “ignorable”, I’d point out that other terms craftily designed and wielded to intentionally PUT-DOWN Lee’s candidacy for Mayor in one way or another are (so far) “not serious”, “foolishness”, and “absurdity”.

          • lspanker

            Come on, now… Mike Lee is a professional homeless activist. He’s not campaigning for anything that would actually mitigate the homeless problem in Berkeley, far from it. He’s campaigning for more special concessions that won’t deal with root causes, but simply encourage more homeless to migrate there.

          • lspanker

            Ever consider that some people’s “veiled interest” may simply be not wishing to live in a city where the city parks are trashed, people urinate/defecate in the street on a regular basis, where people are subject to aggressive panhandling and physical intimidation, and one doesn’t have to fear for the safety of one’s children because criminals, drug users, and sexual predators have the run of the streets?

          • Pietro Gambadilegno

            How do you know this? When is the last time you were in Berkeley? 20 years ago?

          • lspanker

            How do you know this? When is the last time you were in Berkeley? 20 years ago?

            I was last in Berkeley in 2016, in fact 11 days ago. Drove by my former abode at 3808 Opal in Oaktown, then headed up San Pablo Avenue towards Albany. In fact, I gassed up at the SP Food Mart as regular was going for $2.599. So when was the last time you actually LEFT Berkeley?

          • lspanker

            And the list of putdown terms keeps growing…..

            Given that the Left provides plenty of opportunity to use such terms when its adherents share their reality-challenged world view with the rest of us, one really should not be surprised…