Tech Workers Have the Nerve to Complain about Cost, Traffic, and the Homeless

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There has been a lot of division between beliefs and lifestyles in the Bay Area. This is not regarding political parties; this is about regular working people and tech workers. The two worlds that have been colliding are becoming almost similar once the tech workers started complaining about the cost of living in San Francisco.

Not too long ago, the tech industry complained about homeless people and made fun of non-tech workers for not being able to live their wealthy, privileged lifestyles. They looked down on people who did not have successful careers and felt that they should not have to see homeless people on their streets. The “us vs them” mentality really became aggressive when they were using technology to get ahead of other people. In the Mission District, they created an app to reserve public parks and told the natives to get off their reserved spot. When the natives refused to back down, it created tension between long term Mission residents and the Dropbox employees. Another sense of entitlement was how they had private shuttles to and from their workplace, the luxury to work when it suited them, and the perks of getting free meals and technology, while the rest of us had to pay for these things.



The natives and middle class people in professions, such as, teachers and fire fighters, were muscled out because of the high cost of living. Once they were gone, the tech workers were paying $1,000+ for renting a closet to have privacy in a room with 4-5 other people sleeping in bunk beds! In the SF Gate, a techie who made $160,000 a year complained that he was making ends meet to live in San Francisco. They are living paycheck to paycheck to survive and they are learning what it is like for the rest of us. With all the money they are making, they still cannot afford to buy a home in the Bay Area since the homes are going for over a million dollars. People are not homeless because they party and drink/do drugs. They simply do not make enough to live in the Bay Area, even with two or three jobs and multiple earners in the homes.



In The Guardian, it stated: “For their part, many well-paid tech workers complaining about their own predicament say they also sympathize with the plight of people on more ordinary incomes. We think a lot about how people with normal jobs afford to live here,” said the Canadian IT specialist. “The answer is: they don’t. They commute from farther and farther afield.” The digital marketer added: “During the first dotcom boom we had secretaries commuting three hours into work … It’s happening again. It was absurd then and it’s absurd now,” she said, adding that she and her husband both “know what it’s like to be poor”. Some tech workers expressed a sense of guilt about their complaints when so many people are worse off, including San Francisco’s desperate homeless population.”

This tech privilege came at a price and they are really paying for it. How ironic is it that they may need to get on the affordable housing list? They may sympathize with the people who are not in tech, but the low-income and middle class people who are really struggling do not sympathize with the tech workers. Non-techs have been fighting this problem and their cries have been falling on deaf ears. Everyone works hard to survive in the Bay Area but when you have people making four times your salary complaining, it is like, “Shut up! You don’t know what it’s like to really struggle!” The tech workers’ side is really not that much greener. Their bubble is being popped and they are learning what the world is really like.

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Joy Elan

Joy Elan

Joy Elan is an award winning author and spoken word artist from Oakland and Berkeley, CA. She received her BA degree in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and her MA degree in Education at Stanford University. Her books are available on (poetry, non-fiction, and fiction genres). For more information, go to

1 Comment

  1. skr213
    March 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Really, the entire tech industry complained about homeless people and made fun of non-tech workers? What a load of shit. You do understand that the vast majority of people in the tech industry aren’t the techbros you’re describing, right? Stop using stupid stereotypes and setting up false divisions – when you do this, you’re no better than all the right-wing BS that tries to create division among people.