This Week’s Cartoon: “The Seven Billionth Human”

This one was at least partly influenced by the “We Are the 99 Percent” Tumblr (h/t to my colleague Matt Bors), where #Occupy movement supporters of all ages are posting photos of themselves holding hand-written notes explaining their circumstances, many of which are dire. Read enough of them, and twin themes emerge of crushing student loans amd medical bills. It’s an almost embarrassing display of how miserably the richest country in the world deals with its citizens’ education and health care. (And yes, I realize that Baby 7B is most likely being born in a so-called developing country, under different but no less-challenging circumstances, but I took some artistic license.)

One meme that really gets my goat these days is the idea that college kids shouldering massive student loans must have partied their way through school, or were too lazy to work to pay their tuition. Have these critics not noticed what a college degree costs now? Do they really think you can pay for higher education on a library book shelver’s income? (That was my college job.)  Sometimes I think these self-satisfied blowhards must have spent the last decade partying, or were simply too lazy to do the work of following basic economic trends.


Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist for Daily Kos, The Nation, In These Times, Politico and other publications throughout the US. She received the 2023 Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning from the National Press Foundation, and is a recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is also a Pulitzer Finalist.



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