Out in San Francisco, the most definitely “woke” citizens are dealing with an economic crisis. Tourism is down in the Chinatown district and that’s pretty much the lifeblood of the area. And what’s the cause of this depressed economic activity? Global warming? Fear of a major earthquake? Nope. According to this report from the San Francisco Gate, it’s President Trump’s travel ban.
Foot traffic is down, tours feel light, stores aren’t moving as much Chinatown kitsch as they usually do, business owners said Friday. The question is why, and no one seems to be sure.
At a news conference in the Clarion Music Performing Arts Center, members of several small-business advocacy groups blamed President Trump’s embattled travel ban for a slowdown that some business owners say has amounted to anywhere from 10 to 50 percent less spending than usual for this time of year…
“My phone used to be busy all the time, especially with summer coming,” [travel guide Cynthia] Yee said. “No one calls me anymore. We used to have three or four guides out every weekend. Now, it’s just me.”
Although Trump’s ban, designed to keep travelers from six Muslim-majority countries out of the U.S. over fears of terrorism, has been stalled for months by federal court proceedings, San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations President Henry Karnilowicz said the damage has largely been done.
I see. So the cause of fewer visitors arriving from overseas is the travel ban. If memory serves, you’re talking about the ban that was actually in effect for all of about fifteen minutes before some liberal judges shut it down. Or perhaps you mean the second version of the travel ban. You know… the one that never even made it into effect before the same set of judges slammed the brakes on that one too. Is that what you’re talking about? Man… the President must have some serious mental superpowers along the lines of Professor X to affect that many travelers just with the power of his imagination.
But there’s another wrinkle in this story. The San Francisco Travel Association predicts a 2% increase in tourist trade for the year. In fact, the people whose job it is to monitor tourism aren’t seeing anything unusual at all.
Visitors are expected to spend as much as $9.22 billion in the city, nearly 3 percent more than they did in 2016, according to the association’s most recent forecast, from March.
“Tourism is not down really,” said Laurie Armstrong, the association’s director of media relations for the U.S. and Canada. “It seems to be doing just fine.” …
Yet the travel association expects 2.9 million international visitors this year (with more than 526,000 from China). That’s a slight bump of a third of a percent over last year’s tourism numbers.
So not only is this “crisis” in the tourist trade being caused by a travel ban which isn’t in effect, the crisis in question isn’t even real. You know, somehow the phrase “fake news” doesn’t really even do this one justice. This takes the game to an entirely new meta-level. You can obviously blame Trump and “Resist!” all the live long day over any perceived evil you choose, from global warming to trade policy. But when you have to invent a new crisis out of whole cloth in order to affix more blame you’ve moved your armies into an entirely new battlefield.
But in closing, keep in mind that the people in the article who were blaming Trump specifically said that tourist traffic “feels light.” And the stores “seem to” be moving less merchandise. So I suppose the actual amount of sales or tourists walking the streets doesn’t really matter all that much. These days you can pick your own gender or, in the case of Rachel Dolezal, your own race based solely on how you feel. So if you feel like commercial activity is lower than usual I guess it is. And if anyone dares to bring up the actual numbers they’re clearly a racist. Or a sexist. Or something.