This article on New York City struck home for this Bay Area dweller. This part particularly:

Moss faults neoliberal avarice, which has been beckoned to New York’s neighborhoods by the siren call of (usually white) artists and the gentrification that follows them. But he emphasizes that the eradication of New York as it once was is the fault of the gormless politicians who failed to protect its less-wealthy residents, neighborhoods, and businesses—and in fact acted against their interests whenever that translated into more money. [emphasis mine] Neoliberalism thrives on uncertainty—and “New York’s fiscal crisis provided the perfect opportunity to introduce [a] free-market fundamentalist shock treatment.” Class alienation and division accelerated in the 1970s under Mayor Ed Koch, who manipulated redlining and other forms of discrimination embedded in the city’s sociopolitical structure to rearrange where people, and their money, lived in New York. Moss quotes him at a cocktail party, saying, “We’re not catering to the poor anymore. There are four other boroughs they can live in. They don’t have to live in Manhattan.”

When I first moved to the Bay, you could still find one-bedroom apartments for $1000. It’s ridiculous that this is now in some sense the good old days, that’s still a lot of money! But the reason why this sort of is true is that gentrification is just not a problem for politicians. It means more revenue and, let’s face it, politicians of either party would rather represent rich white people than anyone else. Certainly they get listened to more, though in no small part because they vote more often. Not sure what’s going to happen when mass homeownership stops being viable as a concept because millennials have no damn money though…


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