Yes, the problem in places like Toronto and San Francisco is that all the houses cost over $800,000 and the taxes are astronomical. That has been the situation in New Your City for a very long time, New York City policemen and firemen haven't lived in NYC proper for 30 years. They commute. Some of them come more than 60 miles, usually by train.
For years, economists, mayors, and urbanists believed that high-tech development was an unalloyed good thing, and that more high-tech startups and more venture capital investment would "lift all boats." But the reality is that high-tech development has ushered in a new phase of what I call winner-take-all urbanism, where a relatively small number of metro areas, and a small number of neighborhoods within them, capture most of the benefits.
Middle-class neighborhoods have been hollowed out in the process. In 1970, roughly two-thirds of Americans lived in middle-class neighborhoods; today less than 40 percent of us do. The middle-class share of the population shrank in a whopping 203 out of 229 U.S. metro areas between 2000 and 2014. And places where the middle class is smallest include such superstar cities and tech hubs as New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
Third, they can engage the wider business community and government to upgrade the jobs of low-wage service workers—who now make up more than 45 percent of the national workforce—into higher-paying, family-supporting work.
Richard Florida is a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and the cofounder and editor-at-large of the Atlantic's CityLab. His books include The Rise of the Creative Class and the just-released The New Urban Crisis.