What Do Silicon Valley Tech Workers Earning $100,000 Call An Old Van? Home.
The Bay Area has struggled to get the homeless off the streets, but now a new issue has emerged: highly skilled tech employees making their abode in vans. According to this Hoover Institution article, an annual income of $130,000 is required on average to rent the typical (less than 800 square foot) apartment. This, in conjunction with the student-loan debt crisis, has caused newly hired entry-level tech employees to face this difficult housing dilemma. Some have utilized vans as living spaces and use the elaborate office amenities provided by most Silicon Valley tech giants for necessities such as laundry and showers. Furthermore, there are now even van “real estate” rental businesses. Vans are purchased and then parked in certain public areas. Then, they’re rented out, with access given only to the interior, not the ignition. This situation shows both the need for affordable housing reform in these areas and the free market’s natural, often surprisingly dynamic, adaptive nature.
This is the Fastest Growing Trend in the Housing Industry, and Investors are Rushing In
Even ten years following the financial crisis, housing markets are continually adapting to its effects and repercussions. The millennial market has shifted the norm from house purchases to apartment rentals. This has boosted the multi-family rental industry (especially on the higher end), but has resulted in a shortage of supply. Some rental developers are eyeing this situation as an investment opportunity. One of the reasons apartment rentals have been so popular is the amount of amenities and services that are usually included. These developers are taking this idea and integrating it into the single family home model. They provide pools, fitness centers, dog-care facilities, and other amenities to these rental homes. This offers both space and convenience to prospective customers. This is a really interesting portrayal of a shifting market and maybe a hint at a future more significant rental housing market.
Farmers Earn More From YouTube Than Their Crops
With the growing fascination with food products from Beyond Burgers to GMOs, farmers have noticed a market for their knowledge and everyday experience. Some farmers can earn more than five times what they make farming by creating a following on YouTube. The rise of the internet economy has routinely created new markets and destroyed old ones – this is just another curious example. This so-called “millennial effect” involves taking trending topics and making it accessible to the inexperienced in a way that is compelling. Given the need for basic sustenance around the world (which is only getting more acute), it’s a bit discouraging that the current economy places a higher premium on celebrity than basic needs.
Retail Stores Get a Bad Rap, As Closures Pile Up. But Here’s How Stores Boost Online Sales
Brick and mortar retail is widely viewed as a sector to avoid, and not without cause. Many retailers that have long been successful (such as Macy’s and Sears) have been facing difficulties lately due to heightened competition from Amazon and others. There are even some who suggest that the US is “overstored” by almost 50% in terms of brick and mortar locations. However, the space in itself might not be toxic – it might be the business models that are increasingly obsolete. Take this analogy. In a computer versus human “strategy game” (like chess), the computer is almost always superior. However, if you pair a human and a computer against a solo computer, who wins? The majority of the time, the human-computer pair will. Thus, the brick and mortar retail model, when optimized with online retail could actually be this “human-computer” conventional/tech model – with better results than even simply online retail. Retailers call this approach “omni-channel”, and perfecting it is an absolute must in today’s retail environment. Physical locations need to be re-thought and re-energized. Consumers need a reason to make the trip and are seeking experiential concepts. More evidence of this is the fact that Amazon and other online retailers are actually increasing their brick and mortar presence, recognizing that a single approach to a complex market is insufficient to sustain growth.
America’s Highest Minimum Wage Sparks Fight in Small California City
The idea seems so simple. If rising prices is making it difficult for the American consumer, then raise the minimum wage. Problem solved . . . not quite. Emeryville, CA has the U.S.’s highest minimum wage of any city at $16.30/per hour. However, just a slight rise of over $1 in the minimum wage has caused many local business owners, especially restaurants, to lay off workers. Essentially, Emeryville may have the highest minimum wage in the country, but, taken as a whole, employees are less well-off than they were before. This well-intended approach has left higher unemployment and higher prices in its wake. Is that really worth it? This is a great reminder that the free markets, while not perfect, are usually the best allocators of capital and resources.
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