APEC and the "Transformation" of San Francisco
Anyone who has spent time in San Francisco can attest to the choking rush hour traffic, the ubiquitous presence of homeless people, and hordes of tourists on the Embarcadero. But thanks to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference this week, things have changed a bit.
The APEC gathering has turned much of San Francisco into an armed camp, complete with hordes of cops, everywhere, blocked off roads, temporary fencing and credential checks, and, of course, the presence of The Black SUVs that transport Very Important People. When my son and I picked this day to visit the city, it happened to be when President Joe Biden was in town.
The police presence changed traffic patterns and, more often than not, we crossed the streets facing very little traffic. Likewise, at the usual shopping venues, there were no lines because there were few tourists, something the city’s business owners had feared would happen.
Not that they didn’t try to make the city attractive. We saw a number of workers pressure washing the sidewalks, something I had not seen in my numerous trips to this place. More importantly, authorities have moved the allegedly immovable homeless camps, leading residents to ask why nothing had been done before.
All this is necessary, one supposes, in order to sterilize the city so that all of the police cars and the Black SUVs driven by men dressed like the Blues Brothers and carrying around the Very Important People can move without being forced to see something resembling the real world. Given that America’s Left Coast cities (other than San Diego and Carmel) are pretty much ungovernable and have vast numbers of homeless camps, at least is it somewhat possible to turn San Francisco into a Potemkin Village, unlike L.A., Portland, and Seattle.
Had APEC chosen the latter two cities, the attendees would have been forced to deal with the sheer ferocity of the Antifa protesters, who surely would have managed to disrupt the proceedings and send all of the dignitaries being shuttled about in Black SUVs to run for cover. Furthermore, Biden then might have been compelled to acknowledge that the Antifa folk actually exist.
The larger question to me is why they have these meetings in the first place, given that those present are impediments to trade and economic cooperation. The Asian countries represented didn’t move from poverty to wealth because their political bosses were shuttled around places like San Francisco in Black SUVs. No, their economic lot improved because their countries pivoted from earlier policies of prohibiting importing of capital to encouraging capital development. They liberalized trade, protected private property, and allowed more economic freedom.
While I was (thank goodness) not invited to the conference (thus depriving me of the opportunity to be ferried about in Black SUVs driven by men dressed like the Blues Brothers), nonetheless, had I been there, I doubt I would have heard anyone speak of how best to promote both freedom and wealth creation. Instead, it turns into the usual who-met-with-whom intrigue that promotes the false idea that the world economy is “administered” by Very Important People driven about in Black SUVs and piloted by men dressed like the Blues Brothers.
Of course, what conference would be without the president (Joe Biden this time) meeting with another head of state (Xi of China this time). Too bad Xi didn’t ask Biden why his administration was engaged in such destructive behavior with its massive and unsustainable borrowing and money creation, its protectionism and Biden’s unwavering support of the wealth-destroying Jones Act.
(Given Biden’s very real cognitive issues, one doubts that the two had any kind of meaningful discussion at all, even with the help of interpreters. At least one hopes that Biden didn’t wander off during their staged walk together in a garden outside the city.)
As for my son and me, we went to a very uncrowded Fisherman’s Wharf, ate clam chowder and sourdough bread (as one is supposed to do in that neighborhood), and took a boat to Alcatraz Island, home of what was one of the most notorious prisons in history. Perhaps that ride across the San Francisco Bay to one of the federal government’s former prisons was a fitting analogy, given the way that the plans the ruling elites being driven about in Black SUVs with men dressed like the Blues Brothers behind the wheel have for the rest of us with their Great Reset.
For all the “common man” and “equity” rhetoric that “Lunch Bucket” Joe Biden uses on the stump, the world of Biden and his fellow elites is one in which everything is sterilized. Everyone not in their circle needs to stand behind the barriers, watch the parade of Black SUVs driven by men dressed like the Blues Brothers, and happily accept whatever calamities they impose upon us.