What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World? – by Emily Badger – NYT

This is the piece that was referred to by Paul Krugman in today’s NYT.

By Emily Badger

Dec. 22, 2017
“SAN FRANCISCO — Well before anyone thought of this place as the center of the tech economy, the Bay Area built ships. And it did so with the help of many parts of the country.

Douglas fir trees logged in the Pacific Northwest were turned into lumber schooners here. Steel from the East, brought in by railroad, became merchant vessels. During World War II, workers assembled military ships with parts from across the country: steam turbines from Schenectady, N.Y., and Lester, Pa.; gear winches from Tacoma, Wash.; radio equipment from Newark; compasses from Detroit; generators from Milwaukee.

Most of these links that tied the Bay Area’s prosperity to a web of places far from here have faded. Westinghouse closed the Pennsylvania plant. General Electric downsized in Schenectady. The Milwaukee manufacturer dissolved. The old Bethlehem Shipbuilding yard in San Francisco will soon be redeveloped. And its former parent company, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem, Pa., went bankrupt in 2001.

The companies that now drive the Bay Area’s soaring wealth — and that represent part of the American economy that’s booming — don’t need these communities in the same way. Google’s digital products don’t have a physical supply chain. Facebook doesn’t have dispersed manufacturers. Apple, which does make tangible things, now primarily makes them overseas.”

DL: Lots to think about, and many links to follow. Here is a comment I liked mostly because it praised the journalist:

Tibby Elgato
Tibby Elgato
West county, Republic of California

This is one of the most insightful pieces published in a good while. One reason for the divide between big metro areas not covered in the article is tolerance for people who may not fit the local mold. To attract the best a place has to be the best. Provincialism is not the route to success. If you are from NY, SF or DC Paris or Rome will be like home whereas parts of Kansas or Oklahoma will be alien and nasty. It’s just how it is.

via What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World? – The New York Times

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About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. It was published by Footmad and Cherry Blossom Press on September 11, 2017. Find more about it at TheTaySonRebellion.com, also known as, DavidLindsayJr.com.
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