Few people remember that the Citizens United decision was about a movie, and the idea that airing and advertising a movie, Hillary: The Movie, was an unfair political donation that justified censorship.
So it’s funny that Alexandra Pelosi, a film maker who has made 9 films, mainly for HBO, in almost twice as many years, has made a 45 minute filmlette, San Francisco 2.0, currently airing on the premium cable network, which is essentially a campaign film for her mother, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (The Pelosi’s dont favor the right to free speech in campaigns Citizens United recognized.) It’s an attack on Silicon Valley, the sharing economy, Internet entrepreneurs, Uber, Lyft, AirBNB and the new jobs with high salaries they generate, which have drawn thousands of childless young people to the Bay Area and paid them well, who have driven up rents and real estate prices, but don’t really need or use government welfare. And who create apps and businesses that undercut government sponsored industries and unions that donate to Democrats, including those keeping Nancy Pelosi’s campaign funded so she can be re-elected to Congress.
Meanwhile Alexandra, who has only worked as a journalist and film maker at NBC and HBO, sold a two bedroom 5th Avenue condo in 2012 for $1.7 million, which had appreciated about $50,000 for each of the six years she owned it, to then buy a much more expensive coop in TriBeCa with her Belgian journalist husband. Journalism doesn’t usually afford a couple multimillion dollar apartments in Manhattan, but Pelosi’s dad Paul Pelosi is rich, partly because of insider information and regulatory variances, according to Peter Schweizer’s research, available to Nancy Pelosi in her position as a Congresswoman. But to Alexandra, her moral superiority, as a trust fund baby with grifting political parents, to Silicon Valley geeks, is unquestioned. Her family are the corporatist villains depicted in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and her movie’s policy questions are framed by their Luddite ideas about scapegoating new technologies for the economic dislocations caused by her mother’s statism.
But Pelosi gives it her best disinformation shot, trying to catch up in mommy’s good graces to older sister Christine Pelosi, a Democratic Party official in California, who has followed more in her mom’s footsteps (and graduated law school, and went to a more prestigious college). The experts she interviews include: leftish academic Robert Reich, who flaks the anti-growth economic policies responsible for unemployment, poverty, and inequality; David Talbot, a plump, boring, white haired founder of the leftist hate site Salon, who says too many upper middle class techies will make San Francisco boring; and a former mayor who complains that his own house has appreciated so much he could no longer afford to buy it, and that if a downtown flower market has to relocate so developers can build more loft housing, the city will no longer have fresh flowers!
It’s typical that a Democratic trust fund baby and a Democrat politician wouldn’t know how markets allow people to find another way to warehouse and distribute fresh flowers, if consumers are willing to pay for them – and how consumers might decide they are more willing to pay for a downtown home than a downtown flower market. Studies by Cato economist Randall O’Toole show that urban housing prices are increased 40% by government regulation, which even “progressives” like Matt Yglesias now admit.. But how government increases the price and restricts the supply of housing doesn’t come up in this deeply dishonest propaganda film. Nor does why there are no good jobs for the few black and Hispanic residents she interviews, nor why their public school didn’t allow them to learn to code and get a job in Silicon Valley. One suspects Alexandra Pelosi thinks writing code is a kind of magic. And that she is kind of racist. She knows she could never be a software engineer, and only lives among people who can because of inherited wealth. And if she can’t do it, these blacks and Latinos sure can’t learn to do it.
The main question raised by this silly film is: will Silicon Valley people continue to donate to this grifting, criminal family, who aim to leach off of and scapegoat high tech companies and their workers? One would think people with any intelligence at all would at least abandon them, if not donate to their GOP opponents, or to the tech friendly Libertarians. It’s pathetic to watch the biggest wealth generators in the U.S. give Nancy Pelosi what Ayn Rand called the sanction of the victim.