For a city swimming in debt and facing a tax-receipt crisis, San Francisco sure seems intent on giving away cash.
The city’s latest gambit, announced by Mayor London Breed, involves providing a $1,000 stipend to 130 artists as a form of universal basic income. The payments come with no work requirements.
Of course, the money isn’t universal, it can only go to artists, a term the city has yet to define.
The program is part of a larger fund that pays artists to paint public health themed murals on boarded up buildings, which is sort of ironic because the businesses wouldn’t be boarded up if the city and state didn’t shut them down.
The fund also employs performance artists to “promote COVID-safe behaviors in high foot traffic areas.” Maybe they have mimes demonstrating wearing masks and standing six feet apart.
As for public health, instead of paying artists to paint murals or “perform,” the city could invest a bit more in cleaning human excrement and used needles off the sidewalks and streets. Such a move would go a long way toward improving the quality of life in the city while also improving public health.