This week I’d like to talk about the cost of living in San Francisco. The tech boom in Silicon Valley has caused housing prices to significantly increase in the city and has led to a lot of gentrification. I work in one of the most dangerous areas in San Francisco called the Tenderloin. There is a lot of homelessness and drug activity there but also a lot of businesses and upper-class neighborhoods right next door. It is a unique scene for me as I walk or uber in to work and see my surroundings rapidly change. Homelessness has become such a regular part of life here and it seems displacement of residents is only going to get worse as tech continues to rise. This problem is also not specific to low-income adults without college degrees, it is the same for middle-class families as well. For example, teachers that work in the city have close to no shot of finding affordable housing. The level of income that is required to comfortably live and raise a family in this area is getting ridiculously high.
It makes me think about the rise of technology and automation and its effect on all metropolitan areas. I don’t think it is a trend that will fade away anytime soon. I think it is only going to get increasingly scary and increasingly difficult to find work that can allow you to live in larger cities. I think there needs to be some sort of regulation and government intervention on both the issues of high cost of living as well as the threat of machines on our way of life. There are many people that think we will adapt to the machine revolution and figure out how to work with them but there are others that think the threat is much bigger. I don’t know the answer but it is very interesting to me to see what technology has done in the short term to San Francisco.
On a lighter note, check my featured image for a beautiful view of the city.