This episode is a tragically characteristic of the blue model’s tendency toward self-contradiction—in this case, pitting unions against the poor and middle-class. The most sustainable way to make housing affordable to low and modest-income people is to relax rent-seeking regulations that block new construction for the sake of protecting the real estate values of property owners. But labor unions—which ostensibly stand for working class interests—will not stand for new construction unless it is accompanied by carve-outs and cronyist regulations that artificially boost their compensation.
So despite the best of intentions, the California blue coalition has proven once again unable to deliver smart, broadly appealing, pro-middle class policy, forced instead of concede to one of the many powerful special interests that makes up its vast and increasingly incoherent political base.
No contradiction, self or otherwise. No bugs, just features. Billionaires use their intellectual, societal, cultural, political and media power to pit people and groups against each other who would and should otherwise have a lot more comity, even if they’re never tight all the time, and the net consequence is that the value of San Francisco real estate keeps increasing, benefiting the incumbent deed holders. Billionaires win.
Don’t worry, a new social justice crisis will break just before sunset.