The Mysterious World of “Unexpected” (but Accurately Predicted by Some) Consequences

"cityscape chaos"... rendered via AI / genetic algorithms

by Charles Ostman

This article in the San Francisco Examiner recently appeared, which is a sort of metaphor for this general perspective, that being the influx of tech driven economic growth carries with it eventual economic collateral damage, which is a very real, well known phenomena . . . but with a few caveats in the currently emergent, new variation of this trend.

It’s a weird, accelerating paradox, unique to this era more than any other before it.  Tech development brings in momentary economic growth, which upscales the area it has saturated, which then creates economic toxicity for the original inhabitants, as outside investors, hedge funds and so on, swarm in to cash in on momentary speculation.

Stirred into this cauldron is much injected investment from overseas (China especially), looking for ways to get their money out of their home country, to here.

But then, almost like a twisted moment of prophecy, a plague descends upon the world (ironically from the aforementioned China), uproots and exacerbates many already fragile economic ecosystems in transition around the world, into quasi chaos.

Not to deviate too far into an auxiliary tangent, but the global GDP to debt ratio had already sunk into dark, uncharted territory before the pandemic.  Here in the US, this is particularly pronounced, not just at the federal level (a “mere” $32 trillion at the moment), but in many major cities, the ever expanding gap between unfundable liabilities and ever shrinking revenue streams is becoming evermore glaringly obvious.

The relevance of this becomes particularly pronounced where “progressive policies”, with politicians and bureaucrats fanatically determined to pursue these utopian concepts agitates already floundering city management debacles . . . the Titanic is taking on water, listing heavily to portside, even before floating out of the harbor and getting anywhere near the lurking icebergs waiting for it.

Meanwhile, many of those uber high end commercial real estate investments started going dark, shades of 2008 looming, sort of . . . but then, comes the added twist of weird local political policies which radically exacerbates already fomenting chaos in the streets (anyone here been to SF, Portland, Seattle or Venice / LA recently?).

The particular example in this article focuses on SF, in which the local economic and cultural collateral damage has been and will be most severe, but it’s a template which has been replicated in the previously mentioned cities and many others.

I know, some will rant and rave, what policies?  Well, give that some critical thought for a few moments, it may become apparent.

Meanwhile, the ultimate “collateral damage” from all this are many of the original stores, venues and cultural places to be at which have all but been purged from the SF I knew (and spent much time in) decades ago, almost a sort of “cultural cleansing”.

As the added pathology of social chaos becomes ever more extreme, even those businesses which could somehow cling to their economic life rafts have found it basically impossible to function as a business, so they shut down and leave, or simply perish altogether.

Yes, the economic toxicity of predatory property speculation is a part of this, but the current cauldron of chaos that has been fomenting there is the direct outcome of “progressive” policies which have made it utterly impossible for almost any type of ordinary business to function there, and for ordinary citizens to feel safe even in broad daylight, let alone  after dark.  Armed robberies and carjackings are basically daily occurrences, along with daily dozens of cars being smashed into and robbed, swarms of people rushing into stores with smash and grab robberies, violent assaults and so on.

Some understand this dynamic, others try to pretend this is not the case (especially when it goes against the grain of heavily enforced utopian wokism and “progressive justice” policies), but as in any looming extinction event transition in the making, evolution tends to favor the most adaptive.

What I find most laughably ludicrous are the articles, often published in left leaning media, which cite “people are fleeing California” because they’re greedy evil capitalists wanting to escape to locales with less taxation.  Well, not so fast.  There may be some truth to that, in some cases, but by far the much larger element of this phenomena is escaping to locales where governance, management policies and protocols are vastly more realistic and favor the average citizenry and local entrepreneurs, along with major corporate entities who want to bring jobs and growth into the new area . . . what a concept.

Maybe an argument could be made for fostering a sort of ongoing conspiracy, in which the uber progressive policy makers are encouraged to keep doing what they have been doing (they’re easy to manipulate, as irrationally emotional “useful idiots”), in the hopes that it will drive property values even lower (which it has), and then speculators can really have their feeding frenzy, followed by a radical change in law enforcement and management policies, sweeping out the chaos element and catalyzing an upsurge in property values once again.

OK, maybe the stuff of a bad novel or movie script, but with the caveat that I’ve seen this before, this is not a “new” concept . . .

BTW, for those who may be wondering, the term “useful idiots” was actually invented by Karl Marx, during his times of fomenting revolution, the key point being that people can be made to believe almost anything and as such can be temporarily “useful” to the larger cause.  This is particularly ironic, given that some among the most fervent wokism fanatics brag about their being “Marxists” as a sort of badge of honor . . . if they only knew, but I digress.

Well, no doubt there may be fomenting frothing diatribe among some who might actually read this, but just a guess on my part, many more will be quietly agreeing, even if they can’t acknowledge such publicly, lest they tarnish their perpetual virtue signaling social profile they are constantly compelled to exhibit in this emergent Orwellian world of wokism doublespeak.