A rising wind raises all rideshare helicopters—or so the pixel Pollyannas of the Valley would have you think, all progress and prosperity. And the fact that they're raking in more money than when gold was actually falling out of the ground. But if we're in boom times, what's up with all this bummer poverty?
With the help of the Urban Institute's stellar "Poverty and Race in America, Then and Now" map, you can see just how little has changed, even as every young bright person says they're changing the world.
For ordinary people who don't need crowdfunded toothbrushes or a delivery service for soap, the wealth boom has meant unaffordable housing and shredded culture. Not anything remotely halcyon.
Take San Francisco proper. The left side of the divider shows data from 1990, and the right is from 2010.
Each dot represents 20 residents living below the poverty line—blue is white, yellow is black, green is Hispanic, and red is Asian/Pacific Islander. They haven't been uplifted so much as just shifted around and priced out here and there. It's even more evident when you move down towards Facebookville.
With the exception of the enormously sought after turf around Stanford, where it appears poverty was declared illegal, the dots have mostly just been shuffled.
Fortunately for the WiFi-bussed, these dots will never have to appear as anything more than an abstraction, if that.