Michael, Banquet Server

Michael Roback

Professionals need service workers, and service workers need professionals. If they keep pushing people farther and farther outside the city, like San Francisco, people without six-figure jobs are being forced out of the city. Who’s going to take care of the professionals if the service workers can’t live anywhere near the city?

The mayor was just here at a lunch talking about how he wants to dedicate millions of dollars to create low-income housing. But this problem is way deeper than money. You have to have a plan.

 I ride the buses out of choice. And I hear these conversations everyday on the bus from the working class and poor people, I hear it from my fellow coworkers…people are moving further and further to the outskirts of town.

 But it’s corporate more than anything. Corporate development and the politicians that are playing patty-cake with the corporate developers and the general public in terms of cow towing to what the developers want.  Before 1965,when you walked down Third Avenue, the Smith Tower was the tallest building left of the Mississippi. Half these buildings are empty now. How are they getting away with that? By writing it off on taxes as losses.

A lot of this has to do with what I call predatory financial institutions that are controlling this country. Look at what happened during the 2008 thing…hundreds of thousands of loans were foreclosed but the banks were bailed out.

 I live a dry, simple lifestyle. Once again, it’s about lifestyle choices. I choose not to own a home and I choose not to own a car. There are only a certain amount of resources that can go around for everyone. Some of us have to make these choices so that there is something left for our children and grandchildren. I’ve been aware of this for a long time because of how I was raised. If everybody would just take a little time and walk to the supermarket instead of taking the car, we’d all be better off.  All of these things add up a lot if everybody would get on the same page. We could save the world. We could make a big difference. But people are lazy and stuck in their old habits. I’m lazy too…I’m not saying I’m some martyr or something, I’ve still got a long ways to go.”

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