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May 05, 2009


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It has been an astounding collapse. Still, when you think how meteoric the rise was, the rate of decline is not too surprising. If "creative destruction" is the quintessential macroeconomic experience, well, here's Detroit to explicate the concept.

The damage cars have done to this country is incalculable. They destroyed cities, ruined the countryside, coarsened the culture, and distorted our priorities with their hugely expensive infrastructure and carrying costs. But the mythology of freedom is powerful, so we'll trudge on, gamely trying to keep ghost industries relevant.

Passenger rail service was bound to decline in this environment. Political support for rail vanished as cars took over our lives. Now we're wondering if it was all a mistake. We're stuck with a transportation system too extensive to abandon and too expensive to maintain.

Phoenix is such a distended blob of a city that it's unlikely to reinvent itself fast enough to compete with high-density, creative-class hotspots. We came of age during the Age of the Automobile. Is it just a coincidence that our descent and Detroit's seem to be occurring in tandem?

Expensive oil and greenhouse pollution will only become non-issues when clean, alternative sources of energy (e.g. solar) are developed and made inexpensive via the economies of mass production and technical refinements arising from R&D.

There really is no alternative to alternative energy, except a worldwide return to the days of the horse and buggy, so the sooner we get started, the easier it will be to work out the transition in an orderly fashion.

Congestion is a different problem because it bumps up against factors such as population increase and fixed geographic land limits. Neither the USA nor other countries can accomodate unlimited population growth, and eventually that's going to have to be dealt with through medically engineered population control enforced by laws and governments.

P.S. Get people used to the idea of the NECESSITY for population control now, and you can design communities suiting any low population density you like (provided that this is consistent with the economic system in place -- capitalism isn't).

If you instead wait until everybody is stacked up like mice in their own little cubby holes with their similarly rationed resources, social engineering will be hell (not to mention quality of life).

With the economy where it is today is it very important to purchase construction equipment and trucks that you can count on and won’t let you down. The slightest equipment set back right now could be the difference between in business or bankrupt.

cars are not a bad idea per se. if the gubberment would only let GM die it would give the likes of Tesla Motors half a chance. keeping GM alive only breeds resentment and promotes the 'cars are bad' mentality.

If we don't extract the oil from the ocean floor then China and others will, and steamroll what's left of our manufacturing base without a single second of remorse over the "environment". Can we stop them? NO. And all this "Green" crap everybody likes to spout? The foreigners with lower natural resource and labor costs will kick our booty in that too. We are willingly committing Industrial suicide to try to save the environment nobody else in the world gives a crap about. That's the truth is anybody can handle it. Maybe we can all make a living performing taxpayer subsidised sex change operations in SF or working for Acorn signing up dead voters to stuff the ballod boxes for the Liberals that have ruined this once great country.

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