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(SFGate)   San Francisco Symphony musicians go on strike after finding it too difficult to make ends meet on $147,000/yr with full benefits and 10 weeks paid vacation   (sfgate.com) divider line 129
    More: Asinine, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco  
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2636 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 14 Mar 2013 at 7:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-14 09:53:01 AM
Ten weeks of paid vacation?!  Union must have demanded European-style employment.

/This is America
//Paid vacation - not yours
///slashies comes in threes
 
2013-03-14 09:54:17 AM
kab
Those mechanics aren't paying the full cost up front.

the mechanics and the musicians want quality stuff from the time they have a interest in their field. the musician doesn't use a bob's discount instruments and pawn shop rental tuba from the age of 5 to the day they get picked for some fancy group and then say omg i need a 250k instrument. i'm sure they are upgrading their instruments every few years and its just a cost of their profession. heck if the symphony supplied the instruments i bet many of the musicians would be fickle and have complaints about them.
 
2013-03-14 10:22:15 AM
Oh and a million bucks for an instrument? You're retarded if you pay that much for an instrument, I don't care if it blows you too.
 
2013-03-14 10:22:38 AM
I work for the parent organization of a major US-based orchestra (one of the top 5 in the world) and our musicians' base pay is about $20k less than San Francisco.  (Note:  We're ranked  much higher than SF.)  With that said, I feel I'm in an unique position to discuss.

First, most musicians make MUCH more than base salary.  All symphonic music contracts include provisions/increases for more experienced musicians, musicians who do additional community work, etc.  They, also, earn overtime, extra pay for "doubling" (playing more than one instrument), etc.  So it's very few musicians who only make the base.  In fact, the article stated that the average musician in SF makes over $160k annually.

Second, the musicians need to understand that the classical music industry is suffering all over.  Everyone's dealing with annual losses.  I guess we're lucky because we're starting to stem the losses, and our musicians understand that we're not trying to screw them over.  They see our annual financial statements (which, as all non-profit organizations are required, are made available for public review.)  They attend "musicians & staff" meetings which discuss these situations.  I don't know if SF has these types of meetings, but I do know they're a non-profit, as well, so their musicians and the unions should know their financial status.

Third, the parent organization is still maintaining all current benefit levels (10 weeks paid vacation - industry standard, pensions of $74k annually, per musician, upon retirement, sick leave, full coverage health plan with  no premiums, etc.)

I know that there is no symphony without the musicians.  The musicians need to remember that there is no symphony without the parent organization.  Maybe when everyone can check their egos at the door, they'll be able to come to a resolution.
 
2013-03-14 10:23:38 AM

Tat'dGreaser: "Oh it's so horrible how expensive it is living here in California! I can't believe how much rent costs and food and gas, oh my!"

"Why don't you move?"

"Oh my, I could never do that. It's sunny here"


You do realize this is San Francisco we're talking about, right?
 
2013-03-14 10:24:21 AM

puckrock2000: You do realize this is San Francisco we're talking about, right?


I mean California.
 
2013-03-14 10:29:25 AM
Beta Blockers are draining their bank accounts.
 
2013-03-14 10:33:25 AM
I lived in Daly City a few blocks from San Fran beach, in a 500 sq. ft. efficiency apt. for $1200.  It came with parking, and was situated near a lake.  My electric bill was about $25 since I didn't have to run the air or heat.  Taxes were high, but all in all the whole thing was easily manageable with a normal income (and you didn't mind living in a small place).
 
2013-03-14 10:35:55 AM
Their pay does seem excessive, but how much is the city making off of them?
 
2013-03-14 10:41:02 AM

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: Their pay does seem excessive, but how much is the city making off of them?


The only money the city makes off of the orchestras are taxes and tourism dollars.  The rest (ticket sales, CD sales, etc.) goes back to the parent organization, which is a non-profit organization.
 
2013-03-14 10:44:53 AM
Wasn't aware of that, thanx :-)
 
2013-03-14 10:47:08 AM
Since music is such a passion for so many people, I would think the supply of capable musicians wanting to get a job playing music would way outnumber the available jobs, thus forcing the down the wages.

There are probably quite a few talented musicians across the country reading this thinking 147K sounds damn good and are sending their resume' to SF as we speak...
 
