Google employees aren’t the only tech workers struggling to afford Silicon Valley rents. One (alleged) Facebook employee recently confessed to a local TV station that she cannot afford the Bay Area’s $2,000 a month rents, forcing her to live out of her car. Unique Parsha, the employee in question, opened up about her situation to local Fox affiliate KTVU, hoping to start “a real dialogue about the high cost of living in the Silicon Valley” (although as readers will quickly realize, there is a very real chance that either KTVU, or everyone else has been part of an elaborate trolling scheme).
“Parsha's nickname is "Pinky"- she has pink hair, a pink car, and even a pink dog. But she says, things aren't always as rosy as they appear.
Parsha says, "I tell people all the time, stop looking at what somebody got and what you see on the outside".
On the outside, Parsha is a model Facebook worker, who runs a non-profit in her spare time. But she's been living out of her car since April.”
Well, at least we now know why Americans spent so much money on RVs in the first quarter, it was the biggest source of GDP growth in the first three months of 2017.
Parsha says her coworkers would be “shocked” to discover her living situation. However, her student loans and medical debt have made paying for an apartment impossible. Rents in the Bay Area have risen too quickly, while wages for technology workers have failed to keep up, she said.
When she’s desperate for a good night’s sleep, Parsha spends the night at a hotel.
“Parsha decided that now is the time to start talking about her situation, in the hopes of opening a real dialogue about the high cost of living in the Silicon Valley. "I think that companies need to look at the salaries. Are we paying employees enough to survive?"
Tonight, Parsha broke down, renting a hotel room so she can get a real night's sleep.”
Allegedly, Parsha has been "working at Facebook for only two months" but she says she’s already contemplating taking a second job. KTVU didn’t disclose her title, the nature of her work at Facebook, or the model and make of her vehicle.
“She says she's trying to stay positive and that a home is just around the corner - and the security that comes with it.”
While liberals have dismissed President Trump’s calls to restrict the number of H1-B visas supplied to American tech firms as xenophobic, even the New York Times admits that many tech firms abuse the program to help keep labor costs low. More than any other industry in the US, tech companies depend on the 85,000 H1-B visas awarded by the US government every year.
Tech companies say there’s a shortage of American workers with the skills necessary to do the work. What they really mean is that there’s a shortage of American workers willing to work for the wages being offered. Parsha’s case is one such example.
America’s tech companies have demonstrated that they’re willing to do almost anything to keep wages low, even if it means engaging in blatantly anti-competitive practices. Back in 2015, Amazon, Apple and a few other tech companies agreed to pay nearly half a billion dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the companies colluded to leep wages low by creating “no poach” lists of senior engineers.
Luckily for the remaining members of San Francisco’s long-suffering middle class who’ve managed to hang on despite spending well over half their income on rent, relief may be on its way in the form of an incipient housing bust. Data released by the Federal Housing Agency show that, after five years of posting some of the highest YoY pricing growth of any market in the country, single-family home prices in San Francisco and San Mateo counties dropped 2.5% YoY in Q1 2017, making it the worst-performing market of the 100 largest US metropolitan areas.