This Week’s Cartoon: “Zip Homes”

I’m assuming everyone is familiar with Zipcars. I’m currently reading Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead, by Tamara Draut. The chapter about housing contains some telling statistics (bear in mind that the book was published in 2005, before the bubble burst, not that things are oh-so-affordable now).

Between 1995 and 2002, rents in nearly all of the largest metropolitan areas rose astronomically. Median rents in San Francisco ballooned 76 percent; Boston, 62 percent; San Diego, 54 percent

A house purchased in Levittown back in 1952 for $6,700 ($44,647 in today’s dollars) sold for $300,000 in 2003.

Draut goes on to describe a family in San Lorenzo, CA. A young couple can’t afford to buy a home in the same town as their parents, who couldn’t afford to buy their own house if they had to buy it today. When you throw in stagnant incomes, massive unemployment, and austerity fever, it becomes clear that America needs… ZIP HOMES!


  • Tom

    The most sobering encapsulation of this I ever heard was that by today’s standrads, Willie Loman, from “Death of a Saleman,” would be considered a roaring success, because he owned his house and could afford to have his wife be a housewife instead of her having to be out working for an auxiliary income. We seem to have gone full circle from Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”

  • Spacious Specious

    I have a friend in SF who went into the real estate biz. It took him a decade of hard work before he made enough money to buy a modest home out in the avenues. Lucky bastard!

    Very funny cartoon! It interrupted my uninterruptable weeping for a moment or two.

  • John

    Great cartoon.

    You need to patent this business plan before it makes someone else rich.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.