Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Paean to Pickups, Exurbia

Writing in The Atlantic, Derek Thompson tackles the subject of Americans leaving the big cities while foreign immigrants infill behind them. Much to the despair of Eurocentric urban planners, it is the uniquely American way of life, continuing.
Urban planners and economists focused on creativity and networks have been singing the praises of the city-living since the Great Recession (or, perhaps, since forever). But local housing policy, limited family finances, and American geographical abundance—not to mention the pro-rural laws of U.S. representative government—are powerful centrifugal forces that push Americans ever-outward into suburbs with lawns, trucks, and cul de sacs.

Ford’s car sales fell 24 percent in March, while F-Series pickups rose by double digits. GM’s latest sales growth was similarly driven by crossovers and trucks, not little cars.
The pickup truck is the quintessential American motor vehicle. I have a crew-cab, long-bed, 4-wheel drive, diesel Ford F-350. Of the three vehicles the DrsC own, it is my clear favorite.

I look forward to driving it 900+ miles across a mostly empty part of North America 5 weeks from now. You'll not experience freedom like that anywhere near a big city.