The Ugly Side Of Silicon Valley And Wall Street

By Tierney Kuhn

I think the single biggest problem with Silicon Valley is the same problem you find in New York and other global cities: almost everyone in power was born on third base and thinks they hit a home run. Those people with the impressive Ivy League degrees honestly don’t understand that when your parents are multimillionaires with close personal friends in the state and national government, you have to be actively trying to fuck up in order not to succeed. I can’t tell you how many people I met at Princeton whose life story looks something like this:

  • Literally before I could walk, my parents were dumping me in a chain of boarding schools (and sometimes preschools!) where they bought me everything I wanted and hired people with graduate degrees to do my chores and homework.
  • When I was 14 and entering high school, my parents started shipping me off to sexy nonprofits in exotic places like Somalia and Belize, so I could do manual labor that looks great on a college application but takes jobs away from local people who actually need them to support their families.
  • Then, when I was 16, they hired an honest-to-God consulting firm to write my college essays and inflate my achievements in the literally one dozen sports and extracurriculars they made me attend.
  • The only part of my college application my parents couldn’t outright buy were my SAT scores, but that was okay, because they could afford to hire an Ivy League PhD student to sit next to me for three hours a night until I learned high school math and English.

Now I’m here at Princeton, and it’s hella boring. I have a 1.0 GPA, but who cares? The school will never kick me out as long as my alumni parents keep making donations with more zeros than most people’s annual salaries, and when I graduate one of my eating club friends will get me a six-figure job at their dad’s or older brother’s company.

All the other problems – the racism, the sexism, the rampant classism, the brutal sweatshop hours, the god-awful urban planning that happens because a tiny cabal of elderly home-owners have a stranglehold on local government – can be traced back to the entitlement of people who’ve never actually had to work a day in their lives.


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