What Archie Bunker Teaches Us About the Housing Crisis

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Remember Archie Bunker? Not really? That’s OK—it’s an old reference.

Archie Bunker was the protagonist of the hit 1970s sitcom All in the Family. As the series name implies, he was a family man—hardworking, gruff, charming, and bigoted in a way that wouldn’t fly on television today.

But that’s not the only thing about Archie that doesn’t stand the test of time. Because in the 1970s, on his salary as a New York loading-dock foreman, Archie and his family rented a home in Flushing, Queens. In today’s world, that math doesn’t work. Archie would earn a salary of roughly $50,000 per year now, enough to realistically afford a rent of about $1,250 per month. The Bunkers’ home would rent for at least twice that. And don’t get me started on the rent-controlled fantasies of Friends or Seinfeld!

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