Since than, the number of published reports of the theory has grown.
It may contain some typos. First I noticed that the park was in absolutely immaculate condition, in better shape than ever in my lifetime, going back to my s school days.
The Bethesda Terrace beside the lake and the adjoining Great Mall with its once-decrepitating Naumberg bandshell were all fixed up.
Vanished original buildings such as the Dairy, designed by Olmsted and Vaux in the s and then lost to decay, had been meticulously reproduced.
The epiphany part was when I realized that this miracle was altogether a product of the financialization of the US economy. A Niagara of money had flowed into the tax-deductable mission of the Central Park Conservancy.
It was a short leap from there to realize that over the past quarter-century every formerly skeezy neighborhood in Manhattan had undergone remarkable renovation: Well, all those hedge funders needed someplace to live, as did those who work in other well-paid but less-exalted professions: When I was a young man in the s, New York was on its ass.
The subway cars were so graffiti-splattered you could hardly find the doors or see out the windows. Times Square was like the place where Pinocchio grew donkey ears.
Muggers lurked in the shadows of Bonwit Teller on 57th and Fifth. These were the climax years of the post-war WW II diaspora to the suburbs.
New York seemed done for. And meanwhile, of course, other American big cities were likewise whirling around the drain. Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Even San Francisco was a dump in the cold, dark, pre-dawn years of the dot-com age when I lived there in On the other hand, sunbelt metroplexes such as Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Charlotte, and Phoenix were booming back then, but not in a way that made any sense in traditional urban terms.
They merely expressed the most exaggerated characteristics of suburban sprawl in new and horrifying ways: These weird new crypto-urban agglomerations had been hardly more than tank towns beforeso even their worst car-dependent features and furnishings were pretty new, that is, not yet subjected to the ravages of time.
Which is to say they were typologically different from the older US cities like New York. In any case, getting back to my stroll across Central Park that spring morning, there was a second part to my low-grade epiphany — which was that I was here witnessing the absolute peak of a cycle in the life of New York; that from this point forward things would start falling apart again, and probably worse than the previous time in the s.
I shall elaborate on the shocking particulars of that presently, but first I must describe exactly what the financialization of the economy was about and why it is coming to a bad end. Contrary to the American religion of endless progress, the techno-industrial age is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, and we are closer to the end of that chapter in human history than to the middle of it.
By the s, the USA began to feel the bite of competition from other parts of the world that had rebuilt their industrial capacity following the debacle of World War II.
Our factories, which had not been bombed during the war, were old and worn out. Environmental consciousness produced stringent new regulation of dirty industries. Third World nations with rising populations offered ultra-cheap labor and lax regulation. Industrial production was replaced mainly by two activities.
First, after being constrained by the oil crises of andthe suburban sprawl build-out resumed with vengeance in the s. Secondly, and connected with sprawl via the mortgage racket, was the expansion of the financial sector of the economy from five percent to over 40 percent.
The suburban sprawl part was easy to understand. It was the preferred template for property development, an emergent process over the decades.Our essay contest winners wrote about a brother who is gay, a mom who works hard and an inspiring wife. Essay on Caring. Monday, April 01, Unfortunately, a concomitant effect impedes the productive from future production.
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