San Francisco Activists Happy To See Their Tax Base Leave The City

It’s all fun and games till you no longer have Other People’s money to agitate for your pet priorities

‘Good riddance’: Tech’s flight from San Francisco is a relief to some advocates

When Chirag Bhakta saw a headline recently that said tech workers were fleeing San Francisco, he had a quick reaction: “Good riddance.”

Bhakta, a San Francisco native and tenant organizer for affordable housing nonprofit Mission Housing, is well-versed in the seismic impact that the growth of the tech industry has had on the city. As software companies expanded over the past decade, they drew thousands of well-off newcomers who bid up rents and remade the city’s economy and culture.

He said the sudden departure of many tech workers and executives — often to less expensive, rural areas where they can telecommute during the coronavirus pandemic — reveals that their relationship with San Francisco was “transactional” all along.

“They used their capital to radically shift the makeup of poor, working-class communities,” Bhakta said. “We’re left with ‘for sale’ signs and price points that are still out of reach for most people.”

I’m rather doubting that was what they were trying to do. They just wanted a place to live in what used to be a pretty nice city, since all the tech companies were there. And, SF was pretty darned expensive even before they showed up. And then it got more expensive via government taxes and fees, and more dangerous because government not only refused to crackdown on crime, pooping in the streets, drug needles, violent homeless people, but actually enable this

Many urban centers have seen residents move out in large numbers since the start of stay-at-home orders in March, but the shift has been especially dramatic for San Francisco, a city that was already experiencing rapid change because of the tech industry.

Software engineers, CEOs and venture capitalists have chosen to jump from the Bay Area to places such as Denver, Miami and Austin, Texas, citing housing costs, California’s relatively high income tax and the Bay Area’s general resistance to rapid growth and change.

Unfortunately, these same leftists bring the exact same policies they escaped from, trying to get them passed in new states.

The scale of the departures is visible in vacant high-end apartments, moth-balled offices and quieter streets in neighborhoods popular with tech workers. And while no one is exactly celebrating, especially as Covid-19 has devastated the incomes of many people, some residents were ready to take a break from the rich.

“The gentrification pressure has been at least momentarily relieved,” said John Elberling, executive director of Todco, an affordable housing nonprofit that operates in the South of Market neighborhood alongside the shuttered headquarters of countless tech companies and startups.

Over the years, San Francisco residents tried a variety of tactics to protest the tech industry’s effects on the city: blocking corporate buses, halting expensive new condo buildings, proposing tax increases and even threatening to limit office cafeterias.

Well, gee, why would they stay? And, as the leave, they leave a huge tax hole. You aren’t going to fill that hole with community activist groups and non-workers and minimum wage workers. Have fun, folks!

“If all you care about is money, I suggest you go to Texas,” he said.

How does the city run without money from commerce taxation?

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3 Responses to “San Francisco Activists Happy To See Their Tax Base Leave The City”

  1. President Elect Kye says:

    “How does the city run without money from commerce taxation?”

    On unicorn farts. All good commies know that.

    In reality they’ll just triple the taxes on the middle class that can’t move and call it a day. Then go to an “Equal Income” rally and virtue signal each other.

  2. Hairy says:

    Both San Francisco and New York we’re both able to function quite nicely before they became super expensive for basic housing South of Market and the Tenderloin both had cheap flop houses/hotels these gave the homeless other affordable options

  3. Jl says:

    Lib economics 101…

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