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有硅谷特色的阶级斗争发生在旧金山

更新时间:2016-3-10 10:57:57 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

In San Francisco and Rooting for a Tech Comeuppance
有硅谷特色的阶级斗争发生在旧金山

SAN FRANCISCO — These are anxious days in the land of start-ups. Another few months of tight money and the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will be feeling real pain.

旧金山——对于创业圈而言,现在是一个焦虑的时刻。资金紧张的情况再持续几个月,创业者和风险投资人就会真的开始有麻烦了。

The sooner the better, some people here say.

在旧金山,有些人表示,这种情况来得越快越好。

Cities do not usually cheer the downfall or even the diminishment of the hometown industry, but the relationship between San Francisco and the tech community has grown increasingly tense.

通常,一个城市不会为家乡产业的崩溃,甚至是萎缩而欢呼,但旧金山和这里的科技界之间的关系却变得日益紧张。

Two years ago, radicals began delaying and harassing Google and other tech companies’ shuttles as they threaded San Francisco’s narrow streets. Now — after the city officially gave the shuttles free rein to use public bus stops; after the tech elite were accused of trying to buy a crucial local election; after the home-rental company Airbnb spent a fortune to defeat a proposition that would have restricted its business — the discontent is mainstream.

两年前,一些激进分子开始在谷歌及其他技术公司的班车穿过旧金山狭窄的街道时,进行阻挠和干扰。之后,官方正式批准这些班车自由使用公交车站点;有科技公司精英被指控试图用金钱左右当地一场关键的选举;家庭房屋出租公司Airbnb斥巨资阻止一项可能会限制其业务的提议获得通过。如今,不满成为这里的主导情绪。

In December, 39 percent of Bay Area adults said they thought things in California were headed in the wrong direction, up from 29 percent a year earlier, according to surveys by the Public Policy Institute of California. In Los Angeles, by contrast, the percentage expressing general disapproval fell from 37 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2015.

加州公共政策研究所(Public Policy Institute of California)的一项调研显示,去年12月,39%的湾区居民表示,他们觉得加州的情况在朝着错误的方向发展,而在前一年,这一比例为29%。相比之下,在洛杉矶,总体感觉不满意的人数比例从2014年的37%,下降到了2015年的33%。

“It’s practically a ubiquitous sentiment here: People would like a little of the air to come out of the tech economy,” said Aaron Peskin, perhaps the most prominent leader of the opposition. “They’re like people in a heat wave waiting for the monsoon.”

“这里有一种普遍存在的情绪:人们希望看到科技企业遭受一点打击,”阿伦·佩斯金(Aaron Peskin)说,他或许是这里最知名的反对派领导人。“他们就像是处在炎热天气里的人,期待大雨降临。”

Mr. Peskin, a combative presence on the city’s board of supervisors a decade ago, was the underdog when he sought to reclaim his seat last fall against an incumbent backed by both Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the tech establishment. But he drew volunteers from all over the city and won by a 9-point margin with the slogan “Let’s take a stand to make San Francisco more affordable and livable.”

十年前,他是旧金山监事会(San Francisco Board of Supervisors)里一个充满抗争性的角色。去年秋天,在试图重获这一位置的竞选中,他是处于劣势的一方。他的对手是一名时任成员,而且拥有旧金山市长李孟贤(Edwin M. Lee)和科技界权威人士两方面的支持。但佩斯金在全市有诸多志愿者支持,还抛出了“让我们表明自己的立场,让旧金山变得更加宜居”的竞选口号。最终,他以9个百分点的优势获胜。

“These billion-dollar companies should help ameliorate the impact they’re having,” Mr. Peskin said. “They can afford to do a lot more. So far, it’s only window-dressing. They can volunteer to be decent.”

“这些价值数以十亿美元计的企业应该帮助缓和它们对这个城市的影响,”佩斯金说。“它们有能力做得更多。目前只是一些表面工作。它们可以主动做得更像样一些。”

During the late 1990s dot-com boom, the office parks of Silicon Valley were another world to most San Franciscans, a place somewhere to the south that they needed never go. But increasingly Silicon Valley is rooted in the city itself, which makes it inescapable.

