“An intern could earn the equivalent of [service workers’] entire annual income in three short months.”

That’s a quote from Samantha Allen at The Daily Beast. She reports Silicon Valley interns—many still in high school—can earn $6,000-10,000 per month working for firms like Google, Apple, and Facebook. They also often receive an average of $3,000 per month in housing allowances. But she says “these perks come at an undeniable cost to the underclass on which Silicon Valley has been built.”

Allen goes on to note shuttle bus drivers working for the tech firms earn $18-20 per hour “ferrying technology workers who earn six-figure salaries to and from work.” It’s prompted Facebook’s shuttle bus drivers to join the Teamsters union. Allen decries the income disparity as “sickening.”

As a worker, your worth (and, in the end, your compensation) is determined by the value you provide others. Someone may get to ride with the safest, most pleasant taxi driver in the world… but that driver is able to service only one passenger(s) at a time. A coder in Silicon Valley creates programs that affect the lives of billions around the globe. Tech firms are willing to pay top dollar for interns who may provide their company extraordinary value. That shouldn’t be surprising… or sickening.

If you’re wondering how to provide extraordinary value to others, Mark shares some tips in our next item…