When Nancy Pelosi became Speaker-designate of the House last night many of the TV hosts asked interviewees what she'd be like. To paraphrase, but not by much, most all said, "San Francisco." (No modifiers, just "San Francisco.") One had the feeling that SF was the name of a deadly disease.
For 30+ years I lived in the "diseased" Bay Area. That included eight years in the Den of All That Is Ill ... San Francisco. At the time I was working for the ultra-liberal consultancy ... McKinsey & Co.
Forget the emotional fact that my heart and soul will forever be in Northern California, and that I count the SF years as among the most wonderful in my life.
Is San Francisco, home to former Dead Dude Jerry Garcia among other filthy rich nutters, "liberal"? Absolutely. Is that the totality of SF? Don't make me laugh—or choke. We know all about the beauty. But what about the fact that this "liberal" bastion is, along with its "liberal" neighbor Silicon Valley-San Jose, probably the Wealthiest Place on Earth? What about the fact that there is more successful entrepreneurial activity and funding therefore in said SF-Bay Area, by far, than anywhere else in the world in the history of the world? What about the conclusion that many "conservative" analysts have reached that the "nutty culture" of SF, and schools like Stanford and Berkeley, are pretty much directly responsible for the "culture" that spawned Apple, Yahoo, and, um, Google. I wouldn't be surprised if the (probably) "liberal" Google founders are ... God forbid ... Democrats. Maybe they should form a "liberal" "club" called Liberal Entrepreneurs Under Thirty with Net Worths of Twenty-five Billion Dollars or More. Is San Francisco diseased? Absolutely! It is the breeding ground of a Virus called Matchless Business & Research & Financial Success.
My "feelings" are hardly hurt by the barbs. It's just that I'm not comfortable listening to Maliciously Ignorant Idiots.
Will Speaker Pelosi be "ultra-liberal"? Who the hell knows. What we do know is that if you erased a few "liberal hotbeds" such as Cambridge MA, Boston MA, Pelosi's San Francisco, and Silicon Valley this great country of yours and mine (most readers) would economically be in the tank.
The genius demographer Richard Florida and the genius polymath Juan Enriquez demonstrate the stunning fact that most of our entrepreneurial activity and patents, the leading indicator of longterm economic health, come from an astonishingly small # of ZIP Codes. Virtually all of them are "liberal hotbeds" such as SF, Boston, Palo Alto, Cambridge, and Seattle. (Washington State yesterday sent Maria Cantwell back to the Senate—she's a rather "liberal," under 40 I believe, Microsoft Millionaire.)
Just shut up. I'm pretty typical of the lucky ones from that glorious area ... pretty "liberal"-libertarian on many contentious social issues (stem cell research, working on the environment) and a pretty well-off Entrepreneurial American Capitalist Pig Small-Business Owner.
Just shut the hell up.
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
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