Being a part of the community is crucial. The darkest thing about the tech buses is that they have turned their backs on communities. They have chosen to construct their own bubbles, their own echo chambers.
In an ideal scenario, these Yahoos and Don’t be evil entities would locate themselves in existing urban communities. Ideally, in blighted ones.
Wow. I mean, just…wow. To twist one of the comments I saw on Facebook, yes, of course, this would make perfect sense. Why? Well, so the community activists wouldn’t have so far to go to protest the tech corporations for their aiding and abetting the gentrification of the community. You thought the Portland Trader Joe’s brouhaha was bad? Yahoo moving to the East Side or Houston’s Third Ward would make that look like a walk in the park. It’s worth asking what the author of that piece thinks of eminent domain and the uses for it that the Supreme Court approved in Kelo v. New London.
And considering this little snippet…
as if raising the rents in formerly affordable districts was not enough, the tech companies are now taking the streets away, too.
…it’s worth asking what the point of the piece was in the first place. After all, you can put the company in that blighted neighborhood and get the employees to take public transportation, but considering they’re probably not going to want to take a two-hour commute each way on the city busses, that puts us right back at “raising the rents in formerly affordable districts.”
This is, of course, assuming they’d want to buy and/or build houses in the surrounding neighborhoods. Depending on where they were, that might work. After all, some of the nicest neighborhoods in the city are abutted by some of the more, shall we say, run-down neighborhoods. But of course, building in the lower-income neighborhoods would likely raise the property values, which puts the squeeze on owners and renters alike.
Would it be possible to make the tech companies part of the community? Sure it would, but at the same time I don’t really see what’d be so wrong with the employees living where they wanted to…