3-Minute Interview: Ted Egan

The City’s chief economist helped put together the blueprint for economic policy in San Francisco. The economic strategy was unveiled in the fall in an effort to assess how future legislation might affect The City’s economy.

Is there any sort of specific policy that The City should re-examine? The strategy calls for particular focus on work force, particular focus on supporting small businesses, particular focus of looking at the impact of business taxes on economic growth in The City, and … if we get those things right, we’ll be able to really turn around some of the negatives in our long-term economic performance.

How would you describe the status of San Francisco’s economy? If you look at the chronic long-term [problems]: how viable it is for communities and people tostay in San Francisco; what kind of range of choices do people, particularly with lower income jobs, have in San Francisco; are people really planning to make a life for themselves in San Francisco or can they really not afford to live here in The City? … How economic development and job growth gets to those difficult questions is the real long-term challenge.

What might threaten San Francisco’s economy? The only major threat to San Francisco would be things that would be threats to the overall global economy. Protectionism would be very bad for San Francisco. A weakening of the links between Asia and California would be very bad for San Francisco. But those are things that are far beyond our control. In terms of simply continuing to have the high-level economic performance we’ve been having, we’re fairly, fairly secure there.

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