在20世纪90年代的网络泡沫时期,硅谷的办公园区对大多数旧金山人来说,就是另一个世界,是他们永远不需涉足的城市南部的某个区域。但随着硅谷日益扎根于这个城市的市区中,它变成了一个让人无法忽视的问题。

The consequences for people who do not make their living from technology are increasingly unpleasant. The city is bulging at the seams, adding about 10,000 people a year to a record 852,000 in 2014. A one-bedroom apartment goes for a median $3,500 a month, the highest in the nation.

对于不依靠科技业谋生的居民而言,这些后果越来越难以忍受。这个城市人满为患,2014年,这里的人口新增约1万,达到前所未有的85.2万。一套一居室公寓的租金中位价达到3500美元一个月,在全国是最高的。

For every person who moves to San Francisco, another two start commuting to work here. Traffic is down to a crawl: The average afternoon speed on the roads feeding into the highways has dropped 20 percent in the last two years. And the BART trains are squeezed tight: Since 2012, average morning rush-hour ridership from the East Bay has risen 30 percent.

每有一个人搬到洛杉矶,平均就有另外两个人开始乘车到这里工作。路况很差,慢得像在爬:过去20年里,通向高速路的多条道路在下午的平均车速下降了20%。旧金山湾区地铁(BART)十分拥挤:自2012年以来,从东湾过来的早高峰日均客流量增长了30%。

Signs of distress are plentiful. The Fraternite Notre Dame’s soup kitchen was facing eviction after a rent increase of nearly 60 percent. (It was saved for a year after its plight received worldwide publicity.) Two eviction-defense groups were evicted in favor of a start-up that intended to lease the space to other start-ups. The real estate site Redfin published a widely read blog post that said the number of teachers in San Francisco who could afford a house was exactly zero.

不适的迹象比比皆是。因租金上涨近60%,慈善机构圣母博爱(Fraternite Notre Dame)的救济食堂差点被迫关门。(在其困境获得全球关注之后,这个食堂得以以现有租金继续租用场地一年。)两个维护被驱逐者利益的团体被房东赶走,目的是给一家创业机构腾地方,而这家机构创业项目是向创业公司出租办公场地。房地产网站Redfin发布了一篇广为传阅的博客文章,文中表示,能买得起房子的旧金山教师的人数为零。

“All the renters I know are living in fear,” said Derrick Tynan-Connolly, a teacher at a high school for pregnant teenagers and young mothers. “If your landlord dies, if your landlord sells the building, if you get evicted under the Ellis Act” — a controversial law that allows landlords to reclaim a building by taking it off the rental market — “and you have to move, you’re gone. There’s no way you can afford to stay in San Francisco.”

“我所认识的租客都生活在恐惧之中,”德里克·泰南-康诺利(Derrick Tynan-Connolly)说,他是一所面向怀孕青少年和年轻母亲的高中的教师。“如果你的房东死了,房东要把房子卖掉,或你因埃利斯法案(Ellis Act)要被赶走,你就必须搬走,得离开这里。在旧金山你找不到负担得起的住处。”埃利斯法案是一项颇具争议性的法案,它可以让房东通过将房屋撤出租赁市场,重新拿回房屋。

Mr. Tynan-Connolly, 52, first came to San Francisco three decades ago, when its origins as a working-class port were still in evidence. The city was a haven of political and sexual tolerance unlike any in America. Now, he and many others feel, it has become something much narrower: a haven for the wealthy.

52岁的泰南-康诺利是在30年前第一次来到旧金山,彼时这个城市还能看出它最初的样子,一个以蓝领阶层为主的港口城市。它与美国任何一个城市都不同,对政治和性的包容度非常之高。如今,康诺利和很多其他人都觉得,它变成了一个更狭隘的地方:富人的天堂。

“The city has the largest budget it ever had,” he said. “But the homeless are still suffering while working-class families, including my students, struggle to find affordable housing and child care. Where are the benefits from the boom that are accruing to the whole city?”

“这个城市的财政预算比以往任何时候都高,”他说。“但无家可归者日子依然困苦,而包括我的学生在内的蓝领阶层,则难以找到负担得起的住处和托儿服务。整个城市日益繁荣,但它带来的好处体现在哪里?”

