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What Almost Talking to a Poor Taught Me About Rent Control

The other day, I was leaving my CBD goat yoga class when my peace was momentarily disrupted by a member of the poors, holding a clipboard and wearing synthetic fabrics.

‘Poor’ is still the preferred nomenclature, right? Sorry if I mispronounced it!

Anyway, his t-shirt said, ‘Rent Control,’ which I know might sound like a nonsense made-up phrase, like ‘butterfly toast’ or ‘preexisting condition,’ but I looked it up and this one is actually real. I had a great buzz going from the cabbage rose quartz kombucha they served after class, and the thing is, you literally do way more to heal the planet if your good vibes circulate uninterrupted. Which is also why I didn’t stop for the person with the ‘Stop Climate Change’ shirt last week. I’m saving the planet with my Tesla and my cosmic connections, lady!

Even though I didn’t talk to him, the guy with the clipboard got me thinking. I know my neighborhood used to have more poors in it, before I moved here and before the sensory deprivation movie theater opened up. Side-note, if you’ve never experienced cinema from inside a soundproof, lightproof tank of water, you’re sooo depriving yourself!

Sure, rent control sounds nice, although a shaman taught me you can’t truly control anything when I was on my $90,000 ayahuasca vacay last summer. But if landlords start making less money, or if my property taxes go up, it means all of us will be stingy about throwing gross pennies from the bottom of the purse toward homeless people! We’d literally be taking money away from homeless people by taking money away from me.

After I got home, I opened a bottle of rosé and meditated some more about how rent control could change the neighborhood. It’s true that my cleaning lady, who’s also poor, has to commute two hours by bus to get here. If we had more cheap housing in the area, it would mean she could live closer to work. But it would also mean my property value would go down, and I wouldn’t be able to pay her. I mean, I could, but it would really do a number on my lifestyle, and my lifestyle keeps me generous. She’d be out of a job! And she’d miss out on all the random and mysterious interactions with beautiful, exotic strangers that must happen on buses.

So thank you, poor person standing outside the hot yoga studio on a 100-degree day to collect signatures. You helped me understand our communities thrive when we can afford to be selective about who our neighbors are. Nama-stay in my luxury condo!

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