They do love to prattle on about "income inequality", yet if they want to find it, they've only to look around their neighborhoods. It seems that in the most liberal cities in the country, "income inequality" is in every case greater than in other, less "progressive" cities around the USA. And in those cities, the middle class and lower-income folks are being priced right out the housing markets.
Among the 100 largest U.S. metros, 63 percent of homes are "within reach" for a middle-class family, according to Trulia. But among the 20 richest U.S. metros, just 47 percent of homes are affordable, including a national low of 14 percent in San Francisco.
And by "affordable", they mean having a total monthly payment of just under one-third of that city's median income. In places like Mountain View, California, you might pay $8,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
Rich liberals prefer to cluster near historic coastal communities with high home values, where they support high taxes, rent control, and a maze of housing regulations to protect both their investment and the region's "character", altogether discouraging new housing development that’s already naturally constrained by geography.
Of course, Portland's not exactly coastal, but it does have a few things going for it: it's constrained by geography, and it actively discourages new housing and infrastructure development (like roads), which explains why the former residents of inner northeast Portland have been pushed out to apartment bunkers in Rockwood, near suburban Gresham. And in Portland, high taxes are the norm.
With just a little more work, they can achieve status as one of the top 25 cities in the country with the lowest levels of housing affordability.