The 1% Is Ruining Everything You Love (And You Don’t Even Know It)

Ah, the rich. They live lives filled with luxury while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet. It’s no secret that this wealth inequality has reached staggering levels in our society. As we look around, we can’t help but wonder if the rich have played a role in ruining things for the rest of us.

One Redditor asked, “What was ruined by rich people?” The thread has thousands of comments, but we have selected the most epic ones for you!

1. The Retro Games Market

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “I’m not paying 200 bucks for Pokémon Emerald.”

Someone else added, “This was my hobby, and now it’s completely ruined.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I miss pre-COVID prices. In 2019 my boyfriend and I used to browse retro game stores as a date, and we’d be able to justify coming out with something nearly every time. We hardly go to the retro game stores now because the prices jumped so high, and just the price of everything, in general, has made it hard to have a budget for stuff like that anymore.

Our 5-year anniversary just passed, and I dropped like $170 on a copy of Silent Hill 3 with the soundtrack for him as an anniversary gift because it’s one of his favorites. It’s a nostalgic game for him that he played with his mom. It’s definitely the most I’ve ever dropped on a single game, but we hit a milestone, and his reaction was worth every penny. He got Silent Hill 2 on Xbox from me for his birthday five days before that too.

Pro tip: if you collect PS2 games and the one you want is too pricey, start collecting for the OG Xbox instead. I was lucky enough to be gifted one by my brother’s girlfriend, and games that were previously out of reach on PS2, I can now get on Xbox for a fraction of the price.”

Come on, wasn’t it just a few years ago that we could score these classic games without emptying our wallets?

2. Student Ghettos

displeased disgusted young girl with straight brown hair grimacing
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Once upon a time, our student ghettos were the places to be. They were full of life! We could find affordable rentals, cram as many friends as we could into a tiny apartment, and throw parties without worrying about breaking the bank. But guess what? The rich decided to swoop in and ruin it all!

One said, “There’s an area in my city called the University District. I live with my partner and my brother, we’re all university students, and the three of us together can’t afford to live in that area.”

Another added, “Especially in urban areas. Only people with daddy’s money can afford an apartment there, meaning you have to find a place in a bad suburb 30 minutes away.”

3. Artsy Neighborhoods

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Image Credit: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.

Let’s talk about the real buzzkill: affordability. Artsy neighborhoods used to be a haven for struggling artists and creative souls on a shoestring budget. We could find affordable studio spaces, cheap rent, and clubs that understood the value of creativity over material wealth!

A Reddit user wrote, “Yes, urban Bohemia has pretty much died off in every city on Earth. Now music venues, pubs, and clubs get noise complaints and often have to close early.”

Someone else replied, “I’m so glad that in Victoria, at least we implemented legislation to stop pubs and clubs from getting shut down if they were there before the neighbors who complained. You move next door to Cherry Bar; you have no right to complain about noise.”

4. Burning Man

Beautiful desert with art objects at sunrise. Beautiful nature festival with people riding bicycles. Burning Man festival.
Image Credit: RAW-films/Shutterstock.

Burning Man used to be the ultimate haven for free spirits, a place where anyone could come together to celebrate art, music, and self-expression.

But guess what? The rich, with their luxury RVs and VIP camps, decided to turn this into a pseudo-VIP party for the elite. Pretty sad, right?

One Redditor stated, “Was it really ever not for rich people? Like sure, it’s been ruined by the rich, but like … spend a week out in the desert and build a bunch of stuff; sounds like it’s always been silicon valley types.”

Another person pitched in to say, “Seriously. I went every year for years, and it really started changing for the worst in the years leading up to COVID. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an amazing experience, but you suddenly had an enormous number of people treating it like Coachella with ultra-luxury tents, flying in private jets, and never really mingling with others.

Increasingly, many long-time burners started getting priced out, and the whole experience felt a lot less communal.”

5. Lobster

A wood hand painted and carved sign advertising fresh Maine lobster.
Image Credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.

Remember when you could enjoy a lobster dinner without selling a kidney? Well, those days are long gone, man. Thanks to the rich who see lobsters as the ultimate flex, the prices have gone through the roof like a crustacean on steroids!

Someone on Reddit said, “Lobster, them cockroaches of the sea.”

Another Redditor agreed to say, “My grandfather was a lobsterman and poor. My mom tells us stories about how big and cheap lobsters were. She said one lobster could feed the family of 4.”

