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( Hardware means so many things ) It sounds like you are asking about chips and connectors... Here, DigiKey and Mouser are the best organized ( good filter / search engine ) - least expensive. RS may be the better bet elsewhere.
Several board houses will make prototype boards reasonably. ( Note, I've only done small stupid boards and their free layout software wasn't very painful. _For small boards. )
Of course, if you want "metal and bone" I suggest McMaster Carr and the slaughterhouse.
I mean, I'd say we are a bit like locusts when we descend on a city and gentrify it.
But any group with disposable income will do that. Developers aren't unique to that. If anything what's unique about us is the *companies* that spring into existence and create economic bubbles around them.
It's not really the developers, but due to the dynamics of say, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, we expand and descend in swarms along with them.
If anything it's the tech companies, not the workers that cause the problems NYT is complaining about.
When I was growin' up, I was the smartest kid I knew. Maybe that was just because I didn't know that many kids. All I know is now I feel the opposite.