2013-03-14 10:49:34 AM
That's a shame, San Francisco has a good orchestra. Not one of the Big 5 in the US (NY Phil, Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Cleveland) or one of the top 10 world wide, but a good one. I mean, they've got Michael Tilson-Thomas as music director, which shows they're interested in quality. Sadly, quality is expensive.
 
2013-03-14 10:49:47 AM

DrPainMD: madnessupmysoul: Need to know a few things before criticizing them:
Cost of instruments (for a big city symphony orchestra, probably 5-6 figures) and maintaining them, cost of living, cost of clothing. Add into that what their educational costs were, their average age, and much more.

All you need to know is: what is the supply of qualified musicians and what is the demand for qualified musicians? Nothing else matters.


This. The 'free-market' works in the favor of the employees sometimes as well. Sometimes employees aren't easily replaced and have to be paid a lot. Sometimes they are, and don't.

I fail to see why a lot of people automatically attack the employee asking for a raise without any clue as to the value they bring the business.
 
2013-03-14 10:58:44 AM

DrPainMD: madnessupmysoul: Need to know a few things before criticizing them:
Cost of instruments (for a big city symphony orchestra, probably 5-6 figures) and maintaining them, cost of living, cost of clothing. Add into that what their educational costs were, their average age, and much more.

All you need to know is: what is the supply of qualified musicians and what is the demand for qualified musicians? Nothing else matters.


As a corollary, what is the supply of mp3s of those musicians playing music, and what is the demand for those mp3s?
 
2013-03-14 11:13:46 AM
They're looking for something like a 5% raise, not exactly massive. Especially when you consider how much the symphony's board of directors pays themselves. The one thing I've never really grasped though, is the whole using some old, super expensive instrument. There's plenty of high quality luthiers who are alive and working today, who could build these people top quality instruments, for a lot less than $100k. But no, they have to be snobs, and insist on pedigree. Like those assholes that insist on buying their new puppy from a breeder, instead of saving one from an animal shelter. Or like my friend who mocks my store brand foodstuffs. Yeah, like he can tell the difference between Dr. Pepper and Dr. K.

Ok, sorry, got sidetracked. Anyways, Michael Manrings basses don't cost anywhere near what these people pay for their instruments, yet he totally blows them all away. Is a new violin, made by a master luthier for $25k really worse than some 100+ year old violin?
 
2013-03-14 11:37:08 AM

LectertheChef: Michael Manrings basses don't cost anywhere near what these people pay for their instruments, yet he totally blows them all away. Is a new violin, made by a master luthier for $25k really worse than some 100+ year old violin?


Manring designs his electric basses and has them custom made, so those are some freakishly expensive electric basses.
And to answer your question, acoustic instruments vary hugely from instrument to instrument and the reason some are worth a boatload of money is because of their excellence, so yes, a new $25k violin is inferior.
 
2013-03-14 11:39:25 AM
Archstone 2BR in San Fran area is $16 more than Cambridge, MA.
 
2013-03-14 11:56:15 AM

red5ish: And to answer your question, acoustic instruments vary hugely from instrument to instrument and the reason some are worth a boatload of money is because of their excellence, so yes, a new $25k violin is inferior.


That's been the presumption for years, but recent evidence suggests otherwise.  Musicians are no less susceptible to perception bias than anyone else:  http://www.economist.com/node/21542380
 
2013-03-14 11:56:56 AM
Link didn't take:  http://www.economist.com/node/21542380">http://www.economist.com/node /21542380
 
2013-03-14 11:57:33 AM

LectertheChef: They're looking for something like a 5% raise, not exactly massive. Especially when you consider how much the symphony's board of directors pays themselves.


Board members do not get paid, they actually pay to be on the board. Many do so because it's a good move in the business world to do so.

Is a new violin, made by a master luthier for $25k really worse than some 100+ year old violin?

The expensive violins aren't 100 years+ old, they are 300+ years old. Yes, there are plenty of good modern makers and plenty of players go that route.
 
2013-03-14 11:59:53 AM

Paris1127: That's a shame, San Francisco has a good orchestra. Not one of the Big 5 in the US (NY Phil, Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Cleveland) or one of the top 10 world wide, but a good one. I mean, they've got Michael Tilson-Thomas as music director, which shows they're interested in quality. Sadly, quality is expensive.


