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Life is full of simple pleasures that bring joy to people. Unfortunately, some of these experiences or products that were once accessible to everyone have been transformed or priced out of reach by wealthier individuals. Here are 15 things that were beloved by poor people until rich people had their way with them.
Street Food Stalls
Street stalls used to sell cheap hotdogs and pretzels. You could grab a can of soda for 50 cents or a bottle for a dollar. But not anymore. What was once affordable and authentic has become gourmet and expensive, leaving behind the charm and accessibility of local street vendors.
Music festivals used to be affordable gatherings of music lovers. But now, they’re often synonymous with extravagant VIP packages, skyrocketing ticket prices, and exclusive backstage access, making them less accessible to the average person.
Gentrification often transforms once-affordable neighborhoods into upscale enclaves, pricing out long-time residents and diminishing the cultural diversity that made these areas so special. Fancy apartment buildings, condos, and house flippers have run out the people who once could only afford to live there.
What was once a simple cup of coffee has become a complex and pricey affair, with artisanal beans, fancy brewing methods, and boutique coffee shops taking over, leaving behind the traditional coffee experience.
Beautiful destinations have become overrun with luxury resorts and wealthy tourists, making it difficult for budget travelers to experience these places without breaking the bank. Many locals in tourist areas like Hawaii wish people would stop visiting and ruining their home.
The craft beer movement, while celebrated, has also led to soaring beer prices and a loss of the affordable, down-to-earth charm of traditional brewpubs and dive bars. Long gone are the days of a middle-aged man brewing beer in his basement. These craft brew companies are run by already wealthy people looking to make more.
Thrifting used to be a budget-friendly way to find unique fashion pieces. However, as vintage clothing gained popularity, prices have risen, leaving fewer affordable gems for those on a budget. Stores like TJMaxx are seeing an increase in people reselling items and coming in daily, trying to snatch a deal to make a buck, and many of them do not need the money.
High ticket prices and exclusive access have turned cultural events, like theater performances and art exhibitions, into inaccessible experiences for many who once enjoyed them. Broadway and off-Broadway performances start at almost $70 a ticket once fees are considered.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, quality medical care has become increasingly unaffordable for many, leaving poorer individuals with limited access to essential services. Even the national healthcare option is far out of reach for many.
The rising cost of education has made higher learning an exclusive privilege, making it difficult for poorer students to access quality education. Some people are even choosing to forget about their dream job and go in a different direction due to college tuition prices.
What used to be affordable and authentic local markets have now been replaced by upscale boutiques and luxury shops, often leaving behind the local culture and affordable goods. The farmer’s market is no longer a place to grab some cheap veggies and eggs.
The prices of sports tickets, particularly for popular teams and major events, have soared, making it difficult for fans with limited budgets to attend games. Many seats even go empty because people could not afford them.
In some cases, public transportation has become an inefficient and costly mode of travel, leaving poorer individuals with limited mobility options. If public transportation is available, many upper-class neighborhoods fight the installation of bus stops or stations in their neighborhood, afraid of what “trouble” it may bring.
Even public parks have been affected, as some wealthy individuals seek to privatize and gentrify green spaces, limiting access for everyone else. The newer/nicer splash pads for children include an entrance fee. In contrast, the free ones are run down or broken.
Missing Community Spaces
The transformation of community spaces into upscale developments or exclusive clubs has eroded the sense of community and accessibility that these spaces once provided to everyone.
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