The Darker Side of Silicon Valley’s Impact (2000)

Valley of Broken Dreams (2000): While the internet boom has created thousands of jobs in the San Francisco area, it has also created a hostile environment for the ordinary worker. With extortionate house, rental, and living costs, even teachers struggle to earn a basic living.

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Silicon Valley, the latest U.S. region to epitomise the land of opportunity. Here, people make billions within years, if not months, from internet start-up companies. But not everyone here is benefiting from the boom. Paid around $8.00 per hour and mostly Mexican immigrants, the ones who keep the offices clean and gardens pristine could never afford local real estate. Many have to take on 2 or 3 jobs and still struggle to pay the bills. Letitia, a Silicon Valley cleaner, lives in a tiny 2 bedroom flat with her 4 children. “Everything I earn from my janitor’s job at night goes to paying rent,” she confesses. “So how would I pay for food?” Letitia recently had to rent one room out, so that she could stay in the area. The problem doesn’t just exist among blue-collar workers. Teachers are finding it difficult to find homes on their salaries. “The kids are the ones who are going to be suffering,” says Debbie Jones, one such teacher. We expose the ugly other side of the internet valley of dreams.

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ABC Australia – 0772

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