Someone else couldn’t agree but say, “This was my answer. Used to be for poor people, now it’s for rich people.”

6. Oxtail

Traditional spanish dish slow cooked oxtail in red wine sauce with rabo de toro closeup on a pot on the wooden table.
Image Credit: AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock.

Oxtails were once the unsung heroes of comfort food. They were affordable cuts of meat that could transform into a tender and flavorful feast. We could easily cook up a hearty stew that would make our taste buds sing.

Someone commented, “Another one is oxtail…and it’s only recently become in demand. It used to be poor people’s food, the part of the cow no one wanted to eat… I’m in my 40s, and I remember, as a kid, for big family dinners, there was always a huge pot of oxtail stew full of meat cause it was so dirt cheap. Pile your plate high and get seconds.

Then it was discovered how similar it is to osso bucco but at a stupid cheap price. Supply and demand drove the price way up. Tried to look up historical prices, was able to find that only 5 years ago, it was $9/lb.. now it’s around $15/lb. My big sis says she remembers buying it as a teen, and it was maybe $2/lb

So…it went from a huge pot of stew to a side meat dish to go with chicken, and you can get maybe 2 pieces of oxtail, to…oh Oxtail? You must be rich! lol And now it’s gone to substituting with turkey necks, which is now dubbed poor peoples oxtail. The irony, right?! But it’s not the same at all… it’s pretty terrible, actually. =(“

Another Redditor couldn’t agree more and said, “We grew up with oxtail stew in the fall. It seemed like we were always having it for dinner. I now splurge on two packages of oxtail, and it costs nearly $40, never mind the rest of the ingredients. I make it once a year now, and it’s mostly roasted veggies on rice.”

7. Chicken Wings

Baked chicken wings with sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce on white wooden board.
Image Credit: DronG/Shutterstock.

One said, “From what I’ve read, chicken wings used to be the same way – dirt cheap until the buffalo-style wing took off.”

Someone wrote, “I distinctly remember in the late 80’s. We were poor enough that although my mom worked, sometimes she wouldn’t eat dinner. But chicken wings? The local Stater Bros. sold them 5lbs/$1.89. They came in this big vacuum-sealed pack, and my mom would throw the whole mess in a pressure cooker with some teriyaki sauce. Served over white rice. I loved that stuff.”

Another person added, “Grocery stores used to give them away. Chicken wings were the go-to bait for crab traps back in the day. Now it’s probably the most expensive part of the chicken, lmao.”

It’s like the rich have slapped a designer price tag on each wing, making it a dish reserved for the privileged only. Wing inflation, man, it’s a real kick in the taste buds!

8. The Housing Market

San Francisco travel tourists couple looking at houses landscape banner.
Image Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

Remember when renting an apartment didn’t mean sacrificing your entire paycheck or living with ten roommates? Well, wake up from that dream! The rich have transformed the rental market into a greed drive, where landlords think they can charge whatever they want.

One user shared, “This. I know a guy who buys houses as a hobby. (It’s a friend of a friend.) He doesn’t flip them. He just has a lot of money, buys them, and sells them when the market is right (or if he gets an offer that he likes). Around 10 years ago, he swooped in a paid cash on a cute little country house that we were interested in. I wanted to punch him.”

Another person stated, “Gah… I’m in the market, and every single house around here has been bought up by these a**h**e investment companies, thus jacking up the prices to astronomical levels. Now they’re trying to rent them to cover their insane investment price. Hopefully, the whole market collapses in a few years, and things come down.”

9. Pickup Trucks

Modern pickup in the middle of the desert. Car at the offroad. Big red truck stopped at the during off-road trip
Image Credit: BoJack/Shutterstock.

Pickup trucks used to be the working-class heroes. But now, thanks to the rich and their knack for elitism, trucks have become only a plaything for the rich.

Someone said, “Pickup trucks. They used to be considerably cheaper and driven only by farmers.”

Another added, “I am a driver for a car dealership. I move vehicles between dealers, pick used ones up at auctions, and the like. These trucks are nice, but I just can’t figure out how people afford them. Many of them are 70-80-90-100k! Even used Tacoma’s are 40-50k if you’re lucky. Just insane to me. I drive a 2000 model Toyota Tundra that just flipped 200k miles.”

