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 . . .