For my summer cottage reading, I read the first non-fiction book Mayor of Castro Street By Randy Shilts. It’s about Harvey’s milk. (Incidentally, I saw Milk speak at an event organized by the Bay Area Coalition against the BACABI, the Briggs Initiative, at a downtown church in San Francisco in May or June 1978.)
Here are 4 interesting highlights from the first third of the book
Harvey Milk’s early political views
A staunch conservative, Milk was then awaiting Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential nomination. It could send a truly conservative message to the nation, he thought. His fierce argument with Rodwell is not about gay equality, but [about] President Kennedy’s move against steel companies. The crude use of federal power in the economy spills Harvey’s blood.
DRH Note: I remember reading about JFK’s attacks on steel companies in the late 1960s to raise prices in 1962. Ain Rand also wrote about it at the time, and Ben Rogue, a professor of economics at Wabash College, spoke about it in a lecture at the University of Winnipeg in early 1969, sponsored by my Libertarian Club. It was a big deal for us.
The destruction of an important part of San Francisco
Businesses in the Latino Mission district have never recovered from the excavation of the central shopping strip for Bay Area Rapid Transit.
DRH Note: After I graduated from the University of Winnipeg in May 1970, I set off in June from Winnipeg to Vancouver and from Vancouver to Los Angeles to hitchhike, stopping at various places along the way. I stayed at a cheap, DV hotel in San Francisco (I think it was about $ 5 per night) and toured San Francisco. I remember the chaos caused by the BRT building at that time. I had to walk across boards in different parts of the city and it was difficult for people to reach certain businesses because the roads were so cracked. Later I learned in George Hilton’s Transport Economics class at UCLA how badly BART failed a cost / benefit analysis test even judged by the optimistic assumptions of its proponents.
Leftist attack on milk business
Something [left-wing gays] Scott began to scold Smith [Milk’s business partner at Castro Camera]Saying if Castro Camera really cares about people, will give free film and offer free development services.
DRH Note: No comments are required.
John Barbagelta’s confusion about the economy of inequality
[Barbagelata, who was running for mayor of San Francisco against George Moscone] The city will continue to oppose legislation banning anti-gay bias among contractors because the city may force biased employers to accept higher rates from non-discriminatory companies at lower bids.
DRH Note: At the time, employers were discriminating against gay employees, even in San Francisco. This has probably created a bargain for employers willing to discriminate against gay employees. So the barbarism was just behind it. She didn’t understand her Gary Baker. For a brief version of the Economics of Inequality, see Linda Gorman, David R. Henderson, “Inequality” in the edition. A Brief Encyclopedia of Economics.