The big takeaway here is that there are benefits that are being paid for that are folded into the higher rent costs seen in cities like Boston and San Francisco.
Of course, when there are other forces at work, those additional costs and additional benefits are not always commensurate with each other. But that is, in a word, why I live in Boston and not San Francisco.
It also brings up some thoughts about income inequality. While a rising tide is lifting all boats in these cities, it doesn’t necessarily make things closer to affordable if you’re living in, say, Boston without a college education. So what gives first?
This also says something about the amenities being demanded by high-income earners. It seems obvious that if cities spend the money to attract more high earners, they will come, to some degree. And the more cities we have that are attractive to educated populations and the companies that hire them, the more appealing areas we’ll have in this country, and the less it will cost net-net to live in an appealing city. Of course, this requires having tax revenues and spending them, rather than hoarding them. And one wonders why corporate company towns like Peoria and Houston never seem to be considered all that appealing…