Silicon Valley Debt Slavery: Is This the New American Dream?
Most young people that I speak to in the United States are hoping to land one of those “good jobs,” which they are told are out there if they only had one more degree or certification.
Without a doubt one of the top places where many people hope they can land a job is in Silicon Valley. This is understandable as it seems like technology is one of the few parts of the economy in which people are actually ALLOWED to innovate and try new things. The network effects of Silicon Valley are unmatched anywhere else in the world in the area of technology, and if you were interested in this line of work it would be the place for you to be.
But what is life like once you actually get where you want to be? I don’t mean once you become one of the millionaire or billionaire founders, but once you finally get the cushy job you have been promised and have studied for for so many years.
A recent Quora question entitled, “What is it like making around $120K ~ $130K in the US in Sunnyvale, California as a software engineer?,” shed some light on the subject. One of the commenters breaks down her expenses. I won’t bore you with the details but it breaks down like this…
She and her husband are both software engineers in Silicon Valley after 7-10 years of experience in the field and are making normal salaries. In other words they’ve reached the promised land…..right? Well, not so fast.
It turns out that when you add up all the necessary expenses (taxes, mortgage, cars, gas, insurance, student loans, etc.) they only have $300-500 a month left over for entertainment and savings.
They have zero saved up, $130,000 in student debt and a mortgage of $530,000. She doesn’t mention credit card debt, but I would guess there is some of that in there as well.
In other words a horrendously negative net worth with no chance of getting out of the hole any time soon. One unforeseen accident or layoff and they will both be in big trouble.
Just another victim of the debt orgy.
I point out this situation not because I want to pick on this buy viagra new york young woman, but because this is the situation with MILLIONS of people in the US. I was one of those people as well before waking up to the insanity.
This decade-long debt orgy has created a facade that many people unfamiliar with the situation are attracted to. I’m here to point out that the emperor has no clothes and that, more often than not, you already have what you need to live the life of your dreams.
One of the first things that many people notice when moving outside of the US is the more relaxed way of life. Sure, much of that has to do with the Protestant work ethic, and I am a big advocate for working hard on things that you want to accomplish, but I think that most people in the US are busting their asses day in, day out, and getting nowhere because they feel COMPELLED to do so.
You have the key to your own shackles.
How much do you really need to feel comfortable if you are paying as little as $500 a month in rent, paying little to no tax and have no debt?
Not only that, but how much better would you feel if you were working at a business that you created and actually cared about? One that could potentially be an asset that you would have for years to come?
I cannot express how glorious the feeling is when you are finally out of debt and unbeholden to a monthly paycheck. That’s when you start to realize how wonderful life can actually be.
This is more attainable than you think. I bet a majority of people who are reading this and feel stuck in their lives have one thing that is holding them back from living the life of their dreams…..fear.
Sure, you can make up all kinds of BS excuses and rationalizations for why you are where you are, but you are actually just scared of taking responsibility for your life. It’s time for us all to be courageous and live the life that we want for ourselves, not the one that we’re told we should be living.