10. The Middle Class

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Remember when being middle class meant having a decent income, a stable job, and a shot at the good life? Well, the rich have turned the middle class into a struggling, paycheck-to-paycheck existence.

One Reddit user wrote, “Most clever remark I found so far. Middle class will be slowly destroyed in the coming years. Dual-income households will mean nothing. We will have to get 2nd and 3rd jobs just to make ends meet.”

Another commented, “Ironic isn’t it, the middle class was created by nobility to stop kings, queens, and enemies of the republic from losing their heads, and here we are, with the elite trying to destroy the one thing standing between them and the guillotine.”

11. Thrift Stores

Women shopping in thrift store.
Image Credit: Image Source Trading Ltd/Shutterstock.

Someone said, “This makes me so sad! I grew up real poor, and going to the thrift stores for clothes was one of my favorite things; it was always so exciting finding cool, new-to-me things we could actually afford.”

Someone else agreed and said, “For real. It was never a hobby for my mom. She would get me a new wardrobe for less than $20 every time I outgrew my old one, and it saved her so much money as a single working mom. Now you’re lucky to find a single garment for less than $20 at a lot of these places.”

With their fat wallets and Instagram-able vintage, the rich decided to swoop in and ruin it all!

12. Concerts

New York, NY, USA - December 13, 2019: Taylor Swift performs at the 2019 Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden.
Image Credit: Brian Friedman/Shutterstock.

A Redditor wrote, “Plenty of stuff, but concerts and music festivals. I went to concerts, and big ones, with my own money in high school and college. It wasn’t cheap, but it was something kids could save up for, and people just went. Food and drinks were just basic event fare.

Now I’m straight up not sure how people who aren’t well off go to concerts. And responses saying “aha, Ticketmaster” are not as clever as they think. Ticketmaster has existed since long before I was born and has always been sc*mmy, but it wasn’t like it is now. It’s got to be an influencer VIP event, and it’s lame.

And yeah yeah yeah, “you can find great concerts for three pennies and a button if you want to see Schmoe McGee and the Whosiwhatsits playing experimental thrash polka on the theremin in a grimy bar with 4 chairs in it.” Yes, I know, I still go to those concerts sometimes. But most people go to concerts to see artists they care about, not to just “be at a concert, any concert.” There used to be $40 tickets to popular concerts.”

Someone said, “I used to see big bands in the 70s and early 80s for $8.50 – $12. We had a fit when the price went up to $15.”

Concert corporatization, man, it’s like they’ve silenced our rock ‘n’ roll rebellion!

13. The Views

Beach in Malibu, California coastline, USA
Image Credit: turtix/Shutterstock.

The natural beauty that once belonged to all of us has been snatched away, leaving us feeling like we’re just spectators in a video game. Mansion domination, man, they’ve really stolen our scenic dreams!

One user said, “Views. They bribe, steal and buy property all over the world that sits on the best views on the planet. It annoys me that there are some things I’ll never get to see because some jacak*ss bribed a zoning guy so he could build his 8th house on yet another cliff.”

Another person shared similar thoughts and mentioned, “Dude, they’re even stealing views from other rich people. My aunt and uncle are filthy rich. Like, they bought a mansion at the beach to tear it down and build a more or less identical mansion. They paid for a group of “designers” to tour hostels of France looking for specific wallpaper that they loved when they were backpacking in the 80’s.

And they’ll complain loudly about the rich a**h**e down the block from them who built a 4-story house that blocks everyone’s sunset views because they had an agreement not to build over 3 stories so they could all enjoy the views from their multi-million dollar roof decks.”

14. Democracy

American flag waving with the US Capitol Hill in the background
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Someone commented, “It was always an illusion to prevent an uprising. Nice little puppet show.”

Someone else added, “The quiet part that a lot of people don’t want to say out loud is that in quite a few modern democracies became that way because the wealthy got tired of the king “keeping them down” and either overthrew the king or made him irrelevant.

And yes, the French Revolution was not led by the poor against the monarch but wealthy Parisians. Peasants in the countryside counter-revolted in support of the monarchy. Not saying that monarchy is inherently superior, but the monarchs who wanted to keep their own power were the main thing holding back the normal rich people from taking over the government.”

Clearly, the rich have manipulated our system and turned it into a playground for their self-serving agendas. But fear not, for the spirit of political justice still burns within us. So, democracy revolution, anyone?

