Techies Win. Everyone Else Loses.

I met up with Steph and Matt last night for boba and chatted through the night. We talked about our future plans and I mentioned my desire to address the growing social disparity in Silicon Valley. Steph asked what I would do/what would be a solution and I was at a loss for words. I know that I want to help and be part of the solution rather than the problem, but how exactly? Aside from donating resources, whether it be time or money, I don’t know what else I can do. I suggested that the service sector can proportionally raise prices so they can earn higher wages. On the other hand, techies can take a pay cut to narrow the salary gap and subsequently the cost of living. The former seems more plausible since the latter requires unanimous commitment and that is impossible simply because of capitalism and the free market.

Sometimes I wonder why this subject carries as much weight as it does for me, especially when I’ve yet to enter the industry. But simultaneously because I’ve yet to become a techie, I’m more sympathetic to the issue. The current system seems to punish those who aren’t in the tech field. Does that mean that everyone should become a techie? I’m fortunate to be able to do so but there are many who can’t. ¬†Even if everyone does, who’s going to provide all the services that techies have come to enjoy? This would kill the social/cultural diversity that shaped SF into such a desirable city. I feel like the problem is magnified by the action/lack of action taken by the industry. Those who have been made wealthy by the technology boom should give back to the community. “It’s great to make money. It’s better to give it back” – Robert Herjavec on Shark Tank. I’m not advocating for income redistribution but it’ll be nice to give back when possible.

It’s hard not to harbor disdain when one sees all the benefits that techies enjoy: high salary, endless perks at work. As the tech industry continues to grow, this matter is only going to get worse. I hope that the industry as a whole can come together to address this problem.

FullSizeRenderRandom picture from last night, taken by Steph.


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