Golis: Letting the haves have it all

  • Pete Golis

The New Yorker magazine last week became the latest national publication to write the obligatory story about skyrocketing housing prices in San Francisco and the resulting antipathy toward technology companies. “The tech industry made the Bay Area rich,” declared the magazine. “Why do so many people hate it?”

Speaking for myself, I don’t hate tech companies (except on those days when Facebook and Google try to mess with me). But I understand why some people do hate them.

Tech companies hire people, pay them good salaries and provide them comfortable mass transit to get to work and back. What could be more cruel?

Also last week, a New Yorker who writes for Slate magazine suggested that housing in San Francisco would be more affordable if the city made itself more like New York, perhaps by blanketing the headlands on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge with high-rises.

This was an imaginative solution, for sure. Imagine all that beautiful land now going to waste.

It is heartening to know that New Yorkers worry about income inequality in the Bay Area. Where else but New York can a working person buy a 525-square-foot, one bedroom apartment on Fifth Avenue for a mere $1.5 million?

Just a suggestion: Housing prices in New York would be even lower if you built condos in Central Park. As it is, one Slate commenter noted, all that green space is going to waste.

This income inequality business is so darned complicated.

A Field Poll last week found that a majority of Californians are concerned about the gap between the haves and the have-nots, but they disagree about whether government should do anything about it. Democrats and independents want government to do more, and Republicans do not.

Luckily, we are blessed with a Congress and a U.S. Supreme Court dedicated to the preservation of the middle class (just so long as it doesn’t get in the way of the Koch brothers owning everything).

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