Wait, Philly actually has a decent symphony? I might have to see if I can tickets. I am assuming they will be a few hundred dollars so maybe I'll skip that and continue to buy food.

Forget SF and NYC, I want someone to explain to me how anyone lives in London.
 
2013-03-14 12:00:25 PM

manwithdaplan: My belief, without reading the whole article, is that playing in the symphony is not a strictly full-time gig.


You have obviously never been a professional musician.
 
2013-03-14 12:01:58 PM
SF symphony is probably in the top 30 orchestras in the world.  Every player in orchestras at that level can play the standard concerto repertoire for their instrument and play it very well, indeed.  They are good enough to  solo with second-tier orchestras.  They are all virtuosos of the first order. Unbelievable, 100% error-free, perfect tone and execution.  (old adage:  symphony players don't practice until they get it right, they practice until there is no possibility of playing it wrong...)   When an opening in an orchestra occurs (like the Tympani chair in SFSO) there will be many hundreds of applicants from all over the world, all of whom are virtuosos as well.   These people earn around $150K, perhaps double that in the top of the top like the Berlin Philharmonic.

Underpaid.   These musicians are the 'NFL players' of their craft.  And they sure as hell don't average $5.15million in salary.
 
2013-03-14 12:05:09 PM
To be fair it is San Francisco...$150k there is like $30k everywhere else.
 
2013-03-14 12:10:38 PM

madnessupmysoul: Need to know a few things before criticizing them:
Cost of instruments (for a big city symphony orchestra, probably 5-6 figures) and maintaining them, cost of living, cost of clothing. Add into that what their educational costs were, their average age, and much more.


and if instruments + maintence are subsidized by the symphony

147k sounds rather paltry for CA though
 
2013-03-14 12:24:10 PM

madnessupmysoul: Need to know a few things before criticizing them:
Cost of instruments (for a big city symphony orchestra, probably 5-6 figures) and maintaining them, cost of living, cost of clothing. Add into that what their educational costs were, their average age, and much more.


Not really. Not unless we'll be doing that for the street sweepers and short order cooks and schmucks who work at best buy.
 
2013-03-14 12:27:31 PM

Willas Tyrell: That's been the presumption for years, but recent evidence suggests otherwise.  Musicians are no less susceptible to perception bias than anyone else


Thanks for posting that article; very interesting.
There is a lot of variation in the quality of acoustic instruments. Not every Stradivarius is great. Some of them really are exceptional instruments, many have names, and are famous.
At the very high end of acoustic instruments you see insanely high costs associated with diminishing returns in quality and performance. There are a lot of intangibles involved, many of which translate to the musician's confidence and pleasure they feel with owning or playing certain instruments. That is extremely important but difficult to measure.
 
2013-03-14 12:49:26 PM

red5ish: LectertheChef: Michael Manrings basses don't cost anywhere near what these people pay for their instruments, yet he totally blows them all away. Is a new violin, made by a master luthier for $25k really worse than some 100+ year old violin?

Manring designs his electric basses and has them custom made, so those are some freakishly expensive electric basses.
And to answer your question, acoustic instruments vary hugely from instrument to instrument and the reason some are worth a boatload of money is because of their excellence, so yes, a new $25k violin is inferior.


Let's not forget the saxes
 
2013-03-14 12:57:11 PM

Musikslayer: LectertheChef: They're looking for something like a 5% raise, not exactly massive. Especially when you consider how much the symphony's board of directors pays themselves.

Board members do not get paid, they actually pay to be on the board. Many do so because it's a good move in the business world to do so.


According to an earlier article when the strike was announced, the SFS management is indeed being paid, and they are getting raises while the rest of the organization is having to suffer from cuts. I think you are confusing "board" (the rich folk that want to be philanthropic) with "directors" (the assholes who push around money but don't actually do anything useful for the organization). This is the same sort of problem that the University of California constantly runs into: the people in charge of the money (the Regents in their case) voting themselves raises while cutting everyone else.

The key issues in the strike are financial, said violistDavid Gaudry of the players' negotiating committee."This is about the money," he said. "Their stated goal in the new contract is for it to cost less than the last one. But at the same time, we find that there have been raises for Executive Director Brent Assink and several other members of top management."
 
2013-03-14 01:07:43 PM
Fark them and their San Francisco whining.  The money is good for what they do and where they live.

