Better Living through Pods

The American Dream keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Every article I read about homeownership tells me it’s a terrible time to buy a house. You idiot, these articles say to me. You absolute moron. Even the Wall Street Journal, the paper of record for America’s business class, recently told would-be homebuyers to keep dreaming: “There’s never been a worse time to buy instead of rent.” It’s not just that it’s currently a bad time to buy a house; according to The Atlantic, there will “never be a good time” to do it. The reasons for the housing crisis are complicated and mostly boring: an absence of new housing stock, plus high mortgage rates that are unlikely to sink and salaries that are unlikely to grow sufficiently to cover the difference. Try again in 2030, says The Atlantic, with the implication that only an idiot might hope the housing market will be better in the future. In the meantime my rent keeps going up, just as it has for most people in major cities across the globe. I keep thinking of the lyrics to “London,” a 2023 song by the British band Pynch:

Have you ever dreamed of owning …

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