The New York Times business section has an article blaming Marc Benioff's compensation for homelessness in San Francisco. Really:
His individual compensation the next year would exceed $28 million, most of it in stock grants and stock options. These sorts of pay packages — typical for executives of technology companies — were a key driver for the astronomical housing prices of the Bay Area, a primary cause of the very homelessness that Mr. Benioff was intent on eliminating.
Seems like a stretch to me. If you think skyrocketing housing prices are "a primary cause" of homelessness, how about the land use and environmental restrictions—single family zoning, nothing near a ridgeline or a live oak or too close to the coastline—that have constrained housing supply. Reviewing Thomas Sowell's Intellectuals and Society here in 2010, I wrote:
Who knew, for example, that restrictions on land use have so artificially inflated housing prices in San Francisco that "the black population has been cut in half since 1970"?
"The power of arbitrary regulation is the power to extort," Mr. Sowell writes, giving as an example a San Mateo, Calif., housing development whose approval was contingent on the builders turning over to local authorities 12 acres for a park, contributing $350,000 for public art, and selling about 15% of the homes below their market value.
There's a lively debate over whether homelessness is mainly about housing prices and availability or about whether it also relates a lot to issues like mental and physical illness, alcohol and drug addiction and abuse, poverty and joblessness, and the criminal justice system. The idea that it's driven by high executive compensation was a new one on me. The Times article just states it—"a key driver," "a primary cause"—without providing any supporting evidence.