1996 magazine ad says it all about 2026

"They say in thirty years, a burger and fries could cost $16, a vacation $12,400, and a basic car $65,000," leads a 1996 ad for financial services company TIAA (then TIAA-CREF). "No problem. You'll eat in. You won't drive. And you won't go anywhere."

It's not far off. But first, The Running Man's 2025 six-dollar cokes! Consider that it was marketing to a generation—yes, the Boomers—who were then entering middle age, and promised to save them from their own inevitable failure by managing their investments.

Google Images knows this ad was in the October 3, 1994 edition of The New Yorker. The rest of the series is below. We need a term for this genre: social realist imagery applied to middle class anxieties, crafting an aesthetic ideology of corporate capitalism while quietly but firmly selling them on fear. Monochromimous. Osteoliberal. Mistopian.

Previously: The New York Times` prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA