There seems to be a bit of a problem with tech companies in San Francisco.
If tech companies pay their workers generously, then it’s their fault for rising rents. But if they are misers and pay little, then it’s their fault for mistreating working people.
If tech companies all move to San Francisco, then it’s their fault for changing the fabric of local communities. But if they left San Francisco, it’d be their fault for crashing the local economy.
If tech companies try to establish a libertarian utopia, this shows they don’t care about average people. But if they stay in SF and try to work within the current system, that’s the nefarious influence of money in politics.
If tech companies send buses to pick up their workers, this is terrible because it drives up housing costs. But if they don’t send buses, traffic would be so bad that I-280 and 101 would grind to a halt, and clearly that’s the tech companies’ fault.
“Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld, a priest who heard the confessions of condemned witches, wrote in 1631 the Cautio Criminalis (‘prudence in criminal cases’) in which he bitingly described the decision tree for condemning accused witches: If the witch had led an evil and improper life, she was guilty; if she had led a good and proper life, this too was a proof, for witches dissemble and try to appear especially virtuous. After the woman was put in prison: if she was afraid, this proved her guilt; if she was not afraid, this proved her guilt, for witches characteristically pretend innocence and wear a bold front. Or on hearing of a denunciation of witchcraft against her, she might seek flight or remain; if she ran, that proved her guilt; if she remained, the devil had detained her so she could not get away.” – Conservation of Expected Evidence
People like the status quo; they don’t like change. This is status quo bias, but there is also something real behind it. Any disruption of an equilibrium will hurt some one, and they are not going to like it.
Excellent observations. To go one further, though, as Mises has demonstrated: “Middle of the Road Policy Leads to Socialism.”
Also, if the companies try to build housing near their campuses, it “changes the entire complexion” of the area (the city will prevent them, in any case).
Here’s an article from 1999 which might as well have been written this week; the housing shortage is not new, and no amount of rent control or giant-puppet protesting will fix it.