The dominance of the tech boom, and the money it has brought into San Francisco politics, has meant that the primary framework for understanding San Francisco has become economic growth. There has always been more to San Francisco than that, but the space for saying it out loud and for building politics, and culture, around things other than wealth accumulation has been shrinking.
For many San Franciscans, particularly those whose roots are deeper than the most recent tech boom, what makes The City so wonderful are not high-end boutiques, endless conversations about real estate and business and the desire to get rich fast. That worked out for a few people, but it changed The City, pushing out much of the character, vibe and people who had characterized San Francisco for much of the previous half century.
Long traditions of tolerance, progressive social movements, avant-garde arts and culture -- and being a place where people seek to find themselves rather than their fortune -- are what makes San Francisco special. And none of that can flourish when boom times render The City unaffordable and business pushes out culture.
So much of what San Francisco contributed to the rest of the world from roughly 1960 to 2000 would not have been possible if the local economy had been booming that whole time.
Not a position I expected The Examiner to entertain:
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