Yeah, the per capita expenditure of city government was exactly what made SF so magnificent....
It was a very nice place, that's for sure. And Oakland wasn't bad, either. None of the Bay Area cities were bad (San Leandro, Hayward, and so forth). I've written many articles for the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate real estate site in the past that largely had to do with California (and Bay Area) real estate, though many are just as applicable to the rest of the country. Real estate (purchasing and renting) out in SFO and the Bay Area can be very expensive, to say the least.
For example, average rent within a 10-mile radius of San Francisco for 2017 is $3,803 monthly, according to the RentJungle(dot)com website. Landlords generally want a credit score in the 700s and they also want first and last month's rent to get in the place.
For those not in the top 20-percent of wage earners or household income, securing affordable housing in San Francisco can also be very difficult. Public housing waiting lists are always jam-packed, with years-long waits not uncommon, and people become very inventive in terms of finding any kind of housing in which to live. I believe the Bay Area or California is also where the squatter movement really took off, too.
I think in part that SFO's very tough land-use restrictions -- along with a healthy dose of NIMBYism ("Not In My BackYard") in some communities -- have helped create a dearth of housing stock that the middle and lower-middle (the poor are really hosed in this instance) classes can afford. This same holds true in many of California's coastal or near-coastal cities, from what I've read. Many people are being priced out of these markets or are forced to devote an exorbitant amount of their income to basic housing needs. It has the potential for real trouble in the future.