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November 22, 2019



You just have to love people like this Chronicle opinion piece author: TJ Lane is a scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park.


"New housing is often objected to on the grounds of “preserving the character of the neighborhood.” But opponents of development never specify exactly what character they are fighting so hard to preserve. By not allowing new housing, the true character being preserved is that of entrenched privilege. At the same time, another character is all but lost. The character of the garage. That this place — Silicon Valley — can be where you come to quit your job and take time to play with your wildest ideas."

This is exactly what I am talking about when I describe "envy merchants". His "entrenched privilege" is what used to be known as pride of ownership in someone's largest investment. Now those who don't want to or can't make such an investment somehow figure they are still entitled to live here. THAT is "entitlement privilege".

And if TJ Lane cannot figure out "exactly what character they are fighting so hard to preserve" he must be selectively illiterate and deaf. Human scale development with walkability, neighborliness and trees ("City of Trees" style) along with good schools and a responsible local government with solid police and fire. I could go on for another 20 minutes, but people like TJ Lane don't want to hear it. They just want the heavy hand of the government (e.g. Scott Weiner) to give them stuff.


One more thought on this person's confused opinion. His main premise is that the Silicon Valley petri dish that is responsible for so much innovation is at risk because more and more and more people cannot live here. Good thing he is a SLAC scientist and not an analyst, venture investor or entrepreneur because he completely misses the main risk to innovation in the Bay Area--the risk that this will be a less desirable place to live than other innovation centers (i.e. Austin, Mass 128, Seattle (not likely as they are more messed up than we are)).

The quality of life aspects far outweigh the cost of living aspects for real innovators. Many of them are on their 3rd, 4th or 5th plays and can live anywhere but they choose to live here until the politicians and envy merchants screw it up too badly.

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