What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read this?
A luxury condo building on New York City’s Upper West Side has gotten clearance from the city to have a separate entrance, or a “poor door,” for low-income tenants, according to the New York Post.
To me, the first thing that comes to mind is: hey, low-income tenants get to live in a luxury condo building on the Upper West Side? Sounds pretty sweet!
But what initially seems like a sweet deal, upon closer inspection, turns out to be a scene of utter horror:
And besides being made to use a separate entrance, some low-income residents in luxury buildings are prohibited from using the amenities offered to the wealthy tenants, which in the case of this particular building include swimming pools and regulation-sized basketball courts. Several buildings in the city ban affordable housing or rent-regulated tenants from using perks like gyms, rooftops, and pools, and the practice is on the rise.
That is DISCRIMINATION! How dare they prevent people from using luxury amenities just because they aren’t paying as much as people who are!
Luckily, lawmakers are on the case:
New York City lawmakers have taken notice of all of this, and two council members are working on legislation that would expand the city’s anti-discrimination protections to include rent-regulated tenants. A state assemblywoman has introduced legislation that would require buildings to let low-income renters use all the amenities.
Thank goodness. I, for one, applaud lawmakers’ efforts to ensure that poor people get the same stuff even if they don’t pay for it. But why stop here? Poor people also have to fly coach, whereas rich people can fly first class — and where is the equity in that? Hopefully, lawmakers will address this inequity, so that those of us who pay coach fares can have access to the first class amenities we deserve.
Also, I drive a car with over 150,000 miles on it. It is scratched in several places and dirty. I would certainly prefer to drive a brand-new Lexus or Mercedes . . . but our society’s discriminatory policies ensure that such comfort is reserved for people who pay for it. I don’t have a car payment, but why should I have to pay for a Audi? Equitable legislation would mandate that I have access to luxury automobiles without having to suffer the indignity of paying for them.
Three cheers for New York lawmakers, who truly have their eye on the ball. It’s high time we ended this system where some get to have better things than others, and revert to something akin to the glorious Soviet system, where everybody has equal access to the same lousy living conditions.
UPDATE: You pay for my water!