A new report paints a stark, bleak picture of San Francisco, which has gone from an affordable city that attracted artists and musicians to an area dominated by tech companies, growing wealth, and small businesses getting priced out of the market.
The Washington Post took a lengthy look at the California city, which is perched at the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula. Mom and pop restaurants and shops that have been there for decades are being forced to close their doors because of the astronomically high real estate prices. The nightclub scene is changing. Thousands of people are living on the streets, which has created a public health crisis.
At the same time, tech executives are taking in millions of dollars a year and are widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor even more. One resident compared the city to Monaco, a wealthy enclave on the Mediterranean Sea.
Marc Benioff, a lifelong San Francisco resident who founded and now chairs Salesforce, told the Post, "This is unregulated capitalism, unbridled capitalism, capitalism run amok. There are no guardrails."
He also called the 2019 version of his beloved city "a train wreck."
Countless tech companies call San Francisco and its surrounding areas home, while many other top companies have offices in the region. Salaries have shot through the roof, which has led to massive increases in real estate, gas, and basic goods. For people in lower-paying jobs and many business owners, they simply cannot survive in the market.
Alan Beatts, who owns a cafe, told the Post, "The city is losing the very things that people moved to the city for. People think that the best thing to happen is to get a lot of people to move here. But what happens when you get everything you want?"
San Francisco's homeless problem has been well-documented, as has its status as a sanctuary city.
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