Monday, March 14, 2011


I'm not reporting to SF311 new graffiti for  many reasons, but mostly because the failures to follow on old reports is creating capricious injustices to those who have cleaned the graffiti, and creates too heavy of a blow on the already difficult economics of graffiti reporting.

I've reported commercial graffiti on the same properties, and the response has been total ineffective.   I mean 100's of reports and reply that it will be cleaned in 3 days, that never happen.    So that corporate commercial graffiti a key problem that needs to be resolved before I find it worth spending time on other graffiti.       Otherwise, reporting graffiti is always something like bailing water from a leaking boat, but the gaping hole of commercial graffiti is not addressed,....

Economics of graffiti cleanup

the value created if graffiti was cleaned from the area would be larger.    in a large block, eg, 18th to 19th, Mission to Valencia, there would be about 80 properties.   Estimate a million each property.  80 million.  A permanent wide spread reduction in graffiti would raise property values by estimate 1%.   So the value for a single large block would be $800,000.

Does that sound like correct  the order of magnitude?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Economics on graffiti cleanup.

Market value of my time to get the graffiti cleaned, was gonna be much higher than my opportunity cost.

Market Value.   If I say 2500 tweets, at five minutes per. that is 12500 minutes.   12500/60= 208 hours.

First to do it tweets, ( count 1/3 of them) $400/hour to $600/hr=
Engineering system for efficient follow-up - (count 1/3 ) @ 50/hr to 80/hr  =
Anybody, or I could have hired at, +overhead @ 25/hr to $40/hr =
Total, about $50,000.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Application of economic theory to cleaning project

In economic theory, graffiti cleanup, is analyzed as an externality, an abnormality to the efficient production of goods and services by the market. What does externality mean?  Well, for most  products the person who buys them, gets all the benefit.  e.g.  If I buy pizza, me, not the neighbors, get the benefit of enjoying pizza.  And if the benefit of me eating pizza is more than the cost, bingo.  The famous invisible hand operates and the right amount of pizza and goods are produced.

But with a good with externalities, such as cleaning graffiti,  much of the  benefits go to the neighbors,  rather than solely to me.  And the rational economist concludes that I will care just about my cost  compared to my own benefit in cleaning graffiti, the market will not produce enough graffiti cleaning.  That is because the benefits the neighbors get is external to my own choice if it is worth it to spend the time to try to get the graffiti.

And, even if the neighbors come to want a neighborhood with less graffiti, they are likely to act as free riders.   They will come to count on me getting the graffiti cleaned, and being a free rider.