I've lived in the San Francisco area almost my entire life. In the SF area, the vicious cycle works like this:
1. Some progressive people live in an urban area, and they decide that they cannot stand urban areas, urban development, or tall buildings. They protest any construction, relentlessly, for decades. Any time anybody tries to build anything, the result is protests, lawsuits, and so on. This has been going on since about 1980. As a result, there was almost no housing development in this area for 3 decades despite steadily increasing population and prices. Granted, some construction started about 4 years ago, but it's WAY too late and not nearly enough. (Apparently, the same thing is happening in New York. The most preposterous example of this is people who've moved to Manhattan and decided that they can't stand tall buildings in Manhattan because tall buildings cast shadows).
2. When rents increase, those people who prevented housing construction decide to blame Google, blame Yahoo, and so on, not blame themselves. Remarkably, they start protesting the construction of housing again. I live in Oakland (just east of SF) and there have been protests against building new housing on EMPTY LOTS, during a housing shortage of critical proportions. People show up and start chanting "we want development without displacement!", as if displacement was caused by too much housing.
Recently I walked around the area south of market st, and saw that typical rents for a 1 bedroom are $6000-$7000 per month, and it's not a luxury area at all. Oakland is getting bad too, but not that bad yet. As a result, the progressive faction has now erupted into a fit of hysterical rage and they vomit on buses which transport tech workers to work.