In other words, the same nickel-and-dime tactics that journalist Barbara Ehrenreich exposed, and other big-box retailers, is being replicated by the world’s greatest innovators. Labor advocates say it’s created a yawning and increasingly fretful class disparity in Silicon Valley and beyond. The wealth created by tech companies has raised property values enormously in both San Francisco and the surrounding Peninsula areas. A guard’s $17,000-$19,000 annual salary won’t pay for a one-bedroom in Menlo Park, or Palo Alto, or Mountain View, so most guards have to live in East Palo Alto or San Jose. In 2012, average apartment rental rates on the Peninsula hovered just below $2,000 a month, while median household income dropped below $100,000, according to the Silicon Valley index. Contract workers have an added cost burden of commuting to work, and they don’t get to take the charter buses.