Thursday, February 22, 2018

Kansas City Blogger Book Review: The Rise and Fall of American Growth

As the dollar weakens, we take a look at the economic history of the nation from a local perspective thanks to one of the more brilliant Internets denizens.


LR Blog: Is This as Good as It Gets? A Review of Robert J. Gordon's "The Rise and Fall of American Growth"

Money line . . .

"Many younger people who have no personal knowledge and very little historical knowledge of urban transportation condemn the automobile and are pushing for what they consider “public transit,” that is streetcars—the very streetcars our ancestors happily replaced with maneuverable and cheaper buses. I’m writing this during an ice storm here in Kansas City. Our streetcar is inoperable, as it is so often during bad weather, and buses are filling in for it. Buses are far cheaper than fixed rail transit and far more maneuverable. Buses, in other words, are for transportation. Streetcars are taxpayer-funded nostalgia. OK. Back to the 1870s.

"In 2002, a massive ice storm hit Kansas City. Many of us were without power for several days. (I was without electricity for ten days.) That experience helps me understand a little what life would have been like in 1870, but even then, I had indoor plumbing and access to transportation, so deprived as I felt for ten days, that was nothing compared to the deprivations of everyday life for everyone in 1870. Of course, they and none of their ancestors going back centuries realized their deprivation. It was everyday life for them. So much for the good old days!"

You decide . . .


Anonymous said...

The real title of the blog entry should be 'How Clueless Democrats Destroy Cities'.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm. Did you, like, actually read it?

Anonymous said...

I blame the coloreds!

Anonymous said...

The final paragraph of the article is pure socialist claptrap.
The author left out the advances of the information age, which have increased productivity and quality of life.

A paradigm shift, by definition, cannot be foreseen, and could be right around the corner. Suppose fusion energy was harnessed and brought the cost of electricity down to nearly zero?

Those living in the mid 1800s did not see the industrial revolution coming either
For all the data supplied, the author gets the conclusions wrong. said...

The book does discuss the advances of the information age. It even attributes the productivity surge between 1994 and 2004 to the internet. The author's point is that while the information age increases productivity and quality of life, it's not as extreme an effect as water and sewer connections, electricity, central heating, and the advances made from 1870-1970.

If fusion energy were harnessed and the cost of electricity were brought down to near zero, that would be an immense economic benefit for everyone, but would it be as life-altering as, say, having a telephone instead of having to communicate via letter?

I sincerely hope there will be some invention that we cannot foresee that will improve economic conditions and make Dr. Gordon incorrect. But I'm not sure what that would be.