Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Forcing Change

This is a view of the New York Public Library taken in 1908, shortly after its completion. Note the prevalence of horse drawn vehicles and foot traffic.

1908 new york library

This is a view of the same area, taken in 1913. The camera is looking down the street in front of the library and you can see the edge of the library itself on the left side of the picture..

1913 New york library

Notice any major differences in the two views? How about this picture, which is basically an identical perspective to the 1908 picture - only this one was taken in 1915.

1915 new york library

In 1908, almost all the vehicles on the street are horse drawn. Just 5 years later, in 1913, most of the vehicles on the streets were now automobiles. By 1915, automobiles were the norm rather than the exception.

That's 5-7 years to acheive a drastic and sweeping change to our preferred method of transportation. There were still horse drawn wagons vehicles in use for many years after this, but it was clear in a very short time period where the future of transportation was going. This massive and rapid change took place without any government subsidies. Without any central federal government planning offices to decide for us what we want as consumers. There was no infrastructure in place for automobiles in 1908. No gas stations, no repair shops, no auto parts stores.... and yet all these things magically appeared without Massive Federal tax and spend schemes to "stimulate" and "invest" in our infrastructure.

There was no Federal bailout of the Wagon and Carriage Industry. There was no extension of unemployment benefits to keep wagon builders on the public dole for years at a time. The President and Congress didn't step up and buyout Studebaker Wagonworks because they were "too big to fail". 

People adapted. They moved on. If your business went under because people no longer wanted the product you made, you either:

a. Switched over to making a better product that the public did want.


b. Moved on and did something else.

People didn't crawl out into the street and drop over dead because the Federal government didn't wipe their bottoms for them during hard times.

Remember all this when the Feds tell you over and over again that we can't do anything without them. Remember these facts when they crow about the need to "invest" billions and billions of your tax dollars into green energy schemes that fail again and again. Remember that when you see the dismal stats of electric car sales (that virtually no one wants) over the past several years... even though YOU are paying a subsidy via your federal tax dollars for every single one of these vehicles sold. Cars that cost thousands of dollars more to make than they can be sold for.

Remember all these things. And then ask yourself if the Federal Governments "help" is actually helping anyone at all?

Or is it instead holding us back?

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