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Sunday, November 18, 2007
the politics of nowhere

MIT economist Lester Thurow summarized the eighties boom nicely: "We borrowed a trillion dollars from the Japanese and threw a party." Now you could add to that heap of debt the $500 billion price tag on the Savings and Loan bailout, and throw in another trillion in yearly federal budget deficits accrued since Thurow made his remark -- the Bush administration [1989–1993] looked more and more like a case of fiscal delirium tremens. On top of this, you might also figure in the looming costs of global warming, and the long-term consequences it augured for the national lifestyle. And of course, sooner or later the price of petroleum was apt to destabilize again. Hence, the overall prospect seemed dim that Americans might continue to afford an economy based on people endlessly driving around, buying smurfs and Michael Jackson posters.

The Geography of Nowhere, Copyright © 1993 James Howard Kunstler

Well, it's good they learned that lesson, and that you couldn't replace Japanese->Chinese, Savings and Loan->ABCP/subprime, Bush administration->err, Bush administration

Hey, they did it better 14 years later though, they did all of the above PLUS they had much, much bigger Iraq war. Progress!

There's good rantage from the book (QuickTime video) in Radiant City.

You can also see him in fine form at TED from 2004 (ironically ad-supported by BMW).

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