San Franciscans love complaining about how terrible San Francisco has become. We’ll bond about the high cost of rent, the homeless problem, and how we’re planning to leave the city because the techies ruined it. “I’ve been here forever, got here four years ago . . . it was totally different then, of course.”
I’ve lived in San Francisco since 1987. Not quite a native—I was born in Korea— but long enough to have deeper roots than many. Very few people I know from my high school days remain, forced out by exorbitant rents and cost of living. Who, in the 1980s and 1990s, expected that they’d need to become a software engineer to afford living in their own city? Not many, it turns out. So, we imported them. Most tech workers are from other parts of the country, if not the world. They come for the high-paying jobs and for the lifestyle, including the ultra-progressive values, that San Francisco represents. I don’t blame them. San Francisco, on a good day, is an amazing city. But it’s seeing fewer and fewer good days.
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