In 2016, we saw many of our beloved celebrities die, but we also saw businesses die as people decided to retire after many years of service. I made plans to get Chanukkah donuts at a bakery in Oakland this year, and on Christmas Night, as Dave and I were strolling down Grand, making our way to a Chinese restaurant that had its lights on, we saw that bakery was open. They were having a shut down party because the owner had decided to retire after several years of running the bakery. Sadly, they did not make any donuts this year. I told Dave that I would buy that bakery in a heartbeat if I had the money. I don't really have money to invest or a house to back it up on. Also, I just moved and the cost of moving into a three bedroom house (albeit one I will eventually share with people) is enough to drive me into debt, but luckily I already have savings. And yet, instead of making a nest egg of my own, I am giving most of my money to some wealthy benefactor landowner in some trust who barely maintains their dilapidated 1960's era home.
This bakery is not the only business I see closing. A lot of businesses will probably close in the future, but very few people can afford to buy them and set up their own businesses. Many people in the bay area can't even afford to regularly go out to eat or buy things at a bakery so maybe it doesn't matter, but it makes me wonder how the next generation of people will be able to find and enjoy an independent business let alone be able to run one.