Sorry in advance for the upcoming rant, but a local news article really struck a nerve with me this morning.
I have already mentioned how Sun Valley, Idaho has lost its charm with me after reading about how they suggested that the “average folks” (nurses, teachers, etc) live in tent cities and shower at the YMCA because rents are so high in the area there is nothing affordable for the peasant class.
Well now this piece popped up about the Jackson, Wyoming area which is having a similar issue. It’s just too expensive for regular working people to live and work there, even though most of them are literally servants to the elite.
Pricey housing causes Jackson Hole workers to live in forest
JACKSON, Wyoming (AP) — A soupy mix of beans, rice and quinoa down the hatch, Erica Robertson prepared to get cozy last Thursday evening at one of her favorite places to call home: Curtis Canyon.
The 23-year-old semi-itinerant Jackson Hole denizen sleeps in the twin bed built into the back of her Toyota RAV4, and her four wheels were parked in a place she’s become familiar with. The dispersed camping area where Robertson would roost for the night was some 1,200 feet over the valley floor, boasting sweeping views of Jackson Hole and the Tetons that have drawn car campers up the rock-strewn, switchbacked road for generations.
Robertson enjoys those same marvels, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.
But, as a temporary resident, she finds other perks to holing up for the night at Curtis Canyon rather than a more far-flung destination.
“I can watch Netflix up here,” she said. “I’ve got unlimited data.”
A twentysomething who is stringing together odd jobs and living off her savings for the time being, Robertson chose to live out of her car. That’s been life ever since graduating from George Washington University with a molecular and cellular biology degree in 2020, and it’s the plan up until winter makes car life untenable.
“If I could find housing, I probably would have done that,” Robertson said. “But it’s just so hard I didn’t really even feel the need to try.”
So she makes do with 139 cubic feet of retrofitted Toyota.
Look, I get that it’s unbelievably beautiful up there and it’s easy to see why the billionaires have made Jackson and the surrounding area their favorite playground, just like Sun Valley. Still, it infuriates me that with all that money, no one seems to care that their maids, pool cleaners, chefs and the like are living like this because they can’t afford even a small shack?
I often cruise the real estate listings on Zillow and marvel at the log mansions regularly up for sale, like this one.
There are always so many it makes me wonder to myself how are there this many wealthy people in the world? What the hell are they doing to make so much money while so many of us are struggling just to get by??
Now I just wonder why they are such jerks that they can’t provide decent rental accommodations for those of us out here in the world who just want to make their lives a little easier when they’re in town (hardly anyone lives in those log mansions year-round). The guy who works at the car wash or the lady who waits tables isn’t asking for much. Just a safe, warm place to live while they cater to your elitist needs.
Here is a listing for an average home. Nothing fancy, but look at the price!
The monthly payment after putting 20% down is so high that you can’t possible rent it out to even break even let alone make a profit as a landlord.
The article ends with this:
Living out of a car on the national forest and in other public places is predictably tiring at times and isn’t for everybody.
“I eat shitty food all the time and it’s exhausting worrying about where you’re going to sleep all the time,” Robertson said. “I’ve had some cold nights. Last Sept. 7 it snowed. It was like 10 degrees and I didn’t have a proper sleeping bag.”
Still, she extolled the benefits of being homeless in Jackson Hole.
“I think more people should try living in their cars,” Robertson said. “It’s very liberating.”
No. It isn’t liberating to be homeless. It’s wrong and shouldn’t be allowed to happen in an area where the uber wealthy could do something about it. 😡