A Message for the Talia Jane Haters…

A bright young woman in the San Francisco area works full time for a very wealthy Silicon Valley employer. Her roughly $1500/month pay isn’t even enough to pay the rent of the cheapest apartments within a 50 mile radius of San Francisco.

She writes about it on the internet, hoping that maybe Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman might show concern and pay her enough to have a roof over her head and eat.

Do you:

  • Show concern, realizing that thirty years ago, even the lowest wage jobs in America paid enough to both rent a modest apartment and buy groceries for one person.
  • Donate $5 to her PayPal account at http://paypal.me/taliajane, because everyone in America deserves basic survival at the very least.

Or, do you:

  • Call her a “typical whiny, entitled Millennial.”
  • Rant to her about BOOTSTRAPS!
  • Go on and on about how poverty in America is no big deal because there are starving children in Africa, or something like that.

If you fit into one of the former categories, congratulations! You’re a decent, empathetic human being.

If you fall into one of the latter categories, then I have another question for you.

  • Are you very wealthy?
  • Or do you struggle financially like the majority of people?

If you’re wealthy, then you’re like Ebenezer Scrooge of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

This is you. Aren’t you proud of yourself?

Or, you’re like the legend of Marie Antoinette.

Have they no bread? Let them eat cake!

Basically, you have no fucking clue about Talia, because you’ve always been economically privileged… rich.

Or, you might be a typical baby boomer. You had all the advantages of good social programs and much lesser income inequality. And starting with Ronald Reagan, you voted that all away. So, you’re like this:

So, you say dumb fucking shit like: “Why’d she take the job if it doesn’t pay enough for her to survive?”

Because it was the only choice she had! It’s not the 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s anymore. You Americans have voted for politicians who supported “free trade” agreements that shipped what were good paying domestic factory jobs to sweatshops overseas. You also voted for politicians who stripped the social safety net to nearly nothing.

You did that so that billions more tax dollars could be spent on starting foreign wars at no benefit to ordinary Americans:

And so that the billionaires who directly caused the economic crash of 2008 could get billions of dollars of welfare from the American government.

But you have the fucking nerve to call Talia “entitled.”

So, let me get this straight…

Talia is “entitled” because she expects to be able to avoid homelessness and food banks in exchange for her 40+ hours of labour for Yelp.


Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppleman is not entitled, even though he’s a multimillionaire off the backs of the labour of workers like Talia, in spite of obviously having more than enough revenue to pay all of their employees enough money to avoid poverty.

“I’m entitled to my seventh Aston Martin and a vacation house in St. Barts! You’re not entitled to groceries!”

Nothing will change if no one speaks out about this bullshit. So Talia Jane, in risking her employment, did a very courageous thing.

The bottom line is that us “Millennials” are by far the poorest generation since World War II. The baby boomers, when they were our age, were much better off financially.

I’m the daughter of a baby boomer who worked on Bay Street (Canada’s Wall Street) in the 1990s, with a corner office and a six-figure (in 1990s dollars!) salary for a big German bank.

Most parents making her kind of money would use it to assure that their sons and daughters avoided poverty. You know, by doing things like paying for college/university, for example.

Mine didn’t. My mother didn’t give a fuck about me. She’s still a 1%er. I’ve been in poverty since I was 19.

I’m 32 years old now.

That’s right, older folks. I get the feeling that when you think of “Millennials,” you picture a bubblegum chewing teen. But the eldest of us are well into our 30s now. Myself included.

During your boomer childhood, television characters like June Cleaver of “Leave It To Beaver,” or Lucy of “I Love Lucy” were supposed to be my age.

In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, a typical 32 year old woman would be married with a couple of school aged children, and a household income that’s enough to comfortably support the whole family unit- often just with the income of one of the adults.

Those days are long gone.

You can thank this guy:

And this guy:

Followed by this guy:

Who was followed by this guy, the son of the man who preceded him:

And then this guy, who in spite of his progressive demeanour, bailed out the Wall Street billionaires with billions of taxpayer money, instead of helping the Americans who plunged from middle class to poverty:

Many American “Millennials,” and economically screwed older people are smartening up and supporting this guy:

And not everyone in San Francisco can be a tech bro. How the hell do they expect janitors to keep their buildings clean, or “barristas” to prepare their lattes if those people can’t afford to basically survive anywhere within an hour drive of the Bay Area?

How do those Silicon Valley firms expect to “disrupt” (puke!) their markets if extremely few people can afford to buy anything that isn’t absolutely essential to basic survival?

The man who wrote this book knows that the vast majority of the money being kept by a very small percentage of the population is a recipe for disaster:

Oh, while searching for that graphic, I found this very nice chart:

So, if you want to continue to attack Talia Jane, even though poverty can happen to you, remember what FDR said so many years ago:

And if you can spare $5 and you have any sort of soul or empathy whatsoever, please donate to Talia’s PayPal:

Thanks talia jane for your courage to speak out about this shit. And thanks Lisa Bari, Design A, M. George Hansen, Skye S, Rebecca Searles, XY-MU, Colby Klaus, Erik Nilsen, and This Is Everyday Racism for having basic human decency.