Silicon Valley Dispatches

Silicon Valley’s Pretty Sure the Economy Is Just Dandy

Optimism, as everyone knows, is the area's greatest natural resource.
 Silicon Valleys Pretty Sure the Economy Is Just Dandy

Look at that vista. How could you not feel good about the world? (Photo: flickr.com/nagobe)

Listening to the presidential debates, it’s easy to feel bummed about the economy. But there’s a place–a bright, sunny place, far to the West, where the world feels as new as the money–whose denizens are feeling upbeat. That place is, of course, Silicon Valley.

The Mercury News reports that, according to a poll conducted by researchers at San Jose State University, Silicon Valley locals are feeling increasingly optimistic about the state of their state economy: 

This year, 23 percent said California is not in a recession, compared with 8.5 percent in 2011, while 29 percent said the state is still in a “serious” recession compared with 46 percent last year, and 58 percent in 2009.

Now, we can’t help but wonder how much the fact that Silicon Valley is basically a giant one-sector town influenced these numbers. Digging a little deeper into the numbers suggests there’s a fair bit of overlap between these Mary Sue Sunshines and the employees of the tech industry: “The better educated, higher income respondents were more upbeat than those with a high school degree or less and incomes of $50,000 or less,” according to the Mercury News.

But perhaps the most interesting little detail is hidden away at the bottom of the story. Two of the less optimistic individuals interviewed for the story referenced the fate of the industry that gave Silicon Valley its name, pointing out that the semiconductor business is drifting abroad and that’s left some techies high and dry:

“You have semiconductor industries that are no longer here,” said Paul Valdez of Gilroy. Jobs in that industry “were the avenue to get into the middle class,” he added, “but slowly that’s been flowing away overseas.”

Disruption is a harsh mistress.

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