One nice-but-not-million-dollar instrument is the only different investment they have in their job, which they knew was necessary when they went through college.

And it's no surprise SF is expensive.  It has been my entire life.

What they have to offer an employer is so incredibly specific they're fools for striking--it's not like there are seven other places in town to run up a bidding war for their talents.
 
2013-03-14 01:10:37 PM

cnocnanrionnag: SF symphony is probably in the top 30 orchestras in the world.  Every player in orchestras at that level can play the standard concerto repertoire for their instrument and play it very well, indeed.  They are good enough to  solo with second-tier orchestras.  They are all virtuosos of the first order. Unbelievable, 100% error-free, perfect tone and execution.  (old adage:  symphony players don't practice until they get it right, they practice until there is no possibility of playing it wrong...)   When an opening in an orchestra occurs (like the Tympani chair in SFSO) there will be many hundreds of applicants from all over the world, all of whom are virtuosos as well.   These people earn around $150K, perhaps double that in the top of the top like the Berlin Philharmonic.

Underpaid.   These musicians are the 'NFL players' of their craft.  And they sure as hell don't average $5.15million in salary.



This is all true. But in today's orchestral financial climate, they're lucky to have jobs. The "industry" has nearly killed itself - or has at least worked very hard to make itself irrelevant. Norman Lebrecht is very good at articulating this. It's profoundly sad and stupid, but as somebody pointed out upthread, all fingerpointing aside, the demand just ain't there.

/used to be full-time classical musician in a tux
//now am a corporate slave in a suit
 
2013-03-14 01:19:23 PM
$147,000? That's almost enough to buy you a cardboard box on the sidewalk near 6th and Market.
 
2013-03-14 01:23:29 PM

cnocnanrionnag: When an opening in an orchestra occurs (like the Tympani chair in SFSO) there will be many hundreds of applicants from all over the world, all of whom are virtuosos as well.   These people earn around $150K, perhaps double that in the top of the top like the Berlin Philharmonic.


Lots of competition naturally leads to higher prices.

Underpaid.   These musicians are the 'NFL players' of their craft.  And they sure as hell don't average $5.15million in salary.

As much as I loathe astronomical salaries for professional athletes, they do bring in the revenue. I don't know if the symphony does or not and it sounds like they are more easily replaceable than someone making $5 million in the NFL.

I appreciate classical music. I even have a few favorites, but it's not something I spend a whole lot of time listening to and I really doubt I could tell the best symphony in the world from the 50th best symphony.

Maybe someone who listens all the time could, but I bet most people couldn't even if they are huge fans.

OTOH, almost anyone can watch a football game and tell if a quarterback can't throw a ball very well or a kicker can't hit a field goal from 40 yards out or a blocker can't block, linebacker can't tackle, etc....
 
2013-03-14 01:31:14 PM

JayCab: Musikslayer: LectertheChef: They're looking for something like a 5% raise, not exactly massive. Especially when you consider how much the symphony's board of directors pays themselves.

Board members do not get paid, they actually pay to be on the board. Many do so because it's a good move in the business world to do so.

According to an earlier article when the strike was announced, the SFS management is indeed being paid, and they are getting raises while the rest of the organization is having to suffer from cuts. I think you are confusing "board" (the rich folk that want to be philanthropic) with "directors" (the assholes who push around money but don't actually do anything useful for the organization).


I'm not confusing anything, I've been in the symphony biz for 30 years. The "board of directors" = the board. They aren't paid. The management= the management. Paid. The board calls the shots, they can fire the management (and the music director, but not the players). They approve any raise that the management would get. they pick the Executive director. There are 3 groups here: Board, mgmt., symphony. The board has the power.

What's happening in SF is happening in basically every US Orch, and it's a mirror of what is happening in US politics. It's a power trip to put "workers in their place" and nothing more. In some orchestras it has been an attempt at union-busting, in some it's been in attempt to establish "who's the boss". Board member are often CEOs and Bank Presidents. SF is a wealthy orchestra in  a wealthy city with a megastar conductor, they can raise money easily. This is all one sad lil game by the Romneys of the world.
 
2013-03-14 01:38:37 PM
I have a lot of friends who are professional musicians (mostly The Blues).  They don't make that kind of money, not even close.  They probably play a much busier schedule and spend a lot of time on the road driving - not flying, to their gigs.

