Serf city

By King Kaufman

By Salon Staff
Published April 30, 2001 7:30PM (EDT)

Read the story.

The cost of housing seems to be unreasonable in all the big cities of the U.S., which means they will all turn into versions of South African cities where the black servants were not permitted to live in the cities where they worked. Here, "service workers" of any color will be forced out economically and have to add increased commuting expenses to their meager budgets, or else live in increasingly cramped quarters. Now, even middle-class -- and middle-aged -- workers with decent incomes have to live with roommates.

-- Rhonda Keith

I've lived in the Bay Area for two years this time around -- last time was in 1989 when there was no Internet boom. Prices here are astonishingly high, mostly for no good reasons I can see outside of greed. The blame does not, however, lie at the doorstep of some vague "dot-com asshole(s)." This greed has affected all sectors of life here.

I am also someone who works -- er, worked -- for a successful dot-com until today (yep, you heard me. Today!). My dot-com is closing its doors later this afternoon, I think. It's too bad; we had a good idea and actually made money online -- just not enough. Now I look at the 1,200 bucks a month I pay to share a small duplex in the East Bay and think to myself, No F$#%@ way! Too expensive -- and without a job?

Minneapolis is looking better and better again, much as I'd hate to leave the weather, the food and the city.

-- PjV

It was great to read about "the little people" who are actually a majority of Americans. I appreciate hearing about how others are having a tough time making it. It's a refreshing alternative to always hearing about the economic boom -- or now, the end of it.

-- Pam

Granted, if you read anything right now you will have the impression that the dot-commers are a bunch of whiners, but the lower-end workers seem even worse. All these stories tell of people who have made decisions that have caused them to live the way they have. Particularly for immigrants, there are all sorts of free and very inexpensive programs and vocational training programs available.

Why is it that people choose to be bottom feeders and then complain that they can't move up the food chain? Granted, it can be difficult, but if you choose not to put in the effort, why complain at your results? No one has the right to expect success, just the chance to become successful. If the Bay Area is too expensive, move. If you don't want to have to share a place with "vegans," don't complain that you can't afford to live alone. No one seems to want to work their way up; they just complain about being at the bottom.

-- Zelda

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------