In a booming economy, more people have jobs and are able to provide a place to live for themselves or their families but in some parts of the nation, that’s not necessarily the case. In these places, a booming economy means that the cost of renting goes up and the price of houses goes up to the point that many working people cannot afford to rent or own. Faced with the incredible costs of places to live, they are driven to living in their cars or RVs and become a member of the homeless crowd.
In the late 1990’s when I attended graduate school in the San Diego – El Cajon area, I was shocked at the high cost of places to live. Roy, one of the staff at the school I was attending, came in one day absolutely ecstatic that he found a three-bedroom home for only $240,000. At the time, I lived in Mesa, Arizona where a nice three-bedroom home could easily be found for less than $100,000. My four-bedroom home at the time was valued at a whopping $80,000 and consisted of 2,600 square feet. Roy’s three-bedroom home for $240,000 was only 1,200 square feet and he was excited he found such a place so cheap. However, in order to afford his new home, he and his wife had to work and even then, they were living on a very tight budget.
After Bill Clinton destroyed the American economy and sent the nation into a major recession, many people lost their homes because they could no longer afford to pay the increased mortgage payments. Millions of Americans filed bankruptcy and allowed their homes to foreclose.
The economy is recovering and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in years. The housing market has responded and more people are once again buying homes. But all is not good and rosy in some parts of the nation.
Yes, more people are working, but the number of homeless people has climbed to at least 554,000 and you may be shocked to learn where a number of those homeless people are.
What if I told you that the number of homeless people in Silicon Valley is skyrocketing?
Silicon Valley, home to Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, Oracle, Intel, Cisco, Nvidia, Netflix, PayPal Salesforce, Marvel Technology, Tesla, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Aeon Labs, Alien Technology, Xeltek and many more.
It’s also home to over 10,000 homeless people, many of whom live in old RVs parked along the main streets in some of the local towns, or they live in tents pitched at night along the sides of the road or they sleep out in the open on cots.
One of Silicon Valley’s homeless couples are Ellen Tara James-Penney and her husband. She is an adjunct English professor at San Jose State University and her husband is physically unable to work. They are forced to live in their car. They usually park overnight in a church parking lot and use the church facilities to shower.
Penney says they cannot afford to pay rent in the area that starts around $2,000 a month, especially since she only takes home about $2,500 a month.
The cost of rent and housing in Silicon Valley has skyrocketed largely because of all of the technology companies in the area. These companies may pay their employees enough to afford housing, but people not working in the technology world are left to live in their vehicles and shower wherever they can.
Penney had been an administrator in the high-tech world before the dot-com bust when she was laid off. She ended up going back to school to get her degree so she could teach, but it cost her in student loans that she is now paying off. She says she is $143,000 in debt due to the layoff, but she makes her monthly student loan payment, but being she is in her 50s, she doesn’t have any idea what kind of future she and her husband have to look forward to.
Would it be appropriate to mention that many of these tech giants in Silicon Valley are owned and run by socialist Democrats, some of whom are blasting congressional Republicans about their tax reform bills that allegedly favor the rich? It’s also interesting to note that one of the many policies promoted by neo-com Democrats is redistribution of wealth, tied to their claim of income inequality? Do you see any of these Democrat company execs redistributing their wealth with people that can’t afford a place to live such as Professor Penney and her husband? If they truly believed what they preached, there wouldn’t be any homeless professors or other workers in the Silicon Valley area.
They need to practice what they preach or shut up!