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San Francisco’s Inequality Debate
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According to Bloomberg News, Software engineers at Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter all make on average $110,000 to $120,000 a year and that is not including bonuses. In a recent interview with Time Magazine, Mayor Ed Lee said that the middle class in San Francisco includes those making $80,000 to $150,000 a year. The average monthly cost of a two-bedroom apartment according to real estate site Trulia Inc. is $3,350, which jumped 12 percent from the year earlier.

On February 12, health-care workers protested outside of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Erin McElroy, 31, a member of the group Eviction Free San Francisco, said “While a lot of people are benefiting, especially people who are moving here for the tech industry, a lot of longtime San Francisco residents aren’t benefiting.”

  
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Google buses private bus drivers are at the center of the debate about income inequality and the role of technology’s nouveau rich reportedly turning the city into a place that is becoming unaffordable for everyone else.

According to a new study from the Brookings Institution, San Francisco has the second highest gap between the rich and the poor in the United States.

Although a spokesman at Menlo Park-based Facebook, Tucker Bounds, has declined to comment, a spokeswoman for Apple, Kristin Huguet, reported that “Apple is committed to providing safe and environmentally friendly commuting options that benefit our employees as well as the communities where they live,” and that “We strongly support the new rules.”

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Some San Francisco residents have complained that the success of the Google and other Silicon Valley companies are driving up real-estate prices in the city, and according to Yahoo, driving out those who don’t happen to work in the booming tech industry.

According to a February 20 report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution, San Francisco has the second-highest level of inequality in the country. The Brookings Institution reported, “Income for its typical 20th-percentile household dropped $4,000 during that period, while income for its typical 95th-percentile household soared by $28,000. No other city saw nearly as large an increase in its rich households’ incomes.”



Image Credit: www.bloomberg.com



 

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