I'm having a difficult time finding sympathy for these overpaid prima donnas.
 
2013-03-14 01:52:05 PM
c4241337.r37.cf2.rackcdn.com

Sympathizes.
 
2013-03-14 02:09:57 PM

Teufelaffe: Cost of living in San Fran is about double the US average.


That may be true if you live DIRECTLY in San Francisco.

But the thing about San Francisco is that there are tons of smaller cities all around. San Bruno. Palo Alto. Mountain View. Sunnyvale. Milpitas. Oakland. San Leandro. San Mateo. Alameda.

Most of them (except south of Palo Alto) within a hop, skip, or a jump away from BART. Granted, BART might add up to an hour (each way) of travel time, but if you've ever driven on Hwy 101 from San Jose to San Francisco during rush hour, that's STILL a time saver. :)

I lived in San Jose, Milpitas, Mt. View and Sunnyvale for 10 years, and you can find apartments there for under $1,000 a month. We rented a house (1800') for $1,400 in Milpitas, then my company moved us all to Texas and I BOUGHT a 2,700' house for $525/month. lol :) 

So yeah, cost of housing in CA is higher without a doubt, but it doesn't have to be 2 grand a month unless you just HAVE to live in San Francisco or rent the Ritz.

Food costs were NOT that much different. Neither is sales tax, averaging around 8% - 8.5%, and of course groceries are exempt from Sales Tax in CA.
 
2013-03-14 02:24:36 PM

red5ish: LectertheChef: Michael Manrings basses don't cost anywhere near what these people pay for their instruments, yet he totally blows them all away. Is a new violin, made by a master luthier for $25k really worse than some 100+ year old violin?

Manring designs his electric basses and has them custom made, so those are some freakishly expensive electric basses.
And to answer your question, acoustic instruments vary hugely from instrument to instrument and the reason some are worth a boatload of money is because of their excellence, so yes, a new $25k violin is inferior.


Actually he had the Hyperbass designed by Joe Zon, and now mainly just uses those, which have a base price of around $7800 I think. Expensive, but nowhere near what some of these acoustics go for.
 
2013-03-14 02:31:17 PM
the AVERAGE salary is 160,000 plus paid sick leave and 10 farking weeks of vacation-
boo-farking-hoo
 
2013-03-14 02:48:32 PM

Southern100: Teufelaffe: Cost of living in San Fran is about double the US average.

That may be true if you live DIRECTLY in San Francisco.

But the thing about San Francisco is that there are tons of smaller cities all around. San Bruno. Palo Alto. Mountain View. Sunnyvale. Milpitas. Oakland. San Leandro. San Mateo. Alameda.

Most of them (except south of Palo Alto) within a hop, skip, or a jump away from BART. Granted, BART might add up to an hour (each way) of travel time, but if you've ever driven on Hwy 101 from San Jose to San Francisco during rush hour, that's STILL a time saver. :)

I lived in San Jose, Milpitas, Mt. View and Sunnyvale for 10 years, and you can find apartments there for under $1,000 a month. We rented a house (1800') for $1,400 in Milpitas, then my company moved us all to Texas and I BOUGHT a 2,700' house for $525/month. lol :)

So yeah, cost of housing in CA is higher without a doubt, but it doesn't have to be 2 grand a month unless you just HAVE to live in San Francisco or rent the Ritz.

Food costs were NOT that much different. Neither is sales tax, averaging around 8% - 8.5%, and of course groceries are exempt from Sales Tax in CA.


Even living in the heart of San Fran, these people aren't exactly hurting.  It's just another group of privileged people crying, "Those other people have more than I do...that's not fair!"
 
2013-03-14 02:49:17 PM

Norfolking Chance: How much is the Symphony making? If it is only just making ends meet currently then sorry no money for higher pay. Is the Symphoney making money hand over fist then yes it's right that the people responsible for the success get to enjoy it.


It took this long for this sentiment.   if the symphony is raking in cash, the players are within their rights to ask for their share of it.

For all we know, an alternate headline could be:  Symphony management sits on giant pile of money rather than pay those who actually bring the money in.
 
