Silicon Valley Wages Are Shrinking for All Except the Top 90th Percentile

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by cageymaru, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

    Messages:
    19,480
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    According to a study by UC Santa Cruz's Everett Program for Technology and Social Change, wages for 9 out of 10 Silicon Valley workers have decreased over the last 20 years as the inflation-adjusted numbers show a 12% to 14% decline. In contrast, wages for the top 10% of earners at corporations have increased by 0.7%. The underlying story is that Silicon Valley has been ground zero for "one of the nation's strongest economic booms and historically low unemployment rate that outpaces the national average." Over the past 17 years, the GDP per person in Silicon Valley, or "amount of money generated per Silicon Valley resident," has increased 74% which is 5 times the national average. So where is the money going?

    Investors and owners have increased the amount of profits taken from businesses to 40% in 2016 compared to 36% in 2001. This means that $9.6 billion or $8,480 per worker is now going to the select few instead of the majority of employees. These large scale changes in the economic stability of Silicon Valley has driven low and middle income workers out of homes, while also creating more low wage jobs. Workers toiling away at jobs such as teacher, cook, security, and firefighter will no longer be able to pay the bills to live in the area. The employees of these thankless public service jobs and other low wage jobs may have to move to other communities in the future as investors, the top employees, and owners take a larger cut of profits.

    "It's incredible the kind of revenues or wealth that's generated in this area, and yet it doesn't work as an economic model for a large majority of the population," said Chris Benner, a UC Santa Cruz professor who led the study. "It's not just a few people being left behind." Benner said big technology companies like Google and Facebook are so dominant in their respective markets that they have been able to direct a larger share of revenues to investors and some top employees. At the same time, the region's increasing cost of living is leading to some of the highest poverty rates in the country, he said. Adjusted for living costs, California has the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "Do we want to be a community where our firefighters and teachers aren't living with us, they're living separate, in far off communities?" Hancock said.
     
  2. Jeremy C

    Jeremy C Gawd

    Messages:
    840
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    So Silicon Valley has followed every other industry in the US, they just had to play catch-up since all the others had a 20 year head start on siphoning everything to the top.
     
  3. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

    Messages:
    926
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    They NEED more H1Bs!
     
    LightsOut41, Unter Dog, DF-1 and 11 others like this.
  4. Armenius

    Armenius [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    16,249
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Why is California so racist?
     
  5. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Honestly, this sucks, the top 10% are disgusting people, I hope this reserves them a place in hell for being sub standard humans. Either way castles crumble the more desperate they make people, the less chance they will survive the future, what goes around comes around.
     
  6. Upgrayedd

    Upgrayedd [H]Lite

    Messages:
    116
    Joined:
    May 17, 2018
    It'd be cool if them firefighters, security and teachers chose not to operate near the corporations.
     
    wyqtor likes this.
  7. Kor

    Kor 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,141
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    In our nightmare Cyber Punk future they just pay for their own versions of these.
     
    tunatime likes this.
  8. niconx

    niconx 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,937
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Corporatism in action. We must stop voting for people who represent corporate interests. We need constitutional protections from corporations.
     
  9. zamardii12

    zamardii12 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Fuck um. Let them put out their own fires and arrest their own criminals. Let them sort it out if they want to fuck over the people that actually put in the hard work to make them rich to begin with.
     
  10. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,703
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    I laugh at firefighters not being able to live in the area. Pretty much all government workers in the Bay Area have posh jobs, unless you're at the bottom 10% of the government.
     
    Wrecked Em likes this.
  11. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,184
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000
    So much for the trickle down effect.
     
  12. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,299
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Oh there's there's plenty of trickling from above. It's just not money.
     
  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    26,184
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2000

    Mostly agree, but I'd argue that this figure is closer to the top 2%.

    Due to the rapidly increasing cost of living in these areas, at about the 10th-9th percentile, even though they have what seem like high incomes, many are just holding on for the seat of their pants trying to live in these expensive areas. The next, lets say 8th through 5th percentile can live comfortably in these areas, but not lives of luxury by any means. They live an existence akin to the sitcom middle class life. You know, single family home, two mid range domestic cars, able to both save for retirement and kids education while also being able to afford the occasional vacation. Only when we start talking about the top 4-3% are we talking about luxury and greed, but it is still pretty minor league. When we get to the top 2% - however - the level of opulence is disgusting.

