People Share 64 Things That Were Made For The Poor But Were Ruined By The Rich

According to findings by sociologist Matthew Desmond, which he presents in his new book, Poverty, by America, since 1979, the bottom 90% of income earners in the U.S. experienced annual earnings gains of just 24%, while the wages of the top 1% of earners more than doubled.

Looking at inflation-adjusted figures, ordinary workers have seen their pay tick up only 0.3% a year for several decades. So the real wages for many Americans today are roughly what they were 40 years ago.

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Still, people have been trying their best to make use of what they have. And they do find ways to enjoy life. That is until the market changes things for them. There’s a Reddit thread that asked the platform users, “What was loved by poor people until rich people ruined it?” and it quickly went viral, receiving an interesting archive of replies. Here are some of the most popular ones.


Second hand shopping, there’s nothing worse than going into a completely harvested op shop and not being able to find anything in your size / of good quality because hipsters came and raided the place and sold everything at a 150% mark-up on their f*****g depop account.

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Farmers markets. When I was a child, we were broke as a joke. The farmers market was where we went to get dirt cheap produce and whatnot. Now farmers markets are super expensive and filled with stalls from out of state farms selling aRtIsInAl cHeEseS aNd nOn-gMO hEiRlOoM tOmaToEs.

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PODCASTS!! The number of amazing podcasts that have been ripped off by celebrities who are so out of touch with the average persons daily experiences is disgusting. They are so starved for attention they have to take over any discussion that’s happening.

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Affordable housing.

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All types of what was traditionally “poor people food”. Pork belly, oxtails, etc. All the things that use to be cheap because they were considered to be the trash parts. Now that people realize how delicious they can be its driven the price up.

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The planet.

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I’m sure someone already mentioned this but CAMPING. It used to cost close to nothing to reserve a camp site (some are still cheap) but now they’ve gone all boujee and some sites charge you ridiculous fees to pitch a tent in the woods. Same with music festivals in the forests. People would go to get away from b******t societal hierarchies and enjoys music and self expression. Then they got all mainstream and it lost its original meaning (think Burning Man).

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Cheap foods – donuts, cupcakes, hamburgers, wings – that have all been given the “foodie” treatment and went from good cheap eats to gourmet pricing without a corresponding increase in quality.

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The outdoors. So many places used to be difficult to get to, required some level of toughness and grit just to see. More and more people argue that they are entitled to see these places without that, and they’re flooding in, paving roads, cramming parking lots full, and trampling some of the most pristine, delicate, untouched areas of the world. I’m not trying to gatekeep these places, but nature sure was.

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So idk if any of y’all in this sub live in rural communities, but big farming industries are killing small farmers. Impossible to own your own farm and make money at this point because big industry pushes you out. A decade or 2 ago you could sustain yourself with your own crops/animals, but now that’s become so expensive you need a job on top of caring for your farm.

Now with all this s**t going down, rich people are buying up farmland, presumably to make money when the stock market crashes again. I just bought 40 acres a year ago and in the past 3 months I’ve gotten 15 letters in the mail from various people trying to buy my land for way more than it’s worth.


Living near the coast used to be a poor people thing a long time ago.

nakedonmygoat replied:

My grandfather bought a house on Cape Cod when he retired from being an airline mechanic in the late 60s. He wasn’t poor, but he sure as hell wasn’t rich, and a normal middle class person wouldn’t be able to do that today. Even if you inherit a house free and clear, the property taxes will eat you alive if you aren’t rich.

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The saying “money doesn’t buy you happiness” was originally used by the poor towards the rich asking them to share the wealth.

Now its used as a statement to shut down poor people who talk about wanting enough money to survive.

(BTW studies shows that money does buy happiness but only if its not too much. Around 100,000$ a year is were they found the highest quality of life and emotional stability.)


Theater used to be the entertainment for the masses and now it’s ridiculously expensive and inaccessible to most people.

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Hawaii. Im Polynesian and rich people have pretty much made Hawaii thiers and im sick of it. Technically not poor people but all islanders.

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Vegan food. When it became a trend the label vegan made it 50% more expensive.

There was a huge scandal in the late 2000s when it was reveal most pizza shops didn’t use real cheese, because plant based was cheaper.

Today vegan cheese 200% compared to normal cheese.

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ComicCons used to be pretty affordable, and you could chat with celebrities for a while.

Now they are a huge extravaganza, with multiple levels of admission and VIP access and VIP seating. Pictures and autographs with bigger celebrities can cost a shitload, and you wait in multiple lines and are rushed through it.

When I went(pre-Covid) I normally just see/buy art, those folks are usually not super busy and will often sign stuff for free.(unless they are big dudes like Frank Miller)

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Creating YouTube channels.

KiloNation replied:

The worst part of this is that they all use the same format. Vlogs, 50 different camera cuts in a span of two minutes, clickbait titles and thumbnails.

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Lobster – used to be peasant food, served to inmates, and used for plant fertilizer….


Gaming. Hear me out.

