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See the Inequality Gap Wrought by the Tech Boom

The New York Times
Monday, August 17, 2015
Where to See the Inequality Gap Wrought by the Tech Boom | Silicon Valley’s technology boom has fueled a growing divide between rich and poor in the nation’s innovation capital. It’s a divide that has festered, turning into demonstrations around potent symbols like the buses that Google uses to ferry employees to work. Tech companies have tried to salve the wounds by giving away technology, among other moves.
Perhaps nowhere is the inequality gap as concentrated – and as evident – as in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, a 30-block district not far from the downtown financial area. The Tenderloin has traditionally been dotted with single room occupancy, or S.R.O., buildings for low-income workers. A barrage of tech companies, including Twitter and Zendesk, have moved in in recent years.
The result, as Quentin Hardy found, is a neighborhood where contrast is now normal. Hotels where rooms go for $460 a night are located next to S.R.O.s that rent rooms for $65 a night. Some techies pay $90 a night – or more than the S.R.O. rate – just to board their dogs at a doggie daycare overnight.
And for some weekend reading to catch up on: Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld dove deep into the white-collar workplace of Amazon, where the normality at the e-commerce giant is a culture so demanding and exacting that some employees end up crying at their desks. In response, Jeff Bezos, the retail giant’s chief executive, said in an email to workers that he did not recognize the workplace portrayed in the article and urged any employees who knew of “stories like those reported” to contact him directly.
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