An update on the San Francisco Shoeshine Man.

I suppose that I should be happy about the update to Larry Moore’s situation – after all, they’re letting the man work – but, frankly, I’m still missing how life is improved by requiring Mr. Moore to shell out five hundred dollars for the privilege of being allowed to rejoin Western civilization. I think that we should be curing the disease, not the symptom – and while it’s nice that they’re being accommodating about the paperwork, I’d rather that they gave some serious thought to why they have the paperwork in the first place.

I’d also like to note that if Mr. Moore was less pleasant he’d probably be still stuck in this mess. Not to be bone-crushingly naive about the way things work, but just because that does make a difference doesn’t mean that it should, or that it’s right that it does.

Alerted to this from the guy over at Technomancy for Fun and Profit.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Ensuring that the poor are always with us, San Francisco edition.

(Via Don Surber, via Glenn Reynolds) Witness what happens when a San Francisco beggar gets ideas above his station:

He sleeps under a bridge, washes in a public bathroom and was panhandling for booze money 11 months ago, but now Larry Moore is the best-dressed shoeshine man in the city. When he gets up from his cardboard mattress, he puts on a coat and tie. It’s a reminder of how he has turned things around.

In fact, until last week it looked like Moore was going to have saved enough money to rent a room and get off the street for the first time in six years. But then, in a breathtakingly clueless move, an official for the Department of Public Works told Moore that he has to fork over the money he saved for his first month’s rent to purchase a $491 sidewalk vendor permit.


The bureaucrat told Moore that she found out about his business after reading about his success in this paper.

The article goes on to write this line: “Christine Falvey, spokeswoman for Public Works, said the department’s contact with Moore was meant to be “educational.”” – and truer words were never written. It is very educational to see that Jerry Pournelle‘s observation that bureaucracies formed to help poor people end up with a vested interest in making sure that there will always be poor people is as cynically true as ever.  I would also like to note that if the San Fransciscan permitting system requires that people trying to claw their way out of alcoholic hell to rejoin the rest of society jump through these kinds of hoops, then the San Franciscan permitting system has failed, and needs to be taken out to an abandoned field and set on fire.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.