Time was San Francisco was a city full of poor hippies and the occasional super-successful romance novelist, while Los Angeles was choked with rich entertainment moguls and real estate speculators. Then Silicon Valley happened and this year it officially became California's home of the absurdly rich. California is the ultra-rich haven of the US, with 13,445 "ultra high net worth individuals" (i.e., grossly rich people, i.e. people with net assets above $30 million), up 7 percent from last year, according to the Wealth-X Special Report on America's Ultra Wealthy Population, released yesterday. But the balance of richness has shifted: while LA's share went up 4 percent in 2014, to 5,135 filthy rich people, San Francisco's share shot up 12 percent, to 5,460 ultra-richies. (New York is still the world's most popular city for the super-rich, though, with 8,655 in total.)
According to the Wealth-X report, ultra-wealth attracts ultra-wealth: "Over a quarter of San Francisco's UHNW population is involved in the technology industry, but as wealth in this sector accumulates and spreads, other sectors such as real estate and finance grow in importance as well." That makes it easier for the super-rich to band together and work for their common interests, like destroying the environment and fucking their employees or whatever. Without this kind of class solidarity, the super-rich might be forced to rely only on the political influence their money alone could buy.
In wildly unrelated news, the greater Los Angeles area is the poorest of the US's biggest cities, with 17.6 percent of residents living below the poverty line; more than a quarter of children in California live in poverty. Last year, the median household income in LA was $1,540 lower than it was in 2010.