You never hear about Detroit placing regulations resulting in major burdens on auto companies. Potato farmers never hear about Idaho officials installing hurdles and restrictions before their work. California for that matter, takes steps aimed at protecting its farmers. All these cities and states know very well that at the end of the story, these industries makeup their very identity and are known as the lifeblood of their respective communities. So what is the story with San Francisco and why are there reports about this city taking strides in a completely different direction, and being completely serious about it?
The industries mentioned above, alongside a list of many others, actually create jobs, bring home tax revenue for their local governments, and lift prestige. In many cases they are now symbols of what their communities represent and have become an inseparable part of their social/economy fabric. Therefore, one is not surprised when such state/city legislators focus their efforts on providing all the support for these companies to guarantee their thrive and survival. This is a reality witnessed in nearly every state across the United States.
However, there is one very mysterious exception in the city of San Francisco. For some reason, or reasons, the officials and decision-makers of this city have apparently become very eager to actually act against the innovative industry that has made San Francisco the world’s new tech capital. This thriving industry in the technological world is the creator of high-paying jobs in the hundreds, millions of dollars are pouring into the city treasury from tax revenue, and the city has transformed into a major destination for many coming from across the country.
When the likes of Airbnb, Twitter, Zynga and many others surface in San Francisco, an innovative life cycle is perpetuated. These companies act in the form of incubators for next generation entrepreneurs who will take control of the economy and lead the boom.
All in all, it appears that San Francisco is hell-bent on bringing an end to an amazing story. While others would celebrate such growth in tech companies that pour in millions after millions to tax coffers, San Francisco is unbelievably demonizing its own success.
The whole shoot-yourself-in-the-foot process begins with a proposed payroll tax that is specifically placing tech companies in its crosshairs. A San Francisco Board of Supervisor member has gone as far as saying that such a tax would act as an indemnification for a major decline in the technology advances that made the bayside city famous in the first place.
These measures continue with private bus services being shut down for tech workers, and tech workers alone. This is while such a service reduces traffic and significantly lowers air pollution, while encouraging residents to remain inside the city area. San Francisco is also continuing its face-off against ride-sharing companies through mandating fingerprints. The city is effectively attempting to shoe-horn entrepreneurs taking advantage of ride-sharing services in the status of being just an “employee”.
We can literally go on all day about how such draconian regulations imposed against home-sharing platforms will eventually cost millions for San Francisco locals… This city is known as the home of sharing services such as Airbnb. However, instead of embracing such benefits, this city is in fact looking to adopt laws and regulations to convey them illegal from now on.
It is no doubt that the San Francisco middle class is feeling the burden of rising wages and increasing living costs. This city is in need of solutions to guarantee its middle class doesn’t face the fate of extinction. However, the solution does not lie in scapegoating innovation leaders of San Francisco, and this problem will not go away so simply. In fact, it will increase and become more of a burden.
While the tech industry is under attack from San Francisco’s lawmakers and decision-making community, other cities are recognizing their benefit and in fact increasing their efforts to woo in such high-paying job opportunities to leave the Golden Gate Bridge city, knowing they will bring along with them taxes and much prestige.
Companies such as Boulder in Salt Lake City, known as myriads of other municipalities, are engaging in campaigns to transform their city into tech-epicenters. By providing tax incentives, low living costs and enjoying a work-pool that is quite eager and highly educated, the slick and opportunistic officials of other cities are eager to bring home the future generation of entrepreneurs to launch businesses on their home soil.
San Francisco legislators may or may not come to realize the amazing asset their city enjoys, including hundreds of highly talented, amazingly motivated, bright and innovative individuals seeking to better the future. And instead of adopting measures aimed at making houses more costly, adding even more traffic to already clogged cities and increasing air pollution, this city should reconsider its tactics and begin embracing technological innovations and the innovators behind such advances. San Francisco is the envy of the world, and why city decision-makers don’t understand remains a mystery.
This city may actually wake up one day seeing it’s the all-important tech-title stolen. In such a scenario, all hell will break loose and it will be too late then to start finger-pointing and finding someone to blame. Action must be taken now for it to be of any good.