Economists who blithely assume that pre-2008 automobile sales are “normal,” because Americans “need” their cars, misunderstand the nature of the automobile market. Enormous cars, long commutes, and vast parking lots do have their advantages, but we could manage to live without them – and we may have to sooner rather than later.
ALBANY – In the modern world, we cherish our freedom and individuality. And, as
automobile advertisers have long understood, few experiences make us feel more liberated than a fast ride with the top down.
To be modern is to be mobile. Our economy depends on the free and rapid circulation of people and goods, and we have invented transportation technologies to suit our needs. First the railroads moved people and goods at previously unimaginable speeds, while steamships circled the globe. Then, in the twentieth century, airplanes moved us even faster.
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