Are You Still Rich If You Spend Your Money Living in a Nice Place?: Re: "A family with two $75k earners is middle-class in the Bay Area, but is living high on the hog in Austin, Texas."
A family with two earners who can make $75k each in the Bay Area can't possibly make $75k each in Austin, Texas.
"more people would rather live in San Francisco than in Austin: that is why living in San Francisco is so expensive."
I strongly suspect that if you went down to the Embarcadero and made an announcement to all the legal assistants and IT personnel and secretaries and office managers and all the other support positions for the law firms and banks and brokers, "You can all move to Austin and get an equivalent job at your current salary," the support infrastructure of those office buildings would empty out in half an hour.
The reason the people who make $75k are in the Bay Area is that the people who make ten times that want to be in the Bay Area, and the $75k-ers need to be where the $750k-ers want to be.
Well, if they want to be $75Kers, they do.
And why do the $750Kers want to be in San Francisco? They clearly think the tradeoff is worth it, and the stuff rich people usually buy--very large homes with large grounds--is the stuff for which the price gradient is the steepest of all.