The Mendoza Line and taxing the payrolls here

I posted something to Steve Levy’s column today, about San Francisco payroll tax:
As of 2012, San Francisco had a 1.5 percent payroll tax, that brought in $400 M to city coffers.

What would you estimate, Dr. Levy, the hypothetical effect of such a thing here?

I would not mind so much being overrun by this new species if there were something in it for me.

And what about my comment a few posts back about taxing realtors rather than having a parcel tax, or in addition? How much of a “residential real estate transfer tax” hypothetically would we need to impose to match the $10 M per year of the recent and renewed parcel tax?

Because an adjacent post referenced baseball averages, I digressed a wee bit about Mario Mendoza, whose name because attached to a minimum standards. I thought it was related to “hitting your own weight”. I was grasping for something about feeding a pig and slaugtering a hog. Tax the fat cats.


Since you digressed a bit into baseball, I am posting again to add the detail that on my own blog I grasped for but did not quite reach a clever reference to Mario Mendoza, a mediocrity from the 1980s baseball who is immortalized for “The Mendoza Line” which to many people is a minimum standard of success, like a .200 batting average. I actually think it is something less tangible, having to do with the expression “hitting your own weight” i.e. a batter whose average was below his body weight. There was a period there wherein Mendoza started putting on weight, but his batting average did not increase proportionally. To me the Mendoza LIne is not .200 but is more like an irrational that cannot be described simply: There was also a yarn about the guy with the lowest average being “the strongest man” in that he held up the other 500 players in the charts they used to print in the Sunday paper. Mendoza arguably was better off as a 170 pounder hitting .200 than being a 235 pounder hitting .205.

I actually did hit .667 on a single at bat, my first hit in Senior Little League, as a 13 year old playing with 14 and 15s; it took me almost to mid-season to get a safety; I knocked Paul Hopper’s hanging curve the opposite way off the right field fence, took two bases but cluelessly tried to stretch it to a triple and was thrown out by a mile. It’s actually, of course, still a hit, but in the context of economics it is more like a hit and an out, or two bases and an out, 2 of 3, .667.

Web Link
e most irrational thing you do.

i am also saying something about “feed a pig slaughter a hog” in that the developers are getting fat and we should or could benefit, maybe by taxing them. Or indirectly by taxing their tenants.

Famously, a Palo Altan named Ron Conway moved to SF and helped Ed Lee get elected partly by getting some high tech companies exemptions from the payroll tax. I’ve never met or even seen Ron Conway but I presume he is more likely a porker (compared to a CEO like T.J. Rodgers who is an exercise nut).

And yeah, I admit I am carrying more on my frame than I did for the 1981 League Champion Titans: 30 percent more!

edita: when i post a couple things to Levy’s column, knowing full well that he is likely to delete, it is a type of yarn bombing.

and1: Re Conway: he raised $600K for Ed Lee. Wow. He is a major investor in AirBnB: we should see if he is influencing local (Palo Alto) policy on taxing it here; moreover, what was Conway’s political footprint locally when he lived here? Commercial real estate here is a billion dollar business.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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