Dispatches from the SF Culture war is our new, semi-regular scorecard for the Tech versus San Francisco cage match.
Culture Warrior: Matthew Yglesias, Slate's business and economics correspondent, and the author of The Rent is Too Damn High
Broadside: Move Silicon Valley to Cleveland
Take-Away: Yglesias says that tech firms should relocate en masse to an urban area better prepared to change their urban planning by allowing high rises, housing density, and improved transit.
Sample Line: "The influx of money, young people, and business investment into Silicon Valley hasn’t led to a construction boom and the urbanization of the area. Instead, the local towns continue to insist on strict, suburban-style zoning that essentially rules out new housing supply. [...] So instead of the tech boom leading to broadly based prosperity, it leads to private buses and skyrocketing house prices. If I called the shots, I would change these policies. But if that’s not going to happen, a divorce is the second-best solution."
Mood: The kid who thinks he's the smartest kid in the class.
Weakness: Is this a real idea? Or just a #slatepitch brought to life?
Tech Friendliness Rating (1=technophobe; 10= technophile): 9. Yglesias figures that cities should bend backwards to help tech firms. If they don't those companies should find a more willing suitor.
Fallout: Said one twitter wag, "there is no substance to the premise. Just a goofy headline to drive clicks."
More Dispatches from the SF Culture War
Chris Nicholson embraces fluxspaces
Bryan Goldberg tries his hand at satire
Matthew Yglesias thinks that Silicon Valley should move to Cleveland
Allison Arieff thinks that tech needs to learn more from urban planning