San Francisco has a budget of $8.6 billion and a deficit of $100 million, according to Mayor Lee, who ordered city departments to cut spending by 1.5 percent. The mayor, who did not face any significant opposition for re-election in November, did not have time to be interviewed, a spokeswoman said.

市长李孟贤公开的数据显示,旧金山的财政预算为86亿美元,财政赤字为1亿美元。他曾要求各市政部门削减1.5%的开支。在去年11月竞选连任时,这位市长没有遭遇什么大的反对。一名发言人表示,他没有时间接受采访。

Sentiment is difficult to gauge on a citywide scale. The demonstrations against the shuttles got widespread attention, but quickly petered out. Mr. Tynan-Connolly noted that the long history of activism in San Francisco was driven by young people, and now the young people often work for the tech companies.

准确把握整个城市的情绪状态,并不容易。针对科技公司班车的抗议活动曾引发广泛的关注,但又很快平息。泰南-康诺利指出,旧金山历史悠久的运动传统过去一直由年轻人推动,而现在的年轻人往往都在科技公司工作。

The Airbnb proposition, which would have placed some limitations on short-term rentals in the city, was defeated by voters, but the $25 billion start-up’s victory prompted a backlash. The Internet Archive, which tracks political ads, said 1,959 minutes of airtime were devoted to opposing the measure. In support: 16 minutes. That mismatch fueled claims that tech money is in control of the city.

上述与Airbnb有关、意在对旧金山的短期房屋租赁进行限制的提案,最终被选民否决,但这家市值250亿美元的创业公司此番获胜,却在社会上引发强烈反应。追踪政治广告投放情况的互联网档案馆(The Internet Archive)表示,为阻止这项议案获得通过而投放的广告时间总共有1959分钟,而支持这一议案的广告时长只有16分钟。这样的不平衡,促使更多人觉得,科技公司掌控了这个城市。

Some tech folks think things are out of kilter.

一些科技行业人士也认为,情况有些失衡。

“There are valid concerns that San Francisco is becoming a plutocracy,” said Donna Burke, an entrepreneur and investor. “Silicon Valley traditionally valued changing the world over money. We need to get back to that ethos.”

“说旧金山正成为一个由富豪统治的地方,是一种合理的担忧,”创业者兼投资人唐纳·伯克(Donna Burke)说。“相比于金钱,硅谷过去更看重改变世界。我们需要回归那种价值观。”

None of the San Franciscans interviewed for this article said they wished any harm to tech workers, but they lamented what they saw as a high degree of cluelessness.

因这个报道接受采访的人,没有一个表示愿意看见科技业从业者受到伤害,但他们都对一种在他们看来极其无知的表现感到悲哀。

“I have a lot of friends who work in those companies, and they literally encourage me every week to quit my job and do what they’re doing,” said Helana Corda, who teaches sixth graders at a public middle school, is a part-time bartender and works at a program for disadvantaged children. “They think they’re trying to help, but I feel slightly offended.”

“我有很多朋友在这些科技公司工作,他们基本上每周都会鼓励我辞职,去做他们那类工作,”赫拉娜·科尔达(Helana Corda)说。此人在一所公立中学给六年级学生上课,业余时间做酒吧侍应,同时还参与一个服务弱势儿童的公益项目。“他们觉得这是为我好,但我感觉些微被冒犯。”

Even those who have benefited from the tech workers and their free-spending ways say something is amiss.

即便是那些受益于科技行业工作者,及其大手大脚消费方式的人也觉得,有什么地方不太对劲。

“I like a boom. I’m a fan of this boom,” said Craig Stoll, co-owner of Pizzeria Delfina and other popular restaurants. “I think it’s exciting times in San Francisco. I like the influx of people. But it comes with problems. A lot of our cooks don’t live in the city. They can’t afford it.”

“我喜欢大发展。我拥护这样的繁荣,”Pizzeria Delfina等几家热门餐厅的联合创始人克雷格·斯托尔(Craig Stoll)说。“我觉得,对旧金山而言,这是一个令人兴奋的时代。但它同时也有一些问题。我们的厨师有很多都不住在城市里。他们负担不起这里的费用。”

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