What are your thoughts on the tech protesters in San Francisco?

Many service workers are outraged by the increase in the cost of living in San Francisco – which the tech industry is partly responsible for. It even went as far as people targeting notable tech entrepreneurs like Kevin Rose in this article.

Personally I feel that everyone has the opportunity to be successful if you are willing to work hard for it. I find it to be a joke that people are crying about other people who are successful or have more opportunities. If you want something, then go get it. Don’t point fingers and say “that person doesn’t deserve that money”or “those people shouldn’t live here because they have too much money”.

Rather than wasting time complaining and being jealous of other people’s financial situations – why don’t you go work hard and figure out how to get into the same position that those people are in.

What do you guys think about the situation?

  • Foolishness on the part of the protestors, it’s not the salaries that drive rent up, it’s the influx of people and lack of supply. S.F. isn’t getting any bigger or building any new residencesresidences (in quantity).

    That being said, I find it hilarious when liberals turn on each other.

  • I was sympathetic early on, but more recently these protestors have been doing a fantastic job of making themselves appear increasingly unlikeable and immature…

  • They sound a little bit old fashioned, with this anti-capital, anti-empire speech, which sounds more a like 1970s Latin American students protest agains the military juntas than anything else. It’s quite sad really, and while I believe service workers deserve a fair payment, and for that payment to be enough to afford rent, food, leisure, etc., I don’t think Google and other companies that are pouring millions into the city’s economy are to blame for all their problems.

  • I can tell you exactly what is going on. Downtown by BART is prime real estate now. But before it wasnt. There are huge ghetto hotels and dirty housing units that people have lived in for years. Plus the Bay Area has a very active protester base. Not just students rough hippy types. They will not go down without a fight. Eventually they will lose cities need money more then the trouble they present. It will take time since we have a democracy and rich landowners don’t want to give up their view to build high rises.

    • I think you’ve identified the problem, although I’m not sure about the “ghetto hippies” narrative. It really just looks like a market failure: developers and RE mgmt cos are already profitable. Why do they need to bring more housing online? You see this attitude in the NYC slumlords a lot–they’ll sit on properties worth a 300 million because development would take 6 years and cost 40 million. Never mind that the cities, the companies and the people who live there all need it.

      That, and the RE goons have more pull with city council.

      There’s just been very little housing coming on-line in urban areas in the US, and even in in-demand suburban areas. Affordable housing is available in the ex-urbs, but even then the commutes are so long, the amenities so few and the local economy so weak that the opportunity costs involved living in them mean that it’s barely “affordable” even on paper. Even if you’re motivated and move out their, your social network will be smaller and poorer, which means less overall opportunity.

      Even hedge funds have started to get into rental properties (and lololol making derivative financial products based on rentals, I’m not sure I want to see how that turns out), so I suspect that the tides might change on this. No banker is going to be content charging one family $1200/month when he realizes he can put two families in the same lot.

      Also, you can’t live in a smartphone.

    • Because, like everybody can totally code and be good at it and earn mondo moolah from it.

      Yours such a simplistic response to a complex issue.

    • Anyone can learn, but not everyone has the desire to become a developer or to found a company. I don’t think it’s very open minded or tolerant to tell people that yours is the only valid career path. In fact, it’s attitudes like that they hate from our industry.

      • I agree its a completely asinine response.

        1) Not everyone can learn to code. Its an effin myth. It comes easier to some and harder to others. Yes programming is an approachable subject because the tools are plentiful and cheap but it will remain inaccessible for people who don’t “get” it.

        2) Just because you can learn to code and it makes money doesn’t mean people would devote their livelihoods to something they have zero passion for. If Arabic translation becomes a profession that is in demand and is “easy” to pick up how many people are going to devote their profession to it just because it pays well?

  • I work in tech, at a start-up, am largely self-education, don’t live in San Francisco, and am mostly sympathetic to most of these protests.

    I’m not really sure that kicking schoolteachers and garbage collectors out of their houses is a good way to make friends, especially when you the implicit mission statement of ever startup is “OMG we’re so creative we’re changing the world!!!! for the better!!!!”

    It’s also incredibly silly to say that potential employees “aren’t skilled enough” or they don’t have “in-demand skills”. Sure, your startup doesn’t need a school teacher, but your educational platform product sure as hell needs syllabuses and course content and lectures–which means, actually, yeah, you did need those school teachers. Beyond that contrived example the “lack of needed skills” arguement has been so thoroughly debunked that anyone claiming it is exclaiming a business-world shibboleth and nothing more.

    The thing is, though, that it isn’t “tech” or “startups” doing this. It’s just obnoxious because startup kids are that, usually kids, and usually self-important. I hate to break it to you, but your cellphone app actually isn’t going to do much of anything. But it’s no different from the trajectory of business in general. Rents in NYC have gotten equally insane, tripling in some neighborhoods in ten years. DC has seen similar changes although they’re less pronounced. I’ve known a fair share of people who have lived in one neighborhood for over a decade and been priced out. Even with the housing bubble, prices both for rent and mortgages remain high nationwide.

    So it’s unfair to target ‘startups’ alone for anything but obnoxious aesthetics.

  • I think it’s a combination of unacknowledged jealousy on the part of the protesters, oblivious douchery on the part of some of the Google workers, and the high population of folks in SF who are allergic to reasoning, work, and showers.

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