Silicon Valley: Where America's Middle Class Died
Behind Google and Apple, there's a stark class divide: Charlotte Allen
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2013 1:55 PM CST
An office building in Silicon Valley.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Silicon Valley is home to creative thinkers, green cars, and cool cafes—right? True enough, but it's also a place where rich entrepreneurs live in one part of town and their poor Hispanic maids and gardeners live in another. And tech workers cluster in apartments because houses are too expensive to buy. So lo and behold, friendly Silicon Valley is ground zero for the death of America's middle class, writes Charlotte Allen in The Weekly Standard. As one analyst put it, "It’s a weird Upstairs, Downstairs world in which there’s the gentry, and the role for everybody else is to be their servants. The agenda of the gentry is to force the working class to live in apartments for the rest of their lives and be serfs."

But it wasn't always so. In the 1970s, people flocked to Silicon Valley (formerly known as the Santa Clara Valley) to raise families and work factory jobs at companies like HP and Intel. Then came the lowering of trade barriers, the exodus of manufacturing jobs, and the brutal dotcom crash of 2000. Now companies like Google and Facebook rule the roost, but employ surprisingly few people—many of whom can barely afford Silicon Valley unless they move to the suburbs and endure long commutes. So if the Occupy movement is looking for more bad guys, they needn't look far: "The '1%' were ... supposed to be striped-pants, Republican-voting tycoons lifted from the Monopoly board," but in truth, they "ride bicycles and vote Democratic and green, green, green." Click for her full piece.

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Showing 3 of 47 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Dec 9, 2013 7:13 PM CST
On the bright side, I can commute from 50 miles away and plug my Volt into a plug under a carport covered in solar panels. I don't need to leave because i get fed a free lunch of sushi or vegan spinach rolls. I get all the Keurig coffee I my kidneys can handle. For a break, I get to play squash with my cubical mate. Then we return and help save the world from malfunctioning Google apps. On the bright side of the real estate crash, a buddy once boasted his one million dollar home is now valued at $350,000. Funny, when I put him up for our own college reunion, we drove around town to see how the town had changed since he left in the late 80's. I showed him the $300,000 homes and he said, "wow, that's like my million dollar home."
Trinity5670
Dec 3, 2013 4:06 AM CST
The New Nerd Mafia
orlandojonny
Dec 2, 2013 9:41 AM CST
The death of the middle class isn't limited to California. Taxes, government entitlements, liberalism and Obama make this a national tragedy.