    I probably make an income that to many would look like an excessively large amount of money, yet based on the market I live in I have pretty much given up on ever being able to own a home. The cheapest ones around here are about $750k now, for a ~1,750 sqft single family on a 0.175 acre lot, and I live in one of the cheaper towns in my area. The neighboring towns are all much more expensive. I have two cars, but they are both 10-20 years old with 75-160k miles on them. I can afford to take the family out to eat maybe once a week if we behave and don't go nuts. I am also able to save in my 401k, but I haven't taken a vacation in years.

    Granted, I do have a somewhat expensive computer/electronics hobby, but in the grand scheme of things it is a pretty minor part of my budget.

    If you need to live in one of the major expensive markets for your line of work, and have a family to support, even a salary in the low six figures just does not cut it. Nowhere even close.

    No wonder so many people are staying single for life, never raising families and living in tiny 300sqft apartments, if they are lucky enough to have a place of their own and not share an apartment with roommates. This just isn't affordable for most people.

    I'd argue you probably have to be a 3rd to 4th percenter somewhere (based on national figures) in order to have what is traditionally considered to be a regular middle class life where I live. Only the top 2% around here actually "rich". The rest of us are just hanging on for dear life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  14. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,807
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    This is a perfect example of supply and demand going on. So many people want to live here, I dunno why maybe because Mexican food isn't going to Taco Bell?, and there simply is not housing for everyone and there never will be. People always cry for more housing, yet using traffic as an indicator as reaching a point of "we have too many people" or "no vacancy here, find somewhere else to live your life" people simply don't (on average) they stay and bitch and complain and live from paycheck to paycheck and woe is me. I'm sorry the trend of the average American living within 20 miles of where they grew up needs to change, just like the trend of "the working man" being the breadwinner doesn't work in this area, and "I want to live alone" doesn't work in this area, people need to realize the best thing for them and everyone else is to move far away.

    People who are comfortable in these areas, those that "got in early", they have a house through family, through buying before batshit insane occurred, or are lucky enough to be making a huge paycheck, others who live by the rent because they either don't want to commit to having a house, maybe they're not good with their finances, or they've just been poor enough they would never do it, well those people ignored the writing on the wall and now it's here to kick them squarely in the nuts. Yet ironically all the complaints about how expensive it is, there are plenty of poor people living here, sure it might be due to the help of section 8 housing vouchers or some similar program but the fact is these people would be in the same situation regardless of where they go, it's not like housing vouchers give you the money and you can save some of it if you find a cheaper place to live.
     
  16. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

    Messages:
    692
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Trickle down economics working as designed. Stop whining, serfs and serve your new Feudal Lords.
     
  17. Donald Bell

    Donald Bell Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Except in the eyes of the government, corporations are basically human beings. The term for it is "corporate personhood". I wish voting for the right people was enough to fix what is wrong with the US right now. Unless WW3 breaks out or something, I seriously doubt that the "corporate vote" goes away in our lifetime.
     
    Dudhunter and Darth Kyrie like this.
  18. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,639
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    But hey, the economy is doing great!
     
    DukenukemX and Darth Kyrie like this.
  19. OpenSource

    OpenSource Gawd

    Messages:
    822
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    This is why I'm never impressed by Silicon Valley salariese even with RSPs and what not the salaries look pretty meh for living in a concrete jungle.

    I have family continues to tell me they stay in the Bay Area for weather and proximity to the beach but when youre working 50+ hours a week to eat and keep lights on it seems like a push. Their income would make plenty of people choke but when you want a home that's not a condo and you've got a 8k mortgage even your 375k income doesn't look quite as nice.
     
    Dudhunter likes this.
  20. Donald Bell

    Donald Bell Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    All hail Chancellor Bezos!
    Chancellor-Bezos.jpg
     
  21. panhead

    panhead Gawd

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    If you cannot afford to live someplace, then move. Cost of living is much less in other parts of the country.
     
  22. Donald Bell

    Donald Bell Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    It isn't that simple but I am not going to get in an argument about it.
     
  23. Kor

    Kor 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,141
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Because employment opportunities are identical everywhere...
     
