File under: Reasons Middle America and much of the world hates us right now. The Guardian has just published a new piece in the perennially popular genre of Stories About How Stupidly Expensive San Francisco Is, this one quoting multiple tech workers making very large salaries complaining about how they're barely scraping by here. Forgetting the fact that people all over the country are barely scraping by for various reasons and that SF is not alone in having a high cost of living, we do have a high concentration of well compensated tech workers who are often blamed for the recently rapid uptick in our cost of living, who are now happy to complain about the high cost of living.
Example One is a Twitter engineer who says that his $160,000 annual salary isn't really cutting it for his family of four but that's actually probably not a unique complaint for the American middle class if it's a single-earner household, though, sure, most of us who don't make that much per annum think it sounds like a lot. The shocker in his story is that he's only paying $3,000 a month for a two-bedroom single-family house in SF, and he's complaining that there aren't enough family-friendly cafés in his neighborhood.
Example Two is a whiny networking firm exec living in Silicon Valley and who was making $700,000 a year, but he took a 50 percent pay cut to relocate to San Diego all because houses in Los Gatos are overpriced, or something.
Example Three is a woman in her 50s who's a "digital marketing [exec] for a major telecoms corporation" and whose husband is a software engineer, and she complains that despite bringing home $1 million a year between them, they can't afford a house. Again: What kind of "house" is she looking for? "This is part of where the American dream is not working out here," she says. But for god's sake woman, you're making $1 million a year between you! Maybe buy something in the Sunset! I'm pretty sure you can swing it!
Example Four is "Michelle, a 28-year-old tech worker who earns a six-figure salary at a data science startup," who's bitching because she can't afford to buy a home on her own, and she has to combine incomes with a boyfriend/husband to do it, and this goes against her feminist sensibilities.
The Business Times picked up the story and reminded us of former Facebook employee Matt Kulka who wrote an essay on Vox last September all about how he was quitting his dream job and moving to Arizona and it was all Facebook's fault for insisting on having its headquarters in all top-tier markets like Boston, SF, New York, and London. It's basically a story about how having two children made SF become unsustainable, and for anyone who's been around here a while, this is not a new story.
So yes, San Francisco is still expensive, everybody! Nothing to see here.