Saturday, November 16, 2013

Batkid Has Just Begun to Fight Crime in San Francisco

Batkid is winning accolades for his crime-fighting escapades yesterday in Gotham City, aka San Francisco.  I'll suspend my cynicism for once to congratulate the kid and his supporting team for showing America that San Francisco is a fun-loving city where everyone can get on the same side for a worthy cause.  Complainers who disliked the traffic holdups could have easily planned alternatives for their daily routes, as this event's highlights were telegraphed to the public for weeks.

The big show brought some attention to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Chronic diseases are expensive to treat.  The fun events from Make-A-Wish probably cost little but provide good value in palliative care.  The debate over effective health care policy in this country should consider the ROI of money spent by private research charities and whether the Affordable Care Act helps them perform their missions.

San Francisco is still beset by major problems that only a determined crime-fighting superhero can solve.  I have some suggestions for Batkid's next targets should he choose to continue his winning streak.  Check out these evildoers.

TARP recipients.  The big banks all around us still benefit from government largess.  They earn risk-free profits by borrowing from the Fed at zero to buy long-dated Treasuries.  Artificially low interest rates allow them to book gains from home foreclosures on their books.  Home prices in San Francisco are sky-high once again thanks to flippers, speculators, and private equity funds whose all-cash offers drive homes out of the middle class's reach.  I've been railing against this injustice for years but I can't fight Wall Street alone.  This situation cries out for Batkid's special brand of remedy.

Striking BART workers.  These union dirtbags have held the entire Bay Area hostage on two separate occasions in 2013.  Their demands for more compensation and fatter benefits for less work constitute highway robbery.  Government employee unions are seriously ripping off riders and taxpayers.  Help us, Batkid!

Military "Stolen Valor" cases.  These phonies deceive veterans' groups and their supporters for years.  They wear falsified military decorations on their uniforms; just Google "stolen valor" enough to see the official proof.  They are active in San Francisco and elsewhere.  They don't have the Riddler's fashion sense or the Penguin's umbrella tricks, so they should be easy pickings for a caped crusader.

I don't have a Bat Signal to send out like Commissioner Gordon so I'll just have to wait for faithful man-servant Alfred to read this in Wayne Manor.  Twenty years from now Batkid, aka Miles Scott, is welcome to return as a grown-up Batman and receive the thanks of a grateful city if he can solve these serious problems.