Here we go again. New graffiti on the sidewalk at 18th and Dolores claims nothing short of "Mission Exploitation" by Google employees. A decade ago, the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project posted flyers urging Valencia Street's self-styled "artists" to vandalize luxury cars. Some did. In 2008, most Web 2.0 workers aren't rich enough to draw the righteous anger of their slightly-less-privileged neighbors. Except for Googlers who dare move into the city's youth-culture ghetto between Cesar Chavez and Market.
The company's unparalleled success sparks rage in the hearts of permalosers who never, ever want to look at anyone whose career is doing better. Somewhere under the sheer jealousy is a legit issue: San Francisco was once a low-rent haven for hippies and a sanctuary for political refugees from all over the world. Dotcom money and disingenuous "live/work" lofts — I signed a contract declaring I was an "artist" to move into one in 2003, enabling the loft's developer to collect $2,700 a month without paying local school taxes — helped drive SF's cost of living higher than much of New York.
But the antiyuppies aren't playing straight, either. Progressive economist Paul Krugman has cited rent control as a major contributor to San Francisco's housing shortage. No one ever quotes him on that. Instead, if Google keeps growing, expect a resurgence in white-on-white carbashings and hatemongering handbills. O cool, grey city of love! (Photo from San Francisco Wiki)