The number of people on food stamps recently hit a 10-year high and homelessness went up 20% in two years, according to the annual Silicon Valley Index.
“In the midst of a national economic recovery led by Silicon Valley’s resurgence, as measured by corporate profits and record stock prices, something strange is going on in the Valley itself,” Cindy Chavez, executive director of Working Partnerships USA, told the AP. “Most people are getting poorer.”
It’s mostly due to the cost of living in Silicon Valley.
The median price for a home is $550,000, while rent is, on average, a little under $2,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. And a family of four in Silicon Valley needs about $90,000 a year in order to cover rent, food, transportation, and childcare, according to the nonprofit Insight centre for Community Economic Development.
The average income for Hispanics, who make up one in four residents in Silicon Valley, fell to an all-time low of $19,000 a year, according to the annual Silicon Valley Index. In the meantime, Silicon Valley’s wealthiest are worth billions of dollars.
“The fact is that we have an economy now that’s working well only for those at the very top,” Economic Policy Institute President Lawrence Mishel told the AP. “Unless we adopt a new approach to economic policy, we’re going to continue going down this path, which means growth that does not really benefit the great majority of people in this country.”
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