Intensification slowly yields to extensification
The Industrial Revolution gave us the golden fleece known as the economy of scale.
Bigger schools, bigger industries, bigger banks, bigger institutions etc., each remedied some underlying assumptions about the smaller inefficiencies.
Merging, consolidating, reorganizing are all manifestations of the intensification taking place over the last centuries.
With the advent of local sourcing we are witnessing the slow extensification so necessary to erode these oversize and megalithic constructions.
You might conclude these are conservative arguments. Ironically they are the underpinnings of the progressive movement.
Banks probably are too big to fail. When large industrials slump, like Caterpillar’s current global situation, the impact is to thousands of households and no longer localized to a single community.
There was a time, not so long ago, that every neighborhood had a small grocery, a place for bread, milk and last second ingredients for the evening meal.
A place you could send a child on an errand and the grocer would know the kid, the family, their network in the community.
We lost all that to the economies of scale.
It has become rare now to get sales help in a store, to be greeted by name in a checkout line, to have your children attend school with the children of local merchants.
Intensification has corrosively broken the links that once bound a neighborhood and characterized a community.
It is hard to say what the emerging economy will look like but it certainly will involve extensification. Every building has a roof. And even if that roof exposure won’t allow complete household passive generation it can mitigate the total demand.
We must recognize these death throes of the industrial age. Our mutual outcome depends on a proper burial.
Progressives are dreaming of a world for their grandchildren… and yours.
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