  24. OpenSource

    OpenSource Gawd

    Messages:
    822
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Generally, I'd agree to bank money and look elsewhere, however, I don't want to encourage people to come to Texas;)
     
  25. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,184
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Even the top 10% barely had a increase in their average income.
    Most the increase is among the top 1%-2%

    Expect more of this in all of California, as the Bay area laws are forced onto the rest of the state.
    They think the solution is to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, but assuming you still have a job, that's still not enough to even rent a room.

    If I was 7 years older, I'd take an early retirement, sell my over priced home and move to a lower cost state where I could buy a house for less than half.
    That would leave me with enough cash for a really nice retirement.
     
    Dudhunter likes this.
  26. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,184
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Similar house pricing here, but I've never managed to hit a 6 figure income.
    I'm just lucky I bought my home almost 25 years ago, and didn't use the equity as a piggy bank.
    Current house prices are so far out of my price range I couldn't qualify for a loan even if I doubled my salary.
    Our cars are 12 years and 6 years old, and we rarely go out for dinner. Usually if it's a special occasion, we will go out for lunch, since it's cheaper.
     
  27. FreeLow

    FreeLow n00bie

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2017
    All these areas in CA should be built up like Hong Kong, Tokyo, or NYC if they cared about housing all the people that want to live there. It's NIMBYism and elitism at it's worst.
     
    wyqtor and Aioeyu like this.
  28. Cyraxx

    Cyraxx [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,556
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    You do realize that the "top 10%" is about 90% of this forum membership right?

    It's not as simple as you think.

    Coincidentally, the top 10% also pay 90% of all income taxes. So it's kind of hard to advocate for stuff when you're not the ones paying for it.
     
  29. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,841
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Yeah you only need to make $114k/yr for top 10%. A professional 15-20 years out of school or I know people in trades that make that. You’re saying a good electrician is a disgusting person lol.

    Top 25% is only 70k, that’s like a kid fresh out of a college with a useful degree...

    9E630269-7949-4756-BE50-16B80380BEBB.jpeg
     
  30. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    No, now you are being off the rails, I'm not referring to the entire us, stay on track here and in line with the forum post people, what is the top 10% in silicon valley because past I checked 100k a year isn't crap out there and I seriously doubt the top 10% put there make less than 500k Jebus I make a little over 100k and no even a useful degree it doesn't guarantee 70k in income otherwise the economy never would have tanked the way it did. Just like San Francisco an I know an AA piolet on food stamps for God's sake.
     
    {NG}Fidel, jfreund and tetris42 like this.
  31. Makaveli@BETA

    Makaveli@BETA 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,292
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Will never happen when you have that much money you can always pay someone to do the job. And if the locals won't do it you can import someone from a 3rd world country to do it for half the cost. As bad as it may seem to most in North American it ain't shit compared to the nonsense that happens in some of these other countries with straight up dictatorships.
     
  32. Teenk9

    Teenk9 Gawd

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    What is this degree you are talking about that gives a 70K starting pay? I would very much like to know as my daughter is heading to college soon.
     
    {NG}Fidel likes this.
  33. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,841
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    It’s hard to read what you wrote. But the top 10% in Silicon Valley appears to be closer to 200k rather than 500k. Also the cost of living is wayyyy higher there so it basically evens out. My overall point stands “normal” people are still in the top 10%. It doesn’t take an incredibly high income. Top 0.1% is a different story.

    Basically most engineering degrees, sciences, pharma, ect. Degrees that will get you a job in an industry rather than Star Bucks. Avoid jobs easily automated or outsourced.
     
  34. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,431
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    If you worked for Google, or Apple (the mothership not stores) or some unique field then I'd agree, however the vast majority of people who are "stuck" in these areas and complain about the cost of housing have quite "generic" jobs that while sure not identical everywhere they are available most everywhere.

    That said, how about shift blame to these companies that just HAVE to be in Silicon Valley or South San Francisco (Biotech FYI), they just have to be in these areas, the argument used to be that it was close to educational centers so they could recruit talent however that is far from the truth now. It's the same reason why you ask financial institutions of one form or another need to be on Wall Street, or some other place. Why can't Google set up shock in Podunk Idaho? People who want to work for Google will move there, things will be cheaper for them, other than living in Idaho it's really a win win.
     
