Liz Wolfe: How San Francisco's Failures Could Help Austin and Miami

Associate Editor Liz Wolfe discusses the political and economic fortunes of both Austin and Miami, plus potential reasons these pastures might not always be greener.


Once upon a time, the Golden State was the land of golden opportunity. In postwar America, California was sunny and sprawling, with a booming economy, plentiful employment opportunities, and comfortable middle-class neighborhoods. It was a great place to work, own a home, and raise a family. California was the American dream.

Over time, something changed. California was never exactly a cheap place to live. But more and more, it became prohibitively expensive—especially in and around San Francisco, the epicenter of the tech industry.

Some Californians, however, are voting with their feet. California lost residents in both 2020 and 2021. And many are leaving for places like Austin, Texas, and Miami, Florida, both of which have cultivated reputations as up-and-coming tech hubs, with cheaper housing and better governance. But have these cities really improved on San Francisco's model? Or are they doomed to repeat its mistakes?

That's the topic on this week's episode of The Reason Rundown featuring Reason Associate Editor Liz Wolfe.

Show links:

"California's Competitors," by Liz Wolfe

"Abolish Zoning—All of It," by Nolan Gray

"What the Chesa Boudin Recall Means for America," by Nick Gillespie and Regan Taylor

Audio production and editing by Ian Keyser; produced by Hunt Beaty