Why does Silicon Valley get a pass on inequality compared to Wall Street

It’s not complicated…

Let’s check out a few reasons:

Silicon Valley still has upward mobility – 2 guys in a uni dorm can still make something and it may become big.

Silicon Valley has a lot of egalitarian concepts – the stock options thing which is so normal and usual in Silicon Valley, is actually worker-ownership – when you give stock to a worker, it becomes a worker-owner. Even if the share percentage is quite small compared to the size of the companies (in general) its still more close to cooperatives than, say, Exxon or Halliburton. There was even one start-up which tried paying everyone equally, but weren’t able to pull it off. But someone eventually will, possibly by employing Mondragon model.

Silicon Valley wants people to be free, educated, and active. Dumb, poor and passive people are not good internet users. Which means they are not good users/customers for Silicon Valley corporations. In contrast Wall Street needs people dumb, uneducated, passive and consuming.

Silicon Valley still creates stuff that actually brings considerable value to people’s lives.  They don’t need to pull out a ‘smartest guys in the room’. Wall Street is built on pulling that off. Look at Goldman Sachs. Or, better look at where that phrase came from – Enron.

Silicon Valley inhabitants do not tend to be wealth-hoarding sociopaths who make up for their weakness of their ego with hoarded imaginary wealth. They tend to do things with wealth. Possibly because tech itself is a ‘do something’ field. Many tech pioneers and rich reflect these. Musk is trying to get to space instead of hoarding his wealth, whereas multitudes of self-made tech rich are enabling things as angel investors or other means.

Silicon Valley is more left-leaning, progressive, pro-people, social-minded however you look at it, due to education, culture and environment. From charity projects to backing of left-leaning, pro people politicians, from social initiatives/campaigns to activism, Silicon Valley shines noticeably.

Silicon Valley wants to fix inequality. They are already aware of the change that technology is bringing to the economy, they are aware that automation is creating inequality and people are suffering in poverty, they are aware that AI will make the system totally unsustainable and will require a grand change in our economic system. And they are already talking about it, trying to find solutions for it, instead of basking in the privilege and glory of being ‘job creators’ as so many in Wall Street do.

All of those combined, Silicon Valley is the anti-thesis to Wall Street in the confines of current system.

Hence, people are more tolerant and supportive of Silicon Valley.

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