    Laowai likes this.
  35. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    So 90% of these forums live in silicon valley? And are relevant to the conversation, because I'm not referring to the 6figure people out in Cali that can barely afford a studio, the top 10% of the nation isn't the top 10% of one of the richest parts of the country..seriously I doubt
    Sorry, Cell phone was fighting with me again,

    I do doubt that though, the top 10% has to be higher than 200k, honestly I'd have to do a lot more research into that, but once again way more than 100k as you posted, otherwise I would easily be including myself if we considered all the US, and yes if that was the case and I owned a business I would be ashamed of myself if I didn't pay employees a livable wage for the area, especially when the business has million and billion dollar revenue streams year after year. If it is lower than that for the area I would have to apologize to the 10% or at least the 5% that have no forbearance or actual control on the situation occurring.

    Also I personally know people from Drexel, Penn, PennState, with various degrees in the fields you mentioned that are way lowballed including Pharmacology, with a degree from one of the #1 schools in Pharmacology in Pittsburg that still are paid less than 70k a year and at worst 40k a year because they get lowballed on wages, I personally have a dual Bach. in Chem. and Bio. with a masters in Chemistry...guess what 35k starting offer, I went to become a Machinist making over 100k a year and landed different fields over time, degrees are useless these days, even in Computers where the industry was birthed out of "Garages and Basements", "Knowledge and Experience" is more respected than what University you came from.
     
    {NG}Fidel likes this.
  36. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,295
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    The useful idiots buy the "its for diversity" and "foreigners are better than citizens" and gobble it up. But the real reason is so CEOs can save a little bit of cash.
     
    GoldenTiger, FreeLow and jfreund like this.
  37. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,410
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    The sad part is there's a REALLY simple fix: Simply mandate that every US Corporation has to have at minimum 25% of it's common stock in the hands of non-executive level employees.

    Problem solved.
     
  38. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,410
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Comp Sci can get that high if you find a corporation desperate for help; I got $55k right out of college, plus benefits (including a pension!).
     
  39. 1Nocturnal101

    1Nocturnal101 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    I am not talking about the top 10% in the Nation(which yeah I can believe your statement to be valid), I'm referring to Silicon Valley(one of the richer areas of the US) itself and after another discussion I might have to eat crow on that "10%" but I would then shift it to probably the top "5%", otherwise yeah I would be included myself, and for that I might be part of the problem not doing enough. Either way I doubt 90% of these forums are 1- all from Silicon Valley 2- the top 10% of Silicon Valley...once again stay on topic here.

    "It's not as simple as you think." - actually yes it is, its a complex problem that everyone always seems to think has the most absolute complex solution instead of the simple one, and yes I may be simplistic, but I have ethics and morality, and a brain not limited by the decisions of 2 political parties that for the worse hate each other with such a passion and are completely one sided they cant see their conflict is hurting the nation, its a problem.


    "Square Deal Economics " it needs to work for everybody or nobody. - Roosevelt

    "the top 10% also pay 90% of all income taxes" - Ah Entitlements, we pay for everything so you have no actual say.....sorry this isn't an aristocracy, if it is then the capital building needs to be burnt to the ground for the shame, pay your taxes and pay the full amount then shut up already, Of course people who make the most pay the most, but hey lets look at percentages they are much much more fun, someone who makes 30k a year paying 30% tax rates or someone who makes 500k a year and thanks to the availability of entitlements to them they pay 10-15%, so who cares, It doesn't take a genius or half a brain to say hey we pay more because we make more when its supposed to be based on percentage????? Is this the greatest potential thought process of your brain, a tantrum of a snob?

    Solution to all the US's problems, its simple, Everybody Stop being Greedy....problem solved

    - flat tax rates, no entitlements for anyone that include Corps and the top 10%(Yes that includes me), Safety net programs put in place that are temporary solutions not perm. ones that can be abused, Livable wages corresponding with necessities to living, Education and Degrees that actually mean something again everybody needs a level playing field at the start and later gets to distinguish themselves and how far they can go and what they can achieve..

    Maybe its just me because I have personally been on both sides of the playing field, maybe I have sympathy and perspective you never will, who knows
     
    {NG}Fidel likes this.
  40. opfreak

    opfreak Gawd

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    and they are all liberals.
     
    Incontentia Buttocks likes this.