In the shadow of Silicon Valley, poverty

In the shadow of Silicon Valley, poverty

Summary: Technology is riding higher than ever in the U.S. tech hub. Next door? Tent cities.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The economic impact of the technology industry is massive, but there are clearly a few ill side effects.

Like the shrinking wages of Chinese factory workers, for example. The corresponding loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The environmental hazards of using rare earth elements in virtually every piece of electronic hardware. And, apparently, the massive gaps between the haves and the have-nots in Silicon Valley itself.

A new video report from Moyers and Company shows the contrast between wealth and poverty in San Jose, Calif., based on an Associated Press report by Martha Mendoza published last month. Among the people they talk to: Daniel Garcia, who became homeless after losing his job in a Google campus restaurant, and Teresa Frigge, a homeless woman who used to make silicon chips.

Here's the segment:

This is certainly not the usual tech industry news we at ZDNet write about, but I found it compelling enough to share. (Certainly as compelling as reports about the working conditions of a Foxconn factory.) Perhaps you will, too.

Topic: Tech Industry

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Forgotten Souls in Silicon Valley

    We are a volunteer at a local church to provide food with many broken heart stories about these invisible souls. Hopefully, we can do better for our own community.
    Everything has a price and consequences: expensive housing, job losses for common people, and nobody care about. Thank you for sharing.
  • what would you prefer

    The net positives of Google's prosperity, uneven as it may be, or the absence of it.
    Luke Skywalker
    • "Labor creates all wealth"

      That is what we have forgotten, as a society, or as individual men, women, and families.

  • RE: Wrong question.

    But an understandable one if you are under a certain age and all you know is the zero sum game business model. In previous times the rich companies themselves funded the middle class via decent wages, good pensions and steady careers for all those willing to work for it. They did this not out of kindness of their heart but in self interest. If people were secure they would buy your products. The "middle class" was the foundation for the US being number one in nearly everything. Now that it is being killed off it it not surprising the US while still number one in some areas are way behind in others and life here is just much more coarse. It will only get worse as the old business models recede further in the history and companies like google become the equivalent of a mansion on stilts.
  • Is it really the tech industries fault?

    For a country that spends more on putting people in private jails then public education is it any wonder there are massive imbalances?
    Freaky Spook
  • Land of the Free.

    Look how free they are, America!
  • This is not techs fault

    the leftist government of the state of California is directly responsible just like the corrupt leftist government Detroit. This is the same thing they want for the country.