There Are Actually Two Problems With Rent
Nicole Dieker
318

It’s all well and good to say that capitalism prices people out of cities and them’s the breaks (as several people here seem to be saying), but:

  1. Is it capitalism pricing people out, or is it actually out-dated zoning restrictions jealously guarded by old NIMBY types (in part because America has embraced the backwards-ass idea that your house should be your primary wealth building vehicle, which leads directly to dumb housing crises)? There are large swathes of San Francisco that could house twice the number of people comfortably in larger buildings. That people would want to live in and companies would want to build! Because San Francisco is popular! But it’s not allowed because many areas have a height cap. Doesn’t sound very free market to me.
  2. San Francisco still needs people to work low-paying jobs. Maybe I’m crazy but I don’t believe that someone should have to commute for 2 hours each way to work at Starbucks? In the bay area this isn’t a matter of just moving to the less hip neighborhood. The affordable places are becoming farther and farther away from the jobs every year, and most people can’t read in the NYT that Minneapolis is the most affordable city in the US, pack up their shit, leave their entire social/support network behind, and start a new life where “smarter” people tell them they’re supposed to live.

But if ya’ll want to shake your heads and say that’s just how it goes while tech millionaires create bubbles for themselves with ample public services (transit, culture, regular maintenance) and no poor people I guess that’s fine? (it’s not)

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