A Difference Between San Francisco and New York

In New York City, politicians continue to argue over extending policies that provide higher wages for workers with privileged connections to government money (or employees of firms with privileged connections to government money). One of the goals is to prevent the city from reducing costs and providing better public services for its people by contracting with private companies, by comparing the cost of the contracts with the cost of public workers excluding their greatest cost – the many years they get in retirement.

In San Francisco, on the other hand, there is a higher minimum wage for everyone – now $10.20 per hour. Not just for those with a special relationship with the government, who are then made better off than those with no such relationship. Now San Francisco is not the equivalent of New York City. It is the equivalent of Manhattan. So I wouldn’t argue that all of New York City should have a higher minimum wage. But perhaps Manhattan and the downstate suburban towns that zone out the working poor should. To offset the cost of getting to work on a transit system that New York’s political class is sending back to the 1970s. Or the risk of long bicycle rides on suburban roads where the Lexus SUVs might just cement your low status by running you over. The political class and the executive class do pretty well in SF also, but I guess they have some money left over for the serfs.