Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Larry Summers: On the Road

This former Treasury Secretary, establishment elitist economist, is no Jack Kerouac but this better than most of the Keynesian nonsense he writes:

I accompanied my wife on a trip different to any I had ever taken. We drove for two weeks on two-lane roads from Chicago to Portland across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. The larger cities we passed through included Dubuque, Iowa, Cody, Wyoming and Bozeman, Montana.

Driving across America, as opposed to looking down from a plane, makes clear how much of this vast country is uninhabited. Again and again, we encountered signs warning us to check our gas because it would be 50 miles to the next gas station. I’m sure there were moments when we were 250 miles from any place where I could have bought an iPhone charger. Often there was no mobile phone service either.

Much of the land we saw was not only uninhabited but also seemed put to little economic use — valleys too arid to farm or even to support ranching; mountain ranges too rugged (vulnerable to snow or falling rock or fire) to support year round economic activity. We drove past some romantic ghost towns but more abandoned caf├ęs, gas stations and hotels.

The abundance of land seemed not just a rural but an urban phenomenon. Every attraction we visited had enough parking spaces for 10 times the number of visitors it enjoyed. We had our choice of metered parking spaces on main streets from Dubuque to Keystone when we stopped for lunch.

We were also struck by how remote the concerns of the coasts seemed. TVs in bars and restaurants were rarely turned to news channels. (via FT)

1 comment:

  1. So, this know-it-all Summers had never before driven across the country? Or perhaps even out into the country?

    BTW, in rural Ontario within 50 miles of Detroit, I see lots and lots of anti-abortion signs and and lots of signs against the ubiquitous power-generating windmills that the Ontario government installs by the thousands against the will of the land owners.

    What I never see anywhere is libertarian outreach to social conservatives. What I do see is state after state under Republican control that subsidize the SJWs that control the universities and government schools.