2013-03-14 02:56:53 PM

Paris1127: That's a shame, San Francisco has a good orchestra. Not one of the Big 5 in the US (NY Phil, Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Cleveland) or one of the top 10 world wide, but a good one. I mean, they've got Michael Tilson-Thomas as music director, which shows they're interested in quality. Sadly, quality is expensive.


Bullshiat. You might want to leave your East Coast bias back in the 70s where it was still relevant. LA Phil and San Francisco has outranked Philadelphia for years.  http://www.monteverdi.tv/royal-concertgebouw-orchestra/gramophone.php
 
2013-03-14 03:02:00 PM

Southern100: Teufelaffe: Cost of living in San Fran is about double the US average.

That may be true if you live DIRECTLY in San Francisco.

But the thing about San Francisco is that there are tons of smaller cities all around. San Bruno. Palo Alto. Mountain View. Sunnyvale. Milpitas. Oakland. San Leandro. San Mateo. Alameda.

Most of them (except south of Palo Alto) within a hop, skip, or a jump away from BART. Granted, BART might add up to an hour (each way) of travel time, but if you've ever driven on Hwy 101 from San Jose to San Francisco during rush hour, that's STILL a time saver. :)


The furthest south BART goes is Millbrae, which is 20 miles from Palo Alto.  And you'd have to drive past 92 to get from one to the other, which is murder during rush hour.  Pendantic, I know, but getting into SF from the South Bay sucks on public transit.

I lived in San Jose, Milpitas, Mt. View and Sunnyvale for 10 years, and you can find apartments there for under $1,000 a month. We rented a house (1800') for $1,400 in Milpitas, then my company moved us all to Texas and I BOUGHT a 2,700' house for $525/month. lol :)

So yeah, cost of housing in CA is higher without a doubt, but it doesn't have to be 2 grand a month unless you just HAVE to live in San Francisco or rent the Ritz.


You can't find an apartment now sub $1k/mo, especially in Mountain View.  Hell, sub 2k is pretty tricky, especially if you have standards such as "I don't want to get shot," or "I want a clean place without rats and cockroaches." 

Food costs were NOT that much different. Neither is sales tax, averaging around 8% - 8.5%, and of course groceries are exempt from Sales Tax in CA.

Sales tax in Santa Clara county is 8.65, recently down from just north of 9 (and I bet it's going to go up again).  Food is quite a bit more pricey here than other places as well.  Also, don't forget the income tax here which is 9.3% for just about anyone with a liveable salary.  Honestly, it sounds like you haven't been in CA for the last decade, 'cuz stuff is quite expensive here.

I make it by fine in the bay area, but I've got a pretty good salary and I don't have a family.  If I added a kid into the mix I'd probably be singing a different tune, though.  I really don't know how families make it with the average salary here.  They'd spend every single cent on food, housing and transportation, and leave nothing for savings and retirement.
 
2013-03-14 03:03:32 PM

madnessupmysoul: Need to know a few things before criticizing them:
Cost of instruments (for a big city symphony orchestra, probably 5-6 figures) and maintaining them, cost of living, cost of clothing. Add into that what their educational costs were, their average age, and much more.


If only there were an article about this with information in it that we could read.  Oh well.

Norfolking Chance: How much is the Symphony making? If it is only just making ends meet currently then sorry no money for higher pay.

This is the right place to focus.
 
2013-03-14 03:17:42 PM

Teufelaffe: Southern100: Teufelaffe: Cost of living in San Fran is about double the US average.

That may be true if you live DIRECTLY in San Francisco.

But the thing about San Francisco is that there are tons of smaller cities all around. San Bruno. Palo Alto. Mountain View. Sunnyvale. Milpitas. Oakland. San Leandro. San Mateo. Alameda.

Most of them (except south of Palo Alto) within a hop, skip, or a jump away from BART. Granted, BART might add up to an hour (each way) of travel time, but if you've ever driven on Hwy 101 from San Jose to San Francisco during rush hour, that's STILL a time saver. :)

I lived in San Jose, Milpitas, Mt. View and Sunnyvale for 10 years, and you can find apartments there for under $1,000 a month. We rented a house (1800') for $1,400 in Milpitas, then my company moved us all to Texas and I BOUGHT a 2,700' house for $525/month. lol :)

So yeah, cost of housing in CA is higher without a doubt, but it doesn't have to be 2 grand a month unless you just HAVE to live in San Francisco or rent the Ritz.

