How Silicon Valley’s Wage Gap Fuels Entitlement

My coworkers use a concierge service called Magic. It’s not a concierge so much as a personal bitch who caters to your every need. At a price, but that price is expensed to my company.

Need to pick up your lunch order? A Magic Bitch will do it for $20. Need to feed the parking meter? Magic Bitch will do it for $15. For an intern’s birthday, we told Magic to fetch us a cake and balloons. Nothing says “We appreciate you as an employee” like birthday shit delivered by a minimum-wage contractor.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.21.33 AM

The math works out. Based on my compensation*, I cost my employer $80 an hour. I assume my coworkers cost at least as much, because I was too stupid to negotiate my salary. To outsource a 15-minute task like feeding a meter actually saves the company money.

And yet I feel like an entitled piece of garbage using Magic. Do I deserve a Personal Bitch just because my employer pays me more than Magic pays its contractors?

This level of entitlement only exists where there is a massive wealth gap. With a shortage of mid-wage jobs, people who would be earning middle-class salaries have no choice but to become low-wage contractors.

Where have all the mid-wage jobs gone? Blame robots, Chinese outsourcing, VC bubble, whatever. If economic trends continue, more people will fall into contracting careers. On-demand Personal Bitch services will proliferate. And people will stop thinking of it as entitlement, but just how the world is supposed to be.

*Basic salary + employment taxes + benefits generally amount to 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary. Divided by 40 hours per week x 49 weeks.

See Also:
Silicon Valley’s Biggest Worry Should Be Inequality, Not a Bubble –wired
I disagree! Silicon Valley thrives on inequality. If it goes away, so will all these on-demand startups!

That was not very magical.
I guess I still need my guy in Newark.

Leave a Reply