Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can We Transform the Auto-Industrial Society?

I just read a very interesting article from the New York Review of Books on the fate of the US auto industry. It's called Can We Transform the Auto-Industrial Society? By Emma Rothschild. Here is a quote that summarizes one of the ways we got into this mess ...
The pattern of land use in the expanding cities of the South and West—which have had the most rapid population growth, ... is a consequence of prices as well as preferences, and of the changing distribution of public expenditure, or public partiality.

What's important is that we have set the prices through public policy such as highway subsidies and tax subsidies for home ownership. I think we need to recognize these ways we have encouraged unsustainable development patterns ... the Republicans always say we should let the market decide, but our subsidies distort the market and we need to recognize this.

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