Food costs were NOT that much different. Neither is sales tax, averaging around 8% - 8.5%, and of course groceries are exempt from Sales Tax in CA.

Even living in the heart of San Fran, these people aren't exactly hurting.  It's just another group of privileged people crying, "Those other people have more than I do...that's not fair!"


Well, there approach is infinitely smarter than most people, who would rather people who are doing better get less, instead of themselves getting more.

/That feels like a very poorly worded sentence.
 
2013-03-14 03:38:15 PM

LectertheChef: Teufelaffe: Southern100: Teufelaffe: Cost of living in San Fran is about double the US average.

That may be true if you live DIRECTLY in San Francisco.

But the thing about San Francisco is that there are tons of smaller cities all around. San Bruno. Palo Alto. Mountain View. Sunnyvale. Milpitas. Oakland. San Leandro. San Mateo. Alameda.

Most of them (except south of Palo Alto) within a hop, skip, or a jump away from BART. Granted, BART might add up to an hour (each way) of travel time, but if you've ever driven on Hwy 101 from San Jose to San Francisco during rush hour, that's STILL a time saver. :)

I lived in San Jose, Milpitas, Mt. View and Sunnyvale for 10 years, and you can find apartments there for under $1,000 a month. We rented a house (1800') for $1,400 in Milpitas, then my company moved us all to Texas and I BOUGHT a 2,700' house for $525/month. lol :)

So yeah, cost of housing in CA is higher without a doubt, but it doesn't have to be 2 grand a month unless you just HAVE to live in San Francisco or rent the Ritz.

Food costs were NOT that much different. Neither is sales tax, averaging around 8% - 8.5%, and of course groceries are exempt from Sales Tax in CA.

Even living in the heart of San Fran, these people aren't exactly hurting.  It's just another group of privileged people crying, "Those other people have more than I do...that's not fair!"

Well, there approach is infinitely smarter than most people, who would rather people who are doing better get less, instead of themselves getting more.

/That feels like a very poorly worded sentence.


Eh, I know what you mean.  "Give me more" is usually the better (nicer? less assholish?) option than "give them less."
 
2013-03-14 03:49:52 PM

starlost: want their cake and eat it too
so the instruments cost alot of money.  just like a good mechanic wants to use his own tools its not up to the repair garage they work for to buy them. i know half a dozen mechanics and tradesmen that have $100-250k in tools and they don't make $150k a year.


You're right because a wrench and a violin are exactly the same.

They are mad because they are being forced to pay for their own instruments which takes up like half of their salaries, but people on the internet are reading it as "They make more than me so sour grapes rarrrr rarr".

/Also, saying that you can replace these guys with new musicians is like saying you can replace NBA players with guys from the Y
 
2013-03-14 04:06:30 PM

SnakeLee: starlost: want their cake and eat it too
so the instruments cost alot of money.  just like a good mechanic wants to use his own tools its not up to the repair garage they work for to buy them. i know half a dozen mechanics and tradesmen that have $100-250k in tools and they don't make $150k a year.

You're right because a wrench and a violin are exactly the same.

They are mad because they are being forced to pay for their own instruments which takes up like half of their salaries, but people on the internet are reading it as "They make more than me so sour grapes rarrrr rarr".

/Also, saying that you can replace these guys with new musicians is like saying you can replace NBA players with guys from the Y


They don't buy a new instrument every year.  So the claim of half their salary isn't valid.  Not every violinist needs "the red violin".
 
2013-03-14 04:18:38 PM

fordprefectskid: Paris1127: That's a shame, San Francisco has a good orchestra. Not one of the Big 5 in the US (NY Phil, Boston, Chicago, Philly, and Cleveland) or one of the top 10 world wide, but a good one. I mean, they've got Michael Tilson-Thomas as music director, which shows they're interested in quality. Sadly, quality is expensive.

Bullshiat. You might want to leave your East Coast bias back in the 70s where it was still relevant. LA Phil and San Francisco has outranked Philadelphia for years.  http://www.monteverdi.tv/royal-concertgebouw-orchestra/gramophone.php


It's been traditionally ranked as one of the Big 5. Big 5 doesn't have to mean the top 5 itself, at least by my definition. As for your list, that's the international one. And SF still wouldn't be Top 5 in the US according to that one.
 
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