6.6.09

ABANDONED TO THE ROMULANS. James Howard Kunstler visits upstate New York.
The humanity visible on the downtown streets of Watertown looked like extras who wandered away from the latest Road Warrior location shoot -- semi-hominid creatures with strange loping gaits, arresting hair-dos, and enough tattoos to qualify them for harpoon duty on Herman Melville's Pequod. You passed by groups of them on the streets and wanted to make sure the car's doors were locked.
It's part of a longer meditation on the effects of deindustrialization coming on the heels of the Interstate Highway System which wiped out the Space Age commercial strips.

It misses the simpler lesson: an industrial era in which monopoly rents attenuated the incentive for some people to invest in human capital, followed by an era of do-your-own-thing nonjudgementalism could only end badly for the people who didn't make the investment, who have been left behind by their neighbors who did.

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