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San Francisco Does Detroit

Originally published at Real Clear Politics
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I left San Francisco just in time — at the end of 2016.

Sure, I saw the occasional junkie shooting up in public when I still worked in the city. And yes, I saw men use the sidewalk at the intersection of 5th and Market Streets as a toilet.

But I never saw swarms of shoplifters emptying pharmacy shelves.

If I needed new shoes, I could pop over to Nordstrom at the Westfield San Francisco Centre at 5th and Market.

The number of friends who had stopped going into the city entirely — and switched to shopping in suburban malls — was unsettling, but tourists could help fill the gap.

This week, sadly, Nordstrom announced it won’t renew its lease at the Westfield Centre.

Chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom explained in a statement, “The dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”

That’s corporate-speak for: Our customers are afraid to go there.

Continue reading at Real Clear Politics.