Somebody is making those f*****g microtransactions profitable for those companies. I f*****g hate this s**t!


Converse. When my dad was a kid it’s what the poor kids wore now they are like $50 a pair for the same s**t shoe.


New York City…

Mind you, I’m Puerto Rican, from New York and the diversity that once thrived in that city was 10 fold what it is today. Crazy to think right? I mean it’s NEW YORK.

My grandmother lived in Little Italy for over 55 years before she passed away in 2019. She lived in the same apartment on Mulberry St for that long and everyone knew who she was. She lived there during the peak, and eventual, fall of the Mafia. The streets on a Saturday night would be closed off, you could smell the food the entire block, people among people among people. I remember walking past as a child with my mom and just being in awe of how many people were just having dinner, drinking wine and just genuinely happy. I would go up to my Grandmothers and climb out onto the fire escape and just gaze at them and I would never get bored…

…None of that exists anymore. Gentrification is a real b***h. Most of the hispanic and black minority have moved to places like Queens and inner city Bronx or Brooklyn, you know.. where the “poor” people belong. Truly sad. I’ll never forget New York as I knew it.


Taking junky old cars and fixing them up as a hobby. Rich people discovered they could buy up loads of potentially very worthwhile project cars for not much, restore them to a level of unobtainable quality and price which drove the price up, now everyone “knows what they have” (eyeroll.png) and holds out for the big buyers instead of the neighbor down the street. They turned a hobby into a billion dollar industry and entertainment conglomerate so they can sell the cars to other rich people since few people can afford a $200,000 restored Mustang or GTO or whatever it is.

Image credits: anon



Used to be (years ago) a kick back event with music lovers.

It’s now a s**t show with over the top antics and an opportunity for rich folks to party. The music isn’t the main reason they go.


Avocados have become so popular that the locals can no longer afford them.

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Football was working man’s game. My Dad took me and my cousin to games every week home and away. This is beyond many now

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Vinyl collecting. It was a dead, cheap to get into industry as a hobby. Now come and get your $50 RSD special jizz splatter Chet Baker EP.

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I think work boots and work clothing are being ruined. I want to buy work boots but the good stuff is being discontinued for hipster style boots for people who go to Starbucks and never set foot in a warehouse/construction/trade environment. The same with clothing. Carhartt is a hipster brand. Dickies started doing this flex s**t a while back, although they have sort of remained ok for now.


Storage shed auctions used to be really cheap until that stupid Storage Wars show came along.

Now instead of buying cheap for some furniture, too many people are jacking up the prices thinking that there’s some lost antiques worth thousands that they’d find in every unit.



Supernova008 added:

Man! An an Indian Hindu, the way western people appropriated and completely ruined yoga is very damn infuriating.


Timberlands. They used to be good, inexpensive work boots that would last you forever, but once they got popular with celebrities, the price started going up and the quality went down. Now they’re treated like a luxury brand and it’s easier to find them in pink or with bedazzles than in a traditional color.


Sewing and sewing supplies. The new machines are plastic garbage and since its become a hobby rather than for the average person the patterns after the 70s use way too much fabric.

Image credits: Tish-of3Marys


Mexican food, especially simple stuff like tacos and burritos.

It used to be the cheap option, especially where I live as there’s a huge hispanic population and lots of great cheap Mexican takeout places. Then all of a sudden tacos became trendy and now places with $5+ tacos exist and everything went up in price pretty quickly.

karmagod13000 added:

Prolly like ramen noodles or McDonald’s. fast food isn’t even cheap anymore.


Food that was cooked out of necessity.

Chinese dumplings or pot stickers, for example, was a way to stretch out meat rations over an extended amount of time. A pound of meat can be quickly consumed by a family of five but if you wrap small portions of that meat with carrots, cabbage, and virtually any vegetable in dough and either boil it or fry it, you can satiate the entire household for a longer period of time.

When rich people started making it, basically with the same ingredients, the tone of the dish changed. Before, it was consumed because hard decisions had to made to make it through a rough period. Now, at places like Fats, a set of five dumplings will set you back about fifteen bucks and served as an appetizer to a hundred or more dollar meal giving the illusion that you’re eating some ballin’ a*s dumplings when in reality, it’s just dumplings.


Hulu, YouTube and quinoa.
The first two used to be as free as well as free. I remember we used to find ways to watch Hulu at school on the school laptops. I watched lots of spice and wold and other anime on there. YouTube used to be awesome. Now both are full of ads and not as entertaining because of it. Not to mention they charge you for them just to avoid ads and then Hulu doesn’t honor their word. SMH.

Edit to add that a whole civilization used to have quinoa as a big part of their everyday lives. Now big companies have made it a popular health food that costs an arm and a leg. Now they cannot even afford it anymore.


Grunge/punk style clothing – bought for few $$ now designer versions sell for 100s.


Outlet malls. Growing up the outlet mall was the place to find slightly irregular items and last years styles for like 50-75% off retail prices. Now they are just another retail store.