15. America

Happy young woman holding American flag.
Image Credit: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.

America used to be a symbol of hope and opportunity. It was the land of the American dream, where anyone could rise from rags to riches through hard work and determination.

Someone said, “I moved to the States from the UK in 2007. Was a dream come true. The energy just felt better here. The vibe was way more positive, and everyone just felt kinda united, like it was one big country. It doesn’t feel like that now. Everything is expensive AF (I used to brag how cheap it was to people back in England), and society is completely fragmented. The wealth divide is so in your face. Just got back from two weeks in the UK, and I’m seriously considering moving back (and they have their own problems, but actually feels like a country there with shared values and real community).”

Another user added, “I’d argue just America in general. They’ve infiltrated every level of government at this point, and they’re just taking and taking and taking. At this rate, we’re headed for modern-day serfdom.”

16. Society

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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the inequality that has infected our society. We once believed in equal opportunities and a chance for everyone to thrive, right? Well, say goodbye to that!

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Society. From the food system to climate change to healthcare and housing, they’ve ruined everything.”

Another responded, “Yep, absolutely. Even worse, there are simps out there who think the rich have somehow “earned” their place in society; I encountered one of them here on Reddit several months ago.”

17. Asian Food

Close up Asian man eating yummy hot and spicy instant noodle using chopsticks and bowl isolated on yellow background.
Image Credit: Justinboat.29/Shutterstock.

Someone on Reddit said, “Cheap Asian food. Stuff like pho and Hong Kong BBQ used to be super casual. You go in there and get a nice cheap meal for like $5. Then all these bougie foodies came along, so now I have to buy three times the price for the “atmosphere.””

Another wrote, “I used to live off of Korean food in high school because you could get a full plate of chicken and rice for 5 dollars; now the same thing at the same store is 17$.”

It’s clear that the rich have managed to mess up Asian food and jack up the prices by turning it into a soulless Tik Tok trend.

18. Car Prices

An irritated young man driving a vehicle is expressing his road rage..
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A Redditor wrote, “Car prices. Only rich people and dummies are willing to pay 20k over msrp for a ford bronco, let alone higher-end stuff. Car production is no longer hindered by covid; there is no low inventory; quit being idiots.”

Someone else agreed, “I was looking into the Ford Maverick as my next car. The dealerships near me all are charging $7500 “market adjustment” fee on top of MSRP for them while everyone has had their lots full for the last 6 months. It’s absolutely insane how out of whack the car market has gotten.”

Oh, and let’s not forget the luxury lure that has infiltrated the car market. The rich have turned car ownership into a status symbol. And you know what that leaves us with? Nothing!

19. Camping

Family sitting near tent camping
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Thanks to the rich, who’ve decided that roughing is for peasants, camping has become a lavish affair with fancy tents, gourmet meals, and a personal butler to fetch your marshmallows. They’ve turned the great outdoors into a red-carpet event, leaving the rest of us feeling like we’re camping in the shadows of their luxury campgrounds!

Someone commented, “Yes! I came to say this. You can’t find a campsite anywhere now. I read a story that some people will rent at multiple places 6 months in advance, then when the weekend comes, choose the one with the best weather. They don’t cancel the other sites. So they sit empty.”

Another replied, “Right? I just want to have a quiet time in the woods with my son, and there is always someone with a 30-foot RV that costs more than my house and a generator that sounds like a 747.”

20. Airbnb

Woman is installing Airbnb application on Lenovo tablet. Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging
Image Credit: Daniel Krason/Shutterstock.

One user said, “As a touring artist, I went from years living in hotels, then Airbnb came and saved the day and for some years I LIVED in Airbnbs. And now it’s back to hotels. They shouldn’t have allowed investors to plunk 40 properties at a time on Airbnb. They shouldn’t have allowed for Airbnb to become the career of some people beside some B&B owners.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Oh man, they used to be so sick for me and my fox to go places awesome. Now the cleaning fee alone is the price of a multi-day hotel stay.”

Now, it’s like a never-ending list of cleaning fees, service charges, and other surprise expenses that inflate the price faster than a hot air balloon.

Someone shared, “No, it’s literally large corporations buying entire swathes of downtown areas, turning them into Airbnb and turning the actual downtown into a ghost town because of how rent spikes as a result.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.

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