Dear Tech Yuppies, Please Stop Ruining San Francisco

Mmmmm, money (Credit: ThinkStock)

Mmmmm, money (Credit: ThinkStock)

Here's some depressing news: The median price for a home in San Francisco just hit the $1 million mark for the first time ever. That's right—paying seven figures for a piece of City by the Bay real estate is now a totally normal, average thing to do. Shrug.

It's the latest evidence of something scary and altogether sad happening in San Francisco, and if you ask any self-respecting local, they'll give you one reason why: It's those damned techies.

This amazing infographic illustrates just how much an influx of wealthy tech employees has widened the gap between the rich and poor, pushing the peons to less-green pastures. Just last month, a 98-year-old woman was evicted from her rent-controlled apartment to make way for wealthy tech workers.

Even if you're not in the Bay Area (poor you), this development raises an interesting question about cities in general: At what point do they become too rich? And just how tragic is this?

Rich, Wealthy, Unlivable

Researchers have long espoused the benefits of mixed-income communities on lower-income residents. It provides them access to resources and services they otherwise wouldn't have, and allows them to live in a safer place. There are benefits for the rich people, too, who become more tolerant by getting exposure to those outside their tax bracket. A socio-economic melange of humanity makes for a cross-cultural pollination; it's a beautiful thing! 

A purely rich city sucks the big one in other ways, too. If only the affluent dwell somewhere, what happens to the amazing dive bars, the buskers in the streets, the $3 burrito tacquerias? As of now, this scene has naturally shifted to places like Oakland, where all the bohemians and artists have made their homes in exile. And while it's all well and good that the funky folk want a place to thrive . . . the gentrification of Oakland is carrying its own baggage.

Indeed, the infographic shows how Oakland's median household income rose by more than $10,000 between 2000 and 2012. And that's just the tip of the 'ol iceberg.

So seriously, rich techies: I'm sure a lot of you are really cool and some of you can totally join the fray. But do you all have to crash our party? San Jose, the highest-income city in the nation, will certainly welcome you with open arms.


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