Living in the middle of no where like a forest or near a lake.


Carnivals and amusement parks.

$80 for 2 slices of pizza, 2 salads, and 2 drinks at Six Flags.

Everything is not just expensive, its obscenely way past expensive. *Everything*.

My son n I filled the backseat up with game prizes and a couple huge stuffed animals last summer, but I easily spent over $200 on games (and we’re actually pretty good at ’em).

It was a $900+ day ?


Areas before they were gentrified. Gentrification increases house prices and the cost of living.

Rawscent added:

Cool neighborhoods. The rich move in and eliminate all the diversity that made them cool bit by bit until it’s all just rich people pretending to be cool.


The champion brand. I remember goodwill and walmart selling their champion stuff for cheap, now it’s “designer” and it costs so much more now smh

Edit: I’m so glad that other people know what I’m talking about. This was my first comment after making a reddit for myself, also, “designer” is a very strong word. It’s more “in trend” and popular. It’s not as big as Michael Kors and Steve madden but it’s difficult to find a champion sweater for less than $50-100+ when it used to be $10-20


Alaskan King Crab legs. When I was a kid, we could get a 1 lb box for $.99




Anything that was relabeled as “communism” so that the rich wouldn’t have to pay more taxes / give up their lucrative business models.

e.g., Unions, state subsidized healthcare, estate tax, etc.


Pretty much anything retro video game related. For awhile there everyday people used to be able to find quality retro games, systems and peripherals (Atari, NES, Genesis, SNES, Turbografx, ColecoVision etc) at flea markets and garage sales for just a few bucks. Now everything is snatched up by a handful of resellers and pumped up in price on ebay or at conventions. Thank goodness for emulation.


Hot springs.

Used to be for everyone, and often viewed as dirty or undesirable by the upper class.

Now people are buying up land featuring hot springs and making them expensive resorts.


Trucks, 80,000$ for a truck is nuts.


Every little cool mountain town in the American west.


Carhartt equipment. Used to be for people who do work. And now the beenie costs $35. (LPT: the same carhartt beenie you see everyone wearing is still $7 at the Home Depot, and like I said, about $35 in stores at the mall!)


The ‘minimalist’ lifestyle.

You’re a multi-millionaire yet for some reason you live in some squeaky clean, showhome apartment with brushed metal everything, and own almost literally nothing. You call this “liberating”, when the reality is lots of people genuinely can’t afford that apartment or indeed any contents for it.


Ripped denim jeans. They’re casual, comfortable, and usually ripped in places caused by typical wear patterns.

Then rich people had to make them weird, make them with clear plastic cut-outs. Make them look how an alien would guess what ripped jeans are supposed to look like if you translated it into their language poorly and then had to describe them.

And then charged $2000 for the monstrosity.


Target. I don’t have a Walmart by me, so a while back, this was the cheapest store next to the dollar store for us. Now thanks to all the rich people on social media hyping it up, it’s not as inexpensive as it used to be. I’ve even heard some rich moms complain that it’s ‘not as cheap as people said it was’. Yeah, because you guys won’t leave it alone.


The Internet – Remember back when all of the things that now have outrageously pricey subscription fees or are locked behind paywalls were all freely available and there was a variety of competing sites innovating and experimenting with new ideas.

Not saying things were perfect and there have been many QoL improvements since but the core ability of people anywhere in the world having free and equal access to a huge variety of content has now been segregated to those who can afford it.

Also many of the features of sites that do have free offering levels, have had services (once offered for free), now behind a paywall as they are considered desirable and very little new features that add meaningful value are added.


Creativity on the Internet everything seems to be patented or copyright protected.


I’m pretty sure barbecue was created by poor people as a way to make bad cuts of meat slightly edible. Now those same cuts are as expensive as the rest because barbecue isn’t the last option before starvation.


Tybee Island, Ga. Aka the Redneck Riviera used to be a place where one could get a house close to the beach for a relatively low price, until rich movie stars started buying there.


Beaches, a bunch of country clubs and families bought up most of the public lakes and now if you want to swim at a beach you either have to drive out of your way to the few public areas left or pay out the a*s to a country club


Chicken and waffles.

Got some at a place recently that bragged they used hand-breaded chicken strips (aka microwaved nuggets). wtf – just put a piece of fried chicken on there and call it good.


Graphics Cards.


Living in cars.

Maybe not so much “loved” but with housing being the way it is – living out of a car/van is one of the only ways people can get by. The rich trying to capitalize on the boho lifestyle and how “freeing” it is to go so minimal is gross when the people in the car beside them are just trying to get by. People can’t afford rent and a car to get to work, somehow rich people stepped in to make that look appealing.


Colorado. The original locals are being forced out of the state by the wave of Californians coming in, dropping $500k cash on a house, and then voting for NIMBY zoning laws to keep new housing from being built to compensate for the increased demand.


Classic cars.


Rap music!


Living in Brooklyn.


Hunting in my area it use to be a way to get some cheap meat.

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